I have never yet reviewed an item from Booq that was not both beautiful and exquisitely made. The Python Sling camera bag lives up to my expectations while also being an extremely useful product. It is designed for serious photographers who need to have one or two Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras, multiple lenses, and other assorted gear at hand along with a tripod, MacBook Air or iPad.
Python Sling camera bag
The outside of the bag is made from 1680D Ballistic Nylon and the inside is Jersey fabric. The bag includes a waterproof cover, and the large back pocket, which will hold a 13-inch MacBook Air or an iPad, also has a water-repellent zipper. The empty bag weighs 4 pounds (1.82 kg).
There are two exterior side zipper pockets. The right side zipper pocket contains four elastic Flash card slots and a detachable key fob. The left side zipper pocket contains a detachable rain poncho for the Python Sling. The back pocket has room for a 13-inch MacBook Air, iPad or magazines, and the shoulder strap includes neoprene pocket with velcro closure for smartphone or a slim point-and-shoot camera.
Inside top view
Side open view
Side open view
Top zippered compartment stores camera body, lenses or large headphones. The lid includes zippered mesh pocket for small items, and a pen/stylus holder. (See photo above.) The side-access camera compartment has a large zippered pocket and offers protection for a DSLR, up to four mid-size lenses or accessories, and can be configured to hold a large telephoto lens. Seven movable dividers and two padded straps to secure gear are included.
There are straps that work with the main shoulder strap to help balance the weight, and there is an attachment that allows a tripod to be attached to the outside of the case.
Extra strap and tripod carry
Booq offers a limited Five Year Warranty that protects against defective bag. The company will either replace the bag or give a store credit. Within 30 days, you can return any bag new and unused. Each bag carries a serial number that can be used to locate it once it is properly registered.
Using the Product
I am not a photographer. I take pictures with my iPhone and videos with my iPad. Fortunately I am very well acquainted with several serious photographers through our local Mac users group, CapMac. One of members is a dedicated landscape photographer who has had photos published in National Geographic publications. He takes vacations that allow him to arise at 4:00 am to hike into places like the Grand Teton National Park where he uses special lenses to capture beautiful images.
Another of our members has a degree in photography and leads a Special Interest Group of serious photographers in addition to his own photographic endeavors. Another is a scuba diver who photographs under water and others are paid social photographers.
I shared this bag with as many of these serious photographers as I could and their response was overwhelmingly positive. I was particularly interested in getting feedback from the landscape photographer because I felt someone who has spent years tramping around a national park taking pictures would have strong feelings about what he would and would not need in a case.
I gave him no initial information, just handed him the case and asked his opinion. He was quite pleased with the size and weight of the case, feeling it would carry what he needed. He quickly figured out he could have two DSLR cameras and then commented on the fact that he could remove and resize compartments that would hold lenses and other accessories. He liked the ability to access the items in the case without removing it from his body and was pleased with both the weather cover for the case and the waterproofed zipper pocket.
Both he and the scuba diving photographer were together during this evaluation and they kept comparing notes with comments such as “I like that closed compartment lid," and “I like the way the accessories holders adjust." Let it be noted here that this case is not for use under water, but the scuba diving photographer was still very interested in the case because it offered so many features.
The one complaint from my landscaping photographer friend was he did not feel there was any designated secure area to keep memory cards.
Do I Recommend it?
I do. With an MSRP of US$229.99 it is not for everyone, But for the serious photographer it seems to offer a great deal. I think the ability to open and retrieve equipment without removing the bag from your person has to be a great benefit as is the care in which you can protect expensive equipment while having it handy when it's needed.