In my high school days I remember working to expand my music collection and as the piles of CDs grew, it became evident that transporting my collection was not the easiest thing. Whether going to DJ a dance or cruise with friends I always felt the need to have my entire collection by my side. Then I stumbled onto the greatest storage solution I had yet seen. The "CD Wallet" or in this case "book" caught my eye in a local Sam Goody store. Finally a way to transport my complete CD collection. Able to hold upwards of 300 CDs this Case Logic book was the perfect solution for the man who had to be prepared at all times. Nearly thirteen years have passed, CDs have since been on the decline and an 80GB iPod is the new transport of choice. Yet, marriage and children have yielded another dilemma. The digital age has come bringing camcorders and cameras in to our home. With one case for the professional DSLR camera and another for the video camera, it quickly became apparent that the hassle of carrying two different cases as well as getting out lenses and flashes and assembling the professional DSLR became much more of a chore. So much so that my wife recently bought a pocket video camera and a little point-and-shoot camera just to have in her purse. This was a fine solution for her but I couldn't stand to see all of our high quality gear go to waste. Not even a week later I was approached with the answer.
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Case Logic made an impressive return into my life with its SLR Camera/Laptop Backpack XNSLR-7. This majestic piece of back-packery is the all in one solution for the person who needs all his gear where ever he goes. I was giddy to see all the storage space available for not only a DSLR camera, but also extra lenses, flashes, cords, accessories, a tripod, laptop and even my video camera with its own set of accessories. The bag was really designed for the diehard photographer, and while I have a fair portion of photography gear, I had nowhere near enough to fill the pack. Aside from sheer size and storage space the XNSLR-7 has one of the best time saving features of any camera bag I have seen. The EVA molded Camera Cradle holds your DSLR camera without having to remove the lens. Even better is that the cradle has a shaft extension allowing for the camera to be securely held in place with a sizable telephoto lens still attached to the camera. Another plus is the removable walls to create snug compartments for all your precious cargo. The XNSLR-7 is sleek, smooth and durable. Its outward appearance is clean without out a bunch of useless pockets and netting. The pack is comfortable to wear with plenty of padding to make hauling such a load comfortable.
After putting this bag to the test, it was clear this bag is not for the faint of heart. Though I suppose it could be, I probably wouldn't recommend this pack for a long hike. Its size while providing space for major inventory will weigh quite a bit once full and seems to be more of a large case with back pack abilities to ease the load from point a to point b rather than an extreme outdoor pack. It also may leave something to be desired for those that prefer a more discreet transport method because of its sheer size. Another note makes me remember the fear of someone stealing my CD book all those years ago. I would have been left with nothing and although this may be a bit different the principle is the same; always watch this bag when it's with you, the amount and caliber of equipment this bag was designed for is not cheap and not easily replaceable.
Overall, I give the XNSLR-7 high marks for capacity, protection, ease of use and looks. For myself and all those who feel like they need it all at their fingertips this is truly the best, most efficient and secure method of protection and transport for a professional DSLR camera.