I love my Lowepro Passport Sling. It is the older model and I did try to sell it a few years ago since I was trying to cut back on my bag inventory and it seemed too big for my new micro four thirds gear. It didn’t sell. And, now, I am happy about that as I pulled it out when I went to the Out of Chicago Conference at the end of June to pack in my checked bag. Then, when I was walking the several blocks from my hotel to the conference center, the Passport Sling was a perfect bag to carry both my cameras (Olympus OM-D E-M1 and my Olympus PEN E-PL6 with lenses attached along with some other essentials including my iPad Mini 3.
When I returned home from Chicago, new friend Victoria Diaz has the audacity to write about her new bag: the Lowepro Passport Sling III! The newer version has some nice features such as an internal side sleeve for a small mobile tablet and a larger zippered, see-through net compartment on the side in front of the padded camera compartment. However, it loses a few features mine has. Nonetheless, I was ready to purchase one, but decided to wait until I got home from our current vacation trip. In the meantime, I have decided to purchase the new Olympus Air A01 new concept camera (That’s a whole other story!) and am rethinking spending $50 on a new camera bag.
Then it hit me! The one feature in the new bag model I really like is the separate sleeve for my iPad Mini. Last year I sewed myself a small sleeve to hold either my iPad Mini or Kindle when we are at the beach. The cover wraps around the arm of a chair and, using Velcro, attaches to the body of the sleeve. Hmmm?? Yup! It works! I stuffed the cover inside the sleeve and attached it between my old Passport Sling camera insert and the outside shell of the bag. The outside has a Velcro strip to catch the insert, so my sleeve grabs right on to that. Because the fit is snug when my camera is in the insert, it acts just like the sleeve in the newer bag. Place for my iPad Mini? Check!
OK, what about that larger zippered pocket? Well, I have now gotten in the habit of storing miscellaneous items (batteries for my hearing aids, Band-Aids, earbuds, tissue, extra SD cards in old film container, etc.) in small Eagle Creek travel bags. I have a green one, a black one, and a red one. Each is used for specific things. For example, the green one contains any chargers, USB connectors, plugs, and batteries for flash. So, my red, all-purpose “kit” bag fits nicely in the front section of the Passport Sling in front of the camera insert. Perfect! By hanging onto my old Sling, I still have the two little pockets on the other interior side that will hold my camera battery charger, extra batteries, and the pop-on flash for my E-M1 or E-PL6. These pockets were removed from the newer version.
I always carry my Patagonia Houdini raincoat which rolls up nice and small but has been a lifesaver on many occasions. I also have a “raincoat” for the camera bag. By attaching the insert separator pad horizontally in the insert instead of vertically (as you do to make two compartments), I create sort of a “false bottom” in the insert and my rain gear and some other small items fit down there nicely. This still leaves plenty of head room to accommodate my E-M1 with the 12-40mm lens attached. Up front, beside my little red back, I have plenty of space for other personal items and my E-PL6 camera. In Chicago, I even carried my small MeFoto DayTrip tripod in there!!
I am feeling good about this arrangement, especially because I now don’t feel the need to purchase the newer Passport Sling model. Moral: it pays to reassess the bags you have. There are many ways, usually, to configure a camera bag, so give it serious thought before you go out and purchase a new one.
Check out my free eBook on Mastering Your Camera's Priority Modes: http://www.infotor.com/ebooks. Download and enjoy!
In addition to offering scheduled, hands-on photography classes periodically, I am also available to do one-on-one tutoring or small group lessons designed to meet YOUR needs and what you want to learn in the area of photography, using flashes, or the use of Apple products and software. Give yourself the gift of learning: http://www.infotor.com/photoclasses! And check out my tutoring bundle: http://www.infotor.com/photoclasses/tutoringbundle.php as well. A PDF of my brochure is at http://www.infotor.com/photoclasses/brochures/WHBI-Brochure_2015.pdf.
I am considering offering virtual tutoring sessions using either Skype or Google Hangouts so that I might extend my assistance to photographers beyond my immediate, Central Virginia location. If this is something that might interest you, please drop me and e-mail or leave a message to me on Facebook or Google+.