Camera bags have come a long way, what started off a just a simple means of carrying your camera, lenses and basic accessories have now become an extended part of our photography kit. If you’ve invested in expensive cameras, lenses or even filters you’ll want to make sure that they remain safe and secure while out and about, more so while you’re travelling around. There are so many different types and brands of bags out there for you to choose from and what you’ll end up buying is purely on a personal basis, whether it be a messenger bag, sling or backpack, there’s a bag for everyone.
In my last blog, I reviewed the new Laowa 9mm, along with that lens I was also provided with a sling bag by Miggo, the Agua Stormproof Sling. At first glance, this bag looks like it can take on whatever mother-nature throws at it. The material is durable yet surprisingly light when I picked up the bag the first time I used a bit of force thinking that there would be some weight behind it but there wasn’t. The material is very durable and scratch resistant, I’ve scratched it a number of times and but it left no marks. This bag can really take a beating.
Comfort-wise, it is quite comfortable provided you don’t fill it with heavy items otherwise you’ll start to feel the strain on your shoulder. Padding on the strap is thick and firm, it’s wide enough to spread the weight on the shoulders and this is important to note, the narrow the strap the more it’ll dig into your shoulders and put a strain.
The strap comes with a lot of slack so it can be adjusted to just about all body types, any excess can be rolled up and fastened with an elastic band that is attached at the end of the tip. But this is where I have some concerns, the elastic band can easily slide off unwinding the excess slack and there is just too much slack to the point that this can become a danger hazard. I’ve often found myself accidentally brushing the elastic band off, sometimes I don’t even know it became undone this is worrying especially the fact that I commute to and from work on public transport, I’m paranoid of the excess slack getting trapped behind the door as it closes or when I step out of an Uber and close the door behind. There are some DIY hacks to fasten the excess slack, for instance, you can pick up some velcro straps from your local hardware store for a few bucks.
Apart from that, I took this bag with me on a hike for a few hours and during that time I’ve never once had to take the bag off to give my shoulder a break. The thick padding at the back of the bag is a huge plus, previous bags I’ve used had a thin backing and you could feel almost everything that is in the bag, from lunch containers to camera lenses. The thick padding just makes it that more comfortable and has enough spacing between your back and the bag for ventilation. There are also hip padding and clips to fasten around the front for extra stability and support.
The inside of the bag is actually smaller than it looks from the outside, I know that can be subjective but its actually a good thing because items fit snuggly and not have big gaps where things would bounce around. It has a dedicated slot to place a small laptop or tablet as well a camera body and 2 or 3 lenses, (depending on the positioning of the divider inserts) plus other bits and pieces i.e. power banks, batteries, charges etc. Speaking of which, there is a dedicated compartment for a power bank which you can then plug a USB cable into the connector on the side of the bag to charge your device. It has 2 ports, a USB and micro USB (often used to charge the power bank itself) so you don’t need to remove the power bank from the bag at all. However, I would have liked to have a mesh pocket on the same side of the ports to place my phone or battery charger in while it’s being charged instead of sitting on the floor or in your pocket.
Outside the bag, there’s not a lot going for it, I’ll be upfront and say that it’s designed may not appeal to everyone with its all-black design and only a simple vertical zip at the front which can be used to store your phone, wallet or other small personal items for quick access. On the other hand, however, this can work in your favour if you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself. Most camera bags are quite obvious, for example, take the Peak Design Everyday/Messenger bags or Lowe Pros, they’re great bags without a doubt and are popular among photographers, but this translates to them being a common site out in public. Up until this point, I would not have guessed that the Agua series bags were camera bags.
Off to the left side is the zip that opens up to the internal compartments, to the right is a set of straps used for small tripods and the like. I say the word ‘Small’ tripods because anything bigger will dwarf bag and ultimately shift the weight to one side and will be uncomfortable, then again, this bag isn’t designed to carry your entire photography wardrobe, for serious landscape/seascape photographers who rely on bulky heavy duty tripods this isn’t for them.
At a time where we’re spoilt for choice, the market is flooded with all sorts of camera bags in all shapes and sizes. Many share the same characteristics to their competitors while only a small handful tries to stand out in the crowd. It’s difficult to discern where Miggo’s Agua series stands among the mix, there are plenty of other bags out there that are weather resistant (although the Agua claims to be Stormproof). But if you’re looking for a durable, weather resistant sling-type bag to carry your basic essentials (camera, 1 or 2 lenses, tablet, filters, power bank) then this bag will more than satisfy those criteria. It’s small, light and comfortable enough to act as an everyday bag while being reasonably priced compared to others *cough* Peak Design. The size and durability of this bag is the real winner here, especially when boarding planes, this can be taken as a carry-on and in most case,s I’ve taken this plus a small hand luggage as carry-on luggage.
So if you’re on the market for a similar type bag and don’t mind some DIY hacks, then I recommend you give the Agua Sling a once over.
As a special promo, head over to this link: http://miggo.com.au/?ref=3 and enter the code FUJIXAUS18 for a 10% discount on ALL Miggo bags! But be quick as this is only for a limited time.
Stay tuned as I review the Miggo Agua Stormproof 90 bag in my next post.