Pacsafe Camsafe Venture V25 Review

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[box] The Pacsafe Camsafe Venture V25 is a 25 litre feature-laden camera pack that will give you great piece of mind while traveling this winter vacation. It is brand new on the market here in Korea and should be available in many camera shops across the country.[/box]

One of my main concerns when traveling with my gear is theft. A chief annoyance to my wife is the fact that I am constantly making sure my gear is where it should be and I will even sacrifice a swim in the sea if it means that I would have to leave my gear somewhere not as safe as I would like it to be. That is the reality when you are traveling with camera gear, people will try and take your stuff. It doesn’t mean that you should be constantly paranoid or leave your gear at home just to have a bit of freedom.

Now, imagine that you have a backpack that is comfortable and functional but built with enough anti-theft technology to make even Batman jealous. Imagine, not having to worry about someone cutting through your bag and running off with it. Imagine being able to just focus on your shots. Well that dream has become a reality in many regards with the Pacsafe Camsafe V25

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Features

The Pacsafe Camsafe V25 has a great number of technical features built into a comfortable sling-style backpack. If you do not know what I mean by that, I mean that you can carry it on one shoulder and as well access your camera without having to take it completely off your shoulder.

One of the many features that I liked is the reinforced “carrysafe” straps that make it almost impossible to cut through. This combined with their “turn and lock security hook” locking mechanism makes it easy to wrap around something and lock it so that no one can just walk by and grab it. This does not mean that you can just leave it wrapped around a tree for the day but it is enough to make a “snatch and grab” virtually impossible.

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The exterior of the bag is lined with Pacsafe’s “eXomesh” which is stainless steel mesh built into the packs body panels to prevent thieves from cutting through your pack and making off with whatever falls out. With a quick look on the internet, this seems like a popular way of getting into a bag especially while waiting in lines or going down escalators.

Another great feature  built into the pack are the zipper pulls that are made out of steel cable and are locked into “Smart Zipper Secrity” hooks that again make it difficult to slip a hand in and get your wallet or passport. These are also hidden slightly as to not draw too much attention. I like this because with everything tucked away you can be sure that you won’t be an easy mark.

RFIDsafe Pocket

One of the more high tech features of this camera backpack is the RFID safe pocket that blocks someone using a remote device to scan the chip on your credit card or passport. These days almost every credit card you have will have that gold-coloured chip on the front. Identity thieves can easily use a remote device and record your information without even touching you.

Here is where Pacsafe has you covered. In the top compartment and a shielded pocket that blocks these devices. The zipper pull also locks into their security hooks as well. Again, making this bag even more safe from pickpockets and thieves.

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Design

This bag does not scream “Camera Bag!!” I sort of like the look of this black pack myself. The slim design allows for a better feel and especially when carrying a tripod. It also doesn’t seem too wide when walking through busy crowds of people.

The camera compartment has a great wide-open design and U-shaped flap that allows you to gain access to your camera and still keep bag on your shoulder. This front flap is also designed for a kind of “side access” rather than the usual “front access” which would force you to physically take the bag off, get your camera out and then put the bag back on. It also contains two CF card pockets on the inside of the flap and clips on the front so that no one can easily unzip the compartment without you noticing.

Additional Features

  • Rain cover located in the bottom of the bag
  • Notebook/water bladder compartment
  • Expandable inner design of main compartment
  • Stretchy side pocket large enough to fit Manfroto Tripod legs securely
  • Slim light-weight design

Overall Impression

After using a Kata bag for over a year, I was almost done with camera backpacks. While I enjoyed being able to travel with a change of clothes or a place to put my purchases, it was a pain to take on and off especially with a tripod and then open up to fish out my camera. The overall design of this Pacsafe Bag is thoughtful and purposeful.

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Even with a tripod attached I can easily remove my camera while keeping the bag on my shoulder. The tripod also stays secure and does not move around much while walking. This is something that I had a problem with using my Kata Bag.

Another concern that I had was that will all of the steel cables and mesh, I thought for sure that this bag was going to be a tank. Surprisingly I found that the pack feels a bit lighter than my other camera packs weighing in at only 1060 grams. This is just an added benefit to a great pack.

Thus, I have to give this pack a glowing review as there is very few negative features… if any that I found during the testing phase. The only minor detail is that the clips for the chest strap and hip/waist strap seem a bit weak and could possibly snap, but to be honest that is a very minor issue and I highly doubt it could happen.

