The camera bag I bring on a trip is dependent on what gear I would bring or the type of photography I would be doing. For casual street photography, I would eventually bring something like the PacSafe Camsafe Venture V12 Sling Bag. But on my recent trip to Coron Palawan, I knew I would be bringing a lot more, like my MacBook, a larger selection of lenses, some reading materials, notebooks, a water bottle and probably a few quick snacks since I would be staying longer and shooting a wider variety of subjects. I was fortunate to have the PacSafe Camsafe Venture V16 Slingpack for me to try out on that week long trip to Coron, PacSafe’s new camera bag geared for the active traveler.
A Camera Slingpack
A slingpack is also like a backpack but uses only one main strap that slings and crosses over the torso. For a camera slingpack, they are designed with the one side having access to the camera gear by simply sliding and rotating the pack to the front even without removing the bag. The same goes with the Pacsafe Camsafe Venture V16 Slingpack. With the bag empty, the size seems small but once I’ve placed some stuff inside it, it’s just the perfect size – not too big nor too small either.
Personally I like regular backpacks since it has two straps that perfectly balances the weight of the bag on both shoulders sides unlike the a slingpack which still stress its weight on one shoulder despite having it on the back. For the Camsafe Venture V16, I had to find the perfect length for main strap and proper weight for the bag. As long as the weight is tolerable, it’s comfortable to bring on hikes. I even brought this up the 700+ steps up Mt. Tapyas without a problem. It helps that it has a firm yet comfortable molded back support padding and a secondary buckle strap to secure the bag in its place.
The Pacsafe Camsafe Venture V16 Compartments
There are five main compartments here. The Camera Compartment is on the left side of the bag when carried. It has a removable padded compartment with customizable velcro dividers. It can probably fit a full sized DSLR with a fitted standard lens and an extra lens. For my mirrorless OM-D, I can fit up to 3 extra lenses being small they are. The compartment zipper flap has small velcro pockets for memory cards or a battery.
The Rear Compartment can fit my regular sized iPad or my MacBook Pro 13″ with the iPearl Case (not both of them though). It can also fit a hydration bladder. It even has an inner velcro hook for the bladder and a hydration port for the tube. It’s a very versatile compartment.
The Front Compartment has several pockets with one including an RFID Safe Pocket to block RFID devices accessing info in your digital passports or credit cards. A hook ring for keys and inner zipped pocket to secure small items. The compartment is deeply spaced.
The Main Top Compartment is surprisingly roomy. It has another zipper pocket to secure items. It has a string divider as well to separate the camera compartment. This can be used as a regular bag when the camera compartment is removed.
The last compartment is hidden at the bottom. It’s the Rain Cover Compartment which was a welcome surprise since I didn’t notice it at first. Since this bag can be brought on hikes or even when biking, the rain sleeve included with the bag makes it weather proof. I found this useful when we were off to venture the southern part of Culion on a motorbike and suddenly a heavy rain fell.
Not really a compartment but there’s a handy stretchable pocket on one side where I put my water bottle in. I think it can carry a tripod but a small one.
Standard Pacsafe Anti-Theft Features
The price of the Pacsafe Camsafe Venture V16 is on the premium side, higher than the regular camera slingpacks because of the added Anti-Theft Feature it has, similar to the Camsafe Venture V12:
- Exomesh Slashguard within its nylon and ripstop material linings.
- Every compartment (except the raincover) has the Smart Zipper Security hooks.
- Slashproof and releasable Dual Buckle strap.
- An RFIDSafe Pocket
If you are an active travel and adventure photographer, the Pacsafe Camsafe Venture V16 can hold up its own in rugged conditions like hiking and biking. The camera compartment is easy to access on a twist without removing the bag which is good for spontaneous moments. It’s better for photographers who bring light gears like me uses mirrorless cameras. But DSLR users would still benefit with limited lenses. On the aesthetic side, I thought its a good looking back with well thought out design lines and compartments.
I really like the Camsafe Venture V16 but I’m just a bit worried on the loose stitchings on a couple parts of the bag near the buckle of the main strap after using it heavily for a week. Then again, this white/gray model is a sample bag used for testing. It’s color is not available commercially. I just hope the final production which comes in black and sunset red at the stores is more sturdy.
The Pacsafe Camsafe Venture V16 is priced premium at US$180 (Php 8,890 in the Philippines) which is definitely more expensive than other camera slingpack in the market. But considering the design, functionality and Anti-theft features of this camera bag, you do get what you paid for.