Monday, August 19, 2013

Crumpler 5M$ Home Review: Funky backpack version but this little behemoth works

Crumpler 5M$Home Backpack with Long Lens
Small but fits a bundle
After seeing so many Crumplers with the most striking of colors and color combinations, this 5M$ Home I get to review looks conservative in comparison.  When I first saw this backpack version of the popular 5M$ shoulder bag, I thought it looked, well, funky.  My first impression was: a wee bit too small to be called a full backpack; when I strap it on, half of my back feels bare.  But looks can be deceiving.  While it may not be love at first sight, this baby grew on me because of the many possibilities it offers.

Design.  From the outside, apparently looks a bit ordinary save for the bright red logo that contrasts sharply with the black shell.  That and the M$H logo subtly embossed on the dual side loops and of course, the zipper heads (I consider the zipper indicative of a bag's overall quality and attention to detail).

Crumpler 5M$ Home Backpack Front Compartment Captions
Pockets, pockets, pockets -- the more, the more organized you can be
Functionality.  Out of the box, I didn't expect much in terms of room but boy, this pack surprised me.  I was able to fit my vintage 80-300mm/F/2.8 Nikon dumbbell (a joke but you get the point) in the main compartment with room to spare.  If I reconfigure the foldable padded nylon dividers, I can fit up to four medium size lenses or three lenses plus a speedlite along with a DSLR body with kit lens.   The compartment is well-padded to avoid scratches and secure your gear.

If you're a pocket person, you'll find the front compartment pure bliss.  You get sort of three layers of storage.  Right at the back of the pocket is a zippered big mesh pocket for storing things you can easily misplace like money or loose change, lens caps, etc.  I use it for storing memory cards and pocket wi-fi.  There are two side-by-side pockets on the other side to help organize your stuff like a Lenspen, batteries, wireless trigger, cable release shutter, etc.
Crumpler 5M$Home Backpack Backside with Captions
From the back, secure straps and a pocket that can hold a 7-inch tablet
Nitpicks.   Straps.  Here's what I was looking for in the 3M$ and 4M$ Homes -- a non-slip padding so the straps sit securely on my shoulders.  I'm not sure if the padding is the sweat wicking kind but it sure looks so.

Dual accessory loops.  Again, I don't find them useful save for keeping the shape and profile of the pack when not full.  Then again, one day, I might find a use for them.

Material and workmanship.  I hate repeating myself save for occasions which merit it.  This is one such occasion as the material and workmanship are superb.  The attention to detail (the zipper again is one fine example) is admirable.  For a very competitively-priced bag, you're getting a bag that's not just eye candy but is built to last.  The material makes me feel less worried if and when I get into a sudden downpour.

Back pocket.  Sufficiently big and padded to take in your 7-inch tablet or smartphone.   Personally, I find it useful for storing easily lost items such as lens caps, extra memory cards or portable wi-fi that can be accessed without going through the front compartment.
Crumpler 5M$Home Backpack Inside with Captions
Room to spare
Verdict.  Ideal for DSLR users who want to lug a selection of lenses but not a chunky pack. 

I guess I'll forever be a backpack person (more balanced than shoulder bags, kinder to the back) so I find this mini-pack a great addition to my gear bags.  It sits right in between my Kata laptop and camera backpack and Crumpler 4M$H so I have a choice on what to use depending on what I need to bring.  On travel light trips where I want to just lug around a single backpack so I can be very mobile, I can stash this inside my main pack and bring it out for carry-on luggage on the plane or when shooting around.  Also, a good stand-alone pack when I don't need to bring the laptop.
Crumpler 5M$Home Backpack Logo and Zipper Details
Zipper and logo details

Product info:   Available at Crumpler Philippines stores in Bonifacio Global City, Trinoma, Robinsons Magnolia and the flagship store at the East Wing of ShangriLa Mall.  Also available at the ff. stores: Beyond the Box, Canon, DigiHub, Digital Arena, Digital Hub, Digital Walker, Digital Walker Zoom, District 32, G-Stop, GBX, F8 Photoshop, iCenter, Islands and More, iStudio, Macy's Camera, Mobile1, Nikon Store, PRG Photoshop, Rustan's, SM Department Store, Toby's Arena, Trilogy, Urbanathletics •  

Retail price: P4,950 • Visit or the Crumpler Philippines Facebook page.  

Disclaimer:  Product provided by Crumpler Philippines for testing and reviewing purposes; however, views expressed here are solely the author's own.

Read my other Crumpler bag reviews:

Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home with Nikon Body Bro Stick and CF Card How I fit a DSLR into a 3M$ Home

Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Homes Side by Side  

  Squid: Not All Drawstrings are Created Equal


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