I've noticed a flurry of posting across various gear- and travel-centric websites extolling the latest and greatest in camera-ready bags. From the hardcore multi-lens sling Boda V3 camera bag ($195), which was designed by a wedding photographer and will definitely fill a gap in the on-the-go, quick-grab pro's circuit, to the stealthy Cloak Bag ($50), there are plenty of options out there—and more are getting introduced almost daily.
But when traveling I tend to go for the unassuming. Nothing says "valuable camera equipment inside" more than an over-padded bag with an all-too-familiar logo. And while the Cloak is certainly stealthy, forget carrying more than one lens; the purse-sized pouch has room for only your go-to lens and your SLR. Sure, you could carry the Cloak in a larger bag, one that would house your other lenses and various camera accessories. But that kinda defeats the twin goals: speed and stealth.
Our money still rests with Crumpler, the Aussie bag company that's been making a pretty big splash here in the States over the last few years. In addition to introducing all sorts of vibrant color designs in the market (as well as playful aesthetics with their limited-edition series), they boast a slew of camera-friendly packs. My favorite? The Customary Barge ($161), which includes space for a camera, two lenses, and includes a padded laptop sleeve and extra storage space—perfect for hauling all your tech gear onto flights. Once you're on the ground, you can remove the Velcro'd padded lower section and slip it into your favorite daypack (I opt for a nondescript canvas shoulder bag I got from H&M for $5 years ago, or one of Crumpler's smaller courier packs). They also makes a wide range nondescript camera packs to suit a variety of different kits, from a roller that can accommodate an Inspector Gadget-sized collection to a more modest shoulder-strap daypack ideal for a small cache of extra memory cards and a wide-angle lens. Unfortunately, the Crumpler website no longer displays one of our favorite products: bucket—essentially a padded camera sleeve you could insert into any of their packs (or your own favorite courier bag), but sites like eBags have 'em on sale for $65.
Or you could make your own camera bag by buying an army surplus bag and some padding and save some $$ in the process.
Regardless, as long as your bag doesn't look like you're a National Geographic photographer, you'll likely reduce the chances of getting your camera swiped.
What's your favorite way to carry your camera and other high-tech goods while traveling? Any advice to share with other travelers? Tell us in our comments section!
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