Bevis Gear Top Shelf Bag

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
Doug Greenberg Contributing Member • Posts: 947
Re: Bevis Gear Top Shelf Bag
1

Padaung wrote:

I ordered one from the KickStarter campaign, and it is due to arrive within the next 5 days.
I won't be using it for hiking long distances, but I do cover a lot of events (indoor and outdoor) for work where I'll carry a backpack and be regularly changing lenses during the day. This would often require me to take my current backpack off, place it on the ground, balance lenses as I swap them, etc, which is a pain. In fact I often resport to carrying two camera bodies over my shoulders so I have to change lens less frequently.
I'll report back once I receive it and have had a chance to use it for work (likely end of Aug/early Sept for the first jb where I'll need it - I'll continue to use my roller bag for more static jobs).
I echo the thoughts of others in that I hope they produce a smaller (and thus lighter) version at some point in the future too as there are days where I go out with a small selection of (3-4?) lenses.

I received my bag two days ago. I had to puzzle over how it works (maybe I am a bit technologically challenged :-)), what with two straps and yet it is ideally a sling bag when the top shelf feature is used. I went back and watched a couple of the videos and figured it all out.

I think it's like the little girl with the little curl. For those situations and camera outfits it is suitable for, it's really a great bag. If the size and shape don't work with your gear, it's hopeless. With very little adjustment and practice (after watching the videos and scratching my head) I got it set up so I can access it and open it up quick, quick, quick. The locking mechanism works well, though one does have to listen for the "click" to be sure it has locked properly. It comes with lots of dividers (camera bags always come with many more dividers than I need, so I have quite a collection up in my attic).

As others have said, it is somewhat shallow, so when I use a larger lens with a hood sometimes the hood will not fit even reversed. Hmmmph. And a large body with a winder might be a tight fit or not a fit at all. It works great if I am carrying say, my Nikon Z7 with the 500mm PF lens, plus a couple of smaller lenses. For the Tamron 150-600 with the hood on, it's too small. I can see using it for a short hike in the field carrying my 500mm bird photography rig. Quick access when needed, out of the way when not needed.

There is no size of camera bag that is ideal for all possible rigs and situations. Personally, I would have been fine with it being just a bit bigger, particularly in terms of depth. Some people want a smaller bag. It seems very well made, though truthfully, I have not tested it in the field yet.

In response to this thread generally, I think it's clear that there is no one ideal camera bag or even type of bag, as people's requirements and expectations differ so much. If one is primarily a long-distance hiker, a backpacking bag will have comfort-related features that no bag made primarily for camera gear will have. But in my experience, such bags lack the features that I actually like about camera bags, including quick and easy access, internal padding, etc.

Since ordering the Top Shelf bag I bought (on sale!) a Mindshift Backlight 26l, which I actually think is preferable for most of my uses. It does not have a "quick lock" feature, but you can turn it around to the front without removing it and access it easily, and it has a small loop that goes over your head to stabilize it while it is open. It fits a somewhat larger rig than the Top Shelf Bag, and its ergonomics seems a bit better.

It's nice to have choices.

Doug Greenberg

 Doug Greenberg's gear list:Doug Greenberg's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Nikon Z7 +11 more
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