For this week’s Podcast, I’ve put together a quick video to show you the new Gura Gear Bataflae 32L camera bag. As a long time user of the Kiboko bag, I’m happy to say that the Bataflae actually improves on perfection. Anyway, links are below, but here’s the video. Don’t forget to select the HD version under the cog-wheel in the video settings and go full screen!
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Welcome to the Martin Bailey Photography podcast. This is episode 358.
Today, I’m going to be walking you through the new Gura Gear Bataflae 32-liter camera bag. Many of you will know that for a number of years since its release, I was using the Kiboko bag from Gura Gear. Excellent bag, very light and strong, and holds a lot of stuff. This is basically a tad heavier because of some of the different materials they’re using now, like stronger zips. It’s also 2 liters bigger, and they’ve made it deeper. A number of great new features have been added as well. We’re going to take a look at all of those at the same time as just looking at the bag in general.
The word bataflae, apparently means butterfly, and that’s because it opens like a butterfly wing. You can see that in here, I have a big lens, 300mm, 70-200 here. I have a pouch here, one of the new Et Cetera pouches with all of my batteries and things in. We’ll be talking about those a little bit more later. These things, all of the Et Cetera bags fit in the bag and you can close the flaps here. You can see also, that I have laid it out so that I put my camera bodies in. The second body is on the camera doing the video right now, usually goes in here.
You can see that I take the camera and the lens apart when I put them in the bag. I do that for 2 reasons: The first one is that you can actually get more in the bag when you take them apart like that, but also not just this, but any bag. If you take a fall, and jolt the bag when you’ve got the camera attached to the lens or the lens attached to the camera, you can actually rip the back of the lens off or rip the mount out of the camera. I always suggest putting your stuff in separately, like this. It’s different
if you’re doing street photography, something where you’re actually, maybe, have to get the camera out of the bag really quickly. If you’re carrying it on your back and you could slip and fall, then consider taking it off.
You can see these dividers. They’re slightly thinner than what you’ll see in some camera bags, still very strong. Again though, thin to make it lighter, also so you can get more in. They’re still very strong, and they will absorb plenty of bashing around, apart from like I said, when you’ve got the camera on the lens. You don’t want to be bashing the whole thing around too much. The bag comes with lots of these dividers, probably almost 3 times more than I’m actually using in this configuration. You could divide it up into very small compartments if you needed to. This is how I often use mine. I will switch it around a little bit every so often, but this is the main configuration.
There are compartments in the back of the main flap, and there are compartments in the outer flap, as well. I often use these to put things like spare batteries in; I’ll have the remote switch and angle finder, things like that. You can also put things like the . . . Gura Gear send you a . . . not sure if this is standard, but they’ll generally send you a lens cloth that comes in a plastic case. I love these. I got a couple with my original Kiboko bag, and I’ve been using them ever since. I do use the spuds, the ones that actually go inside the little pouch, and they come out, so that they keep themselves all self-contained. I like them as well, but these are totally secure. Once you’ve put your lens cloth back in the bag, it’s totally going to be dust-free until you get it back out again. I like these Gura Gear lens cloths.
The other thing, though, one of the major changes is that the Bataflae now comes with a buckle on the top, and you can open the front flap fully. This is huge to me. I love being able to do this. Generally, what it enables you to do is, is to just fully open it to load the bag much more easily. You can just drop everything in, and then pull it back up and you’re away. Also, there are times in the field when you want to get at things much more easily. You could perhaps just open it up, lay it down, and just get at
your stuff without having to open each flap. I really welcome this new change. To stop it from doing that, you literally just clip it back in again.
One of the other areas, the zips are stronger now than they were in the original Kiboko, a little bit heavier-weight. Also, they’re not fully weather-sealed, but they’re kind of drip-proof, I guess. If you put water on here, it just beads up and runs off, it doesn’t really penetrate the zip, the fastener itself. The other thing that I really like is the fact
that it’s got a rain cover built in. This is the same as the Kiboko, but it’s just really nice. Generally, I will not cover the bag in light rain, just a little bit of drizzle; I’ll just leave it as is, it doesn’t go through. If it gets heavy, I’ll take the rain cover out, and it’s always there. You don’t have to remember to take it with you because it’s in its
own little pouch here on the front.
I’m going to take you through now as well, how to attach a tripod. There’s these straps on the side. You undo one side. I’ve got a very large tripod, so it’s going to stick way up above. You basically just put 1 or 2 of the legs into the side pocket there and hook this around, and you’re done; nice and secure. The bag does come with a cue strap, or cue cord. If you want to make this totally secure, you could pull this around and hook it like that; that really tucks it in to the side. The main reason that they include this
is because you can also . . . you’ve got a strap here, and a strap here, you can take the tripod and strap it in on the back, and then you use the koo cord to secure it to the bottom of the bag. I’m probably not going to do that with a tripod this big because it does pull down, the weight of the tripod pulls down, and I think for a tripod this big, I’m not going to do that. If you have a smaller tripod, it may well be a good alternative way to secure it to the bag. Note as well, that because I do carry such a large
tripod on the side, to help balance it, I always put the 2 big lenses on this side, because they actually weigh less than all of the stuff I have in the other side. It still balances out pretty well. I’m going to take this back off for now, so that I that can show you a few other things. Of course, the carrying handles; there’s one on the top and there’s one on the side.
