• Matt Smart

Buying a camera bag can be a pain in the ass. Or is that about to change?

Every photographer has this problem at least once in their career. Having one camera bag that suits every need is pretty impossible to find.


I have three bags that I switch between, and I'm getting fed up with it.


I fully accept that I will need the rucksack as a standalone kit bag, as it houses all the vital stuff I need when I'm hiking or at a fully involved project. But that's only once or twice a month when I need everything!


The rest of the time, I'm switching, almost on a daily basis now I find myself getting out more since COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, between two bags.


The first bag is my trusty Vanguard Alta Rise 33. A dedicated camera bag, with full accessibility in awkward places. Waterproof, fairly sizeable and more pockets than a pool hall.

I love this bag, for the sheer ease of use and reliability. But it screams 'camera bag' when in use. Which is fine when you're on business, but when I'm walking through busy city centres, I feel a little exposed. Plus, I don't need all the pockets and access etc, so I switch to my leather Fossil Messenger bag.

I have purchased a cheap insert from Amazon for the job of housing my camera gear. It's lasted about a year and I probably need a new one soon, as the shape hasn't held up very well. But for blending in, this bag has been brilliant.


I wanted something newer though. Something I would be happy to use both professionally and as a travel system. So, I have got hold of the Ariel Trout bag from Marlborough of England.


Technically a fishing companion, a lightweight bag with a few pockets, it's made of leather and Harris Tweed; rugged yet beautiful. It looks great!


The inside lining of the Marlborough Tan Harris Tweed Ariel Trout Bag is water resistance and easy to clean.


Full transparency, I haven't paid for this bag - yet!


I'm testing the current iteration of this bag to see what could possibly be added, removed and improved to make this bag a dedicated camera system. A few days in, I'm really pleased with it. It looks great and definitely blends in where I need it to. There are a few initial pain points I think could be ironed out pretty easily, but this is definitely the start of something great!


Check out the rest of the range at Marlborough of England.


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