Visited the local Crumpler store, and to my surprise I found a camera bag that I had just been reading about here.
The site said it cost AU$270, which is around P11,500. But it turned out to be just P7,500 over here. Plus I got a 10% discount from my Enjoy card. (Love that card. Get one.) Now that's pricey for a bag, but after a recent trip abroad, I realized that I truly needed a specialized bag for my camera. It was a pain juggling my camera, travel documents, and a baby all at the same time. So I bit the bullet and bought it.
This is my first Crumpler bag. I've never liked their designs before. Also, as the official bag of Mac aficionados in the Philippines, Crumpler bags just scream "Steal me! I have a Mac inside!" So I've avoided them ever since.
The Local Identity however doesn't look like your average Crumpler bag. Even the stick figure Crumpler logo isn't visible. It's really quite handsome for a backpack, with rubberized bits on the outside, and a stylish green interior. It's also available in brown and orange.
Mind you, this is a very specialized bag. It's designed to fit a small camera and a 13-inch laptop, with well-thought-out pockets for each of those gizmos and their accompanying wires and accessories.
The laptop goes in the top pocket.
The camera goes in this pouch. And the pouch goes in the side pocket.
The pouch has pockets for all the usual stuff.
I placed my external flash here, on the opposite side.
Other camera stuff goes in here. (The laptop has its own pocket.)
My favorite pockets are the quickdraw pockets on the side. Stick your camera in the camera pouch. Stick the pouch in the pocket. And you're done. When you're walking around and see something worth shooting, just open the pocket and pull out the camera in one motion. Cool beans.
The exterior is rubberized because the bag is actually waterproof. Or water resistant, I should say. I once went up a mountain with a water resistant bag and discovered the difference. (Everything inside the water resistant bag was soaked after a downpour – which is also the reason why local mountaineers travel with a lot of plastic bags.) By my reckoning, the Local Identity should be able to shrug off a light shower and moisture from most travels. I wouldn't go up a mountain with it. And I won't risk my gear to test the waterproof claim.
It's actually small.
With my small camera and smallish laptop, the bag is mostly full. Don't expect to squeeze your lunch in there as well. Well, maybe with some effort. If you have an SLR, you might want to go for the bigger Local Identity, which also fits a larger 15-inch laptop. For compact cameras, micro four thirds cameras or other mirrorless cameras, this bag is plenty big enough.
It's basically a rubber and neoprene bag, so it's hard to justify the P7,500 price tag when that puts you in leather bag territory, or "serious" camera bags territory. But if you can get yourself to pony up the cash, this is a well-designed and sturdy bag that will do you no wrong. I'm itching to travel now.
Speaking of leather bags, I've recently gone into the leather bag business. Click here to see our first design and order. One day, we hope to have a camera bag for sale too.