Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Crumpler Zoomiverse Field Reviews - Huge Photo Backpack but with Poor Design

A while ago I purchased a Crumplier Zoomiverse to replace my ageing  camera bag. For various reasons I never made the switch and having  finally come to do so I've found that the interior of the Crumpler  Zoomiverse is totally configurable with many different layouts possible.
However the bag does unfortunately suffer from some poor design flaws that limit its usefulness.
Crumpler Zoomiverse inside space
Although the bag is huge externally the actual usable space is not as great as you would expect. Almost like a TARDIS in reverse! There is an inner bag that stores the camera gear which helps protect it but as a result cuts down the volume available for storage. It is quite a squeeze to get 2 bodies with lenses attached into the bag along with a flash gun. The net pocket at the top of the Crumpler Zoomiverse can store small items but again it reduces the space available within the bag.
There is a front pocket which gives a lot of flexible space but unfortunately the bag needs to be laid on its front to access the camera in main compartment so needs to be zipped up again to reach the front pocket - itself a slow process due to the 2 layer zip on the main compartment.
Crumpler Zoomiverse review
This shows the main compartment net covering being zipped into place. The Zoomiverse has a unique design in that the backpack opens from the rear by folding the carry straps out of the way and removing the rear of the bag. This works quite well expect for limiting access to the front of the bag. The main compartment also features a laptop carry case but this limits the space available inside for camera gear even more.

Crumpler Zoomiverse backpack review - good but could be better

The dividers can be positioned as required. Unfortunately that does mean that starting from scratch is tricky as  you need to find a layout to begin with using the available velcro  dividers! There are more dividers than can be used inside the bag which is confusing to begin with!
Inside the Crumpler Zoomiverse layout
Standing bag upright showing the rear opening to access the main compartment.

Crumpler Zoomiverse review - large photo backpack

The photo below shows the Tamrac Adventure 9 side by side with the Crumpler Zoomiverse. Although they are similar heights the space inside the Tamrac is much more usable than in the Zoomiverse. The primary problem with the Tamrac is that the top pocket is not padded so needs to be used carefully to avoid damaging kit.
Crumpler Zoomiverse compared to Tamrac Adventure 9