Manfrotto Backpacks and Hard Cases: Hands On (IBC 2022) Soft and hard cases from Manfrotto

During IBC 2022 which ended last month, we had a chance to visit the Manfrotto booth and shoot several videos. One of those is the one you can see above where we talked to Davide Brugnoli from Manfrotto about the company’s line of professional backpacks and hard cases.

Before we start we would like to mention that we actually reviewed many of the bags Brugnoli was showing in this video just before IBC and you can find our full review here with lots more information, images, and our opinion.

Manfrotto Pro backpacks – Frontloader Backloader, Flexloader

We shall start with the backpacks. Manfrotto currently has 3 variants of pro backpacks all named according to the way you load your gear into them.

The frontloader as you can guess opens from the front and is maybe the most “traditional pro backpack of the series.

The backloader loads from the back which is more protected (if you are traveling in an unsafe area where you fear somebody can open your backpack from behind and take your gear).

The Flexloader is the biggest bag in the group and you can open a zipper which will give you a few extra centimeters to put in something like a (fairly flat) gimbal in the back in addition to a laptop and all your gear. You can also remove the entire gear internal compartment if you want to use the bag for things like clothing instead of gear on occasion. The bag also comes with a really nice accessory pouch.

All of the bags use a new style of thin protective dividers called M-gourd which come in the very distinctive red Manfrotto color. A thinner divider saves you a lot of space in the bag for more gear – Manfrotto claims up to 30% more compared to the older dividers which is certainly impressive. Manfrotto also claims this doesn’t compromise on protection which is essential for a professional bag.

Manfrotto Hard Cases

Manfrotto is fairly new to the category of the hard case announcing the first bags back in 2018. There are currently two large cases – the Tough 55 and Tough 83 and during IBC Manfrotto also introduced a new smaller hard case called Tough 47 (the number indicates the length of the case).

Manfrotto tries to develop not just the cases but an entire ecosystem around them so you can order some of the bags with foam inserts which you can cut yourself (it has small cubes which are fairly easy to cut) or with dividers (which we personally prefer if you want to change gear often) and some of the comes empty (currently the Tough 83 – has no inserts).

The bigger Tough 83 has an extra label holder, and two extra handles, and features 5 latches instead of the 2 on the Tough 55. Otherwise, they are fairly similar (apart from the obvious size difference).

For the Tough 55 you can add optional accessories to carry a laptop or a tripod or add a harness to carry the case as a backpack which we actually really like. Manfrotto is promising to continue to develop this ecosystem and make even more options in the future.

From our review – we use the Tough 55 with the optional harness

manfrotto Tough 55 back system harness

Pricing and availability

All the bags are already available for the following prices:

  • Manfrotto Flexloader – $350.
  • Manfrotto Small Backloader – $200.
  • Manfrotto Medium Backloader – $215.
  • Manfrotto Tough 55 case with foam – $280.
  • Manfrotto Tough 55 case with the divider insert – $330.
  • Manfrotto Harness for the Tough 55 – $100.
  • Manfrotto Tough 83 – $340.
  • Manfrotto Tough 47 – $220.

For more of our coverage on LensVid from IBC 2022 – please visit the following link.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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