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| p.1 #16 · Gura Gear Bataflae--Review |
I can appreciate why someone who shoots a lot on beaches and in deserts would have unique dust management needs.
But, here's another viewpoint:
As a wildlife shooter who primarily shoots in open land rovers, I'm very happy with GuraGear's new Bataflae bag albeit I have the 26L model. I really like the new full view buckle feature for in room packing; and, the side opening feature for land rover use. This is the best of both worlds because I never liked using backpacks with full openings in the field - i.e, my TT Acceleration - because of too much exposure to...Show more →
I was going to post pretty much the same thing here. I was having trouble deciding which bag, the Kiboko or the Bataflae would work best for me, so I ended up ordering both to test them out. (The 26 and 22L models). The Kiboko was on special for a short period of time and cost almost half as much at the Bataflae so I was hoping I'd like it better. <wink, wink.>
There were indeed things I loved about the Kiboko, outside of the special price, I really liked the laptop sleeve. But the clinchers for me really were the depth, since I moved to 1D series body, and the harness. I am a 5'6, average weight, middle-aged female.... and I need a harness that is comfortable enough to really wear. Trudging through airports and standing in long customs lines (or hiking) with a less than comfy bag will not cut it anymore. I loaded them up and walked around the house, and found that the Kiboko's harness was too bulky for me and not as comfortable. Plus, as someone who dislikes a lot of extra straps hanging about, I was much happier with the Bataflae's stowaway system. The backpack straps are extremely easy to stash away, and the zippered outer flap makes for a smoother, cleaner bag to carry when not using the straps.
As someone who is marginally organized on a good day, I am really excited to get my butterfly-opening bag into the bush. I'm tired of having to open my entire bag to get at things; it's usually too much of a hassle to close it all back up again (especially when you often don't know what else you might need at any given moment). Some dislike that interior pockets don't zip open all the way. I see this as extra protection. With this bag, I'm confident that wayward lens caps and CF cards are unlikely to spill onto the floor of the vehicle when I forget to zip it at the end of the game drive! No, the bag is not inexpensive, but neither is my camera gear.
I mostly wanted to post this as I really appreciate the original review and thought it would help to add another voice to the discussion. The only thing I would add to the original poster's review is regarding the small piece of fabric attaching the lid to the bag when it is fully unzipped: I am pretty sure that this new feature is intended for easier packing, providing a gut check, if you will, to make sure you can see and ensure you've got everything you need. And, I believe I read, it's for those times when you're in the studio and need to access the whole lot. It is my understanding that fully opening the bag in the field on a regular basis was not the intent of the design, and further, that these bags truly are designed more for travel and adventure photography than studio work. As a side point, when it was fully open, I was able to slide my Macbook Air in there, on top of my gear. Since I wouldn't take it out in the field, in theory I could get to and fro with the laptop in this bag. It's just not a dedicated pocket.
I would also second the mention of Gura's great customer service. You can set up an email account on their site, and they actually respond to questions and communicate with you. They pay shipping and return shipping, as well. Hard to beat that!