It’s Attractive And Functional. Manfrotto Pro Light Flexloader Review

Pretty to look at and added drop protection don’t always go hand in hand when it comes to backpacks. The Manfrotto Pro Light Flexloader backpack exemplifies both. It is an attractive, mid-sized camera backpack that looks like it was made for the city. It’s designed to accommodate a 16″ laptop as well as a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer. It can double as a regular backpack when you remove the internal dividers. The backpack is built to absorb impact. Is it comfortable? Keep reading to find out.

Too Long Didn’t Read

The Manfrotto Pro Light Flexloader is functional and durable. It’s a comfortable backpack that is designed to accommodate a 16″ laptop and a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer. The attractive pack looks like it was made to be worn in the city. And the padded shoulder straps and waist straps do provide sufficient comfort for long commutes. However, the sternum strap placement isn’t ideal for many women.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable shoulder straps, back panel, and waist strap
  • Attractive design
  • Carries a lot of gear
  • Fits both a 16” MacBook Pro and a gimbal stabilizer
  • Water repellent
  • Trolley pass-through
  • Side handles are convenient when traveling

Cons

  • Sternum strap is too low for some women
  • Zippers are not waterproof, although it does have a waterproof cover
  • Cannot remove the TSA lock and place it inside

Tech Specs

All tech specs are from the manufacturer.

  • Weight: 6.61 lbs
  • Minimum Weight: 6.61 lbs
  • Internal Dimensions: 10.24 x 5.91 x 18.50 in
  • Camera Insert Dimensions” 10.24 x 5.91 x 18.50 in
  • External Dimensions” 14.17 x 13.78 x 22.05 in
  • Color: Black
  • Volume: 26.5 L
  • Tripod Connection: Yes
  • Laptop Compartment Dimensions: 10.63 x 0.98 x 18.11 in
  • Material: Nylon, Synthetic Fabric
  • Number Of Lenses: 8
  • Types Of Gear: DSLR, DSLR with grip, Tripod, Foldable drone, Mirrorless with grip, Modular Camcorder, DSLR/mirrorless handheld gimbal
  • Type Of Bag: Backpack
  • Water Repellent: Yes
  • Price: $329.99

Gear Used

We tested the Manfrotto Pro Light Flexloader with a Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 85mm f1.2 lens and 50mm f1.2 lens, Hasselblad 501cm, and a 3 Legged Thing Billy 2.0 Tripod.

Innovations

The Manfrotto Pro Light Flexloader isn’t revamping the tried and true backpack design. Manfrotto is anticipating accidents that photographers have and built this accordingly. Extra shock and drop protection have been added with their MGuard divider system. The backpack is expandable to meet your needs. It has memory foam and extra structural reinforcement. There is a handle on each side for easy stowaway when traveling. The backpack also has an adjustable torso height harness. Again, it’s not really doing anything innovative.

Ergonomics

Here is the front of the backpack. The first thing you will notice is the grab handle on top. Also, a TSA-compliant lock is located on the top left. And a mid-sized, zippered pocket is located on the front of the Manfrotto Flexloader.

The laptop compartment is located in the top rear zippered compartment. Next to it is an optional expandable compartment to transport more oversized items, such as a CSC 3-axis gimbal stabilizer.

The front panel unzips to access the main compartment of the Flexloader. Inside you will find numerous velcro dividers for multiple configurations that can fit (NPI) your needs.

The inside of the front panel has a mesh zippered pocket and two smaller pockets. These are great for storing your cell phone, film, and other small items.

Manfrotto also includes a small zippered case to store your memory cards, cords, small batteries, and other items. There is a large, zippered, mesh compartment and two mesh pockets on the inside of the front panel.

Both sides of the backpack have a pouch and strap for transporting a tripod, water bottle, or other large items. They also have a padded handle for stowaway as well as easy access when traveling.

There is a trolley pass-through on the back panel alongside an adjustable torso height harness. One of the shoulder straps has a zippered mesh pocket for easy access. A sternum strap is attached to the padded shoulder straps and slides vertically for a better fit.

I am a very average-sized woman. This is how the backpack fits.

Build Quality

Manfrotto uses RipStop and rugged nylon to fight against wear and tear. Memory foam and extra structural reinforcements protect against impact. It feels solid and durable.

Even though the fabric is water repellent, the zippers are not. It is lined with a thick nylon-type material. I tested the Flexloader in a light rainstorm, and it kept my gear dry. I’d be hesitant to get stuck in a downpour without the waterproof cover.

Ease of Use

The Manfrotto Pro Light Flexloader has a simplistic design. I appreciate the symmetry of each of the sides for simple organization. The added handles on either side are very convenient when traveling. Both the shoulder straps and the waist harness are adjustable to fit a variety of body types. I do wish the sternum strap had more versatility of at least an inch higher. As is, it’s not the most flattering for women.

There are many different ways the main compartment can be configured with the dividers. The padded back panel, waist strap, and shoulder pads are very comfortable. I appreciate the optional expansion to accommodate more oversized items of gear when needed. It also fits a 16” MacBook Pro with ease.

Conclusions of the Manfrotto Pro Light Flexloader Backpack Review

Likes

  • Added protection for accidental drops
  • Comfortable shoulder pads, waist harness, and back panel
  • Multiple grab handles for easy transport
  • Optional expansion zipper for larger equipment

Dislikes

  • It’s not weather-resistant without the protective cover
  • The sternum strap should be higher for women
  • I wish the TSA lock could be moved without having to cut it physically

Manfrotto’s Pro Light Flexloader is a lightweight camera backpack with a professional photographer in mind. It allows its user to haul a lot of gear comfortably and looks like it was made to be worn in a big city. The added shock protection is a nice touch. We’d love to see water-resistant zippers for at least the main compartment in the future. The adjustable waist harness accommodates various heights. Although, the sternum strap should be able to be worn higher for women. It will be very unflattering for some. The cushioned shoulder straps, waist harness, and back panel are greatly appreciated.

We’re giving the Flexloader four out of five stars. Want one? Check it out on Amazon.

Brittany Smith

Brittany is a commercial fashion and portrait photographer working in Montana and NYC. When not behind a camera she can usually be found at a local artisan coffeeshop, writing for photography education sites and publications, teaching fitness classes, or baking something fabulous.