BagLadyReviews - Photography and Travel

August 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I admit it. I am a bag lady - I love bags! It used to be all about purses for me, different ones for different occasions, not necessarily looking for fashion but rather what would be the most practical for a certain scenario. Today, I rarely if at all change my purse. What I do change, and too often according to my family, are travel bags (luggage) and especially camera bags! And it is still not about fashion! It is about the occasion, or for photography, the place to which I will be going and the mode of transportation I will use getting there and getting around when I get there.

You’d think by now I would have all the camera bags I could possibly need. After all, I have been searching out camera bags for well over 12 years now. My storage space for the bags is overflowing. And yet, I just found, despite the family’s objections, a couple of new incredibly useful camera backpacks that I really, really need!

(The word “need” here is the way to convince others that you want and must have a new bag!)

 

But seriously, this new camera bag, a backpack, will be a great fit for our next photo trip. No,  I am not a serious hiker, nor backpacker. It is just that when you have to walk through long airport corridors, bustling with people dragging their roll a boards behind them or slinging large duffles on the side, a back pack makes it much easier to maneuver. Plus if I do have to carry any gear for a while on a photo walk, I can put just the essentials in the backpack, carry my camera, and comfortably walk and record images, knowing I have a change of lenses handy, as well as a bag to stash the camera in for inclement weather. 

 

I am not a tall athletic man - quite the contrary! I am a short woman. To answer the obvious question: “Doesn’t having that weight on your back make you hunch over and make it difficult for you to walk?” Not if that backpack fits well and has specifically adjustable straps to evenly distribute the weight!

 

I do have other camera backpacks that also fit me well, it’s just that I cannot fit all my needed camera, lenses, and other photographic necessities into them. In other words, if a back pack fits me, it is usually a small bag that can only include one DSLR camera  and a minimal amount of gear. And yes, I have that type of backpack and will continue to use it - for specific photo projects. But when I am getting on an airplane and traveling to a destination to take photos, I do not want to check my camera gear somewhere in that plane’s belly - for obvious reasons! So this GuraGear backpack can serve both purposes.

 

 

GuraGear has a number of different backpacks that all look good. The trick here was to find which one fits me while all my needed photo gear fits inside.

Actually, I tried two different models: the Bataflae 18L-which stand for 18 Liters of capacity, and the Bataflae 26L, or 26 Liters. And surprisingly, both these backpacks fit my short stature comfortably. Even with each of them loaded with gear and weighing a total of more than 24 lbs, I could easily stand straight and walk comfortably. 

 

Although both these bags share the name, Bataflae, they function a bit differently. Both have a water resistant coating and YKK RC Fuse zippers, and both come with a separate rain cover that fits into its own small zippered compartment on the front of the bag. And on each of these two bags, you can carry a tripod or monopod attached either at the center back or on one side. In addition,  both offer  two full length zippered accessory compartments on the front of the bag for storing anything from travel documents, to cel phones, light meters, and the like. 

 

Other than their overall size, these two backpacks vary in the way you can access the gear inside.


 

 The 18L opens completely as a traditional backpack revealing all the spaces at once, while the 26 L offers the user the option to open it like any other backpack, or to open only one 

side at a time, like individually articulated butterfly wings, making it easier to pull out just one lens or a camera and lens combination. A 300mm f2.8 lens did not fit as conveniently into the 18L, however it seems the 26L was made to carry this and even a longer lens on one side, with the rest of the equipment on the other. The Bataflae 18L has a separate back compartment for a 13 inch laptop or iPad, while the Bataflae 26L is all about camera gear. On the 26L You can stow the backpack harness to make it fit more easily in an overhead bin and it has an additional side handle which is angled to make it easier to carry like a small suitcase.

 

 

 

Of course it is important to balance the load inside the bag as well as adjust the straps properly for your body. Still both of these backpacks worked for me. So which one will I purchase? Ahem - both! The 18L for me, and the 26L for my six foot tall sherpa, my husband. And surprisingly, both these backpacks also fit him perfectly with a different adjustment of the straps.

 

Now I just have to decide which color…..

 

 


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