My old bag, notice the broken strap.
During Christmas my wonderful girlfriend got me new, and long overdue, camera bag for my gear. My old bag came inherited from my uncle who had put it though hell. After owning it for a year the left backpack strap finally broke. She did some pretty extensive research on her own and came to the Case Logic Laptop Backpack SLRC-206-BLACK as my x-mas pressent. After a few weeks of looking at it and playing with configuration. I decided this bag just isn’t for me… And so with that, we put it back in the box and returned it to Amazon. We were back on the hunt for another bag.
Over the next few weeks I did some pretty heavy reviewing of bags. But one thing really stood out for me with the Case Logic she had got me was that it was a great bag, but it just didn’t support big glass and big cameras. The camera I shoot with is a Canon 5D mk II with a battery grip, imitating the size of a Canon 1D, which without a lens is pretty big. A really popular bag which came close was the AmazonBasics-Backpack. Amazons knows best when it comes to knowing what their customers want. But it really isn’t suited for big glass. So I figured thats where I would start. With a little Google searches I stumbled across Ron Martinsen Blog reviewing two Think Tank bags. Understandably, Ron is a pro photographer. What really got sold me in his post was that the Glass Taxi was too small for all of his glass. If your bag is too small for all of your glass, you have a seriously first world problems. Personally, I only own a few pieces of glass, and therefore the Glass Taxi would suit me well, for now and the future.
Heres the thing with the Glass Taxi. The online reviews, Think Tanks website and specs, Rons Blog, nothing prepared me for getting this bag in the mail, because its TINY! I couldn’t fit a 15″ Macbook in this bag, but it will fit a 1D with a 70-200 with the hood, and lots lots more.
Upon opening it there are accessories falling out of the thing, and your thinking, “I didn’t sign up for this, assembly required?”. Oh yeah, you betcha. Remember in highschool when we had to carry backpack around with a ton of straps hanging off each side? Well Glass Taxi has them too, and you only put them on if you want them. So you can go from simple 2 strap, 1 strap, cargo bag 1 strap, or you can make it a hiking bag. But lastly, whats this blue thing? Its a rain cover, and its made so you can put your straps though it too. Its like it was made just for me.
Once you get it all open and the accessories removed, its actually quite chic. I went from the bright orange of the Case Logic to a mild gray that isn’t soft or gruff, but the perfect amount of texture to keep your gear from sliding around and won’t keep the dirt from showing through. Oh did I mention, slots galore! On Think Tanks website, in the photos it shows the bag full of gear. They give you 5 big and 3 medium separators, and a center to off center the bag for the big f/2.8 70-200. The last separators are a custom U-shaped with a strap on top, also a bottom foam ring to lock in a f/2.8 400mm and f/4.0 500mm lens’ without a camera body. Those are seriously big lenses, and if you have ever used them, you know they are a pain to get around in their standard hard cases. (Note: According to Think Tank’s pamphlet, the only lens that will fit with the camera body attached is f/2.8 300mm. But I will try the f/2.8 400mm next time I borrow my uncles and update this post.) However you would need to remove all the other separators to use the bag like that.
I got my gear all packed in and sealed it up. The only thing I wasn’t able to fit was my flash diffuser, but If I flipped the lens hood around I am sure I could squeeze it in. My only qualm with the bag is that is has no real “pockets”. It has a single internal pocket with a small single velcro in the center holding it shut, where smaller items could easily fall out the sides going up and down opening and closing the bag. And that could be fixed with another small pouch inside. Also, this bag is not built for accessories. If thats what you want they have add on modules.
Altogether this bag is wonderfully designed. Its quite sturdy for the overall empty weight of the bag. The padding is top notch as I mentioned before, its not super soft, but it your gear would be safe in an accidental drop. When its all zipped up, the bag is quite snug with my 5D & battery pack and 70-200 attached, and the zipper isn’t hard to pull. It really is all the small things that bring this bag together to make it one of the most awesome bags I have ever played with. And I used to work at a camera store.
If you like the compact style and only travel with a few lens’ then this bag is for you. But if you own all of Canons or Nikons catalogue and travel with it also. You might want to consider something far bigger. But the great thing is that this bag is built to do anything, rain or shine. Lets just see if it will stand up to my level of wear and tear. Check out the bag here: Glass Taxi
My new bag, all snug and happy.