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Author Topic: Why I almost didn't buy my Gura Gear Kiboko bag ...  (Read 14510 times)
djgarcia
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« on: December 03, 2008, 09:29:34 PM »
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1) I use it as carry-on to hold ... carry-on stuff, including my notebook, during air flights.

2) I like to have my camera bag stay open while I work out of it.

Currently I'm using a large converted courier bag, which works great as a shoulder bag but it's been getting painful lugging around the field, hence the search for a workable backpack-themed bag. Andy Biggs was nice enough to offer to take it back if it didn't work out for me after I posted my concerns before buying, so I figured it worth a try. I also have a Moose Peterson pack which I bought in a rush to get something for a trip to China four years ago, and I've used it exactly once.

My covers wouldn't stay open, especially if I had stuff in the outer compartment of the cover, plus the folded rain cover in there also tends to push the cover closed. I like to work out of an open bag, as I am usually holding the camera or lens with one hand while fishing around the bag with the other. Sigh.

I tried to push my Lenovo X61t notebook into the harness pocket, which just fit and I mean JUST, but it was awkward getting in and out, and bulged a bit much with no protection on the outside. Dang.

I really loved the construction, harness, and pretty much everything else. So I stared and thought and scratched my head for a bit, and ... (sorry for the blurry cell phone images - the 1Ds2 & 3 are in the bag)



Because the full-length middle divider is velcroed, not sewn, it allowed the notebook to be inserted on top of the dividers straddling both sides of the bag behind the covers, which provide sufficient padding for my use.

Two zipper handles from opposing sides, interlocked, keep the covers open. They seem stiff enough that they'll hold over time and use.



« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 09:30:16 PM by djgarcia » Logged

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abiggs
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2008, 10:35:36 AM »
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DJ-

Just as an FYI, the Kiboko bag was not designed to have the outer flaps stay open. The two butterfly flaps were designed to open quickly and easily, and one doesn't need to have the flaps open like a Lowepro or Think Tank design. Those types of designs create a problem where you have to find room for their flap to sit when the bag is opened, which is often on a dirty or wet ground. Not optimal. Our design has been very well received, and I suspect you have different needs or different expectations on what the bag is supposed to do for you.

I am glad that you liked the quality of construction!!

Andy
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Andy Biggs
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tandlh
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2008, 10:55:39 AM »
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Hi,
   So does that mean that you do like it or that you're returning it?  Also, I'm wondering if they put some velcro on the outside of the butterfly opennings if you could just latch them together that way to keep it open when it's on the ground.  Just a thought in case they want to try doing that.  It sure is hard finding a photo backpack that is easy to carry and convenient to use once you're in place.

Ted
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abiggs
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2008, 11:08:30 AM »
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The Kiboko bag actually *is* easier to use than any other backpack when you are ready to shoot. The flaps are 50% smaller than 1 large flap, meaning the zipper length is shorter. Quick access, for sure. And the double sided design means that you can have up to 4 cameras attached to lenses, ready to shoot. All other bag designers anticipate your putting your camera and mounted lens in the middle, making you need to pack all of your other lenses and cameras around it. Not optimal, for sure.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2008, 08:10:48 AM by abiggs » Logged

Andy Biggs
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ternst
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2008, 01:23:36 PM »
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I got mine a couple of days ago (fast delivery) and it really is a terrific, useful bag. Unfortunately, like so many of these camera backpacks, the hip belt hits me right across the belly and is of no use. The only bag I've ever used that had a usable hip belt for me is an f64, but the last two of those I've had came apart at the seams. I'm only 6' nothing and have a lot of experience fitting regular backpacks, but camera backpacks simply aren't tall enough for me - I guess most are made to fit in airline bins instead. I'm still looking for the perfect camera backpack - Andy's is almost there, but just too short for me...

Tim Ernst in Arkansas
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abiggs
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2008, 01:27:58 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback, Tim. The challenge as a camera backpack maker is that to make the perfect fit for all people all of the time would be to have the same model available in about 4 to 6 sizes. About every 2 to 3 inches, in other words, is when a perfect fit becomes a good fit. Always start with the waist belt first when fitting the bag, then do the shoulder straps second. If you are tall, you might have some of the bag below the shoulders, but getting the weight onto the hips is the perfect situation.
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Andy Biggs
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ternst
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2008, 03:03:56 PM »
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Yup, trying to do one bag for everyone is tough (a longer pack at some point would be terrific). One item that helps your bag fit taller folks (while having the weight lower as you noted) is the fact that the breast strap can be moved so low on the shoulder straps so that you can adjust it all the way down and still be able to use the breast strap, which I use all the time when going up steep hills. I often carry my gear over long distances so a good support system is a must - but just can't stand the extra weight from on Lowe Pro packs (theirs are too short too). I'm sure your pack will fit most folks in my workshops, so I'll be recommending highly...
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pindman
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2008, 03:22:40 PM »
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You folks are just too tall.  At 5-5 both feet still touch the ground.  Now the only trick will be to make the Kiboko stuffed full look like it weighs less than me!

