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Magazine Article

  


On The Case
Innovative bags and carrying cases for imaging professionals.


computer case
Brenthaven
camera bag
Crumpler
camera case
Delsey
camera bag
Domke
laptop case
Incase
camera bag
Kata
camera case
Hardigg-Storm
computer and camera backpack
Lowepro
camera bag
M-Rock
computer bag
Mobile Edge
camera and laptop bag
Naneu Pro
digital media case
Norazza
camera lens protectors/camera bags
OP/TECH USA
PDA case
Otter Products
case
Pelican
camera equipment bag
Portabrace
computer case
Porter Case
photo/computer case
Tamrac
camera and computer bags
Tenba
camera backpack
Thinktank

Whether you're hopping on a subway to meet up with a major client, trekking through deserts and jungles for an on-location shoot, or photographing the rapids on a whitewater adventure, you need your best gear to show off your unique style. Choosing the right bag or case to house your gear to get you where you have to go is a step that shouldn't be taken lightly. Today's companies remain on the cutting edge of case manufacturing, taking advantage of new technologies and more durable materials to create ideal carrying cases for expensive portable equipment. Plus, with the proliferation of iPods, PDAs, portable printers, flatscreen displays, and other take-along accessories, manufacturers are continuously adding more (and improved) features for busy graphic arts professionals. A good number of camera and accessory manufacturers, determined to meet the specific needs of their clients, are even offering their own case lineups, often custom-made to house their own equipment. Read on for some hot products in this sector (bold text items are pictured)...

Brenthaven
www.brenthaven.com

Twenty-five years ago, Brenthaven made wilderness packs for adventurers and explorers. Today the company gears its high-performance computer cases toward everyday life, but they're designed with the same rugged craftsmanship and lightweight materials that would make them just as ideal for a stint on The Amazing Race as they would be traveling to an assignment. If you're looking for an easy-to-carry container that's perfect for transporting around tradeshows or at the airport, check out the Mobile Urban wheeled case. This case, which fits notebooks up to 14 inches, is constructed of military-grade ballistic nylon and features a slim vertical profile, removable portable pocket, SoftDrive wheel-suspension system, and strong telescopic handle that facilitates steering and can be tucked away when it's time to put the case in an overhead bin. Brenthaven also produces a line of Custom Fit Apple Cases, made especially for Apple PowerBooks and imaging accessories.

Crumpler
www.crumplerbags.com

Quirky marketing and an unusual website has propelled this Australian bag manufacturer to the forefront, but it's the company's bevy of durable photo bags (with names like Geekstar, Loyal Chap, and Lollipop) that have made Crumpler a formidable competitor in the bags-and-cases marketplace. Looking for a photo bag that can house your tripod and endure the spray from a speedboat? The company's new Million Dollar Home series, including the MD0601A, boasts fully padded bags in seven sizes and four colors, all designed to withstand liquid assaults. These water-resistant carrying cases feature a 1000d nylon shell and 420d ripstop nylon lining. Each one also has an external pocket with an internal mesh pocket, two internal side pockets, one mesh zip pocket under a clip, a padded and brushed nylon main compartment, and an adjustable, removable shoulder strap.

Delsey
www.bogenimaging.us

Delsey, founded in Paris in 1946, is the second-largest luggage manufacturer worldwide. Delsey is distributed in the United States by Bogen Imaging and is known for its Pro Series, GoPix Series, and XEO Digital Series of lightweight bags and cases, The Delsey Pro Trolley 52 Multiformat Rolling Case meets the demands of professional photographers on the go. It features plenty of inside and outside pockets for accessories, cell phones and equipment, a heavy-duty telescoping handle with rubberized grip, and durable ball-bearing wheels. The padded inside equipment compartment is also removable. The entire Delsey Pro collection is manufactured with a ballistic nylon/polyester mix over a PVC sponge backing and covered with waterproof fabric (all of which were tested in extreme lab conditions).

Domke
www.tiffen.com

Part of the longstanding Tiffen family of photographic products, Domke has been a top bags-and-cases choice for professional photographers since Jim Domke invented the first "Shooter's Bag" concept nearly 30 years ago. What started out as a "kitchen-table experiment" that would allow photographers to access their equipment without removing the bag from their shoulder has evolved into the full lineup of "smart" bags and accessories that Domke promotes today. The all-natural, heavyweight F-2 Original Camera Bag has a canvas exterior that's water-resistant, with a repellent treatment for extra protection. Because the canvas is a "breathable" fabric, the F-2 stays dry in even the most humid environments, which is especially crucial for digital equipment. The 12-compartment bag fits two cameras, 6 to 10 lenses up to 300mm, a flash unit, 10 to 20 rolls of film, and accessories. Other Domke innovations include the Gripper Strap, which stays on the shoulder to keep your bag where it needs to be, and the patented Padded Insert System.

Incase
www.goincase.com

You know your company is part of the cool crowd when it gets coverage in Maxim and Cargo, or John Mayer and Leo DiCaprio have been spotted using your cases out on the town. Known mainly for its innovative, hip iPod carriers, Incase also manufactures high-end laptop cases and accessories for busy graphics professionals. Part of the Incase Suit '05 collection, the pinstriped/light gray Portable Sleeve for laptops features reinforced laptop protection for the photographer, video professional or graphic artist on the go. Important documents and accessories can be placed in the well-protected pouch or pockets, the side pocket can hold your iPod or cell phone, and a removable stash pocket is included.

Kata
www.kata-bags.com

Kata's founders knew a little something about making gear that would go the extra mile—both Nitzan Kimchi and Dror Tishler were members of an elite combat unit of the Israel Defense Forces, making products for the Israeli secret services. This military background has translated into bags and cases for photography and video equipment that are ergonomic, modular, and lightweight. Kata has introduced several new GDC products—featuring its patented Thermo-Shield-Technology (TST), which allows for a range of custom-made, protective carrying solutions.

