Trey Ratcliff's New Camera Bag Made Over $500k In 20 hours On Kickstarter

I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know who Trey Ratcliff was until a few months ago. Being that I was engulfed in landscape photography for the last 10 months of my life, Trey's name eventually came up in conversation. If you didn't know, Trey is "the most followed photographer in the world" and now he has created a camera bag

If there was one industry I would never want to enter it would be the camera bag industry. A new camera bag comes out every single week and to me they all are the exact same. ThinkTank already makes what I would consider a "perfect" camera bag so entering this market would basically be a death wish in my opinion. 

Well once again I have learned just how stupid I am because Trey's new messenger bag, "the Everyday Messenger," which is very similar to other messenger bags including The One Bag, has made over $500,000 in less than a day

Their promo video for the bag is absolutely fantastic from a cinematography and editing stand point. The bag itself is pretty good looking and it appears to be well made and well thought out but it's just a camera bag. I'm not sure what makes this product so revolutionary but hey, the numbers don't lie. Photographers everywhere are loving the design of this new bag and you may too. 

They hit 500% of their budget in less than one day and there are only 59.5 days left to invest so you better hurry up and jump on this before time runs out in 2 months. 

Log in or register to post comments


Jason Vinson's picture

it looks to be a nice bag... and not crazy expensive in comparison to a lot of other bags...

Jason Vinson's picture

it definitely would not hold all the gear i need for a normal wedding though.

Rebecca Britt's picture

This bag looks pretty perfect for someone like me that only shoots portrait sessions with mainly one body and one lens.

Prefers Film's picture

They didn't make "over $500k", they raised that much. And most of that will get put right back into fulfilling Kickstarter orders, which generally means a lower margin. Of course, they can take advantage of the economies of scale, by lowering their CPU.

Besides that, how could anyone not be aware of Peak Design? Their stuff is great! The Capture Pro and Clutch are some of my favorite pieces of non-camera gear. And they are all super chill guys.

Javier Larroulet's picture

Call me naive, but who needs to raise 100k to make a bag?
Sorry for the rant, but I thought kickstarter was a way to crowd-fund projects you would otherwise be unable to get the money for... that said, designing and making a first batch of bags really needs a 100k upfront?

Justin Haugen's picture

It's become a shopping cart

Prefers Film's picture

Would you rather borrow $100k from a bank, then go through design, prototyping, preproduction, production, wait for your container of goods, then hope you can find buyers for your initial minimum production run, or would you rather pre-sell at a lower price to ensure you can cover the cost of producing x amount of units?

Kickstarter allows people with good ideas to bypass traditional funding, and let interested parties help finance projects like this. I saved $10 off the retail price of my Clutch, but helped Peak Design raise the capital needed to bring an idea to fruition. Along the way, I met Art, the most unassuming product designer (or maybe engineer, I forget which) and Adam, two guys that have a dream job, in my opinion. They are photographers that get to help make new and innovative gear for the rest of us.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

100k for a business is not much money at all. In order for something like this to be affordable, it would have to be mass produced. Mass production is very expensive. Without a stack of purchase orders, no one will finance it.

Patrick Hall's picture

I agree. Just to even consider producing a few thousand FlashDiscs we had to have about $50,000 ready to go. I find it hard to believe this company or Trey did not have the funds up front to start making these but Kickstarter is also a way to gauge the desire of a product before making it.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

It isn't an uncommon business model to not front money though. Rule #1 of business is never pay for it yourself. I know there is something to be said for someone to go on the internet and say they invested their entire life's savings in this product or business, but in reality it isn't very wise. I spent a good chunk of the last decade helping business owners dig themselves out of that particular hole.

Prefers Film's picture

They already have a ton of loyal customers, so how is this not brilliant? They could have had, say, 1,000 made for $100k, and sold out quickly. Instead, they can negotiate a lower price on a much higher quantity now, which will already have been bought and paid for.

Disclaimer: They provided my first piece of gear at a discount, then gave me nearly every product in their line for review purposes. I would still pay full retail though.

Chris Adval's picture

I'm thinking the Kickstarter route for some companies is the primary marketing strategy... just compare it to the cost for traditional marketing channels its a huge savings plus if they put a number for completion on kickstarter very low and they surpass it beyond its goal they generally get good coverage by industry news outlets ;-) Another cost effective way in advertising goods.

Woody Huband's picture

This is a great strategy for a business to raise money. Often there are hoards of investors holding fistfuls of money with no way to perform due diligence. I'm not knocking Trey. He certainly is a good marketer. With his photography knowledge and marketing ability I suspect he will do well assuming that the bag is a quality product.
BTW, a stack of purchase orders without inventory to fill them is a liability to the company, not an asset.

Brian Carpenter's picture

Really nice lookin' bag.

Alice Avenne's picture

Oh not, not another bag article! Please make it stop, i'll soon need a straightjacket!

Dudley Didereaux's picture

$375+? Nope, I will wait til they show up in every other bag ever invented has eventually.

Charles Nolasco's picture

The $375 reward also includes other stuff that they make. $195 if you only want the bag.

