All photographers know the endless search for the perfect camera bag. While we know intellectually that it cannot exist emotionally we are powerless to resist the search. All camera bags have some compromises in them. All of them. I keep telling myself this but the hunt goes on. Ok carrying big lenses requires a big camera bag. For carrying the 600mm lens in my experience there is no better bag than the Guru Gear Kiboko 30L.
Created by acclaimed wildlife photographer Andy Biggs these bags are big light weight and extremely durable. Previous to Guru Gear most of my camera bags were from Think Tank, and while the Think Tank bags are excellent I find myself leaning more towards Guru Gear as they continue to expand their product line. The Kiboko opens up into two separate long compartments rather than one large one which takes some getting used to but offers the advantage of keeping dirt and dust out of the bag.
There are numerous review and videos of the bag in the internet so I am not going to go into too much more detail. The one point I will bring up is the the Kiboko 30L does not have a place that a laptop can be stored. The have been quite a few criticisms of this but in my opinion I am glad there is no space for it. The bag will fit in international airlines overhead compartments. I fit it in a regional jet overhead compartment but the external pockets were nearly empty. Adding a laptop pocket would increase the overall dimensions too much. Weight, empty it is one of the lightest bags out there. My Kiboko 30L loaded for the trip was weighing in at around 35 lbs. during travel. Luckily I was not stopped at the gate, but if I had been I had a separate laptop bag, the Chobe 19-24, to cross load equipment into. I dread the inevitable day when I am forced to check my camera bag. I always bring a couple extra locks just in case.
First I love this bag as a laptop carry on. Chobe is designed as a business, travel and photography bag. The bag is still relatively new and there are not a lot of reviews out for it yet. Dan Carr has an excellent review of the bag here: Gura Gear Chobe Review
Yes I do like this bad a lot and as I admitted all camera bags have some compromises in them. The Chobe bag come with a photo insert. When I saw the below image loaded with camera equipment I had high hopes of this being the bag I could take on trips that were not strictly photography driven.
Unfortunately when I received the bag and loaded my equipment up in the insert it looked more like this.
Which is not exactly what I had been hoping for.
All that is in the insert are two Nikon bodies and the “holy trinity”
14-24mm - inverted the only way it would fit
24-70mm - no lens hood because it won’t fit in
70-200mm - with lens hood, no it will not lie down due to the way the dividers are made
Admittedly this is a lot of equipment but I at least like to have this at a minimum when I travel. I just wished I had some better idea of the size of the insert prior to purchasing. Do I still like the bag? Yes. Does it have compromises? Yes.