It’s too bad great photographs are found outside of one’s basement, because hauling thousands of dollars of camera gear out into the big, bright world is an exercise in stress management: pack carefully and always look over your shoulder, just in case some ne’er do well is lurking.
The Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger Bag looks like every bag being schlepped around your nearest campus bookstore, but the bag doesn’t advertise its contents like many specialty camera carriers. Inside Timbuk2’s tough ballistic nylon exterior, a padded insert with a zipper closure keeps camera gear cushioned and safe from prying eyes.
Without the insert, it’s a standard messenger bag, albeit one with tripod straps on the bottom and clever “silencer” strips that give wedding and event photogs strips that cover the Velcro points to make opening and closing less-conspicuous. The outside pockets feature one that’s see-through to give quick access to memory cards or filters. With the bag’s four pockets stacked on top of one another, if one is filled full, good luck sliding anything more than a business card into the other three.
The Snoop Camera Messenger Bag isn’t about the bag, it’s about the insert, which provides everything a working or recreational photographer needs. Thick padding, movable dividers and a secure zipper up top hold it all in when crawling for the perfect angle, plus room for bodies, flashes and plenty of glass.
Where the bag excels as a camera carrier, it falls a bit short as a dedicated messenger or multipurpose bag. With only a laptop sleeve on the inside for organization, it’s a bit of a mess when trying to keep pens, keys and sunglasses from migrating directly to the bottom. What’s more, the bag itself has no padding on the bottom or back, so a laptop takes the full brunt of every rough set-down or bounce on the hip.
A common thread on Timbuk2’s page for the Snoop Camera Messenger Bag is requests for the insert to be sold separately so it can drop into customers’ already well-loved bags. It seems like the solution to combine the features that matter to each individual (exterior water bottle pockets, please) and a great photographer’s tool.
Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger Bag is available in two sizes now. (MSRP Small $130 Medium $150)Timbuk2 has announce the upcoming release of a redesigned bag for Fall 2011 with updates based on customer feedback and will offer three different sizes. The
Alex Strickland was born and raised in possibly the least mountainous and outdoorsy city in America – Memphis, Tenn. Despite the lack of trails and people to enjoy them with, he became a hiker, mountain biker and runner. Today, he's traded up for the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and added skiing to the mix, once someone explained what snow was.
A former newspaper editor in small-town Montana, Strickland enjoys freelance writing and photography for publications around the Mountain West and sharing his love for the outdoors through his work.
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