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Review: Manfrotto Lino PRO Field Jacket

by Travis Lawton on 02/06/2012

Manfrotto Lino Pro Field Jacket

Manfrotto Lino Pro Field Jacket

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Manfrotto’s wildly expensive yet impressive Lino Pro Photo Gloves. As expected, the gloves performed quite well. Now that you have your hands taken care of while your shooting, what about your body? As it turns out, Manfrotto has a complete line of photo vests, light jackets and heavier jackets.  In this post, we’ll check out one of the heavier jackets that Manfrotto offers, the Lino PRO Field Jacket. Click on through to see what we thought of it.

Photo vests have been around for decades and were the obvious, and generally only, choice for field photographers to carry all your gear with easy of access. Sports photographers really embraced the photo vest as a great way to carry all their film and film accessories back in the day.

Gone are the days of needing a photo vest for such things. Today there are many great options such as backpacks, sling bags, and other apparel. However, Manfrotto has pulled out all the stops with their Lino Pro Field Jacket.

The construction of the jacket is top-notch. Based on the quality of materials and craftsmanship, this jacket will easily handle anything you throw at it. With ample protection against the elements such as waterproof, sealed seams, and a “special coating” to increase wind resistance, Manfrotto says the jacket will handle any weather scenario.

Expanding front pockets

Expanding front pockets

One of the best aspects of the jacket is how much gear you can fit in it. You really wouldn’t need a backpack or sling pack for most shooting when using this jacket. There are many pockets hidden through-out, most notably the two large pockets at the bottom front of the jacket. These two unsuspecting pockets take a note from Transformers and can quickly change to greatly increase each’s carrying capacity.

Pockets inside designed specifically for Manfrotto Pocket Tripods

Pockets inside designed specifically for Manfrotto Pocket Tripods

As you can see from the images, a waterproof zipper can be unzipped to allow the pockets to expand to allow lenses to fit in each. I’m not talking about just fitting a nifty fifty either. I was able to get my 24-70mm f/2.8L lens (with lens hood), 100mm f/2.8 Macro both in one pocket and my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS (with lens hood) in the other. There’s also a weight distribution system built into these pockets that link them to the shoulders to alleviate some of the weight coming from the pockets.

Top-down view of pockets full of lenses

Top-down view of pockets full of lenses

One small feature I found quite nice was a fabric memory card holder clipped onto a ring that is inside of the outside breast pockets. That way you also have your cards close and easy to access.

Memory card holder. Holds 6x SD cards and 8x CF cards

Memory card holder. Holds 6x SD cards and 8x CF cards

The shoulder area has a very nice amount of padding to help keep some of the stress of a camera and strap off your muscles. They outside shoulders area also has a nice textured area designed to keep your camera strap from sliding off. For those that like to have the strap around your neck, the front of the jacket offers two “anti-tilt securing tabs” so the camera stays nice and level on your chest when not using it.

Very durable shoulder and elbow material

Very durable shoulder and elbow material

I found only one little issue with the Pro Field Jacket and it has to do with a similar issue I had with the Manfrotto gloves; their temperature keeping abilities. Like I said in the review of the gloves, I’ll be the first to admit that I am generally can’t tolerate the cold as much as some can. While wearing this jacket, in cold rainy Seattle, with the massive amount of pockets (meaning extra layers of fabric) on the front and nothing special on the back, I found my temperature slip right down the middle while wearing this. My front was fine and warm but my back was freezing as the core material of the jacket just wasn’t enough for me.

Conclusion

I found myself very excited to try this product as I, like many of you I’m sure, have been longing for a good all-weather coat that is practical for photography. Preferably one that works in climates other than perfect year-round sunny Southern California. This coat blows the practical for photography” portion out of the water but falters a bit on the all-weather section of the test.

The other thing that I can’t help but talk about is the same thing that put a bad taste in my mouth with the Manfrotto gloves, the price. This jacket currently runs $500! I can easily sum up this review for this jacket in one sentence; if you can afford it, the Manfrotto Lino PRO Field Jacket will be the best photographic-related jacket you’ll own.

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