Tomorrow I leave for Apple's 2012 World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) and in addition to clothes, I have to bring with me a 13-inch MacBook Air and its charger, a new iPad and its charger, a Canon 5D Mark III, extra batteries and their charger, a 50mm lens, a 24-70mm lens, a 70-200mm lens, a couple of mophie juice packs, and assorted cables. Not only do I need to keep it all together on the plane, I need to keep it with me walking to and from Moscone West, to meetings with developers, and more.
That means I need a bag that's the gadget equivalent of a Dungeons & Dragons bag of holding. And the Incase Ari Marcopoulos Camera and iPad Bag might just be it.
Incase worked with photographer Ari Marcopoulos to create this version of their sling bag. That they focused on being compact yet comfortable, rugged yet accessible. The exterior is an almost interface gray, and made of heavy-duty, weather resistant canvas with white balance swatches printed along the side. A zippered pocket along the bottom hides a full rain cover for when the drizzle becomes a downpour and you need extra protection.
Inside, the Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag has a padded iPad-specific pocket, a larger pocket that can fit a laptop up to the size of a 13-inch MacBook Air. It also has padded compartments that can fit a large DSLR with a lens or two, or alternatively a lens and secondary camera or laptop power supply. There are stash pockets on either side for film, or in my case pens and a stylus, and a zip pocket for batteries, memory cards, etc. There's also a brilliant quick access pocket meant for a point-and-shoot but which I'm using for mophie juice packs and, if I need to, my iPhone. Anything you put in this pocket can also be taken out via a zipper right on the front of the bag, covered by a magnetic flap.
There's a carry handle on one end and big, broad shoulder strap optimized for one-handed adjustment and rapid release.
It's not a cheap bag by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm usually leery of signature kit because names in and of themselves offer no value. Experience and insight do, however. The Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag exhibits a lot experience and insight.
Ergonomically, I'm sure Geoff Gluckman would point out the unilateral nature of slings, and how they can adversely affect alignment and functionality and that's well taken. Switching shoulders can help alleviate the problem, but if you have any chronic pain, pay special attention or look at a more balanced bag, like a backpack, instead.
The Ari Marcopoulos Camera and iPad Bag holds all the gear I need for a trade show or day trip in an incredibly compact, highly portable package. Everything from iPad to laptop to DSLR and lens all fit neatly and safely inside, along with all the extras they require.
I bought the Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag specifically to use at WWDC and I'll report back after I battle test it on the roads to and from Moscone West, but in a week of use so far, it's been excellent.
The color and design might not appeal to everyone, nor may the branding. If they work for you, however, the Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag is a tremendous solution to the carrying problems faced by any modern day photographer, blogger, or inspector.