**UPDATE I** The Guru no longer comes with gatekeepers, you have to buy them as separate accessories, and the zipper pouch on the right hip belt has been replaced by MOLLE webbing as on the left hip belt.
**UPDATE II** Grey Mist colour is discontinued.
**UPDATE III** The medium pro ICU is now no longer sloped as it was when I wrote this review. The new design is the same depth the whole way through and will not fit well in the Guru. The old sloped design is now an entirely new line of ICU labelled "slope".
**UPDATE IV** The Guru now comes in Malibu Blue colour in addition to black and green
**UPDATE V** The Guru has been updated with:
-Built-in compression straps (1 on each side) which eliminates the need for gatekeepers for carrying tripods, the gatekeeper loops are still there if you want to add more straps
-Metal D-rings in the shoulder straps instead of plastic
-Neoprene padding instead of mesh on the shoulder and waist straps
-Elastic loop on bottom of bag
Hello ladies and gents, its the Christmas season again, and that means good food, family, and empty wallets.
I've been eyeing this bag for nigh on a year now, and have finally gotten the courage to splurge a bit on something photography related that doesn't actually take photos!
Why f-stop? Because of all the glowing reviews out there, their awesome photo newsletter, the fact that their bags are properly designed for hiking and carrying loads for a long time rather than just holding camera gear and then adding straps and padding as afterthoughts, and the general awesome looks.
Why the Guru? I wanted something relatively "normal" sized that could still hold all my gear + extras and not make me look like a teenager on a backpacking gap year with his every last belonging stuffed into a gargantuan monster of a bag when I am out in the city.
So I opted for the Guru in foliage green with a medium pro ICU. It comes in 3 colours by the way, foliage green, grey mist (white), and black:
161211-1 by noobographer, on Flickr
And after that bit of rambling, here's the review.
The bag and ICU came in separate black cloth bags which I somehow managed to forget to take photos of. That speaks volumes about the quality of the product; no cheap environmentally-harmful, child choking, mountain of plastic wrapping here, oh no. The bags that come with the, well, bag, are nice enough quality and can be re-used say for carrying a spare pair of shoes or some shopping.
The Guru itself is very nicely made, water and abrasion-resistant material, it has a metal frame inside to keep the weight where it should be, great for your back and shoulders. The padding on the back of the bag is very nice, plenty thick enough, and same on the waist belt. You access your camera gear from the back of the bag, so you have to take the bag off completely. No quick access here. First you have to open the flap on the back of the bag:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/6516317945/
161211-2 by noobographer, on Flickr
Then you open the ICU itself, there are elastic straps in there to stop your camera from tipping out when you open the bag:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/6516319289/
161211-3 by noobographer, on Flickr
This is how much space is left with a medium pro ICU in the bag:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/6516325801/
161211-8 by noobographer, on Flickr
Here's the space being partly filled up by my 70-200 f4 to give a sense of scale, there's still plenty of space left, I could probably fit another 2 of them in there quite easily with hoods on:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/6516327093/
161211-9 by noobographer, on Flickr