Photography has gone from being a luxury reserved for the elites to a widespread commodity, with smartphones and cameras being more accessible than ever. Sure, there’s still a premium involved, but it’s easy for anyone to find a good deal within one’s budget. While it’s a common hobby and somewhat common profession, the industry that’s built around photography has expanded over the past decades.
Since there are so many accessories and choice of products for one to have, it’s important for a serious photographer, regardless if they’re a professional or an avid amateur, to have a proper carrier for all of their gear.
Altura Photo Camera Bags
Altura Photo is a manufacturer that aims to provide easy solutions to those who need accessible and portable storage. Their line of products can fit anything from small setups to mobile shooting stations.
Features (applicable to all five models):
- Great choice of materials
- Backed by 90-day money-back return policy
- Come with dividers, mesh and accessory pockets
- Great value
- Different sizes cover every requirement
- Come with padding on both the interior and some straps or carry handles
- They’re specifically designed for holding cameras and camera accessories, with built-in padded dividers for adequate protection and storage
- While the overall quality is great, the padding is thinner than other high-end products
- The zippers can get tangled in the inside padding, making it hard for the user to close or open the bags
Altura Photo is a manufacturer that’s no stranger to quality camera accessories. With an arsenal that varies from wide-angle lenses to flash diffusers, they virtually make it all. They even have their own cleaning kits. If one is looking for an affordable, complete kit, then they’re seriously worth taking a look at. Moving on to the camera bags, they’re as one would expect: not premium, but very useful and very well-designed.
The Shoulder Travel Bag
Having a size of 9.5 x 5.5 x 6.5 inches, this camera bag is easily storable, portable and of adequate size to fit a small mirrorless or DSLR device. With a large central compartment that’s split roughly into one and two-thirds of a whole, the user will have no problem in storing the primary lens and the camera. It’s all topped by a mesh pocket, great for fitting cleaning products or anything that’s relatively slim.
It’s important to keep sharp objects (pens, crayons, etc.) away from the mesh pocket, as their pointy tips can easily puncture through the mesh material and damage the optics. The other two side pockets are fairly small, so nothing bigger than some cleaning products, USBs, and maybe some filters would fit. The main strength of this item is portability, and it really does its job.
The Light Traveler Backpack
While it’s essential to stay lightweight on the move, a lot of photographers out there need bigger storage solutions since they carry a bigger set of gear in the field. For a small to medium sized setup, Altura Photo has designed the Light Traveler Backpack, a full-featured camera bag that’s managed to keep modest proportions when compared to heavy-duty models.
With 11 x 6 x 15 inches in exterior dimensions, it manages to stay the perfect size for a small, but complete mobile workstation. It is capable of holding multiple lenses, accessories and even a small (up to 12 inches) notebook or tablet.
With some built-in weather resistance, courtesy of the reinforced nylon, sturdy stitches and plenty of padding, this is a good “home away from home” camera gear. While it can hold lenses and cameras just fine, it doesn’t have a lot of space for unrelated accessories, like a coffee cup or bottle holder (on the outside), or a place to store a bigger, more functional laptop.
The Wanderer and The Great Explorer Backpacks
There’s not much left to say about the Wanderer and The Great Explorer Backpacks. They’re basically the same concept, color scheme, and layout as the one discussed above, just bigger and more dividers. Thus, giving the user more options when it comes to lenses. In addition, they can both fit full-sized laptops or notebooks, making them better for those who seek productivity on-the-go.
They still lack some mesh pockets on the outside for storing a water bottle or coffee cup that can be used if you need something to sip on during longer, outdoor shooting sessions.
The Sling Backpack
The Sling Backpack is a bit of a different concept. With one shoulder strap, it’s meant to be used without removing, being designed in such a way that the user can access all of its compartments without putting it down.
That being said, the design looks pretty awkward. It’s very small and even slender, with a main pocket for the camera and up to three lenses, and other pockets for accessories. On the side, there is a big pocket that can hold a fourth lens, and the other side is fitted with a strap for carrying a tripod.
Having it fully-loaded, it looks and feels awkward since it sits at an angle, feeling flimsy and unsafe, especially if used as suggested (without the user removing it).
Although Altura Photo isn’t a big name on the market, it’s pretty clear that they know their stuff. Just by taking a look at how they handle design when compared with other manufacturers will further increase the validity of this statement.
AmazonBasics is a competitor of Altura Photo on this niche and price range, with products like their AmazonBasics Sling Backpack being very similar both in terms of cost and features.
The AmazonBasics Sling Backpack only has the ability to hold up to two lenses and a small camera, which is a bit odd for a backpack. Furthermore, this will have problems fitting since it’s recommended for users to go for small models if they want to maximize the usage of the product. Lastly, the stitching on it isn’t the best, and stitching is very important when going with a sling model.
The Altura Photo Camera Bag Collection is a great entry and mid-level choice of products for avid amateurs and professionals alike. While certain aspects, like the zippers and padding, have some flaws, the current collection earns solid points for a good balance of quality, portability, and storage capacity.