I've repurposed many different style bags to use as a camera bag, but using a military ammo bag is a first! I was reading my twitter feed when I came across a photo of someone's everyday carry bag and the contents--camera gear!. The bag was a little unusual looking and I was intrigued. I tweeted back to inquire what type of bag it was. I was told it was a British Army Grab Bag. A few tweets back and forth and I was a bit hooked and I felt compelled to try and find one.
My search led me to eBay where I found a retailer in the US that was selling a new one for a very reasonable $34.99. I paused for a little while, but my addiction to bags being as strong as it is, I went ahead and made the purchase. I had this curious bag in my hands within a few days.
I love my current commuter shooter bag, the Lowepro Passport Sling III, but I had to try out the field bag. This is a real military bag and the intended purpose is to carry ammunition. The front pockets you see in this photo to the right are meant to hold magazine rounds, but they are perfect for water bottles, flashes, flashlights, lenses or mini tripods.
The bag is made out of very durable cordura fabric and the inside is lined with nylon. There are no zippers on this bag. The main compartment is secured by a very wide strip of velcro. The front pockets are secured in the same manner. The side pockets are secured by small buckles. The shoulder strap can be extended quite a bit and is made out of a seat belt-like material with an adjustable shoulder strap pad.
One nice feature of the bag is the access panel on the top flap. It's concealed by a panel of fabric and has a velcro strip that allows you to secure the panel out of the way. You can now reach into your bag and grab the contents without opening up the top flap. This is great for quickly grabbing your camera. This is a feature I wish more camera manufacturer's would latch on to. The Tenba Switch 8 that I reviewed in July has this feature.
There are no pockets in the interior of the bag. I added an insert from one of my other bags and it fit perfectly and allows me to carry my Olympus OM-D E-M10 with the 14-150mm lens attached in the main compartment along with my iPad mini, notebook, wallet, and clear organizer pouch with my iPhone cords, headphones, etc. The exterior pockets are perfect for eyeglass cases, water bottles, lenses (these are not flexible pockets and a chunky lens won't fit). Check out the video below for a complete view of what I was able to pack inside the bag. I've been carrying it for a about a week now and it's working out to be great commuter bag.
If you have repurposed a bag to use as a camera bag, let's hear about it! Leave a note in the comments section below.
For those of you that watch the video, my apologies for the poor audio quality. The wind was mild, but it was exaggerated by the camera's mic.