I always like the way they have the carrying handle on the side at a diagonal, because ergonomically, you actually want to hold this diagonally. That’s a really nice feature there. It helps when you’re putting them into the overhead compartments on planes or just carrying them around into the car, or things like that. Also of course, the back here, although I’ve got it all stowed away at the moment, when you open the back flaps, it turns into a rucksack. That is really the main way that I carry the bag around.
I’m going to show you how we put this together. We have to just pull all of the components out either side. Once these are out, the buckles also are stowed into these little compartments at the 4 corners. Stick that one in there, and same for this side. Then on the end of the shoulder straps, we have a larger buckle which is going to go into the top here. Then on the waist belt, it goes into the smaller one. The waist belt is actually removable now, as well. I usually leave it on, but if you’re really struggling to get the weight down, and you could not use the waist belt for . . . especially if you’re not going to be carrying it around for a lot of time and a lot of weight, then you could use that, take the belt out to reduce the weight a little bit. Also, it does sometimes get in the way if you don’t need that waist belt. Once you’ve got all of that attached, you just swing it over onto the back, do up the waist belt.
The other thing that I really like is a small, but nice incremental feature here, upgrade, is that the chest strap is lower down. It used to be quite high on the Kiboko. It’s adjustable, but by default, it’s quite low now. The Kiboko, you couldn’t really get it down and it used to choke me a little bit. I really like the fact that chest strap is much lower down on the shoulder straps now. Great bag. You can see it’s a reasonable size. If you’ve got a lot of gear that you need to stow and you need to carry around
with you, I couldn’t recommend it more. They do smaller versions: There’s the 18, the 26, and the 32-liter versions.
A few other things that they’ve added to the system; you can now get a Gura Gear stainless steel water bottle. The pocket on the side here is perfect for putting that in. There are now a whole series of Et Cetera pouches and cases. These are brilliant. You can store . . . I’ve got my batteries in this one. We have, for example, this one; I think this is the 2 liter, I’m not sure, battery chargers and things in here; my little SLR, first aid kit. I have another one here with my Leatherman, my GPS, and a flashlight.
The piËce de rÈsistance is . . . I’m going to be covering this more in the coming weeks, but I’ve just picked up a GoPro Hero3, and I’ve got another one on the way. Hopefully it’s going to be here before I leave for the Snow Monkeys and Hokkaido tours, because we’re going to have a lot of fun with
this stuff. I’m looking forward to sharing the footage with you, as well.
The Et Cetera bag here, this is the 3-liter, perfect for fitting stuff like this in. I’ve got all of the naked frames, I’ve got the backs, I’ve got spare batteries, I’ve got all of the brackets and things I’ll use with this. I’ve got the little extendable arm that I use for sticking this in people’s faces, and I have one of the Gura Gear’s new memory wallets. This is for the . . . at the moment what I’m doing is because the Micro SDs are so tiny, I’m leaving them in the adapters in the bag for now so that they don’t get lost. CF cards as well, of course.
These cases also come with little loops at the side, so you can hook things like these GoPro remote controls in there. All just very well thought-out. I love gear that’s well thought-out. Another pouch that I’ve got in here, of course, these are my GoPro stickers that came with the camera, so I’ve re-marketed these already. Another pouch here for all of the USB cables that you use for transferring data and for recharging the batteries on the GoPros. These all just really slot in nicely. As I said, if you want to, you can actually put these into the Gura Gear Bataflae bag. The front obviously will close with them in there.
If you haven’t got a lot of gear that you need to put directly in here, you could put all of this in, and you’d be away. Really, it’s an excellent piece of gear. Very, very happy to be using the new Bataflae. I’ve recommended the Kiboko to many people, and they’ve all been happy. The Bataflae, I’m already noticing people that have bought this on my recommendation and they all seem very, very happy. I couldn’t be happier to recommend a product like this to you, as well.
You can buy them from GuraGear.com, or you can also go to our friends at OutdoorPhotoGear.com. You know that code that I gave you a few months ago when I was at Outdoor Photo Gear, MBP10? They never disabled it, so you can actually still get 10% off anything you buy at Outdoor Photo Gear with the code MBP10. That’s it. I’ll put links and everything that I’ve spoken about in the show notes at MBP.AC/358.
I’ll see you online at MartinBaileyPhotography.com. See you there. Bye-bye.