Replacing the Kata Rucksack (R-102), the new R-103 backpack features improved internal divisions, new mesh pockets, and can store a laptop up to 15 inches in a new compartment. The HB-207 can stow up to three SLR bodies and eight lenses (up to 400mm, f/2.8). With Kata's "One-Pull" zippered flap, users have convenient access to their equipment and despite its additional capacity, the HB-207 maintains a compact profile suited for air travel. Also new from the company are the Reporter Shoulder Bag, Waist Shoulder Bag, C-59 and H-14 cases, and the E-690 Elements case.

Hardigg-Storm
www.hardigg.com

With 350-plus standard sizes (the largest in the world), a patented anti-shear lid to base interlock, and molded-in hardware, Hardigg Storm creates carrying cases that offer the ultimate in protection for your equipment. The company is a pioneer in the rotational-molding process, offering impact protection, strength, and watertight packaging for your mobile electronics gear. The Hardigg-Storm iM2050 Storm Case—a compact carrying case designed to protect smaller camera equipment against water, sand, dust, and extreme temperatures—is constructed from HPX resin. Lightweight, water-resistant, and dent-resistant, it's also guaranteed for life. Standard features include two press-and-pull latches to help prevent traditional knuckle busting, two padlockable-ready hasps for extra security in transit, a Vortex auto-pressure release valve that automatically adjusts the air pressure without letting in water, and a soft-grip handle with rigid core.

Lowepro
www.lowepro.com

Selling in more than 90 countries, Lowepro has been a leader in making quality protective cases for cameras, personal computers, and electronics for more than 30 years. The company incorporates user input into each new update or product to ensure the best carrying cases for their customers. Lowepro's sporty new Orion Trekker II backpack has two distinct compartments: a well-padded, removable lower camera compartment for storing an SLR with an attached lens, several additional lenses, a flash unit, compact binoculars and accessories; and an upper compartment for housing nonphotographic gear such as a jacket, audio equipment, food, and water. Providing versatility and flexibility, the Orion Trekker II also features a built-in pocket for an MP3 player, minidisk, or CD player; a removable waist belt; SlipLock attachment tabs for additional pouches, lens cases, and other desired accessories; and a three-point shoulder harness system for greater comfort.

M-Rock
www.m-rock.com

When the need existed for user-friendly, outdoor-style camera bags, Michael Rockwell heeded that call, establishing M-Rock in 1995. In the decade since, M-Rock has specialized in producing camera and camcorder bags that feature the company's exclusive modular system, allowing the user to attach smaller bags onto the sides of larger cases (a modular belt system is available for these modular-compatible bags). The Wasatch backpack, created by one of Colorado's top backpack designers, has a top and bottom section designed for photo equipment, and features water-resistent material, padded and adjustable shoulder straps, a comfortable, expandable neoprene waistbelt, and a weather jacket capable of covering the entire bag.

Mobile Edge
www.mobileedge.com

Mobile Edge was created by a group of senior computer industry professionals for the sole purpose of producing superior computer-related carry cases. The company offers a versatile range of carrying cases, from briefcases and messenger bags to a lineup designed especially for women. Mobile Edge's faux-croc notebook computer portfolios, which debuted on ABC-TV's Good Morning America in April, are built from a lightweight EVA material, for natural protection with a retro-style reminiscent of the classic, hard-sided cases. The portfolios are available in pink, blue, green, yellow, burgundy, and black, with a shoulder strap that converts the portfolio to a lightweight, slim-line case. Its classy Madison line of computer carrying cases is designed for women, by women, and offers stylish, functional bags in black and red leather, black microfiber, chocolate or natural suede, and black or espresso faux croc. Three exclusive pink computer totes, which benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, integrate SafetyCell computer protection, a zippered interior pocket, detachable cosmetic/accessory pouch, EZ-Access cell phone pocket, and an EZ-Access ticket pocket.

Naneu Pro
www.naneupro.com

It's not just the funky moniker (based on the owner's nickname) that has made a name for this bag company: Naneu Pro has dedicated itself to creating stylish, functional bags at affordable prices, and it's the only camera, laptop, and portable A/V case company that uses the unique AirFlow Suspension System in its popular K2 Adventure backpack. Naneu Pro recently debuted its Goombah convertible rolling backpack, a combination rolling case and backpack. Its wide-set oversized wheels create a stable platform for rolling through airports or down city streets. Concealable shoulder straps and waist belt transform the Goombah into an extra roomy backpack. The main compartment holds an SLR with an attached 500mm lens, 6-10 other lenses, 1-2 extra bodies, and flash units. The bag's inside lid has three small pockets and six large, clear vinyl zippered pockets for filters and other small items. The front features a large, padded compartment for laptops, pockets for accessories, and a tripod mount. All sides feature adjustable straps for even more accessories.

Norazza
www.norazza.com

This privately held company based in West Seneca, NY, represents one of the most complete lines of high-quality photo, video, and digital accessories. From bags and cases to digital media cleaning kits and tripods, Norazza looks for the most functional design and construction for all of its products. Norazza's PRO Ape 1400 offers beefed-up protection for digital SLRs, made with extra padding and water-resistant, heavy-duty nylon. The 15-pocket case is designed with dividers that can be reconfigured multiple ways to hold different cameras, lenses, and flashes. Other features include: an easy-access side mesh packet; ample compartment for storing batteries, digital media, cell phone, and other accessories; tripod straps; and a hard exterior bottom with rubber feet. All pockets can be securely closed with zippers. The stylish case features a black exterior and yellow interior.

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