Camera bags. Over the last few years, I’ve tried several different kinds, and never found any of them to be quite right.
My first serious bag was the rather large Crumpler Daily XXL. Now this is a good bag which can hold outrageous amounts of stuff, but it’s just a bit too big to be the ideal go-everywhere bag, and can get in the way quite a lot. I still use it occasionally, but more as an overnight bag with laptop compartment than a photography bag.
Next came the backpacks – I’ve used a couple of different Lowepro bags, which are pretty good in that they have quick access to the camera, so long as it doesn’t have a very large lens attached – my 24-105mm is fine, but the 70-200mm won’t fit in the compartment. Now the backpack is actually pretty good for carrying kit to where you want to take pictures – it spreads the weight quite nicely, keeps your hands free, and generally protects everything. But when you get to where you’re going, it’s not so good. For a start, it sticks out behind you a lot further than you think it does, even if you already know that it sticks out a lot. This can make moving through crowds difficult (not to mention anti-social), and you need to shuffle it around to change lenses, which can be awkward.
So, when I saw something a bit different being promoted, I was interested.
Back in December, I mentioned that I’d signed up on a Kickstarter project for some new camera bags. Well, the project easily reached its funding target, and I did indeed get my bags. I got the set of two – the main One Bag v2, which I see as the general purpose go everywhere bag, and the smaller Waist Shooter, which I’ll probably use a lot less, but could come in handy.
Anyway, rather than describe them in detail, it’s probably easier to show you the official videos. This is all about the One Bag v2:
In the actual neoprene, the bag is as well-made as any I’ve seen, and the photo insert can be added or removed easily. It can also slide into the smaller rear compartment, where it makes a useful accessory divider if you’re using the bag in laptop configuration. This also saves you form finding somewhere to keep the insert where you won’t lose it.
I’ve been using this as my general-purpose bag for the last couple of weeks. It’s comfortable to wear, and with the photo inset removed, can carry lots of random stuff in the main compartment. My little Pentax Q did look a bit lost in there, but never mind. The way the cover can fold back out of the way makes getting things in and out of the bag much easier.
Anyway, yesterday’s coast walk was my first time using the bag with the Canon 5D Mk II. I had the camera in one section, the 24-105mm lens in the next, and not a lot in the third. It is slightly less convenient having the camera in the bag without a lens already attached, but fitting a lens is a quick enough job, and with the aid of the Black Rapid strap, changing is somewhat easier, too.
I wore the bag on my left, with the strap on my right shoulder, and the camera crossing over from left to right, which felt quite comfortable – I was able to keep the camera to hand and the bag didn’t get in the way at all. So far, I like it a lot – whether I’m carrying a proper camera or not, this bag will do the job quite nicely.
But what if you want more than a couple of lenses with you, I hear you ask. Well, you could do worse than add the Waist Shooter. This is a smaller bag which is designed to securely wrap around a belt, but can also be worn over the shoulder. It could be the only bag you carry, with two lenses to supplement whatever you have on the camera, or you could double up – this would let you balance the weight of all that glass across your body and still have it all quickly accessible. Here’s the video:
I haven’t really used it yet, but I can see it following me to Wales in the summer.
I opted for the black leather covers for my bags, but as you’ll see from the UNDFIND site, there are lots of other options – you could even buy different covers for different occasions if you were so inclined.
I’m quite impressed with the bags – the design has been carefully thought out, and the quality is high. Good stuff, worth a look.
Full details, prices and ordering information can be found on the UNDFIND site.
 First commenter to call it a man-bag will get a
 I believe the US equivalent, which is actually funnier, is “murse”