Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crumpler Local Identity camera bag

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.

It comes in brown too.


Specialized design
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.)

Quickdraw 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.

It's waterproof!
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.

The price
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.


Alex said...

Thanks for your review. I'm going to buy one of these but am still having a hard time deciding between small and large. Any chance I could convince you to measure the dimensions of the lower cavity and its doors? I'd basically be trying to fit in a Nikon D90 with a Tokin 12-24 attached, and then a Nikon SB-700 on the other side. Doable?

As for the laptop, I'll have a 11" Macbook Air in the sleeve, which proves your stereotype about Crumpler and Apple. ;)

The Third World Nerd said...

Hmmm... The top compartment is 15 inches deep from the bottom to the zipper.

The bottom compartment (with the side pockets) is 12 inches wide (from pocket to pocket) and 9 inches in height.

Take note, you can remove the divider so that the interior is one space, around 24 inches deep.

The SLR should be able to fit even the small Local Identity bag, but the fitting in the pouch might be tight, depending on your lens. But of course, you don't need to put the camera in the pouch. Best to be safe and bring your camera if you're going to buy it!

Emily said...

I'm wondering how this bag had held up over the years and how well it worked for juggling the baby along with your camera gear. I'm looking for a camera backpack for my husband so he can more comfortably carry his gear when he's out with our 14 month old. I would love to hear how this bag worked out for you as I just found one for a great deal online. Thanks!

The Third World Nerd said...

Still using the bag to this day. The black parachute material didn't age too well. It's frayed where the top folds. Otherwise the bag is ok. Definitely works with the kids because I have my hands free when I need them

Emily said...

Thanks for the quick feedback!