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2015 02 11 074351

I’ve been using Gura Gear backpacks and accessories for a few years now, and have recommended their gear to students and friends without hesitation. I was also a member of their Pro Team, a special sponsorship program where I had the chance to try new products in exchange for feedback and suggestions based on real world testing.

Last year, Gura Gear purchased Tamrac, another well known camera bag manufacturer. To my disappointment, I was notified last week that Gura Gear is no more, and was being absorbed into the larger Tamrac brand. A few of the GG bags have been redesigned and will now have the Tamrac branding and logo. Obviously that ended my association with Gura Gear. I understand the move, yet I can’t help feeling that the spirit of Gura Gear bags will be lost.

It’s difficult to maintain the unique advantages of a small company in larger organizations. It’s one of the reasons I love and support the mom & pop shops we have here in my hometown of Beacon, even if it costs me more. In the long run, I establish relationships that go way beyond the savings of going to a large box store in another town. Store owners know my name, and ask about my family, by name. I do the same, and that makes me more than just a customer. In many ways Gura Gear felt like a mom & pop as well, which is one of the reasons I recommended them to others.

One thing I’ve learned about the photography industry is that people and companies come and go at an alarming rate; change is inevitable and often relentless. Many of the friends I had in the industry just three to four years ago have moved on, and those that remain have become even closer friends. This has happened across several of the companies I work with, and while I can understand that “it’s business,” I miss those who helped me along the way. Gura Gear and their small staff are no exception, so I want to say thank you to GG for their support in the past.

I will continue to use my Gura Gear bags, namely the Uinta and the Kiboko 26L, because I still think they are great backpacks. But because I hike a lot and put lots of demands on my outdoor gear, I will be looking at bags from other manufactures over the next few months, including the new Gura Gear inspired bags from Tamrac. I want to get a sense of what’s available for the discerning photographer who wants a great bag and needs a recommendation.

In the meantime, Outdoor Photo Gear has just purchased what may be the last batch of original Gura Gear bags and has them discounted until the sell out. If you’d like to get a Gura Gear bag at a great price, this is the last chance you’ll have to get one. They’re bound to become collectors items once supply runs out world wide.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Robert,

    I agree sad to see Tamrac survive and not Gura Gear. When we were in the Smokies almost all photographers there had a Gura Gear bag. Love the flexibility and weight, as well as the quality. My Kiboko fits in any overhead. I do like my Mind shift gear bag for the rotation feature and switch back and forth depending on the need/shoot location.

    We are all trying to find our niche. Hopefully a company like Gura Gear that did so well as a small company does not lose its way aborbing (gobbled up by) Tamrac.

    Be well! Hope to see you soon.


  2. That’s too bad but explains the poorly maintained Gura Gear website. I’m more interested in the specialty manufacturers over the big generic ones but I get it, the Tamrac brand was the ticket onto Best Buy and Walmart shelves.

  3. Hi Robert, Thanks for the heads up. I Just bought the GG Bataflae 18 L. Hope to get it soon. My current backpack is getting shabby and the GG has more room inside.



  4. Hi Robert,

    i really don´t get it. Here in Germany, Tamrac is considered a basic brand for backpacks that you get at mediamarkt or saturn (like best buy) and if you get a good deal they are free on your next camera purchase…wonder why they went brankrupt. what good is a known name if its not perceived with quality.

    however i have different question. i love my unit bag, but sometimes i have trouble with the larger module compressing the smaller one. soon after introducing gura gear promised to fix this by providing the large pro module. they offer it now, but the poorly maintained website does´t offer any information on it. do you have any experience with the large pro module?

    thanx in advance and have a nice christmas time

  5. Hi Robert,
    I have used Tamrac bags since the 1980’s. To me they have always been solid performers and the #828 world correspondents shoulder bag is still by far the best bag I have ever owned. I have also just purchased one of their Anvil 17 backpacks from B & H photo. Again very happy.
    So to me the dropping of the Gura Gear name for Tamrac is no big deal either way.
    I’m sure the company will continue to do well.
    ps Come to think of it (and to quote Dennis from the previous post), I purchased my first Tamrac bag, a #603 zoom traveler from the Good Guys in Los Angeles. Definitely not a pro camera store.

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