I have been on the look out for an affordable rolling camera bag for some time. Thinktank, Lowepro, and Pelican all have great products, but when it comes down to it I really don't want to drop $300+ on a bag. What is so special about these "specialized" camera bags anyway?
After looking at my normal carry-on bag, I was determined to find a cheap alternative. While I was browsing, these Calumet inserts for rolling bags popped up.
I quickly grabbed a tape measure and did some checking on my current bag. The calumet insert is 11.5" x 7" x 17.5", my carry on was slightly larger at 12" x 8" x 19". The idea of saving hundreds of dollars but still getting the exact bag I wanted was coming together, and I was excited to see how well this was going to work in person.
The next day I skipped out early on the day job and dropped by Calumet photo to buy the insert. It was even better looking in person. As you can tell from the website, it has pockets on both sides of the flap, a velcro strap to keep it securely closed, and a ton of padding for your camera gear.
After I got it home, the situation only got better.
I have to say this is one of the best camera mods / DIY projects I have found. For once everything worked out, and it does not look like a cheap, ghetto item. I would proudly roll into any job with this behind me. Even if you do not have a carry on bag, you can buy one for around $30-40 and you local Ross, TJ Max, ect. Just double check the measurements and make sure this insert will fit correctly. This setup even has some advantages that make this better than the name brand camera bags:
-I have an additional $250 in my pocket
-I don't have a logo on my bag that the NYC photo thieves / US Airways can see
-The bag has dual purposes and saves tons of space in my basement apartment
-I can slide a laptop into the bag (I know some rolling bags can do this, but not as cost effectively)
-Lightweight compared to the Pelican cases
-I don't look as cool without a name brand on my bag
-If I do need to travel, I am short a carry on
-Not as protective as a Pelican case, but a hell of a lot lighter
What do you think of my new DIY, affordable case? I am really curious if anyone can think of other disadvantages, and if you try it out, let me know how this DIY project works for you!