Almost exactly a year after seeking out and acquiring my Dakine Sequence Photo backpack I’ve added again to my camera bag collection. I’m tempted to say that I’m starting to understand Mrs A|Ts obsession with purses, but I’d need a lot more camera bags for that.
One of the primary purposes of getting the Dakine Sequence Photo backpack is the size. My Lowepro Flipside 300 didn’t have any extra capacity to bring along a light jacket or a pair of sunglasses that I can easily fit into the extra space and pockets of the Sequence. One thing that I’ve noticed in the past year, though, is that sometimes while on a trip I do just want to travel lightly. This is especially true when travelling in cities – you just don’t always need your whole kit with you. There were times that I wanted to head out with just the camera but would have to choose between my two primary lenses.
When in Hong Kong I started to look at some smaller camera bags that would allow me to carry my camera and both lenses but decided not to make any impulse decisions. My plan was to start looking into some new bags upon returning to Vancouver with the following criteria:
- Bag must hold my T1i, my 24-105mm lens, and my 50mm lens.
- Bag must be carryable in front or under my arm for extra security.
- Bag should be subtle and not advertise the fact that it contains $3000 worth of gear.
- Bag must be small enough to pack along with my Dakine Sequence.
I had planned to start doing research on this sometime before my upcoming London trip but has now been put off indefinately because I happened across a new bag at, of all places, Costco. Costco here in Vancouver sells the Swissgear Sling camerabag for $37.99 plus taxes. Walking past the pallet of these bags in nice small boxes it seemed likely that they met most of the critera, and I figured for around $40 it was worth taking a shot.
As you can see from the photo, the bag is nice and small. I also think that it’s subtle enough to not scream camera bag, although any half decent thief would probably notice that it zips to the side like many other holster-style camera bags.
While not completely obvious in this shot, it turns out that my camera fits nicely even with my big 24-105 lens attached, although I did have to remove the lens hood. The lens hood fits nicely in one of the padded compartments along with my 50mm in another and a nice compartment to store spare batteries/cards or whatever else. I think I’ve found a winner without even really trying!
Plus as a bonus, the Swissgear Sling even comes with a removable rain cover. I didn’t even consider this in my requirements list, but I probably should have. The fit and finish on the bag are great. It doesn’t feel as indestructable as the Lowepro or to a lesser degree the Sequence, but then it is nice and light. It has a microfibre cloth flap built in which is designed to cover the back of the camera and prevent scratches on your LCD. It also has clips at the side of the bag to prevent accidental unzipping of the camera compartment and has nice solid zipper pulls to get everything moving. I can’t really think of any missing features.
And finally – the best part:
Yes! It actually fits inside the Dakine Sequence photo insert! Without a doubt the Swissgear Sling photo bag has found its way into my gear collection. I’ll let you all know if there are any probems with it in London!