Gura Gear Bataflae 18L
Do you want to know how many camera bags I have? You don’t? Well, I can’t tell you anyway. Why you ask? Because my husband may be reading this review 🙂 Suffice it to say I have quite a few. Less than 20 but more the 5…yikes!
Let’s face it, as photographers we’re always looking for the perfect bag and as our gear list grows the bag that you purchased a year or 2 ago may not fit all the equipment that you now have. Backpacks; roller bags; shoulder bags; messenger bags each serves a different purpose depending on the type of photography you’re doing and the amount of gear you need to carry.
As my amount of gear grew and the need to have the equipment with me, especially when traveling, my current bags weren’t doing the job. I took a trip to California this summer and realized too late that my equipment wouldn’t fit in my backpack (at least not everything I wanted to have with me). I was lucky enough that a photographer friend of mine was kind enough to lend me his camera bag for my trip. It was a backpack and it had more than enough room to carry my stuff. When I picked it up from him prior to my trip I was amazed at how heavy the pack was….empty. Once I put all my gear in, it was grueling to carry.
When I returned home I was on a mission to find the perfect travel bag. I went to so many different camera stores and tried so many different bags and I just was happy with anything I saw. I then remembered that when I did a photo workshop with renowned Canadian photographer Ethan Meleg last year he was raving about his BataFlea Gura Gear bag.
I decided to take the plunge and I ordered myself the Bataflae 18L backpack. The construction of this bag is phenomenal. This bag is meant for travel. I choose the 18L because of its weight, 3.0lbs. It can hold a full size DSLR with a 70-200mm lens attached. This is my longest lens and because of the type of photography I do today I not in the market for anything longer (although the Bataflae 18L will hold up to a 400mm lens).
The Bataflae is PVC-free, features durable nylon materials and YKK RC Fuse zippers with a weather resistant coating that repels dust and water while remaining flexible and easy to operate. I can attest to the weather sealing of this bag. I was out in the field a few weeks ago and it rained and drizzled the entire time. Everything in the bag was absolutely dry, as I expected it to be. During heavier periods of rain I used the seam-sealed adjustable rain cover that came with the bag. The rain cover can also be used as a ground cloth when needed.
The Gura Gear Bataflae 18L has a fully configurable interior so you can configure it to your needs. It has a compatible side attachment system that allows for unique multi-point tripod/monopod configurations as well as the attachment of other accessories with the innovative quick-hook side straps. There two full-length external accessory compartments on the front which allows for the storage of travel documents, light jacket and snacks, while the multiple internal mesh pockets and a fully adjustable divider system help keep gear organized.
This bag is airline complaint and fits in an overhead bin. I’ve had the bag now for close to 5 months. I’ve flown with it, hiked with it, thrown it in the trunk of my car (ok that doesn’t really count). I waited to write this review until I really put it through its paces and I can honestly say this is one of the best bags I have ever had. Even with all my gear in it the bag is light and comfortable. My tripod attached to the side easily and I can easily fit my iPad or MacBook Pro in the back laptop compartment.
To me the most important thing about this bag is that it’s comfortable. I can walk or hike with it for extended periods and its easy to carry, fully loaded. The craftsmanship is superb and I have full confidence that my equipment is well protect.
The Bataflae comes in 3 versions, 18L (mine); 26L and 32L. Prices range from $299.00 for the 18L to $449.00 for the 32L. Yes its a bit of an investment but well worth it, especially when you consider the value of what it’s protecting inside. You can find more details on the Bataflae and the other terrific line-up of products from Gura Gear on their website here.
- 420D dia square nylon w/ 2x PU backing
- 100D robic diamond nylon lining w/ 2x PU backing
- YKK RC-FUSE zippers with water repellency
- N/500D Spandura reinforcement
- Woojin (WJ) hardware and pullers
- Padded air mesh
- 70D 190T nylon w/ 2x PU backing
- Lightweight design utilizing high quality materials and techniques
- YKK RC-FUSE WR zippers
- Fits the overhead compartment of commercial aircraft worldwide
- Seam-sealed rain fly / ground cloth
- Fully riveted handles
- M.O.L.L.E. compatible attachment points with quick-hook side straps
- Multi-point tripod/monopod configurations
- Color-coded zipper pulls
- Lockable main compartment
- Fail-safe shoulder strap buckles
- Full-length front pockets for accessories, jacket, travel documents, etc.
- Maximum interior capacity for large camera bodies and long lenses
- Dedicated laptop compartment
- Water bottle pocket
- Expandable exterior mesh pocket
- Multiple interior mesh pockets
- Interior zipper garages
- Fully adjustable divider system
- Velcro strap keepers
- Key fob
- Subtle branding treatments
- Custom-fit dust bag for storage
External Dimensions: 12 x 17 x 9 in (30 x 43 x 23 cm)
Internal Dimensions: 11 x 16 x 6.5 in (28 x 40 x 16 cm)
Weight: 3.0 – 4.2 lb (1.36 – 1.91 kg)
Volume: 18 liters
Stowable Harness: Waist belt only
Dedicated Laptop Compartment: Yes. Up to 13″ MacBook
International Carry-on Compliant: Yes
Lens Capacity: Up to 400mm f4.0
Lens Attached to Body Capacity: Up to 70-200mm
Makes me want to go and get one. They’re a little pricey though. Maybe I’ll have to save up my pennies. They sound like a really well designed bag though. I like the fact they will hold the laptop as well.
November 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm
Thanks so much. Yes you’re right they are a bit pricey but I can honestly say that the bag is worth every penny.
November 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm
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Thanks for the detailed review. I am trying to find my first camera bag, and trying to find a camera bag that is an overall good bag is a bit of a daunting task. I’d rather not have to have a lot of bags that I have to store and only pull them out once in a while, I’d rather get one that is multi-purpose. So thanks for the review, it has helped me narrow the field 🙂
April 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm
My pleasure Kate. I’m glad you found it helpful. I love my bag. After using it now for many months I can honestly say it’s more then I had hoped for. Thank you for visiting and for you comment. I really appreciate it.
April 18, 2014 at 11:44 pm
I recently picked up the 18l. I also own one of their other bags, a much larger one… and it is top notch and very well designed.
I needed something compact, capable of carrying a macbook pro and my Fuji X-T1 with 3-4 lenses and my Leica MM with a 35 Lux. This bag is compact, and has room for these 2 bodies and some lenses, plus room to spare.
Zippers, pulls, compartments, etc are all very high quality. I love Gura gear stuff and I’m very glad to discover this model from them – perfect for my needs!
Now to sell a pile of bags that can’t keep up with these 2 Gura bags..
Thanks for your article.. it helped inform my purchase!
February 19, 2015 at 9:38 pm
I’m glad the article helped. Thanks! I love my bag as well.
February 20, 2015 at 12:19 am