First, a LINK to the official list of most of the incredible bag reviews on this forum
PM me if you have a thread to be added.
Each post restricts the amt of images you can share.
So see posts below, even on page 2, etc. for more images and content.
I hope this helps someone who is looking for the perfect bag.
There is info and links to reviews for bags I own and some from my former collection.
It's not a perfect system for everyone, but at the bottom of this post- I explain how I manage my gear.
Perfect Collection of Bags
Of course, that is a joke.
Because there is no perfect collection of bags.
Finding the perfect bag is 100x more complicated than finding the perfect lens or camera.
I have many bags, including 1 that is a giant backpack with a great insert that I used to hold my gear in my home.
Many people think 5-6 camera bags is insane.
If you're one of those people.... I say to you,
"Bags are like tupperware"
Current lineup includes 6 bags that I'm keeping. Plus you'll see my carry-on bag.
4 messengers, small, med, large
2 backpacks, one small, one large
smallest Ona Bowery for 5Dm3 with any of my lenses.
small F-Stop Millar Series Shibata for 5Dm3 with any two of my lenses, hoods reversed, 580EXii fits in water bottle holder on outside (no diffuser/tight).
medium Domke J-803 for 5Dm3 and 50L, 24-70L, 135L, plenty of space for personal items.
large Timbuk2 Command Messenger with a medium snoop insert for all of my gear plus 15" mbp.
backpack small, for riding or hiking Lowepro AW backpack, has a h20 bladder
backpack large Burton Backpack for the gear plus laptop and a ton of personal accessories.
carry-on bag Timbuk2 Copilot Roller.
I still own this bag.
I have a fair amount of gear.
Most people here have a lot more than I do.
But this bag is for when "I have to bring everything technical that I own".
It's a big backpack.
This is a big comfy backpack. There is nothing unique about it.
Great for traveling
Excellent and comfortable (large) carry-on bag
Well padded for expedition use.
^this is NOT my review
The insert for the camera gear is completely removeable.
The insert is almost a bag in itself, since it has a zippered top and a handle/strap.
Serious Waterproof Bag
Lowepro Dryzone DF 20L
Outdoor photographers and watersport enthusiasts who document their adventures will appreciate this lightweight, technical and durable design that keep camera and personal gear high and dry. Lightweight, technical , waterproof fabric with an IPX-6 rating offers splashproof protection from heavy seas; tested against high-pressure water stream from any angle
Lightweight All Weather Backpack
Lowepro Sport 200 AW
I still own this bag and prolly always will. I've said that before.
This is an amazing backpack that is unique.
If you hike/bike/boat, you should read about this bag.
This adventure backpack is also my regular backpack (when I don't want to carry my entire kit)
Fits a host of personal items, great backpack, new for 2011
It even has a bladder section for water, when biking/hiking.
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imryanmac/6013153912/
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imryanmac/6013153434/
Timbuk2 Command Messenger Medium
I added a Timbuk2 medium insert to this laptop bag.
Fits everything in my sig, plus accessories, plus 15" mbp.
need to update here
the J-803 is a special bag. this is a professional version of the f-803
5Dm3 and 50L, 24-70L, 135L. maybe more.
For traveling, when you want 1 body, and 2-3 lenses... probably the most perfect bag on earth.
You can add maps, tablet, notes, personal items, it's thin, it's amazing. It's a lot nicer than the more popular f803.
When I want to bring two bodies, I can do it with this bag.
Provided that one is a crop, like my 70D, I can bring both bodies, each mounted to any of my lenses.
With 2 bodies = no more more room for items in the main chamber. Could put flash in front pocket.
F-Stop (Millar Series) Shibata
5Dm3 and any two of my lenses, and some stuff. Review on next page.
5Dm3 any of my lenses - or with 50L and flash. - pics and review soon
For traveling, I use http://www.timbuk2.com …s/copilot-rolling-luggage
Timbuk2 Copilot Roller (not for photo gear)
GREAT bag! The medium is the 22" bag, the largest permitted for carry-on currently.
Timbuk2 Snoop and Informant bags > Crumpler
XS Snoop holds around the same as a 5mdh, however the Snoop can hold a tablet or maps/papers in a dedicated sleeve.
