When it comes to finding a solution for travelling with your gear there are a few things you should pay attention to.
What we needed for the Royal Silk Road was a camera bag large enough to stand all our photography gear and accessories. A bag that offers versatility and that would be reliable enough to stand really harsh general conditions.
Our choice went for the Lowepro Tactic 350 AW from our sponsor Degreef & Partners, a small backpack that we would tie to the bike while driving and put on our shoulders when walking.
What the bag can handle is impressive. In this single, small sized backpack, we could fit:
- One Apple MacBook with charger
- One 5DmIII body
- One 100-400 USM Lens from Canon
- One 50 f1.2 lens from Canon
- One 16-24 f2.8 lens from Canon
- One Rode VideoMic Pro (Omni)
- 4 Canon batteries and around 8 other types of batteries
- 3 Square Filters from Athabasca and the filter holder
- 4 Memory cards
- A cleaning set (sheets and liquid)
- A time-lapse and remote controller device
No need to say the bag ended being quiet heavy. We tied it to the bike on top of everything so it would not risk of hitting the floor when we fall. It was tied as hell because our bikes are old grumpy ladies shaking like they are going to dismantle themselves in a matter of minutes and that the bag is super heavy and so moving easily. Ad to this the general devastated condition of the roads in central Asia and you start to understand what « harsh conditions » meant for the backpack, at least…
So we had to put a gigantic amount of pressure, from several points, to the zippers and seams of the bag to hold it place on the bike. It held like that for 6 months and we can tell you this is a miracle when we compare to other stuff we’ve been carrying out there.
We are still using it now back in Belgium as it is still in proper condition (even though a little bit dusty).
Now, more specifically, the bag offers a lot of different little tricks that are very useful. First of all, it can be open from the top. That allows you to take the camera out of the bag without having to open it. When it is tied to the bike or when you want to pick the camera up from your partners back while he is doing something with his hands, this comes really handy and saved us a lot of time and trouble on the way.
Inside the bag are several divider that you can scratch and modulate as you wish to make the most of the inside space. It allowed us to change the main function of the bag for the different needs we had (we could even put the c300 with all its accessories in it when we needed to travel only with the camera, which proved to be really appreciable).
In addition to all the storage the bag has to offer from the inside, you have the possibility, through a smart attachment system to ad complementary modules to the outside of the bag. It proved really useful for attaching the gorilla pod for example or binoculars.
Overall, The Lowepro Tactic 350 AW was the companion we needed for this trip and it never let us down.