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  Reviews by: Maksim Noy  

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Burton Snowboards Zoom Pack

Review Date: Oct 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $105.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Slimmer than any other camera backpack, nice padding, nice quality, comfortable, fits a lot of gear for the bag size, fits avalanche gear well
Fits the 1DMkII height-wise, but you have to flip it and it's close. Lots of film loops -- who uses those anymore?

There are only two choices for photo ski/snowboard pack that I could find -- the Dakine Sequence and Burton Zoom. Both are made in limited quantities and sell out quickly. I got both of them to try out and, while I have two other Dakine packs that I love, I am keeping the Zoom.

The main reason I picked the Zoom is that it's smaller and slimmer on my back. I also thought that the camera compartment is a little nicer inside. And it was easier to fit my avalanche gear into the Burton Zoom than the Dakine Sequence. And all the straps tuck away unlike the Sequence that has a bunch of long straps hanging off with no way to control them.

I can fit a 1DMkII with a 70-200 and a hood, a 20D with a 17-40 and a hood, a 580EX flash, and a small Canon video camera into the camera compartment. That still leaves the top pocket and side pocket available. In addition to other, more specialized pockets on the bag.

It is bordering on being a little small for a 1D MK II body, but you can make it fit by flipping the 1D viewfinder down.

Access to the main camera compartment is nice -- just throw the bag down and unzip. The shoulder straps and the belt are away from the zipper so you don't have to worry about them getting caught.

The suspension system is good -- belt comes up high on the bag and the weight is distributed nicely along the hips.

The bottom of the bag is made from a rubber-type tough material so there isn't any problem with setting the bag down on a wet surface.

The outside of the bag includes a loop and strap for ski cross-carry so it's not a snowboard-only bag.

There are a couple strange things -- lots of elastic loops for film canisters and the pocket with a big window on the hip belt. I would have much preferred to see some CF or SD memory holders and no window on the pocket, but those are nitpicks.

Overall, this is the best choice for a ski/snowboard pack. I am hoping to put a good number of days on it this year.

To be fair, it's pretty close between the Sequence and the Zoom. They are very similar. And Sequence is a nice pack with a good suspension system as well. And the camera compartment in it is removable -- it turns into a shoulder bag when taken out. But, for me, the Zoom works a little better.