I’ve been meaning to write this for a while. I searched for a long time for a good camera bag and I’ve been putting this one through its paces for a while now. Its become an everyday item for me, joining me cycling trips and motorcycle rides for about 3 years now.
My decision to get a new bag was the result of pure bag envy over my friend Emma and her backpack.
It had so many useful features that I was looking for in a camera bag but had only one drawback in my eyes… it just looked too much like a camera bag.
This all led me to look at the range of bags made by National Geographic and Manfrotto, in particular the Africa Range.
I ended up buying this one .
The bag is made from heavy-duty canvas and leather. It’s hard-wearing and actually really stylish. I think it’s quite understated, and it wasnt for the tripod attached to the side of the bag, most people wouldn’t recognise it as being a photography backpack.
The bag has plenty of pockets and padding, providing more than enough room to hold my Microsoft Surface in a separate area for laptops; a small internal pouch for small accessories like hard drives and pens, a moderately sized pocket that I usually carry a few film cameras in, two smaller pockets on the outside that will hold about 4 or 5 rolls of film each, a fold out, quick access part in which you can easily a full size DSLR, and a few lenses. Mine comfortably holds onto my Fujifilm X-Pro 1, Olympus T30 Flash, Pentax 40mm f2.8 lens and a Vivitar 200mm f3.5 lens. There are also another two smaller pockets along the side seams of the bag. great for the storage of small tools. The bag also has 4 straps on the outside. These are amazingly useful, meaning I can carry my tripod on the outside of the bag easily and securely. When not being used to carry accessories the straps can be tightened in order to reduce the size of the bag.
It has been perfect for me both as a cyclist and especially great for use on my motorbike. For certain items I need to be able to have faster access to items such as my fatspanner multi-tool and my visor cleaning cloth. So I had to make a little modification to the bag by adding a set of k98 cartridge pouches that I got from Hatts Emporium in Cardiff market.
Another piece I added to the bag was a packmount for my GoPro Hero+. I attached it to the left bag strap, just above the chest strap fastener. Doing this allows me to get steady footage while riding my motorcycle. On both straps there are D rings that allow for items that
I’ve been using the bag almost daily since December 2015. Honestly, it’s probably been one of the most indispensable and well-built bags I’ve ever had and I will talk it up to anyone who so much as mentions on it. At its original price tag, this and other backpacks of its calibre are a little intimidating if you’re used to getting a cheap and easy camera satchel from Amazon.
I got this bag half price in a sale Manfrotto were having and I also managed to find some sort of discount code at the time which meant that I got both the tripod and a Manfrotto BeFree Tripod for around £150!