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Luckless 03-21-2012 08:59 PM

Favourite Gear Bag
Last month I had started shopping around for more camera gear, and planning out what kit I wanted in my collection. As I was making lists all the various things I wanted to add to it by early summer, and the stuff to pick up in the next five years or so, I came to the conclusion that I should likely invest in a good method of transporting most of what I would be wanting whenever I hit the field. I also needed a replacement backpack, so I set out looking for something that could fill my primary needs for the foreseeable future.

I've had my selection here for about a week, and gotten to use it a bit as both a camera bag, and general back pack for my daily needs. However I noticed that we don't seem to have a lot of discussion on how everyone is carrying their gear around with them, so I figured why not get one going?

My selection, after going over the limited options I could find locally and then spending far too much time looking around on the web, has been the Kata 3n1-33.

What attracted me to this bag was its flexible carry method. It allows you to wear it as a sling, pulling the bag around in front of you for easy access to your gear. Add a second strap for added support if you are carrying it for a long time, but still need decently quick access. Or change the strap connections up completely and it becomes a normal back pack. (Far more comfortable for me than the cross strap layout, but so far it has proven decently comfortable in all layouts with a moderate load in it.)

Also has room for a laptop, or large format paper pads, and then general odds and ends in the top. It doesn't have the most protection for your gear. Far cry from a reinforced solid side case, but more than I feel the need for from a soft sided back pack.

But the big thing that I have enjoyed the last few days has been a by-product of the quick change strap layout: I could easily use it even with an injured elbow that limited my right arm's mobility. Where a normal back pack would have likely had me in serious pain while getting it on or off, the sling bag was a simple matter of holding on and undoing a buckle before setting it down.

So, what bags does everyone else enjoy for their gear, and what features do they value the most in them? What flaws do you hate about ones you have used for awhile now?

worrptangl 03-21-2012 09:09 PM

My favorites are:

Shoulder bag: Domke F2

Backpack: F-stop Gear Guru

The Kata 3n1 series is a very nice series. I looked into them but didn't want to comprise that much. So I got two bags instead.

sniper42 03-21-2012 09:30 PM

I have a kata 3n1-30. So far, it is a great bag. It holds my camera with grip, four lenses and a flash and i still have room for another small lens. The only thing about the kata bags is that the straps aren't the most comfortable if you are hauling a lot of weight.

worrptangl 03-21-2012 10:01 PM

That's one of the main reasons I went with the Guru.

ballyhoo33 03-22-2012 08:35 AM

I have the 3N1-20 and 3N1-33 for backpacks and some no-name bag when I want to go small. The Kata backpacks are great. To me they're about as close to perfection as a photography backpack can get. Lightweight, easy to organize, and can store a bunch of gear. The 3N1-20 has been to Hawaii, upstate New York, and many, many points in between. The 33 has been to just about as many places. It's small enough to fit under a seat in a plane yet large enough to hold a 70-200 IS II attached to a 1DIII.

Bullseye 03-22-2012 12:04 PM

I have a backpack and camera case that I use but one of my first and favorite bags that I use for my gear is a surplus Swedish gas mask bag. It lacks the padding and compartments of actual camera cases but it holds all of my gear, has a outside pocket I use for filters/film and the leather bottom keeps the case pretty rigid. For a little extra protection I usually pack it with a thick piece of fabric or two but it's not something that I would want to drop. However, I appreciate that it doesn't scream "this is a camera, steal me!" while I'm out exploring.

worrptangl 03-22-2012 02:32 PM

I forgot I posted this here.

sparky 03-23-2012 08:47 PM

I use the smallest of the 3n1 bags as my camera bag. It fits a shocking amount of camera gear. Mine usually has 4 lenses, 1 large flash, wired remote, SD cards, gripped camera, some candies, cleaning supplies and a full sized tripod strapped to the outside. Bag also doubles as a pillow in Asian train stations and a weapon against aggressive monkeys.

I've owned about a dozen high end camera bags/ hiking backpacks over the years and this is one of the few that I feel are VERY well built.

Mine is about to get attached to my bicycle and....

77monteballer 03-25-2012 10:12 PM

i love my lowepro bags...

as of now, i have a slingshot 200 aw, the rezo 180 aw (film stuff) and the micro trekker 100

i need a bigger one now that i have my 70-200

Ninjamitch 03-27-2012 10:25 PM

F-Stop Loka and Gura Gear Kiboka is what I currently have. I've had all sorts of Lowepro stuff in the past. I'm pretty much done using their stuff. Too heavy and cumbersome for my tastes

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