Working as a nature photographer I require a bag that suits all my needs because as soon as take it for long trips or out in the wilds of Scotland I can quickly see the flaws that the bag may have. I need a bag that can fit all my gear, easy access when I'm in a rush and can take a hell of a beating! As a part of CoOrdinate Gear's Pro Team I help review their products to give non-biased feedback on how they work out in real-world situations and see where they excel or where improvement could be made. When the good guys at CoOrdinate Gear sent me their range of bags to look at it couldn't have come at a better time as two weeks from that point I would be leaving to work in Iceland so this was a great opportunity to put the bag through its paces. The bags work on a modular system where you can arrange them to a setup that feels comfortable with you. For photographers I recommend getting the Pioneer which is a part of their CORE SET and when added with the Ranger you have a fully functioning camera bag. You can use the Pioneer as a normal bag on its own but its main use is as a base bag where you can attach other products to it which is what I did. In this review I'm going to talk about the setup that I use and why it benefits me.
So, what is my setup? I a have the Pioneer as my base bag, inside I have the Ranger where all my cameras and lenses are stored and then attached to the front I have the Editor which is small messenger bag but when I take off the carry straps it works great on the front of the Pioneer. I could add the Scout to the side of the backpack but I don't really have any use for it.
A backpack small enough for everyday commuting or a day out but still large enough to use as a cabin hand luggage backpack and carry all the equipment you will need for a getaway. You can increase the volume of the bag by attaching other modules to it. As cabin hand luggage the PIONEER has a perfect carry on luggage laptop compartment with easy access for the security checks. It's very comfortable to have your back for long periods with straps to go across your chest and stomach for more comfort. I also really like the pockets added to the waist padding, I've never seen this before but something like this is very handy for storing CF card, batteries or any other accessories you need to get to quickly without taking your bag off.
A large Camera bag that can be carried over your shoulder or inside the PIONEER changing it into a Camera Backpack. Can carry a lot of camera equipment, I was able to get in it; 2 camera bodies, 2 wide-angles, 1 telephoto and lots of accessories! You will comfortably fit two bodies, three to four medium sized lenses, flashes and other equipment you may need for a shoot. If you would like to see how much gear I squeezed into my bag make sure to check out the video I did before I left for Iceland where I got through all my gear and why I took it: CLICK HERE TO WATCH
Versatile bag that can be carried over your shoulder or attached to the front of the PIONEER, the EDITOR can store many small items like an iPad, documents etc. I use for storing all my filters and the holders to go with them, I also put things like maps and accessories in it as well.
Over the last month I've really put this bag through its paces, I wanted to see if this bag would fail when travelling but I was relieved to find that it never struggled once. That doesn't mean that I didn't have any issues with it. When they bring out their next camera bag I would like a little more height in the depth as when putting in a pro body camera like a Nikon D3, the camera sits around 1cm above the line of the zip which can be a little awkward when zipping the bag up but it isn't a huge deal. Also the carry straps around the edge of the PIONEER are a little tight to the bag and I would like a handle that is a little bit softer to the touch. Apart from these two issues there is nothing else bad about these bags, all my gear is easy to get to quickly and it is very durable due to it being made from the same material the military use for their bags. On one of the days in Iceland it rained quite heavily throughout the course of the day, the bag does come with a rain cover but I never got it out. The bag went for around 3 hours in constant rain and not one bit of water reached inside to my gear. When the bags were put into the car they dried very quickly as if it had never even rained.
CoOrdinate Gear are really pushing themselves to break into the world of photography, competition is high with other brands releasing bags left, right and centre but I believe they have a great chance at offering amazing bags to suit every photographer. Their designs aren't over complicated like other bags, they're made out of durable material that can take a beating, customisable to suit the need of the user and I can't see myself using any other bags for a long time!
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