Bevis Gear Top Shelf Bag

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 4,102
Re: Bevis Gear Top Shelf Bag

This bag / backpack is a commendable attempt to unite the virtures of both the accesability of the gear in shoulder bags like Domke, Billingham and a lot others without needing to put the bag down, and backpacks which usually are much more comfortable to carry for longer time spans than shoulder bags and a must for heavy loads.

Despite its virtues, this Bevis backpack has a couple of points I don't really like. Ordinary YKK zippers seems to be used and that combined with no cover over the zippers creates a risk of water seeping in through the zippers. I would have preferred to have the Bevis being made of water proof material instead of resorting to a ""raincoat". I suspect that slinging the backpack from the back to the from and holding it in that position puts a lot of strain on the straps which has to be extra ruggedly made to last. I would be a little worried about the opening mechanism which is just a push button. There could be a risk of activating it involuntarily (especially when it becomes worn and its action gets softer). The "swing around" radius when moving it from the back to the front of your body may make it less convenient for use in crowds or when you want to work "stealth".

My back likes the backpack a lot better than shoulder bags and I have three of them in different sizes. But I hate that I can't work out of them without putting them down. I am also a little uneasy carrying them in crowds where I can't se what goes on literally behind my back. One of my backpacks opens up towards my back and not the outside world. This protects better against pickpockets but makes it harder to access the gear.

For lighter loads and shorter time spans I prefer shoulder bags. Through 40 years I have been through Tenba, Tamrac, LowePro, Domke and Billingham bags. I have ended at the latter. The Billingham bags are waterproof by themself (no need to draw out a "raincoat"), they have top flaps which goes down the sides (protecting against rain) and have water proof zippers. They have a stud closing mechanism which is completely silent (I don't like the "ritsch" of velcro, the "click" of clasps nor he "ring" of the Domke metal carabins) and they can be opened and closed with one hand (when the leather has softened after a little while). They are easy to work out of. Detachable side pockets are available for many of the models for that occationally extra lens or flash. The camera inserts has female velcro properties all over making placement of the dividers flexible. The camera inserts can be removed and the bag used for anything else. And oh - I like their old school colonial military styling with leather and brass hardware (but I know it's not for everyone). They are not cheap but they are very well made and rugged and can last for many, many years. I have owned two of mine for more than 20 years.

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