I’m not in the habit of reviewing everything I buy, but it does give me something to post. I picked this up from Progear in Newmarket for $219 (NZD), so it’s not a cheap bag but not absurdly expensive either. Note that I did actually purchase this with my own money and buyers are never totally impartial, but I’m certainly not being sponsored by the manufacturer/distributor/retailer either!
The last bag I bought to hold all my gear (a backpack from trademe) cost $79, so it was a cheapie but excellent value for money, more so than this (since the Urban Disguise 70 cost me 2.5x as much). This time around I wanted something that was durable, looked nice but didn’t scream “camera bag!”. And this seemed to fit the bill.
First a shot of the bag and the gear I have to fit inside. It’s a fairly modest kit, small enough that I can carry everything most places:
Like most bags aimed at photographers the internal layout is completely re-arrangeable, and a good number of spacers are included. This pic shows how I’ve laid out mine (albeit not very well as the zipper doesn’t allow it to open very wide):
The bag has a generous number of pockets. This is one of the side pockets where I chose to store a couple of filters:
This next photo shows the pouch which holds the rain cover:
However this is one feature that I can’t really see myself using. Here’s the bag with the rain cover on:
Unless you’re in the habit of leaving your camera bag outside on a rainy day, or don’t mind carrying it like a cardboard box, this is a rather useless feature in my opinion. But it does add a bullet point to the marketing materials. If I ever use it I will be sure to update the review!
Update: As noted in the comments below, you can actually use the rain cover if you attach the strap to the clips on the “back” of the bag rather than the sides. Maybe I will use it after all.
Also included is a memory card wallet which attaches to the bag via a velcro ribbon:
There have been a couple of times when I’ve been concerned about memory cards slipping out of my old bag, so I think this is a great idea. It’s one of those nice extra touches that really makes this a photographers bag, and wasn’t something I was expecting to find (or had even considered). It’s a shame about the gaudy colour though, and the bright blue ribbon it attaches to makes it worse (what’s wrong with gray/black?).
Finally a shot with all my gear inside:
As you can see it’s a comfortable fit. The DSLR has a 10-22mm lens mounted with its hood facing outwards and there’s heaps of room. It also fits with the 70-200 on and hood reversed. I could comfortably fit another medium-large sized lens or another body, but probably not both.
You may have noticed that you can’t see much of the gear that’s either side of the DSLR (the 70-200 and flash are on the right and the 17-85 and 50 are on the left). Due to the narrow opening they aren’t that easy to access either. I could possibly remedy this by putting the DSLR on one side, but then the camera would be harder to access which somewhat defeats the point. To be fair, allowing a wider opening would compromise the look of the bag somewhat, and it’s only an inconvenience when I want to change lenses and quick access isn’t very important.
This is a sharp looking but understated bag that is very well made. It blends in well and is a perfect size for my needs, so I’m happy with the purchase.
- Good quality materials and construction
- Plenty of pockets and spacers
- Holds a good amount of gear
- Doesn’t look like a camera bag
- A little pricey, but not exorbitant
- Narrow zipper opening makes gear on the sides hard to access
- Rain cover has questionable utility value
- Dorky name, but it describes the mandate well
For more info see the manufacturer’s site.