Tamrac G32 – A LARGE Camera Backpack
Part 3 in our series of reviews of Tamrac bags brings us to an extremely large camera backpack, the G32. Designed for professional photographers or serious enthusiasts with a variety of gear to look around, the G32 is an extremely large camera backpack that may tick most boxes on those photographers’ list. Let’s jump into it and see if this bag will work for you.
As mentioned previously, the G32 was designed with the serious working professional or an amateur with a plethora of gear in mind. Taking inspiration from the GuraGear Bataflae, the G32 features a very unique butterfly multi access system, allowing for the user to access only half the bag at one time. This system was new to me, and took some getting used to, but the benefits of having this option definitely outweigh the learning curve. Part of the genius of the system is if the user does not want to use the bag in this way, it can easily be converted to a traditional backpack style camera bag. I will explain this more in depth in a while, but this feature truly is fantastic.
Also check out the video review!
Before I really describe the field of this large camera backpack, I want to touch on its weight. Before I picked it up, I fully expected this bag to weigh a ton. However, at less than 5 pounds, this bag is nice and light. Compare it to a case like the Pelican 1510 that holds arguably less gear, and the G32 comes out ahead in the weight department.
Just like the rest of Tamrac’s professional line of bags, the G32 has a semi-hard outer shell, and is also a little more water repellent, even without the rain cover. For the amount of gear they can be put into this bag, I do wish that the shoulder straps for a bit more padded. However, Tamrac did add fail-safe shoulder strap buckles. I don’t anticipate them ever breaking, but that is a nice added safety feature. The build of the handles is also very reinforced with rivets, and gives me confidence lugging around 50 pounds in gear with one hand. The G32 seems a little bit more durable then the Anvil series.
Overall, the fit of the G32 is pretty nice. As touched on before, I do wish that the shoulder straps had a bit more padding, as I believe this bag is designed too not just carry your gear through an airport, but put it through a bit more rigorous activity. Tamrac Did you make sure to include a very padded back of the bag, all the way down through the lower back. This large camera backpack also includes hey waist belt, and with a bag of this size using the belt typically makes more of a difference than extra padding on the shoulder straps does. Carrying between 30 and 50 pounds of gear was fairly comfortable. I have never used it back where carrying that much wasn’t felt I my back eventually, and I really think that there is no way around it. Even backpackers, with dedicated backpacking gear still feel that at the end of the day. With that said, I don’t think that the G32 is a backpacking bag, but I’m more of an excursion backpack. One that is designed for day use, but not necessarily hours and hours of hiking.
The features of the G32 are going to be the number one reason to buy it. First, it can’t hold you’re entire kit and then some. While I haven’t tested this, Tamrac advertises that you can easily put hey 500mm or 600mm lens attached to a body on each side of the backpack. With the G32 being as big as it is, I fully believe that. The G32 easily handles professional DSLR’s with a battery grip. This backpack is actually the deepest backpack that I have ever tested, so if you are a photographer carrying around a Canon 1DX Mark II or a Nikon D5, you will be more than fine with this large camera backpack. The divider system is also very easy to deal with, and Tamrac provides more than enough dividers to suit your customizing needs.
Spoken about earlier, the butterfly access system is worth discussing again. If you are in a tight space, you won’t need to unzip the backpack fully and lay the flap out. All you would need to do is unzip the backpack halfway, and because of the top latch, the zipper will stop and you will be able to access each side of the G32 independently. This can be invaluable and really speed up your workflow in a fast paced situation. Also, this feature can be used to separate different kinds of gear. A photography setup may be on one side of the butterfly system, and a videography set up maybe on the other side. If you don’t care about this feature in the least, or need to access the entire bag, the top latch can be unhooked and the entire flap can be unzipped like a traditional backpack. The inside of the flap has four mesh pockets, with two mirrored on each side for batteries or cables. The flap also has another fully unzip a wall zipper, revealing space for a 15 inch laptop, and several more paper goods or small accessories in the additional mesh pouches. The feature that I appreciate about the outermost flap is that it unzips fully. On the other bags, this outermost flap only unzips half ways, forcing the user to reach down and have to fish for whatever item is at the bottom of the bag. That is not the case with the G32. It is little features like that that really makes the difference for me as a reviewer and photographer. Before I move on, let me mention that the zippers are all very water resistant, with a rubber material over the zipper. This can give you more time before having to put the rain cover on.
Each side of the bag has space for a light sand or tripod, and can also be used for a water bottle. Included on these side sections are straps that can be used to secure these items. The bottom of the bag also has a thin handle. This is another one of those small features that I appreciate in a bag of the size. When carrying the bag with two hands, all too often one of your hands can’t find a strap. However, since Tamrac added this feature, holding this large camera backpack with two hands is a breeze. If you are holding the G32 with two hands, chances are that you’re not using the shoulder straps. Because of this, Tamrac added the ability to zip up the shoulder and waist straps, and to hide them. They also added a reinforced handle on the side of the bag if the user wants to carry the G32 in briefcase mode.
Some of my favorite features of this bag are as follows:
- The butterfly access system.
- How deep the bag is (for pro bodies).
- Fully unzippable outer pocket.
- How light the bag is.
- The amount of gear that it can hold.
Some wishes for the G32:
- More padding on the shoulder straps.
- Zippers could zip a bit easier
Overall, the G32 is a fantastic large camera backpack. If you are a photographer who needs to lug around and insane amount of gear, or has a split bag with maybe an audio and video setup, this could be the bag for you. You also may have a very long lens, and want to be able to carry around the rest of your kit at the same time. The G32 is perfect for that. At around $400, the G32 definitely is not cheap. However, you’re probably not going to find hey bag of this size for much cheaper than that price. When I comes to carrying all that gear, the G32 it is a nice option.