M-Rock Arches Bag Review Update

An update on the M-Rock Arches bag which I got for vacations and trips. I was able to put all of my gear in the Arches bag with plenty of extra space.

The top compartment held extra accys, such as my 680 Polaroid, my Garmin, filters, etc. In the main compartment I was able to fit the following:

Canon 30D with Battery Grip BG-E2N
Canon 50mm 1.4
Canon 85mm 1.8
Canon 28-135mm 3.5-5.6
Canon 18-55mm 3.5-5.6
Canon 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS (recently replaced, more details later)
Cannon STE2
Canon 430EX flash
Flash Diffuser
Canon BP511A 1390mAh Lithium Ion Battery Pack
AA Batteries (put in the side compartment)
Various extra filters, cords etc.

I ended up returning the bag, because when it was on my back, it was not hanging straight, it would lay at an angle and therefore all the weight in the bag was not even and hurt my back. When I used the secondary strap, the bags’ main strap felt like it would fall off my shoulder. When I tightened the main strap, it would be too high to rotate. Everything else about the bag was awesome, and I think would be great if you don’t have heavier equipment, and then you may want to look into the smaller M-Rock Olympic

Instead, I am getting the Lowepro Fastpack 200, just realeased at PMAI January 31st. Pretty much the same dimensions, maybe a little bigger as the Arches bag, but its a backpack with two straps and a belt strap which is also a great feature to take the weight off which I use with my Tamrac backpack. It will still have the side/sling access, and with my own adjustments to the inside of the bag which will allow access to all my equipment (same adjustments I made to the Arhces bag) . . . I’m very excited.

Feel free to leave questions or comments if you have/had the Arches or other bag you use and like/dislike 🙂 I’ll post about the Fastpack I end up getting sometime next week once it’s in.

Check out the original post here: https://sueleigh.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/new-bag-m-rock-arches/

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6 thoughts on “M-Rock Arches Bag Review Update

  1. Jeff says:

    Any thoughts on how to attach a compact tripod to the Lowepro? I know the Arches has some elastic cord on the bottom of the bag (not sure it will hold a trip – or monopod – by itself without the help of additional straps). Just curious if you have any experience with these sling style bags. Thanks!

  2. ~Sue-Leigh says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I actually ended up getting the Flipside 300 which has a place for a tripod leg and strapping in on the back, but it’s more for transporting to a shoot location, but not ideal for bag usage speed.

    Since the Fastpack is made for swinging around, a tripod may end up either being in the way or flying off. you may be able to rig something / customize it for the bottom or the back depending on if you don’t unzip the whole flap. I usually end up rigging most of my equipment anyway.

    Let me know if you find something that works 🙂

  3. ~Sue-Leigh says:

    side-note: the Fastpack 200 was a little smaller and had less space for camera equipment than the m-rock arches equivalent but I think my Flipside 300 is great (especially awesome when I travel!)

  4. Jeff says:

    Thanks, Sue, for the rapid reply. I’m getting the sense that a home-made solution may be necessary for the sling style bags (I’m leaning toward functionality and ease of access as I have a traditional backpack that I need to take off to remove equipment, BUT it does have two straps on the bottom of the bag for my Slik Sprint Pro tripod which is about 18″ folded up). The Arches does have bungee straps on the bottom and may do the trick if I decide to go with it (still haven’t made a final decision yet – I have another week or so). I’m also eyeing the new Kata 3N1 line but this has no tripod solution either. It’s never easy! :).

    I’ll keep my eyes open for your take on the Flipside review (another model I’m considering but the Arches has more features). Thanks again!

  5. Jeff says:

    Me again. How did the 70-300 mounted lens fit in the Arches? Have you tried the smaller Olympic at all? The specs on the M-Rock site cite a 9.5 bag width (i.e. length of camera + body) but actually tried out the Olympic in a local store last week (they did not have the Arches) and I thought it was very tight with my 40D + 70-300. This is my longest lens and I don’t forsee getting anything bigger for a while. Thanks for any information you can provide (my other consideration is the new Kata 3N1 line and here I’m faced with” will the medium size 20 be large enough or do I go with the 30). Thanks.

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