I have a few different camera bags, from small ones that just hold my camera and a lens, and 3-4 backpacks...This is just a short blog post summing up what I think of 3 of the most used bags I own.
They have all been used in anger, some for longer than others, some are better, some worse...read on to see which one I prefer for what...
First Off is the F-Stop Gear Satori.
This is my Fav bag of the 3, its my work horse and has never been anything other than perfect if not better for the job than I thought possible.
Carrying a bag full of gear can get heavy, when traveling the bag can weigh around 40 Lb's and that's a lot, but in this bag it feels half that thanks to the big soft padded straps and internal Alu framing.
Put this with padded laptop pouch, side pouches, top space great for drink/coat/cables etc, the fact its rear loading so you don't get your back all wet and dirty putting it down in the woods , non rip fabric which trust me, I have tested, its water resistant more than you will ever need, and again trust me, I have tested this, has a totally removable internal camera unit ( a small padded camera bag inside the main bag, see there site for more info on it ) which is very useful in some situations.
The padding is all very soft, in the right places, and the bag is still very light which is good news when you need to get on a plane with a bag that's already 2 times more than your allowed ( could do a whole other post on how to cheat your way through airports but like I say, another post entirely)
The second of the bags that I use on a regular basis is the Lowe Pro Flipside 500 AW
Now this is a Pro only bag which I was given as part of a group of Togs to test, but you can buy a slightly smaller version of this ( the 400, see link above ) in any good camera store.
Its a bit smaller than the Fstop, a little less comfy for hiking in, a few less straps for really tying down tripods etc if you need to ride with it. Basically its more of a bag for short walks, taking round towns, cities, internal jobs, portrait shoots, and it was the bag I used and was perfect for EuroBike.
It is rear loading like the Fstop so when you put it down in the woods you don't get your back all wet and muddy, non rip, had the all weather ( AW ) cover, a strap on the front for A tripod. Like I say, the bag I use when I'm not shooting Bikes, or need something that's a bit neater and doesn't look like I'm about to go up Everest.
This is A bag I don't use anymore, and is in fact up for sale ( email me if your interested )
I got this bag when my first bag ( A Lowe Pro photo Trekker ) just got a bit small for my growing amount of gear I needed to take on shoots.
I just needed a cheap, big, sturdy bag which is just what this is. Its pretty huge, and It says its hand luggage for planes, which it is, I have taken it on Sleazy jet flights, but if you can get it in to the little cages at sign in, you are a better man than I.
The bag does what its meant to, it doesn't do it well, its not very comfy, heavy, doesn't use the space it has well with very thick walls...
BUT! Its cheap, and HUGE. If I ever needed to take lots of gear on a shoot abroad both video and photo so Dollys, Video and photo Tripods, reflectors etc Then Its a bag like this that you could ram full and put as hold luggage that would be useful as you know with its bulk and padding your gear should be safe.
Anyway That sums it up in short...
For anything where your out in the woods shooting, or will be carrying the bag for any length of time, or when looks aren't important, then this is THE bag. Its amazing in every way and just look at the Fstop Team on there site if you need anymore people telling you how good they are, really amazing.
The Lowe pro is a bit neater, good for commercial portrait shoots, weddings etc, or going on holiday and going sight seeing in cities.
The Tamrac...the cargo plane, big, burly but not a touch on either of the others...
Hope this helps you pick a bag if your looking for one, and last thing... Have a good new years. bring on 2011!