And the right one for the job as of late is a simple bag that allows me to carry one body and a couple of lenses. Most days, I'm not carrying everything around with me and so a modest size bag that provides easy and quick access is what's most important.
I wasn't sure what to make of the Chrome Niko bag (ESP $95.00) when I first received it. I was familiar with the brand, because of the popularity of their messenger bags, particularly a design that features a stylized 70's style seatbelt buckle, which serves as a quick release as well as a bottle opener. Yet, it was that quick release that immediately caught my interest, because the ease by which it allowed me to remove the bag. No longer did I need to swing the bag over my head to remove it. Instead, the application of some pressure to the button released the bag cleanly and effortlessly. Though it might not seem like a big deal to some, the speed by which I could take off the bag was particularly attractive.
The bag weighs 2.3 pounds and is made of a waterproof 1000 denier nylon outer shell and can accommodate a camera body, multiple lenses, a flash unit and small accessories separated by traditional adjustable compartments secured by Velcro.
You access the main compartment through a zippered top-loading flap, which reveals the slightly padded dividers. The flap itself contains a small compartment, which can accommodate a memory card wallet, remote release or extra batteries. The bag also features a top compartment, which could be made to accommodate another medium sized SLR body without an attached lens as well as other accessories. It includes a netted elastic pocket to secure items as well. On the side are two Velcro straps, which allows you to attach a small or medium sized tripod.
Though modest in size the bag offered me ample space to carry the amount of gear that I currently prefer to work with. This is a good thing, because even when filled, the total weight never felt burdensome. Bigger bags almost demand that they be filled, which often results in premature exhaustion and sore body parts. This bag quickly became the ideal choice for a day's worth of shooting.
And unlike any other camera bags I've owned, I received a good share of compliments from people, who didn't even realize it was a camera bag. It was no doubt that stylized quick release, which bares Chrome's black and red logo, which features the form of a griffin.
I have used the Niko as my primary bag for several all-day shoots and didn't experience any of the typical physical discomforts that I normally experience with other bags, especially shoulder bags and backpacks. Though I know some photographers might like to see a bigger bag to accommodate more equipment, I think the Niko hits a sweet spot that strikes a nice balance between convenience and comfort. I have been using two other sling-style bags, each of which offer greater interior capacity, but I have found myself increasingly defaulting to the Niko as my bag of choice.
Is it that last bag that I'll ever buy? Likely not? But it's most certainly the bag that helps me to keep the focus on the most important thing, which is being out there and making photographs. And considering the high demand for the bag, I suspect that there are a lot of photographers out there that are agreeing with me.
CHROME PHOTO CONTEST
Enter the the 'I'm A McKenzie, You're A McKenzie' Photo Contest!
The Folks at CHROME have an awesome prize package including a Nikon D300 and Chrome Niko pro camera bag for one lucky winner
All you have to do to enter is:
1. Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chromebags.sf
That's all there is to it. Good Luck!!!
© Ibarionex Perello
About the Author
Ibarionex Perello is a photographer, writer and educator. He is also the host of The Candid Frame photography podcast (www.thecandidframe.com).
He is the author of Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography Using Available Light.