Paul
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David Sutton
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2008, 04:43:11 PM »
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Hi Andy. Your bag is absolutely on my list for the next time I travel. I must have an laptop compartment as after 30 to 50 hours without proper sleep keeping track of my stuff becomes difficult, but I think from looking at the photos I could easily make up a small detachable case for it. I am posting to suggest a detachable hip belt. I made one up for my current backpack (here: http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....;hl=bg+hacking). When on a plane it can go in the suitcase and can have movable anchor points to adjust for height. Mine is probably over engineered but converts a standard backpack onto one suitable for walking longer distances. Best wishes for your venture, David
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dalethorn
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2008, 05:23:54 PM »
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Quote from: abiggs
Thanks for the feedback, Tim. The challenge as a camera backpack maker is that to make the perfect fit for all people all of the time would be to have the same model available in about 4 to 6 sizes. About every 2 to 3 inches, in other words, is when a perfect fit becomes a good fit. Always start with the waist belt first when fitting the bag, then do the shoulder straps second. If you are tall, you might have some of the bag below the shoulders, but getting the weight onto the hips is the perfect situation.
I did a lot of hiking in the military with packs that weighed more than 20 lb, and the no. 1 rule without exception was - the weight had to be on the upper back/shoulders and tied down tight.  Having any significant weight anchored on the hips would have been a disaster.  This might not apply if just standing around or walking short distances.  Maybe there's a technology involved here that I'm not familiar with.
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John Camp
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2008, 06:19:59 PM »
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dalethorn,

When I was in Iraq last January I noticed a lot of infantry guys carrying these old-fashioned rucksack style high-and-tight bags, sometimes with appallingly heavy loads. Maybe there's a specific military reason for it, but I can assure you that few serious civilian backpackers would use them, as they are absolutely crippling over any long period of time. Perhaps they are designed for young backs, or maybe they're designed to be easy to transport aboard helicopters and airplanes -- but packs that transfer the weight to the hips, rather than put it on the back, have been fairly standard tech for thirty years. I even had a frame pack once with little home-made inserts on the top to balance a canoe -- I could carry both the pack and a 60-pound canoe (for short distances) as long as the weight was on my hips.

Andy,

My go-to travel pack is a Victorinox roll-aboard briefcase which I have customized (with a box cutter) to take a small but high-quality Nikon kit, a laptop, and, just as important as the Nikon, all the other stuff that business and educational travelers must take with them. Having a carry-on devoted to cameras is fine, but it's a category populated by lots of bags. A missing bag (I even wrote to Think Tank about it) is one that would accommodate not a huge professional system, but a small high-quality system for use by business travelers. Business guys, who are also photography enthusiasts, *must* take a lot of stuff not related to photography: a laptop, cell phone, notebooks, pens and pencils, eyeglasses, spare eyeglasses, sunglasses, noise-canceling headphones, medicines, etc. It's surprisingly difficult to find a full-sized camera case that can be customized to take a smaller system, and then add this other stuff. That's why I wound up with the Victorinox -- it turned out to be easier to customize in the other direction, i.e., from business case to camera case. But it would be nice to have a case that was designed from the start to carry a small high-quality system (a body, three or four primes or a couple of zooms, a battery charger, spare battery, spare memory cards, Arctic butterfly) as well as a full business kit.

JC
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2008, 07:20:57 PM »
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Quote from: abiggs
Thanks for the feedback, Tim. The challenge as a camera backpack maker is that to make the perfect fit for all people all of the time would be to have the same model available in about 4 to 6 sizes. About every 2 to 3 inches, in other words, is when a perfect fit becomes a good fit. Always start with the waist belt first when fitting the bag, then do the shoulder straps second. If you are tall, you might have some of the bag below the shoulders, but getting the weight onto the hips is the perfect situation.
I've noticed the same problem with a lot photo backpacks, pretty much all but the largest have a belt that goes across most stomach and it makes using them for hikes uncomfortable (as opposed to just from the car or through the airport). Lowepro has a pretty innovative way of dressing this on their nicer backpacks - an adjustable harness that can be set up to accommodate a wide range of torso lengths. I'd suggest taller folks take a look at the Photo Trekker AW or similar.
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canlogic
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2008, 09:58:25 AM »
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Finally got to look at my Kiboko. Can't believe how light it is. This is extremely well made, can't wait to try it on my Snowy owl trip next week. Looks like the Photo Treker AW will go on ebay.
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djgarcia
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2008, 12:07:16 AM »
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Wow! Just got back from being incommunicated over the holidays and it looks like everybody woke up for Christmas!

