How I carry my gear: 4 camera bag reviews
I started this post as a "what's in my bag" post- to talk about what bodies, lenses, and accessories I prefer to work with, but soon realized my bags themselves where enough for a whole post! Full disclosure, I might have a bag problem... I have THREE and a half! But I use them for all different types of adventures!
First, my trusty think tank airport navigator. A rolling bag I got when I was pregnant because I just couldn't lug around all my equipment on my shoulder anymore. It's great and has little compartments for each of my lenses. I always feel like my equipment is well protected in this bag.
But it doesn't help when you shoot at awesome locations that require a bit of hiking! Enter my second bag! The Lowepro ProTactic 450 Backpack. I LOVE this bag and used it exclusively until I found the gear to heavy for a pregnant lady! It's SO well made and even though you're lugging around a ton of gear, the bag is so well balanced, it's totally manageable. I also love that it has compartments for quick access to your most used lenses, bodies, and accessories. It also has this great strap-on feature where you can customize the bag with extra accessories. Need to strap on a water bottle or tripod- no problem! It's modular strap-on system is the bee's knees. (The two white background images are from the manufacturer as mine is completely empty at the moment! - I'm super pregnant! )
Third, the newest addition to the CWP lineup. Enter the Black Chelsea Ona bag. I have been pining over this bag forever but couldn't justify the cost. I wanted a bag I could use everyday so that I could take my camera with me everywhere- not just on shoots. This bag was gifted to me at Christmas, and I love it BUT, let me tell you, it is HEAVY. In all honesty, it's overpriced, but it does seem to be a well made bag. Maybe I'm just a frugal gal at heart- I've never paid this much for a purse before so there's a lot of sticker shock there for me! I'm concerned that the straps may fray or wear too soon given the weight of the bag- I'll keep you posted. But it does fulfill it's function of protecting my camera (the padding in this beast is no joke) AND very much looks like a high-end purse instead of a camera bag.
Mine usually has my camera with a lightweight lens, a snack for my two-year old, my wallet, cell, and bullet journal planner. There's still plenty of room, but, again, it's a heavy lens so I try to keep it pretty streamlined.
You may have been scratching your head when you read three AND A HALF bags. Well, you're right... it's not half a bag. But I don't use it for hauling all my gear and it's way smaller. Instead it's my working bag. It's very soft sided without much padding, so it's not appropriate for transporting gear. Instead, it's meant to be lightweight and inconspicuous. It's my UNFIND waist shooter bag and I use it when I want to shoot with one camera body but still have access to a couple other lenses. As someone who shoots 90% of a wedding day and 100% of portrait sessions with prime lenses, you need to have your different focal lengths at the ready. For instance, when I'm shooting the "getting ready" part of a wedding day, I need my macro lens for details like the rings and jewelry and a 35mm for shooting candids of the bridal party putting on their make-up and cuff-links. But I don’t like to wear my holdfast dual camera strap during that time. The waist shooter bag lets me work quickly without going back to my big arsenal every time I want to switch between these two lenses.
When I need two lenses simultaneously (during the ceremony when every second counts) I'll shoot with two cameras at the same time with the Holdfast Harness System. It makes it possible for me to get both the processional of the bridal party walking down the aisle and then the groom's reaction to his bride.
Writing all this out makes me think I may have overkilled the bag department, but I can honestly say I use each of these bags frequently! I don't mind investing in tools that make shooting easier because that means I can focus on my clients better! If you have a bag system you love, chime in below on the comments!
*Neither Collective Pursuit or myself have been compensated for these reviews and do not endorse any particular brand. This is just a run-down of what I personally use to carry my equipment!