Gear isn't everything - Bags & Cases

Bags & cases are up there with important elements in a kit. They are the basis of getting your gear to where you need it safely. Keeping the pieces together in an organized fashion or for some just a tote to throw everything in. No matter how you use the bag/case, they keep you on the move. My personal criteria for a bag to wear is it needs to fit what I use, and it has to be comfortable when fully loaded (usually around 35lbs of equipment).

Over the years, I’ve found most camera bags are made for storage function first and comfort second… few bag manufacturers have been able to marry the two. I will say I know of two options first hand - ThinkTank and Evoc are the two companies that put comfort, quality and function in all forms. Neither are cost effective bags, but when you buy you don’t typically need to replace them very often. I’m sure there are others like Dakine that make an awesome bag from various reviews but I don’t have first hand knowledge of these bags.

EVOC - Now I like this brand so much I have two of them. The CP-35L (the big momma) and the more nimble - CP-26L. They are a brand that makes bags first, and fits in camera gear second. Build quality, options, fit, etc. They’re perfect for me.

The only downside of these bags is trying to find them. I ordered these through GEARS Bike Shops and the price point is up there in the camera bag world - several hundred dollars per bag.

thinkTANK - probably #1 for many many professionals but #2 for me. The build quality is awesome, with the capacity to hold whatever is needed for the job. I use the Streetwalker HD and a couple shoulder bags for travel but I’m going to focus on the Streetwalker HD. The SWHD is truly a great bag, but the fit just doesn’t compare to the EVOC line. It is blocky and with the opening opposite the harness whenever you put it down, you need to find a dry clean spot. EVOC opens on the harness side which makes it easier to stay clean.

Price point on thinkTANK gear is also on the high side (several hundred for this bag as well), but it is well worth the money spent to keep your gear organized, safe, and dry.

Pelican - Pelican Air 1615 - the grand momma case

Ok, this case for me has a very specific purpose, it is my main light case and it holds almost everything I need. I was having a strong debate around this bag and a thinkTANK Production Manager 50, budget and logic won the day and I went for the Pelican. Now the Pelican pricing is no joke at about $600 taxes in with the padded dividers (purchased at VISTEK) but the thinkTANK Production Manager 50 would run almost $1,000 at the time and would take more time to get in (and I had a photoshoot I needed to fly with my gear a week later). If you need lots of storage or organization, this is a great case. I’ve used pluck-foam for some video equipment and I can’t stand it personally, so my recommendation: get the padded dividers for a bit more and save some swearing later on.