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BAG IT

Cindy Maddera

Michael and I were out on our scooters recently when we came to a cool section of road. The street narrowed down to one lane and you had to go through a tunnel. There is a stop light on either side of this tunnel, so you don’t end up crashing with on coming traffic. When we got to the tunnel, our light was red and I thought “what a great picture!”. Except in order for me to get that picture, I had to put my scooter on its stand, turn off the engine, remove the key and then use the key to unlock my seat so I can retrieve my camera. The light changed before I could complete step four. I did not get the picture I wanted. I did not even get a picture I didn’t want. Zero pictures were taken.

What I need it some sort of quick-draw camera system for when I’m riding the scooter. I need to be the Annie Oakley of photography.

I’ve been carting a backpack around for a couple of years. It’s big and has a padded bottom. My backpack holds my iPad or my laptop or both as well as my camera, an extra lens, and all of the other bits of things one tends to cart around with them. In my case, the extra things just happen to be two melted caramel apple suckers from Ike’s and half a sand dollar I collected from a beach in Oregon. Clearly, I have room to pair down the crap I cart around with me. I have been half seriously looking at bag options for traveling lighter, but the need to easily and quickly get to my camera (any one of them) made me step up the search. I read some reviews and did some research before purchasing the KAVU Rope Sling bag and this was my first weekend to test it out.

I am not disappointed with this purchase.

It comfortably and easily holds everything I need to carry with me during the week. I’m going to put an emphasis on the word ‘need’. I do not need to lug my large lens with me every day. I do not need to lug around half a box of tampons with me every day, which is what I found in in the bottom of one zippered compartment while cleaning out the backpack. I could stand to get a smaller wallet. In fact, the current wallet is an old wallet that I started using again after the zipper on my smaller wallet broke. My water bottle will fit in that pocket if I downsize my wallet. The list of things I need to cart around on weekends is even less. I don’t take my iPad every where on weekends. The KAVU bag meets all of these needs and it’s comfortable to carry on my back. Also, because of the sling design, I can flip the bag around and access the pockets quickly. My phone (camera 1) fits in the front pocket for easy access, while my Nikon (camera 2) fits in the larger compartment. If I’m thinking straight when I pack the Nikon, I can pack it in such a way that when I reach in, my hand fits around the camera body in shooting mode. I’m not Annie Oakley fast on the draw, but I’m sure that I will get better with practice.

I think this is going to be my new favorite traveling bag. I wore it all day on Saturday and I didn’t ever feel tightness or tension in my right shoulder. That is something I experience with every over the shoulder bag. I have a tiny wallet like bag that just holds my phone and a couple of cards. Even that bag makes that area between my neck and shoulder tight by the end of a day. And I love that tiny bag. It has the cutest elephant stitched to the outside. The KAVU bag distributes the weight of my things across my back. It is compact and less clunky than the backpack. It is also water proof. My backpack is not. I really used to stress about getting caught in the rain with that backpack on my back. I don’t have to worry about that now.

Look, no one’s paying me to write this post. I just don’t have anything else I want to talk about today.