At first I was concerned I might have some addiction to collecting camera bags. However I've now come to the conclusion it was difficult to get that one bag right for all occasions and most photographers will usually settle on having more than one bag.

Mindshift Ultralite Dual 25l

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My Current Go-To Bag

MindShift Ultralight Dual 25L

Being 18 months into my renewed interest in photography, I understood the requirements of a bag better.  Also having owned the Nest Explorer I was looking for a bag with all the positive features of the Nest the similarity between these is easy to see. Sadly , the bag of my dreams, wasn't appearing on the pre-owned market so I opted to buy new.  I haven't yet regretted this decision, and haven't reverted to any other bag since purchasing it.  I've also stopped looking at bags; a tell tale sign I'm happy with this one.

What I like about it.

1. It has all the positive features of the Nest.

2. The back harness is very comfortable.

3. Built in tripod straps, front and centre of the bag.

4. Bigger camera insert that holds all my camera equipment.

Nest Explorer EX300L

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My nearly perfect bag

Nest Explorer EX300L

I purchased this bag as pre-owned and didn't pay much for it.  It had many of the features I was looking for and helped move me closer to discovering the bag I really needed.

What I liked about it.

1. It's size.  It holds all the equipment I need for a day's photography trip.

2. External acess to the pocket in the lid  for frequently used items, such as microfibre cloths.

3. I could access the camera without removing the pack from my back.

4. The price I paid for it.

What I would change about it.

1. It's harness, I couldn't  make it comfortable for me. It kept slipping.

2. No airflow on the harness.

3. Having recently purchased a sturdier tripod, having to strap to the side of the pack made the load feel unbalanced.

4. A slightly larger camera compartment.

5. A slightly larger separate compartment for my clothing and lunch.

Manfrotto OffRoad Hiker 20l

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Back to a BackPack

Manfrotto OffRoad Hiker 20L

I purchased this bag without having first handled it.  I had really liked the Manfrotto OffRoad Hiker 30l I had tried at a local electronics store. However the 30L pack was large, too large for my frame so I took the decision to buy the 20L.

What I liked about it.

1. It was very comfortable to wear.  The mesh harness improved airflow to keep me cool.

2. Separate compartments for camera equipment and additional clothing/lunch.

3. Access the camera without having to remove the bag from my back.

4. Attaching my then travel tripod to the side.

What would I change about it.

1. The camera compartment didn't carry all my camera equipment.  I had to carry additional lens in the main compartment. I would have probably noticed this should I have had the opportunity to view before buying.

2. It didn't have external access to the  storage in the lid.  Having to remove the camera bag to retrieve cleaning clothes, purse etc. wasn't ideal.

LowePro Sling II

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Over the shoulder (alternative Go-To Bag)

Lowepro Sling II - youtube review

This was a gift. Having recently purchased my new camera equipment I wanted a bag that gave me easiest access to my camera.  I didn't want the excuse of having to remove my camera bag from my back as the reason why I didn't take pictures.

What I liked about it.

1. The ease of access to my camera and lens.  Having used a backpack for 20 years I was convinced the reason I didn't take as many pictures anymore was the hassle of getting the camera of of the backpack.  This bag, the camera was always within easy reach.

2.  The number of compartments, internal and external.  I could fit all my new equipment very easily.  It's bigger than it looks.

3. It's styling, I really liked the look of it.

4. Great bag for street photography.

What I would change about it.

1. On my first major trip away, after carrying it for 8 hours, my shoulder started to show the strain. Although this isn't a flaw of the bag, I longed for a bag with two straps.

2. Nowhere for attaching the tripod.  Putting the travel tripod inside the bag just weighed it down further.

LowePro Orion

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Old Timer

LowePro Orion

The purchase of this camera bag pre-dates my new found interest in photography.  This bag was with me for 15 years or  more.  It met my needs well and I didn't see any reason to change it until I made a major investment in my new camera.  By that stage the bag was no longer waterproof and it would no longer give the protection my new investment needed.

What I liked about it.

1. The dual compartments, where the camera compartment held all of my camera equipment at that time.

2. It served my purpose for 15 years or more.

What would I change about it.

1. Having to remove the backpack to get access the camera did deter me from taking pictures.

2. After 15 years it had lost its waterproofing, however I'm not complaining.  Having the one bag for so many years, it owed me nothing.

I'd welcome your feedback . . .

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