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Backpackin'...

So ever since we decided to head out to Taiwan later this month I'd been thinking of getting a new bag that I could use to carry my laptop and camera equipment on the plane. Decided against another messenger-type bag since I already have 2 (well 3 if you count the small one too) and since I'm usually carrying a TON of stuff on flights, a messenger-type bag would just kill my shoulder. I needed something that would distribute the weight more evenly around. So backpack it was. Unfortunately there's a dearth of laptop/camera backpacks out there and the ones that do exist for the most part are laid out the same way. After looking at bags from Lowepro, Crumpler, and even Boblbee, I decided on getting a Crumpler.

Unfortunately, around the time of that decision, Crumpler was just about to release a new line of bags so I decided to wait to see what the new stuff was like. Took them about 2 weeks and they finally came in last Friday. Stopped by the store after work that day to find them in the midst of cataloguing, pricing, and organizing the new arrivals. Good thing I came in when I did cause after I started asking questions, a trio tried to come in but the young lady helping me told them to come back tomorrow cause they were too busy organizing the new stuff and were closed. Anyhoo, I wound up picking up one of the new Sinking Barges. It came down to either this one or The Whickey and Cox. The W&C has much more space for camera stuff but I wound up not getting it cause I didn't like the two front pockets that it had; much too slim. For awhile I really wanted the Schrinkle because it had the W&C's larger camera space and layout but the front pocket layout of the Sinking Barge. Unfortunately, the Schrinkle was an older style that no longer was available and upon further reflection, I decided that I didn't have THAT much camera equipment anyway and the camera pocket location of the Sinking Barge was more ideal for easy access.

Crumpler Sinking Barge - Front
Crumpler Sinking Barge - Back

The back of the Sinking Barge is well padded and the straps are wide, padded and curve inwards. It's been a very, VERY long time since I've last used a backpack so these new curvy straps were new to me. And there's a removable waist strap as well.

Crumpler Sinking Barge - Side

All laptop/camera bags are deeper than others because of the padding used to protect the camera and lenses. The other thing I like about this bag over the more camera/lens-oriented Crumpler bags is that the zippers to the main compartment is in the regular position on the backpack. On the W&C and Schrinkler, the zipper is located under the shoulder straps so you have to bend the shoulder straps out of the way first.

Crumpler Shrinking Barge - Main Compartment

The main compartment contains the built-in laptop sleeve that fits up to a 15" laptop snugly. Under the same flap as the sleeve is another flat pocket for magazines and papers and such. And on top of that is just empty space for whatever you choose to throw in that goes down only halfway because the bottom half is taken up by the camera pocket which is accessed elsewhere.

Crumpler Shrinking Barge - Closed Camera Pocket

The camera pocket is accessed by the set of zippers located halfway up the bag. When you pull the front flap out, the padded camera/lens container sorta flips out which is kinda neat. And the container is completely removable so in case you want to use this backpack for other things you do have that option. As a matter of fact, there's TONS of velcro inside this backpack which is weird cause as far as I can tell, only this camera container is really removable. Anyway, the top of the container is covered by a zippered mesh flap.

Crumpler Sinking Barge - Open Camera Pocket

The camera container is pretty standard with two adjustable "walls" that works via velcro. Just enough space in there for an SLR body with attached zoom lens and two other standard or zoom lenses (preferably with no hoods attached). No space for major tele-zooms obviously. I'm only going to be taking my Sigma 18-200 attached to the DRebel and then the 50mm f/1.4 so this layout is good enough for me. I could probably pack a flash unit on top of the camera compartment too.

Anyway, so far I'm pleased with this purchase and can't wait to try it out. =)

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Comments (4)

Ben... you crack me up.

Ben:

Umm, ok... but it was only a preliminary review of a bag.... ;-p

pictroman:

What about a photograph with the bag on you ? Just to have an idea of the size...

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 24, 2005 8:13 PM.

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