On The Hunt For A New Bag

Darren Turner

does anyone have any suggestions i have the following gear that all needs to fit.

Canon Eos 7D
Canon Eos 40D
Canon 100-400mm
Canon 70-200mm
Canon 17-85mm
Canon 50mm F1.8
Sigma 10-20mm.
small bag which hold memory cards batteries & cables

i currently have a Tamrac Expedition 6 and it weighs nearly 5k empty which is alot of a hinderance for my liking.

So what have you got or what do you reccomend that may suit my needs & hold all my gear, it doesnt have to be a back pack.


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Darren - I use and love Billingham bags

Not cheap - but the protection is excellent, and they last decades (at least mine have so far!)

Based on your kit list - you'd be looking at the 550 (which I also have)

Here's how my kit fitted in when I last tackled this question


I have also used it in the twin body configuration you describe.

The inside partitions are completely flexible as far as configuration goes - they fix in place with built-in velcro.

Then you have two removable pockets as well, one on each end of the bag


You then have two front pockets, and two front zipped pockets for storage - it's good at swallowing the cards, batteries & cables! :)

The carry strap is wide, and has a super padded, slip free shoulder pad.

You can also buy an optional backpack strap set to convert it to a backpack style bag.

Material is tough and water resistant.

You can easily access the kit, and the top folds back to keep it open for easier access when you need it.

Trim is leather, buckles etc are brass - built to last a lifetime and protect your camera gear.

External Dimensions

W460 x D280 x H300mm
W18 x D11 x H11½ins

Internal Dimensions

W450 x D150 x H260mm
W17.5 x D5,3/4 x H10ins



Here's an action shot of your's truly, with loaded 550 - Silverstone UK

wow that is an awesome reply / report to my question thanks very much, i will get looking on youtube for user reviews, that does seem like a great bag though cheers chris.

No problem - correction on the pack-pack optional strap - looks like it only fits the 106, 206, 306, 225, 335, 445, and Packington.
no thanks tim, i have one of those........its full of my lippy & eye shadow so no room for my camera............
Is that orange thing on the front for fixing a tripod on?

I agree about Billingham bags. I bought my oldest in the early 80's and had it refurbished about 2 years ago. Tried a Think Tank bag a while back but really not impressed. Too much Velcro and nylon really doesn't feel that strong. Quite like Cumpler bags though and and have a small and a large messenger style one. Good inserts and a nice array of pockets.
Pete - was the refurb free, or did you have to pay Billingham?

I remember they have a lifetime wear warranty, but there's bugger-all chance that I still have my proof of purchase!

The material is finally wearing thin on the underside of my 550 after over 12 years of me dragging it around - more cosmetic than anything else, but if I can get a free repair....
Hi Chris,

No, it wasn't free and, like you, I had lost my receipt many years ago (I think I bought my first 555 in '83 - I have 2). It was, however, a fixed price repair and they made a superb job and it looks set for another 25 years now (I must change my will)!! They fitted the later strap and I had the inside converted to same style as yours (my oldest bag had the wooden board with foam 'Lego' system) and they were friendly, helpful and quick - when I first inquired, Martin Billingham even answered the phone! So it really is still a family business - I think his wife sorts out order etc.

For some unknown reason, every few years I go in search of the perfect bag. I have no idea why as when I think about it I have probably already found it - the Billingham. OK, it is a tad heavier than the others but it is stronger and will outlive them all. They lack all the zip pockets and Velcro of modern designs but, on the plus side, they lack all the zips and Velcro of modern designs!! I will try to resist in the future. I also have one of their modern 07 series bags in black. Newer materials and a good shape - I use it to house an Ebony 5X4 camera. They are a bit lighter than the older series and look more modern in design - and, I guess, more like a camera bag rather than a modified fly fishing bag.

I have also tried various hard cases over the years and have come to the conclusion that the Peli cases with dividers (not foam) are probably the best.
i have actually been toying with the " Classified 200 AW" form lowepro idea.......... i have always had back packs so i think i fancy a change.......
http://products.lowepro.com/product/Classified-200 AW,2122.htm

i played with one in a local calumet store the other week and it seemed to fit the bill, i will return shortly with my gear to try the bag out for size i think. I cant seem to find a store that actually have Billingham bags in stock for me to view :-(
the most impossible thing to recommend to people is a kit bag i find...
kit always changes, bags are ofter a second thought...
i have always had tamrac as they are imo the best value for money, often water proof, and more often than not cheaper than the alternative...
i also have a crumpler ... coz i looks pretty :)
Pete - I think we have the same bag obsession!

I have collected three Billinghams, for different levels of kit hauling - from 'everything' through to just a body and two lenses.

I also seem to go through phases of looking for better ways of carrying the kit - and have gone the same route on hard cases with Pelican.

I have a large case with built-in wheels and pull out handle that takes everything - with the dividers.

Then I have a customized rolling carry-on Pelicase, which has a special lid compartment for my MacBook Pro, and the rest of the space for camera kit.

The mods were done by StudioCruzer - http://www.casesbypelican.com/StudioCruzer/photostudio-17.htm

And it's proved to be a great way of taking camera and computer on flights - without having to check expensive kit as hold baggage!

I've been looking for a decent bag as mine current one was too small for my growing collection of kit. I spent quite a bit of time looking and then found my dream bag! It was in my coatroom! I found a large cool bag which holds everything with ease. Its strong, plastic lined, padded and waterproof to all bu tthe heaviest of rain pour. Not sure how long the plastic lining will last but considering the low cost of them I dont see it as a problem.