So there's this bag called a Shootsac and I LOVE it! It's a camera bag for photographers to take out on photo shoots instead of lugging around a bulky, awkward bag. Real camera bags are home to a bunch of accessories that don't belong with you on a shoot - batteries, cables, strobes, and lenses you don't plan to use. Oh, and not to mention they're really ugly 99% of the time. To go on a legit shoot, you'd almost need to bring along another person just to carry your gear while you're taking pictures.
Not so with the Shootsac! The Shootsac was designed by a well-respected photographer named Jessica Claire. Her goal was to make an attractive, over-the-shoulder bag that would house only what you wanted to take on the shoot. The bag's got six compartments/sleeves - three on each side. The sleeves are the perfect size for your lenses, and the material is thick neoprene (think scuba wetsuit) so your fancy schmancy lenses will be protected.
The bag comes included with a black cover, which looks nice. But it doesn't stop there! The bag was designed with a velcro strip to attach the cover, so you know what that means! You can choose from a bunch of different colors and patterns to make your Shootsac pretty and personal to your style. (Man, this is starting to sound like a sales pitch). For MY Shootsac, I chose the "Regal" cover. It's shiny, dark pink with bronze embroidered filigree. Very.nice.
It's not all perfect and wonderful, though. I've got only two complaints. #1, the bags are incredibly expensive. I'm not sure how much they are marked up, but they are very well-made and I know neoprene doesn't come cheap. But just the standard bag without a nice cover is $179. The nice covers are about $50 more. Plus shipping.... the price tag is hard to swallow. That's why I wanted a Shootsac for over a year and didn't buy one. But let me just say - as of right now, there is nothing on the market that even comes close, and believe me, I searched long and hard for something similar but cheaper. For Christmas last year, I asked for (and got) some material from which I wanted to try to make a bag myself. Well, I tried, and the result after many hours of my hard work pretty much looked like an middle school art project. I waited and waited, and perfectly enough, a few weeks before I was scheduled to leave the country, Jessica Claire turned 30 and threw a huge birthday bash sale on the website....$30 off a Shootsac and 30% of covers. They sold out in two hours, but I was fortunate to have ordered within 15 minutes. Lucky me!
Ok, ok, complaint #2: the strap got a little uncomfortable after several hours of wearing it because of the little metal adjustment buckle. It happened to be in the perfect place for rubbing my collar bone raw. It's ok though, because for $12 more, a shoulder strap pad can be yours! Clark bought one for me as a gift, and man, I wish I had gotten one from the very beginning. The shoulder pad is simply dreamy! So a note to all of you who are going to go out and buy a Shootsac now... get the shoulder pad! It's necessary!
My overall review - it's a fantastic bag. I've used it a bunch since I got it, including every single day in Honduras. It allowed me to have what I wanted at my fingertips, while keeping it safe from dust and little kid hands. Even though it's not designed to hold the camera itself, I found that the outer pockets were able to hold my camera body without the lens while I was traveling between towns. I wouldn't ever plan to keep it stored in there long, though, because I fear the neoprene would stretch too much and not spring back. Anywho, I'm not totally sold on the 200 smackeroons I paid for it, even though I got a great deal. BUT, I really love the bag, it's hugely beneficial for me, and it does a great job. I'm sure that over time, it will more than pay for itself in worth.
If you're interested, go to www.shootsac.com to check it out!
Me and my Shootsac in a small town in Honduras!