Camera bags. Hmm… How many of them are there and how many can I own? Will I ever find the perfect bag? Of course not. However, in recent years I have come a bit closer. I have owned a variety of camera bags and actually still own all of them since I never get rid of any of them. My first Think Tank bag was the start of things getting a little bit better. They do make some really good bags that seem to have been well thought out. It also helps that I have become better focused on what I actually want from any particular bag. No bag does all things so I have systems that are suited to certain roles.
One thing I have been troubled by for a while is taking a camera with me on work trips. When I am traveling light for the work trip, carrying some camera gear with me is a bit problematic. I have recently been carrying a body and lens or two packed in my roll-aboard bag but this is hardly ideal. My work backpack was too small to stuff camera gear in along with the computer and other bits. Then, as if by magic, I get an email from Think Tank. They are offering a free trial of the Shape Shifter. This is a backpack that expands. It has a pocket for laptops and can hold bodies and lenses individually along with having plenty of pockets for other bits. This looks like the sort of thing that could go under an airplane seat leaving the space up top for the regular roll-aboard. It would also make the camera available while in the seat if anything looks interesting out of the window.
The trial is a month and, if you don’t like it, you just have to ship it back. I decided to give it a go and with a trip imminent, the timing seemed perfect. I am now back from the trip and I can confirm it did exactly what was required. Not only was it ideal for the travel but it also allowed me to carry the camera gear to the meetings so I could head off shooting after work without having to go back to the hotel. (It is also nice to not have to leave the gear in the hotel room.) When fully loaded, it is pretty heavy. I didn’t fill it up so with all sections full and a larger laptop – it can take a 17” one if you like carrying heavy laptops around – it would weigh a ton. However, it does the job perfectly. I guess it isn’t going back at the end of the month. One more bag for the collection!