Informant (small) can hold even more.
You can take the camera insert out of a Snoop and use it as a messenger. Can't do that with the Crumpler.
The straps is much better on the Snoop b/c of the lock mechanism.
Small Snoop holds around the same as a 6mdh, however the Snoop can hold a tablet or maps/papers in a dedicated sleeve.
You can take the camera insert out and use it as a messenger.
The strap is better BC of the lock mechanism.
You also get tripod straps on the bottom of the snoop and several more interior pockets.
And it has a waist strap, which is critical for this much weight.
There are other reasons why Timbuk2 is > than Crumpler
To sum it up. It seems to me that the Tumbuk2 is offering more benefits and versatility, while being slimmer and less boxy.
Timbuk2 is an American company.
Storage of my gear
Typically, my main body and one or two lenses are in an Informant bag for daily use.
I keep everything else in the insert for my large Burton backpack.
The insert is removable and usually I keep it that way.
It has a zippered lid/top to it, so it acts like a little carrier. It holds everything I have:
Canon 5D mark iii and accessories.
Canon 70D and accessories.
Canon S100 and accessories.
Canon lenses, in my sig
The insert is amazing. If it's not big enough for you, consider getting a larger wheeled camera-luggage system and use it as your base station.
I keep this insert (filled with lenses and bodies) in a drawer in my office.
The insert is on the left here (red), to the right are inserts from smaller bags that I'm not using or little pouches that Ikea sells for drawer organization.
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imryanmac/8441801647/
Anyway, when I'm packing for a trip or a gig, instead of hunting all over the house and throughout different drawers,
I put the insert on the desk or floor, or just camp out near the drawer....
I select the gear I want to bring and load up.
If it's a big trip or gig, I just take the insert and put it in the backpack and run.
I'll work with a shoulder bag, and shoot. When/If I need other gear, the backpack is in my trunk (if it's a safe area) or on-site somewhere safe.
Packing is easy b/c I know where all of my gear is (b/c it has a home).
Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home
Simple here, VERY small bag that can barely fit my 5D mark iii with any of my lenses so I can sneak into an NHL arena without anyone freaking out.
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imryanmac/8440938851/
I used this for a 5d2 with 16-35 or 24-105, plus flash, plus small prime (makes it tight)
Good bag but NO padding at all and quite small/boring. No flavor.
Lowepro Versapack 200AW
For day bag, body 1,2 lens, maybe flash, ipad, personal stuff
Decent bag, but I replaced it with the more versatile bag that is #2 in my kit above.
Clik Elite Compact Sport
For biking/hiking with body 2 lens, water bladder, personal items
Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home
Cute bag lol (it's for a girl IMO). Looks like a diaper bag a little too much.
5dm3 with 135L or 16-35L mounted in the bag, lens down, on the left side of bag.
w/50L center. w/85mm 1.8 on right OR flash.
No review done, plenty out there.
If you have a rebel, you can fit more gear.
Timbuk2 Snoop Messenger Bag
I have owned the XS and S 2012 models.
AWESOME bag, but too small for me. too tight for mark iii.
especially since I use the hoodman and a luma cinch2 strap.
See text and images on page two of this thread!
AWESOME bag, will miss it.
See text and images on page two of this thread!
Nice bag, not for me.
See text and images in post below.
For almost everything in my sig plus ipad and accessories
This bag is positioned smaller than the Timbuk2 bags but comfortably carries more than either.
There is a map pocket in the front of the bag, it fits an iPad perfectly! Tight fit in oem case, but it works.
This bag fits a TON of gear, it's small, not cheap for it's size, but Domke is quality.
It's the most amazing bag ever, when you figure that I can fit everything in my sig.
It's a professional looking bag. It's not exciting.
Timbuk2 Informant Small
Image below, from left to right: 135L with hood rev, 5D mark iii w/hoodman & bulky Luma Cinch strap laying on top of the 35L (mounted, no hood today)
Canon 580EXii folded, top resting on the Luma strap
Other accessories in the bag:
iPad mini in a case
A battery and cf card in each of the "lid pockets"
Timbuk2 Informant Medium
Great for two bodies and lenses,
or a body and 3 lenses, or just a bunch of lenses (it's long)