Manfrotto’s Pro Field Jacket is designed around the classic photographer’s vest but modernised and weatherproof. The jacket is well made and will keep the rain out in the most extreme storms; the elasticised cuffs at the wrist ensure that no water can drip down the sleeves when shooting. The Pro Field Jacket’s material is a tough nylon and will stand up to anything a pro photographer is likely to put it through. It also offers textured material on the shoulder that is supposed to help prevent your camera from sliding off. There are plenty of pockets accessible both on the outside and the inside of the jacket that are perfect for stowing away your extra gear when not needed. A tethered memory card wallet in one of the top chest pockets is very handy, and the main two pockets in the front of the jacket can be expanded to fit your extra lenses. A Canon 70–200mm f/2.8 lens can easily fit in one pocket and a 24–70mm and a 16–35mm can fit in the other, as does one lens and a 580 EX flash. When you are not packing extra lenses, the pockets can be zipped up to keep the jacket looking tidy.
Unfortunately, though the idea behind the jacket is good and there are certain situations that this jacket would be ideal for, it does come up a bit short in the usability department. The shoulder tabs were hard to snap down with the jacket on and the Velcro on the tabs was not strong enough to hold them down on their own.
It was also uncomfortable to sit down with the jacket zipped up and the front pockets filled with gear. The smaller pockets had quite small zipper pulls on them and I am not sure how well they would hold up over time. Plus if you were out shooting on a cold, wet night job, then it would be a bit difficult to find those pulls, especially if you were wearing gloves.
Though the jacket does have an internal weight distribution system, after a while the jacket did feel like it was pulling my shoulders forward and felt quite heavy. I also found that the straps on the padded insert to strap to your knee got a bit in the way when it was expanded inside the pocket.
Overall, the jacket is well made and would suit photographers who don’t like carrying a camera bag and like to have their spare gear close to hand and who don’t mind being mistaken for a biker.
This review is from D-Photo issue 50. Get your copy here.
- Type: Jacket
- Colour: Black
- Size: Large
- Material: Porous material
- Pockets: Eight
- Capacity: Up to three lenses
- Waterproof: Yes
- Rain protector: No
- Wind resistant: Yes