You read it right, a storm proof camera bag. I never even considered it to be something I needed until I came across Miggo and the team behind the bag…
Living on the Isles of Scilly through the summer is beautiful for sure, but over the winter we get our (un)fair share of storms. Just over this last winter we were making headlines as the nations highest wind speeds battered our shores thanks to Storm Imogen. 80+ mph wind speeds, torrential rain, hail, and huge seas meant that if you wanted to get out to capture shots of this impressive meteorological display, you had to be prepared to either a) have your kit take a beating and risk getting damaged or b) cobble together some make-shift waterproofing to keep the worst of the weather at bay (I opted for cocooning my camera bag in a rain mac). Since receiving an “Agua IPX3” storm proof bag, I find myself wishing that I’d come across them sooner. It’s proved to be the best addition to my kit list in quite some time.
The bag itself comes in three sizes, the smallest is suitable for mirrorless and bridge cameras, the middle entry bag is best for entry level to semi-pro DSLR’s, with the largest size able to accommodate pro-level DSLR’s such as a Canon 5D Mark III or Nikon D800. I have a medium sized bag which comfortably fits my Canon 70D with an attached wide angle lens, with enough room to fit in an additional small lens such as the nifty fifty (50mm prime), or even an 18-55mm. Of course, with the spare room you don’t have to put an extra lens in, you could put accessories such as a remote shutter release, a flash unit or triggers, you could even put snacks in there which would probably be my first choice! The most comforting thing about the design of the Agua is it’s dual layer protection. On the outside there is a waterproof layer of tarpaulin that is zipped up to keep your camera safe, on the inside the camera sits in a separate pouch of neoprene and lycra, complete with a quick release buckle so that you can pick the camera straight up from the bag knowing that if you drop it, it’s not going anywhere.It all combines to really give you the confidence to stick out the harsher weather conditions, and wait for the perfect moment to grab a shot.
In it’s first outing, the bag faced hail and heavy downpours of rain. Since then it’s taken in beautiful sunsets with me as I scramble around the rocky coastline of St Mary’s, it’s been camping on Bryher as we’ve seen the weather turn dreadful once again, and just the other day it put a big smile on my face as I was caught out in a torrential thundery downpour knowing that I needn’t panic about getting my kit out of the rain. I came back soaked to the bone but my camera? Bone dry!
You may be thinking to yourself “how many storms do you expect to have in a year to make it worth having?” but it’s not simply about keeping it dry in a downpour. Beforehand I would have to carry my kit in my larger camera bag, which was fine but often resulted in me just taking the majority of my lenses “just in case”. Inevitably I would start to feel the weight of the bag after carrying it around all day and if you’re prone to using either a bike or your own two feet to get around, it can make even the simplest of walks a real trek especially if it’s around quite rocky coastal terrain; I’m sure we can all relate to the fact that it’s not ideal to feel the dreaded back ache when there’s a long walk home.
Now this is the unexpected upside of this bag: It’s comfortable to carry because it’s light, and it’s light because it’s small and compact. This means you can only carry a camera with a lens attached, and maybe one additional lens. It forces you to think about what sort of shots you would like to try on the trip out, and choose your lens(es) accordingly keeping any unnecessary weight out of your camera bag.
With nothing more than my camera in the Miggo camera bag and my tripod, I could easily climb up trickier rocky areas and set up for the shot that I wanted.
On one evening I headed out with my camera, 18-55mm lens, and fitted in a set of filters to try out. I knew the shot I wanted would need to be from a high vantage point around the coastline. It required a little climbing and nifty footwork to get the right position, and was very easily done with the lightweight bag over my shoulder. I could set it down on the rock knowing I needn’t worry about any scuffs or scratches, and get to work. A nice image and a comfortable climb!
“But what about the images it’s allowed you to capture!” I hear you cry. Well here is a couple of images to show you the sort of conditions I was able to stay out in with relative comfort, knowing I could stow the camera away once the weather turned too bad….
So there you have it. It’s more than just a storm proof camera bag! The Agua means I can keep shooting for longer, not just in bad weather but throughout a long day with plenty of activity thrown in. I’ve still not had it for all that long, but it’s already shown a great deal of potential so I’m very excited to see where else I can take it on my various travels.