I began my journey in photography nearly 20 years ago as a thought experiment that…
DISCLOSURE– For the record I am a member of the Gura Gear Pro Team, and do receive bags for testing and review. However, I purchased all of my GG bags before my association began, and would happily do so for a future model.This post is not sponsored by GG. I like to keep things up front and honest, and I always suggest use what works best for you, that’s what matters most.
One of the things I rely on daily, whether heading to my local coffee shop to write, or flying to a workshop or event, is a good travel bag. In it I carry those extra but important things that help me stay sane or help me get a particular task done. A camera, a moleskine notebook, a MacBook Pro or iPad, my “never leave home without” noise cancelling headphones, maybe even a few 8.5×11 prints – you never know who you’ll run into.
Until recently I used a variety of travel bags, many of which have logged thousands of miles of travel. None has ever passed the “long-term” test for some reason or another, until I started using a Gura Gear Chobe.
Let me start by saying that I love the Chobe. Period. It’s an over the shoulder travel bag that’s light, comfortable, loaded with cool pockets, and is made of the same black sailcloth material other GG bags use.
But my favorite feature is that it can carry your camera gear in a dedicated insert if you need it, OR the insert can be removed for general laptop/business type use. The size of the bag can be adjusted to match what you carry, and this makes it adapt to your needs. Via a wrap-around zipper, it be expanded from 19 liter capacity to 24 liter capacity – hence the name.
To me that makes it so versatile, whether you want to carry a DLSR with extra lenses, a smaller mirror-less camera with lenses, or just a laptop and notebook. But for the mirror-less users out there, you can fit a complete kit in a bag that looks very inconspicuous and is easy to access, especially when you don’t need a backpack.
Here’s the bag expanded to 24L via the zipper.
Design and Quality
You can really appreciate the design and quality of this bag where ever you look. Super strong zippers, large and comfortable shoulder strap with heavy duty connectors, and good padding inside. I like lots of pockets, and it has a combination of zippered and open pockets making it easy to get whatever you need without hassle. There’s a also a dedicated laptop pocket with zipper that offers good protection as well.
The camera insert is very flexible, and can be configured for whatever gear you have. While I prefer a backpack for my landscape work, it can be used with a DSLR and lenses. On my recent trip to France, I carried my Olympus E-M1 with 4 prime lenses and accessories without any problems whatsoever. I used a backpack for clothing meaning I didn’t have to check in any bags.
I can’t really think of anything I don’t like about the Chobe or where it can be improved. Perhaps a half size insert would be nice for those times I want a minimal setup – camera with one lens. Also on occasion, the shoulder strap gets jammed on the ring attached to the bag, but that may be just the way I’m handling it.
If you need a travel/business/over the shoulder bag that is designed to carry a camera, take a look at the Chobe. I think its versatility is what sets it apart from others, especially since you can purchase the bag without the insert if you don’t need it or want to save a few bucks. When I’m riding my bike around town with a laptop and camera, I will still probably use a dedicated backpack, but for everything else the Chobe is my first choice.