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Old August 30th, 2009, 03:07 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Deep South, U.S.
Posts: 1,317
Petrol PMCK-1N Backpack Review

This review is of the Petrol PMCK-1N video camera backpack. First some background. As an avid nature videographer and new owner of a Panasonic HPX170 I was looking for a backpack that would adequately protect my equipment, minimize the weight to be carried, fit comfortably and not cost a fortune. Let me add I have reoccurring back problems so it is with some apprehension that I began my search for a video backpack.

Early on I narrowed my search to the CineBags CB-25 (7.6 lbs.), Kata GDC BP-502 (8.6 lbs.) and Petrol PMCK-1N (5.6 lbs.). Although, I found the CineBags and Kata backpacks to be very well designed and constructed, their size and weight did not meet my “minimalist” requirements. The normal equipment which I carry includes the HPX170, 2 batteries, Zoom H4n recorder, Olympus Evolt 520 with 3 lenses, white card, misc. small tools, and small still camera tripod). Additionally, at approximately $145 the Petrol was priced well below the Cinebags $199 and much more expensive Kata at $285.

With my choice of the Petrol made I have now used it about a dozen times. Here is my experience.
- Well constructed shell of heavy duty Cordura and ballistic nylon.
- Internal dividers work well with positive attachment and equipment seems well protected inside.
- Interior Velcro camera strap positively holds camcorder in place.
- Design allows for good weight distribution and balance.
- Shoulder straps, breathable mesh and back padding is comfortable.
- Carry handle feels substantial.
- Zippers work well.
- Lightweight compared to other packs considered.
- Inside large pocket is good for carrying manuals and white cards.
- Good lumbar support.
- Top elastic cords can secure a small tripod or other items.

- Waist and chest strap is very narrow. I will probably replace it with a 2” wide strap and buckle.
- 2 exterior side pockets will only hold small items and have no flap or zipper for preventing items from falling out.
- No exterior access to interior stored items except for opening the entire bag.
- No water bottle holder but aftermarket types can be attached to waist strap.
- Would be nice to have attachment on shoulder straps for carrying cell phone or GPS unit.
- Online registration of product does not work. Card must be mailed to Israel.

Many times equipment choice is based on compromise. In my opinion the Petrol PMCK-1N is a “barebones” but well made backpack at a budget price. For me it is comfortable and adequately protects my equipment.

The backpack can be viewed at DVINFO sponsor site Petrol | PMCK-1N Shell Camera Backpack | PMCK-1N | B&H Photo and images at
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