Let’s face it – when you are a photographer or even just someone who likes to take pictures, you often need to carry around a whole bunch of stuff to do it properly. The amount of said gear is generally based on the level of professional that you actually are in the larger scheme of things. However, whether you are working for Rolling Stone, The Daily News or just capturing the family memories there is something that we all have in common – our carry cases often scream very loudly “hello everyone, please be aware that there is expensive equipment in here”. Having to worry about your gear’s safety while you travel should not be something that risks you carrying it around or even worse something that gets in the way of a perfect shot because you are all stressed out.
With this in mind the talented folks over at Think Tank Photo have fashioned a clandestine carry all that goes by the name “Urban Disguise” and I was able to get my hands on one of these bags so I could determine just how good it would be for the tasks at hand. The Urban Disguise comes in a number of different sizes which is a very good thing based on the fact that different photogs have many different needs. There are those who might have a lot of stuff to lug around like some of the super powered paparazzi that I see on a regular basis while others have only one or two things to bring along with them when they hit the Field. For a regular guy like me who currently only sports a camera body, a couple of different sized lenses and some accessories it seemed that the Urban Disguise 30 was going to do the trick just fine for my purposes. Here is a photo of the bag we are speaking of, so please absorb its sleek look and design before reading on.
As you can see the bag itself is rather stylish in terms of the overall “look meets design” and it comes in the “goes with everything” color of black. While the color might not appeal to those who like hot pinks or electric blues with their carry alls one needs to remember that the idea is to disguise rather than to broadcast. While carrying it the other night a friend saw me with it and commented on how much they liked my new work bag so I am pretty sure it will be doing what its supposed to since its already fooling those I interact with. On the top are study handles and they are made of a thick fabric that is protected by hard plastic and it really seems sturdy. The shoulder strap is of similar strength and material and to be sure that it doesn’t come off the main bag all that easily there are solid metal clasps as opposed to cheap plastic clip on pieces that I have seen on many bags today.
In looking at the way the UD30 is configured for your stuff, it appears that the lenses and accessories are best stored in the main compartment in the center of the bag. I was able to fit both of my lenses and flash accessory in the space and there was still a good bit of room left. The documentation about it suggests that you store the SLR body in the front pouch, and while there is a sizable space there along with a fold over clasping flap; I felt that I was better served and protected by making sure it rested in the main portion of the bag with the lenses. This was more a matter of choice for me as not only am I a klutz in the pitch dark sometimes, but I do attend a lot of Metal shows and at times find myself wandering precariously close to the mosh pit action and one needs to have their gear secured big time in that sort of scenario. The fold over flap has a zipper compartment which is perfect for pens and perhaps some documentation booklets while the area just above the front pocket offers you another space to do some organizing. It’s made of what is called “nylon ballistics material” and this seems rather good at protecting everything from the elements. To be on the safe side there is even a seam sealed raincover included for you to use if you need to shoot and the weather is nastier than you expected. Another thing that appealed to me was the strength of the pulls on the zippers as they were much sturdier than many others I have found on carry cases. The sides have expanding pockets which are perfect spaces for your musical player of choice or your cell phone. This professional looking bag even gives you a place to keep a couple of business cards for that added touch of class.
The bag can be purchased directly from the manufacturer and I must inform you that it’s a little more expensive than something like a Case Logic bag, but in the end you get what you pay for. The Urban Disguise bags are really something to look at and should you get too much gear for the size you own you can always use it for your digital cameras or video camcorders. To be honest with you, I have plans to store my little point and shoot in that front pocket since it will slide in nice and easy down there and be at the ready for those quick blasts of Rock and Roll whenever I need to call on it. Should you laptop computer users be reading this and mumbling about how you wish that they made a bag for your needs well I can ease your troubled mind by telling you that they do, but the information about that will have to be saved for a blog in the future. Protect your gear and travel in style with the Urban Disguise and tell them that PiercingMetal.com sent you.
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