LET ONE BAG LIFT YOUR ENTIRE LOAD
If you are on the road with a large body camera set-up like the RED ONE, you need two things: plenty of space and loads of protection for your healthy investment. Up until this point, our gear required three to four cases to pack. And we had to partially break the rig down to get it packed, which takes time. When testing the One Man Band from Kata, we were able to keep the camera fully assembled with the battery, monitor and matte box installed and ready for action.
Ready for Action
Of course, this makes for a pretty heavy load, which means the case you use needs to be that much stronger, more protective and better built than most. The Kata is all that, and a bag of chips. My first glance at this behemoth and I thought, this thing is ginormous! Turns out it fits the RED like a glove, which means it can easily accommodate most any large body camera rigs. Having the ability to deploy the camera quickly is key, but you also need to have a fair amount of extras on hand. This is where the many compartments and detachable pouches come in handy. The entire inside of the case is made of material that allows you to move the Velcro-attached pouches and laptop divider to suit your needs. The bright yellow color makes it very easy to see any loose parts or accessories.
You will have plenty of options for storage with this case including a large top and front zippered compartments that will carry all the pens, lens cleaning kits and collapsible reflectors you might need. If there is one thing that determines how a case like this will hold up on the road is the zippers. The most important and most likely part to fail, zippers have to be tough if they are meant to last. The quality of the Kata zippers are something you would expect to see on a NASA space suit. With substantial pull – tabs and very smooth operation, I get the feeling that these will hold up to all those times you’ll need to open and close the case. The smart design and attention to detail makes this product really work, right down to every clasp and clip, strap and handle.
The dense cell-foam construction offers excellent protection, even for this heavy a load. Unique features include "Toblerones" on the bottom of the case that absorb shock and keep the unit out of standing water. Kata’s Insertrolley system slides right into the back of the unit to make for effortless transport. The trolley can also be used for other gear and has an extended wheel base that makes for a worry-free airport experience.
For this review, we took the One Man Band to the beach on a training mission for an upcoming trip to Africa. It made easy work of the boardwalk surface with its well-built wheel system. When the boardwalk ended, the molded shoulder strap made carrying that much equipment an easy task. This well-built bag, available in four sizes to fit some of the top cameras on the market, should become a part of every videographer’s arsenal.