Filson bags are made to last.
I thought to start this piece with that one sentence to put this bag review and impressions into perspective as I delve into this impressions.
Filson teamed up with Magnum photographers- Steve McCurry and David Alan Harvey, to create these bags from photographers for photographers. The idea was to make bags that would outlast the photographers, made to look not like a camera bag, and awesome.
I went up to NYC right after work on Friday to pick one up. Crazy right? ...yes. But, as they won't be on sale in their online store till June, I figured might as well go get one now. Plus I am probably one of the few with them in the proverbial wild right now. The store itself is pretty nice, small, and intimate. Limited selection of goods for sure, but the items on sale are really well made. I decided on getting this bag over an ONA, which I was researching prior to discovering about this Filson, because it doesn't look like a camera bag. And I am not looking to make a fashion statement with my bag.
Of course being a food and culture photographer, I am not out in the wilderness or in trouble locations as much as magnum photographers. Still I am in markets and food fairs photographing, so I want do not want to be noticed as a photographer.
The fabric is a densely woven canvas with a wax element in it to prevent water from going in. It's rugged all over.
The thing with this bag, not sure what the bag name is, is that it can hold a 15in laptop, possibly an ipad as well, a camera with a lens attached, and second lens. Smaller items like camera batteries, memory cards, and etc can fit into the side pockets. So using this bag for day trips, or small excursions is its focus. Though keeping your gear light is probably for the better.
So as you might not be able to pack away all of your camera gear, this is the bag for your go to gear. Which is fine with me as I primarily shoot with a 5D3, 50mm zeiss, and a 35L.
The inside has a cover for the camera gear so wandering eyes won't be able to see the gear unless you leave the flap open.
Walking around with this on, it felt really secure and snug around me. The camera was accessible for me to pull it out when I needed to take it out. And vice versa easy for it to go back in.
This bag was designed and made in Seattle. And quality is amazing! I can't reiterate that enough! The price tag might be the deal breaker for some. It runs for $335 before tax. Though that is comparable to bags from brands like ONA. At the end of the day, the price tag, while steep, for a bag that will outlive you and keeps your gear that is worth thousands of dollars, it is worth every penny.
If interested and not near their NYC storefront go online at www.filson.com/magnum