Oh, I'm definitely keeping the bag! Sorry if that wasn't clear. I absolutely love it. I may be using it in an unconventional way, Andy, but it works great that way for me ! The zipper handles may not have been originally intended to lock the two cover flaps together, but they do a nice enough job so far.

I prefer Andy's two-flap approach. I find the flap zipper action smooth and quick - it takes me a couple of seconds to lock the bag open as shown from when I lay it on the ground, opening both sides simultaneously with two hands. And the flaps don't go anywhere outside the perimeter of the bag.

As far as weight distribution strategies, I'm siding with the waist / hip area loading approach.

Happy Holidays, everybody!

DJ
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TimothyHyde
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2008, 04:59:55 PM »
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It takes some getting used to, at least it did for me.  I've carried various roller bags for years, but they are heavy and can be useless in the field.  Plus, and most important, they were flagged on many regional flights for gate checking, which led to scenes of me scrunched down on the tarmac or ramp, pulling out cameras and key lenses, to hand carry on board.  I don't have that problem this the Kiboko.  I wasn't prepared for how heavy my kit has become, though, so that was a challenge for long carries.  I'm now used to that.   Also, I was annoyed initially with the dual-flap entry, but now I love it.
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jayz
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2009, 01:59:35 PM »
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most of the photos i've seen on the Guru gear and other sites have the camera body and lenses detached.  

I like Think Tank, becoz, i can carry the following setup:
  • 1DsIII with 16-35L
  • 5DII/grip + 24-70L
  • 85L
  • 2 - 580 EX
  • 1 -550 EX
  • 70-200 2.8L
  • 24 TSE
  • 300 f4
  • 2x & 1.4x converter
  • 5D without grip

Can I carry my cameras with lenses attached in the Kiboko?  Is both the width of each compartment, as well as the depth of the bag sufficient to carry pro-sized bodies (or a 5DII with grip) with lenses attached if the bodies have RRS and Kirk L-plates?  Does anyone have any photos of a similar setup with body and lenses attached? One thing I liked about the Think Tank websites, was that they had pictures of various configurations of the bag.  

The only thing about the Think tank I don't like is the harness system.  Not very comfortable for long treks.  

How much better is the harness in the Kiboko bag?  

How much lighter is the Kiboko over the Airport Addicted?  The Think tank website said the bag weighs between 4.2 and 6.5lbs depending on the inserts used.  If that's the case, it seems that the Kiboko would not be that much lighter.

I'm interested in the bag, but not being able to try it makes it difficult to spend that kind of money without having some more questions answered.
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abiggs
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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2009, 02:26:36 PM »
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Jayz-

I have some more sample photos coming online soon, but they are of Nikon and Hasselblad equipment in the Kiboko bag. We already have sample configurations on our guragear.com web site, in case you missed them. It is difficult to have photos for every possible configuration, due to space constraints on our web site. After looking at your gear, it will easily fit in our bag. And as some of the images on our web site show, you can easily have lenses attached to cameras in a ready-to-shoot configuration. And the bag was designed to accommodate 1-series cameras with L brackets attached. There are no width issues whatsoever.

The harness system is quite comfortable, and in my opinion better designed than the Think Tank equivalent bags. Our bag actually weighs 3 lbs, 15 ounces, but we have rounded the number up to 4 pounds just to be conservative. The Kiboko bag is lighter in weight, has a better harness system, is made of better materials, is easier to have multiple cameras attached to lenses, can carry more, and has a harness system that completely hides away when not in use.

Definitely take some time looking at the www.guragear.com web site. The product photos illustrate the answers to your questions about the width of cameras, depth of the cavity and cameras in shooting configuration. And please feel free to email me at andy@guragear.com if you have any additional questions at all.

Andy
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Philip Weber
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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2009, 03:53:45 PM »
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Quote from: jayz
most of the photos i've seen on the Guru gear and other sites have the camera body and lenses detached.  

