After carrying my Lowepro SlingShot 200AW bag around for just a few hours in downtown Atlanta one day, it became obvious that this was not the right bag for me. The Lowepro is a nice bag and seems to be built very well, but the design puts the weight in an awkward position and resulted in a lot of neck and back pain within the first hour of wearing it. I even took out most of my gear, just bringing my Canon 30D, three lenses, a spare battery and some filters. Fully loaded, there's no way I am carrying this around.
It was probably more a case of my equipment outgrowing my bag much more quickly than I thought. I decided that I would need a larger backpack to carry everything when flying or taking a road trip, plus a smaller bag for short day trips and walking around town. The backpack can wait a little longer so I went on the hunt for a comfortable, good-looking camera bag that could hold my 30D plus a couple of extra lenses. After looking for days and days I made a decision to get the Domke F-2 bag in the cool olive-drab color. I loved the military look and the F-2 seemed to get nothing but good reviews. But the day after I placed the order I discovered the Crumpler line of bags. These looked too good to pass up, so I ordered one to compare, knowing that Amazon would accept a return for the bag I didn't want.
First to arrive was the Domke F-2:
This bag fits the requirement of cool looking, and will easily hold my 30D and 4 extra lenses with lots of room in the pockets for other stuff. The inside has a 4-hole padded divider that can move anywhere in the bag from side to side.
The first problem I have with this bag is the two metal hooks that secure the top flap. They are kind of hard to open and close with one hand and a little sharp on the bottom. The flap has some Velcro to hold it as well, so I suppose you could leave the hooks unfastened when walking around. The other problem I have with this bag is the way the divider makes the interior space a bit awkward for putting my camera in. You really only have the choice of putting the camera in the end not taken up by the divider.
It just didn't feel right trying to get my camera in and out when pushed all the way to one side. I was afraid of hitting the metal hardware that holds the strap too. I would prefer to have two separate dividers so that the camera could sit in the middle. The only other issue I have with the Domke F-2 is that it is just a little too big for what I need. I like that it's made in the USA and I am sure it would be a great long-lasting bag, but once I received the Crumpler, my decision became pretty easy.
I opted for the Six Million Dollar Home model after reading reviews and discussion boards. It seemed to be about the right size I was looking for, and it was. The exterior color scheme is great but I am not 100% crazy about the interior green. But I can live with it.
What I love about this bag is that I can put my 30D right in the middle and still have plenty of space on either side for two larger lenses or 4 smaller lenses. With my longest lens, the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro, the bag has plenty of depth. It could probably handle a larger, longer lens too.
I like the single quick-release latch on the front flap. It only takes one hand to get this bag open. The strap seems strong and comes with a matching pad that wraps around the strap wherever you want it. The build quality seems very good and a little stiffer than the Domke. I feel a bit more secure carrying around the Crumpler.
So the Domke is headed back to Amazon and my barely-used Lowepro SlingShot will be up for sale soon. Now to pick out a backpack!