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Pacsafe Slingsafe 300 GII

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by andix, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    As many others before me put it, there is no "perfect" camera bag. More than 20 years of photography taught me this, but I will never give up the pleasure of trying a new idea or combination every now and then.

    Having said this, I've been in the market for a rather small form factor bag (no taller than 40cm / 16in) that would give me room enough for a 13in MacBook Pro and one or two m4/3 bodies plus some spare lenses.

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    The problem was, nobody makes anything to these exact specifications. The laptop is too big or the camera kit is too small, period. I tried pretty much every bag manufacturer out there (including the ones less known or less popular) and I was really thinking of building my own. And then I got myself a Passport Sling from Lowepro at a discount, and the removable camera insert gave me an idea. What if I adapted a non-photo bag to fit my purpose?

    Enter the Pacsafe Slingsafe 300 GII Anti Theft backpack. Before you ask, yes I'm a guy and this thing is marketed as a women's backpack. I find it more unisex than women's (save the inner lining but I don't really have a problem with that.) People are using diaper bags for cameras and trust me, this backpack is way less embarrassing. (Also I'm a 6ft 200lb guy who works out, so if you have a problem with my backpack please come say it to my face. :cool:  ) If you don't feel like clicking the product link, I'll make a short version of it for you: it's got metal mesh embedded between the outer fabric and the lining and a steel cable in each strap, making it slash proof. Also you get a RFID protected pouch if you're concerned with ID theft, as well as a locking strap to attach the backpack to something fixed if you fear fast snatchers. There's also a laptop padded compartment, where my MBP fits relaxed inside its own neoprene sleeve.

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    So how does everything fit? Let's see: I laid the little pouch containing the MBP charger and cable on the bottom, then the camera insert just above it. There is room left on the sides, so the charger pouch can be pulled out or put back in. The insert now contains an OM-D with a 14-42 lens attached, two separate lenses (17mm and 45mm) as well as the OM-D's little flash. On the side of the insert I packed the RapidStrap and an Optex blower (hard to see in the photo.) There's still room for another lens in a pouch if need be. The outside front pocket holds two LensPens and some OM-D batteries in a TTP holder. A 25oz water bottle fits ok in the side pocket, and the other can hold an umbrella (we're pushing the envelope a little bit, but there's still no stress on the material or seams.) Even so, with the bag closed there's room above the camera for a packed windbreaker or some snacks or a city guide.

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    The camera insert allows for other combinations too. If I'm not lugging the OM-D around I can fit an E-PM1 with a Lensbaby together with a Fuji X10. Or the Fuji and the OM-D. The sky's the limit when it comes to combinations but this is what I have for gear so far. To sum it up:

    - Very safe. It's a PacSafe, what would you expect?
    - Very compact. Street photography, busy malls, foreign countries with shady characters - you're covered.
    - The zippers lock with built-in small carbiners. See previous line.
    - Lightweight for its features.
    - Can accomodate other camera inserts (think Crumpler Haven M, Camaroo Four Thirds, Tenba or the like.)
    - Does NOT look like a camera bag. You'll probably opt for the "black" which in reality is a dull grey.
    - With all my kit in, there's still room for other stuff.
    - Not a macho bag. Good for girls too.
    - Price (~$100 depending on where you buy it.) There are much more expensive bags out there in the same size range and they do not have the security features of the PacSafe.

    - Not a macho bag. Good for girls too :biggrin:
    - No waterproof bottom. Don't put it on the ground.
    - You need to provide your own camera insert.
    - Not a fast street shooter bag. You have to open the flap to access the camera.
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