The Active II has clear benefits over cheaper bags I’ve taken on shoots in the past, and feels like it’s been put together with a real understanding of what photographers actually need when working. The sturdy lower compartment can take multiple lenses and stay in good shape, giving you quick, safe access to your gear, and the double main compartment has lots of useful pockets for memory cards and documents.
Other clever design features make the bag a great choice for travel and sports photographers – the outer material is water repellent and there’s a fold out rain protector if you get caught in a downpour. A handy loop lets you attach your tripod to your back when hiking, and the whole thing is sized to fit as cabin luggage.
The Active II is lightweight and comfortable, allowing you to cart it over rough terrain, and everything is easy to access when you need to grab a shot quickly. But the biggest benefit of the bag is how adaptable it is, converting easily into a normal rucksack. I’ve taken it on shoots as a general carry bag for books, maps and guides as well as a camera or two, and the bag’s bottom zip and insert can be removed to make it into a conventional rucksack, fitting a laptop or even your gym kit.
Manfrotto Active II backpack review – Verdict: The Active II’s design is simple, but that renders it lightweight and easy to use. A fantastic user-friendly, sturdy, all purpose camera bag for active photographers at a decent price.