Christian Berens's picture

That bag looks amazing. As an engineer that studied packaging and efficiency, I'm intrigued and lustful of it lol

TRON !'s picture

I wonder how customer service will be for this bag. Half the reason I use LowePro and Think Tank bags is the customer service. When a zipper or buckle breaks or a strap starts separating, they do a good job of taking care of you.

Cool bag, but for the price i'd rather go with a well established brand with a great reputation.

Prefers Film's picture

They had a snafu with another product, and proved they will bend over backwards for their customers. I believe they even replaced a camera (or maybe lens) due to their product's unfortunate issue.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

The bag itself is really nice but honestly the first thing I'd have to do is ditch the strap. It's an interesting concept if it were made out of something better than a seat belt. Also, I wish bag designers would figure out how bad it is for your back to carry that much weight unevenly. There are only so many ways to engineer a strap, but really, golfers have had this figured out for a while.

Prefers Film's picture

Watch the video for their Slide, and you'll see why they use that for the strap.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

No matter what it is made of, a single strap will always distribute weight unevenly. It's really bad for your back.

Prefers Film's picture

It's a messenger bag. Quick access and a single strap are kind of standard there. It's up to the user to limit weight, right?

Jennifer Kelley's picture

I would love for you to have a single positive comment.

Messenger bags themselves are bad for your back. If someone is coming out with an amazing and re-engineered bag, it might be fantastic if someone would engineer one that doesn't kill your back. I assume photographers will actually put some amount of weight in it.

Prefers Film's picture

What the fuck? It's a messenger bag! My comment was not negative. If you want two straps, get a backpack. Not sure if you are aware, but approximately one half of women in developed countries carry a bag with a single strap. It's nothing new. You act like they've created some new device that has an inherent design flaw.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

I'm not saying they created something new. I'm saying if you are going to brand something as completely redesigned and newfangled, something that isn't bad for your body would be a nice addition. I don't give a shit how *women* in third world countries carry their stuff. I'm bordering disabled from a car accident and 17 years of lugging my gear cross body. It would be really nice if someone took note of how some other people who carry heavy and awkward stuff around and carried it over. I suppose I will continue to rip apart my camera bags and make them usable.

I've been on vacation and caught up on Fstoppers. Have not seen a SINGLE positive comment from you. Even your profile is negative. It's really sad.

Prefers Film's picture

I get it now, you have reading comprehension issues. You can't understand that they have improved a messenger bag, but it's still a messenger bag. I never mentioned "third world countries" either.

The single strap camera bag and messenger bags are popular for a reason. The majority of users do not have issues with the design. To be critical of a messenger bag because it is not a backpack makes no sense.

I've seen a backpack that is easily swung around to give you access like a messenger bag, but with the weight distribution of a backpack. I'll dig up a link, if I can find it.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

LOL!!! Now this is just getting amusing.

Carlin Felder's picture

Hi Jennifer - check out MIndshift Gear Rotation packs... they do what you are talking about - provide access easily, reduce strain on the back and may be what you need.

Chris Adval's picture

I want to love this but their camera clip is beyond bad and falsely advertised (which I'm working on a video review for showing why). Besides the clip, I hope this bag is good, I'm debating on this or Jared Polin's bad right now.

Chris Adval's picture

I love their branding, presentation of everything they do, especially the kickstarter video, except I would have left out the Vietnam manufacturing part, just leaves a bad taste in my mouth knowing its likely it was made by unfavorable labor like kids or/and adults in very poor working conditions and paid very low.

Prefers Film's picture

I would suggest you go to their Kickstarter and ask them about the factory they have contracted with. Better to know than to assume.

Neil Burke's picture

Sony NEX cameras in most of the promo shots. I don't think so. Lets see it swallow a 1Dx with a 70-200 2.8 attached like my Think Tank Retro

Adam Hicks's picture

I've backed this bag, and had the chance to work with Peak Design at the Photography Show in Birmingham this year. I get the scepticism, moving into a new space, Kickstarter number 5, but surely from a business perspective it makes sense. Celebratory endorsement, hipster looks, focus on general not just photography use, it's a clever approach.
In terms of this being photographers only bag, I don't think this is the way the average punter works, I've a backpack bag, a Think Tank Retrospective and now backing this, the number of articles I read where people are chasing the "Ultimate Bag", I don't think it exists. Most people have more than one lens, camera and mint shoot in different situations which demand different kit.
In terms of the construction, the seatbelt construction is tubular and contains integrated padding, similar to the "Slide" strap by PD but wider and thicker.
In terms of what fits in, they have added more photos with 70-200mm and 24-40mm lens for your perusal at the following link

Carlin Felder's picture

I agree - there isn't one Best Bag or Ultimate out there... depends upon a lot of factors...

The Best Camera Backpack has 3 features:
1- Carries all your camera gear and everything you [think] you need easily
2- Is comfortable + doesn’t put too much stress on your frame
3- Fits your aesthetic & image seamlessly

That's my take on it.

Prefers Film's picture

Hmm. Only 4 days left. And they are at $3.7 million dollars raised. They had a little teeny table in the darkest corner of ORSM, and didn't have their usual staff there. Probably because they're trying to figure out how to ramp up their production estimates.