[button link=”http://pacsafe.com/www/index.php?_room=3&_action=detail&id=216″ type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Pacsafe Website[/button]

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[box type=”info”] If you are looking for a great travel pack that is extremely comfortable and well built this is your bag. the security features and build quality are second to none. Each security element is functional and not a gimmick. It is worth a strong consideration for a short to medium length trip as a day pack or main bag if you travel extremely light. [/box]

Comments

  1. Patricia Lyter Reply

    Hi Jason…
    I happened across your January 2013 review of the Camsafe Venture V25 and fell in LOVE with the
    FABULOUS blue color! Unable to locate one, I phoned SafPack today and was told me they don’t make one :). After forwarding your review they told me it was black and just looked blue in the photo for some reason. I don’t think so! Besides, you say it is blue :). then they said it was a pre-hitting the public trial color that didn’t market well. Can you please help direct me where to find one? I need it soon for a couple of trips April 24-30 & May 12-31.

    Thanks for the great review and (hopefully!), your help as well….

    Gratefully,

    Patricia Lyter

  2. Glenn Reply

    Thanks Jason for the great review!! It was so hard to find any review until I came across yours.

    After 6 months how is the bag going?

    Also can it fit a 70-200mm lens attached to the camera body?

    Many thanks!!

    • Jason Teale Reply

      Hi Glen,
      After 6 months now of usage, I must say that it is a great bag and works extremely well. I fits my 7D with the 70-200mm attached very well and it is actually how I carry it for travel. I have the 70-200mm attached to the camera and then my wide-angle and 50mm along the side. It holds everything extremely secure and the piece of mind from the security features is nice too.

      • Glenn Reply

        Jason thanks for confirming and providing further clarification on the set of lens you can store in the camera compartment. I’ve got the same set up and now confident to go ahead with the purchase!

        Aside keep up the great work you’re doing on this site! So informative!

  3. Matt Reply

    Thanks for the review, great stuff!

    I have one of these packs, and I love it. The only thing I was a bit disappointed about was that the wire mesh is only for the bottom section, and then it doesn’t cover the back (the bit on your back). This seems to me a great shame, because it means someone can easily cut their way into your bag when not being worn (eg when on a bus, or left in a room).

    Matt

  4. Keith Reply

    Great review!

    My only concern is if a camera with a battery grip will fit in this bag.

    Keith

    • Jason Teale Reply

      Thanks Keith! I am using it right now with my Canon 5D MK III and a battery pack and it fits great. Thanks again for popping by!

  5. Kathleen Reply

    I have been unable to find any information on the dimensions of the upper and lower compartments. I would like to rearrange the camera dividers so that I can carry my tripod inside the bag, along one side, a consideration for air travel. I may be able to add another padded insert in the top, if there is enough room. Would you please post the dimensions for each segment. Thank You

    • Jason Teale Reply

      Hi Kathleen, Here are the overall dimensions 8.7 x 20.1 x 11.8 inches. The top and bottom compartments sit about half way and I measured them to make sure. The interior measurement of the upper compartment was about 11×10 and the lower compartment was about the same. Depending on the size of your tripod, you might be able to slide it on the righthand side. However, I normally use a manfrotto 190 series tripod and it is much too long to fit in the pack.

      • Kathleen Reply

        Thanks for the info. My tripod is one of the smaller travel tripods where the legs fold back around the ball head, about 15″ when closed up. The advantage here is the drawstring can be opened up and the measurements indicate that I will be able use dividers in the top as well.

        Pacsafe discontinued a camera insert for the Travelsafe, but it is still available at online stores. It can be folded flat when not in use. It will fit into a large purse. Sometimes museums don’t like obvious camera bags, but don’t give a large (shoulder bag) purse a second look.

  6. Lisa Reply

    Hi, I am looking to purchase one of these for travel to SE Asia. However I have a Tamron 600mm lens and am wondering if this would actually fit in the additional lens section?

    • Jason Teale Reply

      Hi Lisa, I can fit my 70-200mm lens (attached to my 5D mkiii) in there with little room left over. That lens itself I believe is about 7.5 inches or so. I think your Tamron is almost double that. So unless you pack it above then I would say no. Thanks for the comment and let me know if you have any more questions.

  7. Marc Reply

    Hi Jason,
    Tanks for the review it is very helpful !
    Did you do any few days trekking with your bag or long day walks?

    • Jason Teale Reply

      I’ve done weekend trips with it, but packed only a small change of clothes. Really, this pack in best used for day trips and light travel.

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