Brand: Tamrac 5788 Evolution Best For: Travel and Hiking Balcony Score: 8.5 out of 10
I love my DSLR and would never go back to a point-and-shoot. In my opinion, there is such a big difference and DSLRs have so many advantages. First of all, you can see what you’re taking through a real viewfinder. This is such a huge deal to me. Being able to change lenses, to hold the camera steady and to feel it in your hands makes using a DSLR a pure joy. Does it mean that I carry my camera around all the time? Not really. I sometimes do settle for less and use my iPhone. In fact, not too long ago, I did an experiment and forced myself to shoot in New York City using only my iPhone 5. I was pretty impressed with the performance. You can read more about this in one of my older blogs.
A major drawback of DSLRs is that they are bulky and heavy. If you add a couple of lenses, a battery charger and maybe a flash, you will have some pretty serious weight to lug around.
A great camera bag can definitely make a huge difference. I have tried so many bags until I found one that I really like: Tamrac 5788 Evolution This is my go to bag for travel and hiking. I do have a second bag, which I use for local trips or when I don’t find necessary to carry around more than 2 lenses. I will review it in a future post.
I wouldn’t say this bag is very stylish by any means, but I did notice immediately how nicely it’s made; great quality and great zippers. I know it may sound a little crazy to mention the zippers, but to me it’s important they move easily and they keep everything secure. The camera compartment is pretty roomy and well padded. It holds my full frame DSLR body (5d MarkII) with a lens attached (Canon 24-105mm) very snugly. I can also fit in my Canon 70-200mm and 50mm lenses and my flash (Speedlite). I even squeeze in my battery charger and my dust blower. What is nice about this compartment is that it provides three ways of access: front and both sides. So if you want to grab your camera quickly, there is no need to put your bag down. Just remove one strap from one shoulder, swing the bag around and grab the camera. This also works if you need to change lenses since the bag opens on both sides. You just have to be careful not to leave any of these zippers open as things can fall.
The top compartment is a little tricky. You really have to be careful when you open it. Things can fall easily because of its shape. It’s pretty roomy though. When I travel I can fit in my Bose® QuietComfort®, sunglasses, a few snacks, etc. If I go hiking, I can fit in a light jacket if I don’t bring my headphones with me.
The straps are very comfortable. The bag also has two additional straps so it can be used as a sling bag as well. I did try them once, but I prefer to wear it as a back pack. I find it more comfortable.
There is one more compartment. Although it’s designed for a laptop, I don’t usually bring my MacBook with me anymore. I prefer my iPad. This way I can also fit some magazines.
Well, it sounds like I can fit so much in this bag and you are probably wondering: how heavy is it?. The answer is: pretty heavy. At least it feels heavy when you lift it. Once on your back, it doesn’t feel heavy at all. It is very well balanced. I can walk for hours and forget it. Oh, did I mention the tripod? You can attach a tripod on the outside since it has a holding strap and a small pocket for the leg of the tripod. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
There are plenty of smaller pockets for memory cards and other small objects. It also comes with a rain cover.
What I like
– It’s very well-made and roomy. My gear fits very nicely.
– Converts from backpack to sling very easy for quick gear access.
– It’s very comfortable and does not throw off your center of balance.
– It’s pretty well ventilated. On a hot day your back doesn’t get super-hot.
– It has plenty of little pockets.
What I don’t like
– It’s pretty heavy on its own. But again, it’s very well padded and secure, so I guess this is the price you have to pay.
– I wish it was a little more stylish. It does scream camera from a distance (especially where a couple of pockets are even labeled: tripod foot pocket, rain cover, I am glad it doesn’t also say: camera and lenses).
– No room for a water bottle. I guess you can put a small one in the top compartment but I prefer using it for other things.
Who is it for
This bag is for serious amateur photographers and hobbyists who like bringing the camera with them most of the time when they travel. If you only have one lens for your DSLR, there are other options. I will review my other camera bag (much smaller) in future posts.
I am confident that you will not be disappointed with this bag. It may seem a little pricey, but it is definitely worth it. Therefore the verdict for this DSLR camera bag is: Get It.