Kata ABS-HD Air Bag System Reviewed

The traveling videographer faces a hard choice when taking a flight. Unless you own an expensive, bulletproof case and a video camera not susceptible to impact damage, you might not want to check in your camera. As a carry-on however, it can fit in the overhead compartment where someone will inevitably crush it while attempting to jam in an oversized bag. Or you could spend the whole flight with your camera in your lap. Is there another choice?

Air-cushioned Ride

Enter the Kata ABS-HD Air Bag System. It’s an inflatable camera bag that, when deflated, is roughly the size of a cereal box. When inflated, it forms a cushioned barrier around your camera. It’s a lot like taping an inflatable kiddie-pool around your camera, except without the duct tape. The top zippers allow access to the camera handle or strap for carrying purposes and the bag accommodates cameras up to 27 inches long.

Welcome Aboard

Inflate the bag by blowing into a short tube with a button-operated valve. The packaging estimates approximately one-minute blow-up time. But if you’re trying this sitting in a cramped airline seat, it will probably take a few minutes longer. The input valve also requires strong, steady pressure. Inflating it in a hurry may cause a temporary pressure headache, so you’ll need to be patient. Or, you can speedily inflate it through the exit valve. The valve isn’t in a convenient spot, but it’s much easier to blow through. Once inflated halfway, place the camera inside. Buckle and zip the bag, add 25 percent more air and it’s ready to stow. The last 25 percent allows for variations in cabin pressure.

In-flight Info

Inflated, the ABS-HD shields the camera well against every direction except from above. Since overhead bins aren’t much taller than the bag though, this isn’t a problem. The sides have inflatable flaps that, along with the ends of the front and back sections, will keep other pieces of luggage from damaging your camera.

Thank you for Flying

When it’s time to disembark, it’s a cinch to retrieve your camera, deflate the bag and roll it up tight. The air release port doesn’t have any cumbersome pinch-valve in it, so the air empties quickly. A repair kit is included so leaks won’t ruin your trip. The ABS-HD also comes with a 5-year warranty for any defects in material and workmanship.

To Protect and Serve

Whether it’s the Cambio camera bag with a built-in tripod or the Kata ABS-HD keeping your camera safe in the air, each bag fills a specialized need in a unique way. Camera bags are the underdogs of the video world, and these two bags both contribute a little something extra to any videographer’s day.

Tech Specs

External Dimensions (inflated): 27.6″ L x 10.2″ W x 11″ H

External Dimensions (deflated): 7.9″ L x 3.1″ W x 7.1″ H

Maximum Weight: 1.5 lbs

Strengths

  • Excellent side and bottom protection
  • Includes repair kit
  • Deflates to portable size

Weaknesses

  • Inflation through input tube can be slow

SUMMARY

Whether it’s the Cambio camera bag with a built-in tripod or the Kata ABS-HD keeping your camera safe in the air, each bag fills a specialized need in a unique way.

Mike Houghton is a freelance videographer and an independent filmmaker.

Kata

Distributed by: Manfrotto Distribution

565 E. Crescent Ave.

Ramsey, NJ 07446

www.kata-bags.com

$165

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