A stormproof camera backpack? It’s a bold claim, and for me it’s the sort of thing that I’ve always wanted to be available. Now the team from Miggo have got something to get splash/downpour prone photographers excited….
I first came across Miggo earlier this year thanks to a popular networking website, and was immediately grabbed by the catchphrase boasting a “Stormproof camera bag”. I’d just endured a fairly atrocious winter on the Isles of Scilly, with torrential downpours, big seas, and 80+ mph winds thanks to some big storms such as “Imogen” and “Jake”. It made getting out to take images a real struggle, not because I had to really psych myself up to set foot outside, but because I was always worried about the gear on my back getting soaked through. Was it worth the odd shot, if I came back home with drowned camera gear? A stormproof camera bag could be just the thing, so I reached out to the team at Miggo and soon found myself putting there gear through its paces.
At first, I found myself using the Miggo Agua Stormproof Holster bag, a great little bag perfect for short outings with your camera. It’s design means there’s no need to worry if your caught out in a heavy downpour with your camera, you can draw the camera nice and quickly if a potential photograph grabs your attention, and they’d now brought the same sort of design and idea to a backpack. I couldn’t wait to test it out.
Initial thoughts when it came through were my door were very positive. They’d kept that great aesthetic about the bags, with the matte black, simplistic tarp outer layer. inside you’d find the neoprene inner layer, not only keeping that water away from your gear, but also helping to cushion it from bumps and scrapes if you’re, like me, prone to venturing off the beaten track. A simple strap helped to secure a tripod to the bag, with even a fairly weighty one like mine being kept nice and stable. The top of the bag was sealed like a dry bag, clipping down on either side, a feature that was most sought after by myself when I was looking for something to keep my gear dry. The feeling of being relaxed in a downpour, safe in the knowledge my gear isn’t getting a soaking is second-to-none.
The bag itself is split into two main compartments. The lower half of the bag is where you can store your camera gear, with splitters that can be adjusted to suit your needs. The top half of the bag is more suited to packing essentials you may need when out and about such as a change of clothes, chargers, phones, food etc. Something I would like to see in a bag like this, would be a bottle holder on the exterior, I wouldn’t be keen to put a bottle of water inside a bag designed to keep water out, but this was a small issue.
On a recent trip up to Scotland, I decided to take the Miggo backpack along to see how it would cope with a longer term trip. I packed everything I thought I might need (most of which I didn’t!), and have listed it below. The compartments for camera’s and lenses I could see being a little restricting for those wanting to take multiple larger lenses or even two camera bodies with a choice of lenses, but I managed to take all of my kit without too much effort.
Kit List: Canon 70d, 50mm, 18-55mm, 10-24mm, 400mm 5.6, 2x flashguns, wireless flash transmitters, GoPro with chest harness, a selfie stick (which I didn’t use…), egg-timer, filter set with rack, shutter release cable, headtorch, battery charger.
I wouldn’t encourage filling the bag in this way for every trip, but it was good to know that if worse came to worse it could carry it all. As it was a camping trip I had my main 65 litre backpack with changes of clothes, camping stoves, tent and all the rest of it, and so when I caught my flight up to Scotland that was my hold luggage. This meant the camera bag would be my carry on, and this typically gives me cause for concern. Putting a bag full of electrical kit and wires through security could pose some issues, but I’m glad to say it went through with no problems, and fits well in the overhead storage, not being too bulky or cumbersome to store.
Now I’ve been using the bag for a couple of months now, and it’s due to go on sale this month (September). Over these months I’ve taken it camping in Scotland, camping on Scilly, out on beaches for sunrise/sunset shoots, out in heavy downpours, high winds, and outside overnight with a good layer of dew. And in all instances, it’s kept my gear safe, sound, and importantly dry. There aren’t many weather conditions now that would give me cause for concern over my camera gear, and for me personally that is a hugely important thing. The importance of a bag like this for your photography obviously depends on the genre that you follow, and as an outdoor photographer I couldn’t imagine being without a bag like this anymore. I’m very excited to see what other things the team at Miggo can come up with in the future, and I highly recommend you keep a close eye on them too….