Photography Gear: Backpacks, Bags, Belts…

Professional and serious hobby photographers can accumulate a lot of gear (bodies, lenses, flash equipment, batteries, storage, etc) and as I’ve grown my collection over the past few years I’ve adapted my gear-carrying methods as well. My first serious photography with my DSLR was outdoor photography and I purchased a LowePro Mini Trekker AW backpack. It worked well, easily carrying the body, several lenses, and some other small accessories. Over time, I came to realize the big drawback with a backpack system: accessing the back involves stopping, taking the backpack off one’s back, setting it down, getting the gear, then reversing the process. It wasn’t bad when I had somewhere dry to set things and had some time, but I wanted something with easier access.

Enter the Think Tank Speed Belt system. It’s a very flexible system consisting of a variety of bags that can be worn on a special belt. Bags can be added or removed from the belt as needed for a particular situation or shoot. A big positive is that the lenses or other items in the bags can be accessed while the belt is being worn, without stopping or setting anything on the ground.

I still use my backpack to bring a large quantity of gear to a shoot, but if the situation requires moving around and being able to swap equipment quickly, the flexibility of the belt system makes it my tool of choice. Photographers looking to invest in a bag should consider the type of photography, gear to be carried, and budget, and choose a system allowing for the best results for their situation.

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