Finding a camera bag that carries the right mix of durability, size, and weight can be a challenging process. Protecting your gear is very important, but really bulky bags can be far too heavy for a long hike; small bags leave you unable to carry enough equipment to actually complete the photography job.
The Gura Gear Chobe 19-24L camera bag is one that has hit the sweet spot. It has plenty of padding and features to make it comfortable to carry, but it also can be set up in whatever manner you need to ensure that you can safely carry as much or as little of your gear as you need on that particular day.
- Easy to personalize with movable panels
- Lots of Velcro holds panels in place
- Plenty of padding protects your gear
- Can carry computer or tablet in same bag
- Price is pretty high
- Some intermediate-level photographers probably won't have enough gear to fill the Chobe 19-24L
- Might be too many pockets; can make it tough to quickly find the one piece of gear you need
- External dimensions (normal packing): 15 x 11.5 x 6.5 inches
- External dimensions (expanded packing): 15 x 11.5 x 8.5 inches
- Weight: 4 pounds (with inserts); 3 pounds (without inserts)
- Adjustable shoulder strap
- Airline carry-on travel rules compatible
- Removable inserts
I liked the size of the Gura Gear Chobe 19-24L camera bag, although it may be a bit too large for those who don't have several DSLR lenses that they want to carry at the same time. It's certainly too thick to fit under a car seat when it's packed, but it is just the right size to be carried onto an airplane, which is nice.
In addition, there are pockets for a laptop computer or a tablet computer, as well as some additional pockets for other personal items, which means that the Chobe 19-24L is versatile enough that you can use it to carry quite a few items onto the airplane, in addition to your DSLR camera gear.
There's easily room for four to six lenses, an external flash unit, a couple of camera bodies, and some cables, and that's just in the main area of the camera bag. Gura Gear then included two zippered pockets on the outer edges of the bag that are great for storing a laptop or a tablet, so you can download your photos right after you shoot them. There's also padding built into the outer panels, which will keep your gear safer.
The Gura Gear Chobe 19-24L camera bag is about 11.5 inches in height, so, unless you have quite a few long lenses, you may have quite a bit of extra room at the top of the bag.
Padding that's about one-quarter to one-half inch in thickness is included throughout the Gura Gear Chobe 19-24L camera bag. The padding easily protects your gear from inadvertent bumps and jostles that you could run into during normal, everyday use.
The padding is lightweight material, which means that the bag only weighs about 4 pounds when it's empty. There's padding built around the main interior compartment, on the outside of the exterior zippered components, and in the bottom of the bag. The only area where the padding is lacking a bit is in the top panel.
Perhaps the best padding feature of the Gura Gear Chobe 19-24L camera bag is the movable interior panels. Each of these are made of cushioned material, but each panel is also sturdy enough that it will hold your gear in place. Each of these panels uses quite a bit of Velcro to stay in place, and each panel can be adjusted to fit whatever type of gear you want to carry. Gura Gear included more panels than you'll actually need, all at varying sizes, which is great for customizing the bag. You also can use the extra panels to place across the top of your lenses and fill up any extra space in the top of the bag for further protection.
I found the Gura Gear Chobe 19-24L camera bag to be pretty comfortable to use and carry for extended periods of time. You can carry the bag with the padded shoulder strap, which can be adjusted in length, or you can remove the should strap and carry it by smaller handles.
The build quality of the Chobe 19-24L is outstanding. It has plenty of padding, strong stitching, and high-quality materials. This camera bag can stand up to quite a bit of rough work and abuse ... not that you'll want to abuse your camera gear. However, if you end up accidentally dropping the bag or something worse, you'll be glad that this is a tough unit.
Really, the primary downside that I could find with this camera bag is that it's probably going to be too much for most photographers. Unless you have quite a bit of high-end DSLR gear, you probably aren't going to be able to fill the bag, making it much more difficult to justify the MSRP of about $349.
My final complaint might seem a little silly, but I found that it was a little frustrating to be able to find the exact piece of gear that I wanted in a hurry. There are so many pockets, zippered compartments, and various places to store gear that, unless you're really organized with a good system for storing items, you may have a difficult time finding things in a hurry. If you're someone who just tucks items wherever they'll fit and packs your camera bag haphazardly, the Gura Gear Chobe 19-24L might be more than you want to tackle.
If you can justify the price, though, this camera bag is a very impressive unit and will safely protect your DSLR gear.