I like Think Tank, becoz, i can carry the following setup:
  • 1DsIII with 16-35L
  • 5DII/grip + 24-70L
  • 85L
  • 2 - 580 EX
  • 1 -550 EX
  • 70-200 2.8L
  • 24 TSE
  • 300 f4
  • 2x & 1.4x converter
  • 5D without grip

Can I carry my cameras with lenses attached in the Kiboko?  Is both the width of each compartment, as well as the depth of the bag sufficient to carry pro-sized bodies (or a 5DII with grip) with lenses attached if the bodies have RRS and Kirk L-plates?  Does anyone have any photos of a similar setup with body and lenses attached? One thing I liked about the Think Tank websites, was that they had pictures of various configurations of the bag.  

The only thing about the Think tank I don't like is the harness system.  Not very comfortable for long treks.  

How much better is the harness in the Kiboko bag?  

How much lighter is the Kiboko over the Airport Addicted?  The Think tank website said the bag weighs between 4.2 and 6.5lbs depending on the inserts used.  If that's the case, it seems that the Kiboko would not be that much lighter.

I'm interested in the bag, but not being able to try it makes it difficult to spend that kind of money without having some more questions answered.



Like many others here, I have quite a few different bags and after using the Kiboko for the last month, the rest are collecting dust. It's lightweight with excellent construction and I can fit more in it than I want to (or generally need to) carry on a long hike. I almost always have my Nikkor 24-70 attached to my D700 and that still leaves a lot of room for more on that side of the bag. My Think Tank Airport Security 2.0 does hold more and I like the rollers for the getting to and in the airport but it's obviously not a pack and unless one is just working out of a car, it isn't practical for field work. The Kiboko has made my Kata HB-207 obsolete.

FWIW, based on my expereince with the Kiboko over the last 30 days, I highly recommend trying the bag.

Phil
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Khurram
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2009, 05:16:00 PM »
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Quote from: Philip Weber
Like many others here, I have quite a few different bags and after using the Kiboko for the last month, the rest are collecting dust. It's lightweight with excellent construction and I can fit more in it than I want to (or generally need to) carry on a long hike. I almost always have my Nikkor 24-70 attached to my D700 and that still leaves a lot of room for more on that side of the bag. My Think Tank Airport Security 2.0 does hold more and I like the rollers for the getting to and in the airport but it's obviously not a pack and unless one is just working out of a car, it isn't practical for field work. The Kiboko has made my Kata HB-207 obsolete.

FWIW, based on my expereince with the Kiboko over the last 30 days, I highly recommend trying the bag.

Phil

I've got similar equipment that is listed above, although, not quite as much.   I do have similar questions on whether a 1DIII body with an L bracket can be fitted with a lens like the 24-105L in one compartment and also have enough room for the 70-200 f2.8L IS in the same compartment.  I also have a 5DII that I generally use with a 16-35L II and have a 85L II and multiple flashes.  Up to now the Think tanks are the only airline compliant bags I've found that is deep enough to carry two pro sized bodies with L-Brackets.

It is hard trying the bag, when you have to buy it to try it - as there is no option to try it at a store.
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Khurram
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2009, 05:18:44 PM »
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Quote from: abiggs
Jayz-

I have some more sample photos coming online soon, but they are of Nikon and Hasselblad equipment in the Kiboko bag. We already have sample configurations on our guragear.com web site, in case you missed them. It is difficult to have photos for every possible configuration, due to space constraints on our web site. After looking at your gear, it will easily fit in our bag. And as some of the images on our web site show, you can easily have lenses attached to cameras in a ready-to-shoot configuration. And the bag was designed to accommodate 1-series cameras with L brackets attached. There are no width issues whatsoever.

The harness system is quite comfortable, and in my opinion better designed than the Think Tank equivalent bags. Our bag actually weighs 3 lbs, 15 ounces, but we have rounded the number up to 4 pounds just to be conservative. The Kiboko bag is lighter in weight, has a better harness system, is made of better materials, is easier to have multiple cameras attached to lenses, can carry more, and has a harness system that completely hides away when not in use.

Definitely take some time looking at the www.guragear.com web site. The product photos illustrate the answers to your questions about the width of cameras, depth of the cavity and cameras in shooting configuration. And please feel free to email me at andy@guragear.com if you have any additional questions at all.

Andy
Andy,
it would help to have more photos with multiple configurations like the Think Tank site does.  Even after checking out the Think Tank site, I still took my gear to a camera store to ensure I can configure the bag to my needs.  I think that as you are only selling direct, it is even more important to have more photos of configuration options then are presently on your website.

I have very similar equipment to the gear listed above and have very similar concerns, but there is not info on the website to address my concerns.
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