When I think about taking my camera with me, sometimes I cringe. Do I really want to bring my camera THERE? What if something happens to it? The solution to these fears is having a really great camera bag. For me that means a bag that will keep my camera safe but at the same time give me easy access to it. A bag that can hold whatever gear I need to have with me, and that won’t make it easy for thieves to steal it. And I want the bag to look nice too.
The line of camera bags by Crumpler has fit my needs perfectly. I own two of their bags: the 5 million dollar home and the 6 million dollar home. These bags do not look like camera bags, they look like basic over-the-shoulder bags that could pass for messenger bags. They’re made of a water-resistant nylon shell to keep your camera safe from the elements, and the inside is super-soft no-pill fleece to prevent scratches. The dividers for the camera gear are all fully configurable so you can arrange in the way that works best for you. They have both a shoulder strap and a top handle, and I’ve found I use both fairly often, but if I wanted to remove the shoulder strap I can do so simply by lifting a piece of velcro.
The 5 million dollar home is great for a small or mid-size SLR and a spare lens or two, with two dividers and extra pockets for your wallet, lens cleaning cloth, etc. Generally I carry my 50D with a lens attached, one additional lens, my remote, a lens cloth, moo cards, basic necessities (wallet, keys, blackberry) and my “just in case” items (a Clif Nectar bar, kleenex, lip balm). There’s still enough room to add sunglasses, a small notebook and an ultralight rain jacket if I need them. All this in a bag that looks almost too small to be a work bag and that could pass for a purse if I needed.
The 6 million dollar home is quite a bit bigger, but not so large as to be cumbersome. It has two large dividers and two smaller dividers that are great for supporting a small-to-midsize SLR with the lens pointing down. I can fit both my 50D and my film rebel inside with all four lenses, two battery chargers, remote, etc. This is the bag I bring when I have no idea what I need, or when I just want to bring the basics but need to store a sweater or heavier jacket that doesn’t fit in the smaller bag, or I want to pack a lunch.
Crumpler also makes great backpacks for when you need to bring a laptop or just want a more even weight distribution. And they make smaller bags for compact cameras or for organizing gear within another bag. Since I take my camera everywhere, a great bag is a must. For me, this is it.