Outdoor enthusiasts, hikers and campers have always been fans of self-stowing gear—rain jackets that fold into themselves, cooking gear that nests like a Russian doll, anything that can pack small and light. Unfortunately, camera bags aren't quite as versatile—at least until Tenba's new Packlite series of collapsible and self-stowing camera bags.
If you've read Tech Tuesday posts before, you know that I don't know how to pack light. I tend to travel with multiple camera bags and backpacks—one for every occasion and/or gear setup while I'm on the road. That means that I carry way too much luggage and have to pack and repack each gear bag for various outings. I'll use a small bag for walking around a city, a backpack for hiking or an easy-to-access shoulder bag for shooting backstage and runway shows during Fashion Week.
But Tenba's solution can easily put an end to all that. Here's how the system works: You pack at least one or two inserts (called a BYOB, or Bring Your Own Bag) into a larger case—let's say, a rolling bag that's large enough to carry all your gear. Along with the insert(s), tuck in a matching Packlite, a small, collapsible ripstop nylon bag that has a zippered top, shoulder strap and folds neatly into its own small mesh side pocket. Once you're on location, just place the insert into the appropriately sized Packlite bag and you're ready to go.
The largest Packlite, designed for BYOB 13, measures a mere 5 x 4 x 2.5 inches when collapsed and weighs 0.4 pounds (other Packlites are even smaller and lighter). And, you can clip the collapsed Packlite to another bag's D-ring to have on hand when you need it.
The insets are padded, of course, and both they and the Packlite bags come in four sizes, from the compact BYOB 7 (fitting a mirrorless camera, two to three lenses and accessories) up to the BYOB 13 (which can pack a pro DSLR, two to three lenses—up to an attached 70-100mm f/2.8—and accessories).
Tenba's also offering a BYOB Cooler insert to carry six bottles or 12 cans of the beverage of your choice, bottle opener and all.
Prices won't break the bank—they range from $30-$60 for inserts and $20-$29 for Packlites.
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