Manfrotto Advanced Fast III Camera Bag Test: The Versatile Bag

Manfrotto is an Italian accessory manufacturer best known for its tripods, heads, and camera bags. The brand targets the professional and consumer market of photography and cinema. If Transalpine is positioned as one of the leaders in the tripod market, it also has a lot of experience in camera cases.

Renewed Advanced Domain

So when it comes to backpacks, Manfrotto offers many ranges for many different uses. Among them, we find the Advanced III collection of seven backpacks. It is intended for versatile use between transporting photographic equipment and personal effects. So the Fast III Backpack integrates this range while offering a less conventional design. In fact, the Fast III Advanced features a main reach located on the inner front face.

The Fast III, a bag for everyday life.

© Maxime Burton / Digital

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

construction and access

Solid, but not too much

When it comes to construction, Manfrotto offers a relatively solid product without offering a solid build. Remember, the Manfrotto Advanced Fast III is intended for combined use between an everyday bag and a camera bag. It doesn’t have a hard bottom, so you have to be careful not to put your luggage on the bottom too abruptly so you don’t damage your gear.

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The Manfrotto Advanced Fast III from different angles

© Maxime Burton / Digital

The padding inside the bag is quite large on the back, but it’s less present across the entire model. However, this allows the product to remain relatively light with an empty weight of 1.2 kg.

Water repellent, but not waterproof

For rain protection, this Manfrotto has a waterproof outer fabric, but it’s not completely waterproof. For use in heavy rain, a protective cover is provided. The zipper is covered with a nylon sheath to resist weather factors.

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The Fast III with its protective cover.

© Maxime Burton / Digital

Undercarriage Protection System

The main pocket of the Advanced Fast III is divided into two parts: one in the lower tier with additional padding; and another on the upper level to accommodate a second chest or personal belongings.

At the bottom of the backpack we find the M-Guard system provided by Manfrotto. These reinforced spacers are flexible and rigid enough to hold the housing and optics firmly. Note that the lower and upper parts can be united into one space by removing the intermediate septum.

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Fast III and its M-Guard system.

© Maxime Burton / Digital

atypical access system

The Fast III is notable for its peculiarity, as its main pocket through a set of zippers allows for a full opening at the front. Operation of the group is fairly convenient, but full access to the main cabin which can only be done from the front can be a problem in some situations, as opposed to accessing from the back.

However, this set of fasteners allows for full access as well as side access, left and right. If fully opening the sack from the front wasn’t forbidden, Manfrotto had a good idea here.

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Third quick side access.

© Maxime Burton / Digital

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Storage and modularity

Up to 15″ PC and Tablet

In addition to the main pocket that can accept one or even two cameras, as well as several lenses, the Fast III is fairly well equipped with additional storage:

  • Compartment is provided for a computer up to 15″ in size and a tablet
  • Two side zip pockets for small items
  • Two compartments for quick storage outside (for a water bottle, for example)

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The tablet fits in a computer pocket.

© Maxime Burton / Digital

The top compartment of the main pocket is also capable of accommodating a number of personal items. This main compartment also has four small pockets, but without a closure system.

On the front exterior of the bag there are two straps that can attach a tripod. Conceived as cabin baggage, the Manfrotto Fast Advanced Backpack III is equipped with a backpack hook.

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Tripod mount attached to Fast III.

© Maxime Burton / Digital

strength point

  • Fully modular main compartment.

  • Rain-protected structure.

  • Provide rain cover.

  • Quick side access on both sides.

  • Separate slot for 15-inch computer and tablet.

Weak points

  • Bottom of the soft bag.

  • Full access to the cabin from the front.

  • No waist support belt.

  • fixed belts.

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