The selection of bags available these days is enormous, if we stocked every range of bags available there would be no room in any of our shops for anything else.
I've noticed, however, that there are a few 'go to' bags that we all recommend pretty frequently.
Need to carry lots of long thin things? Collapsed sunbounces, stands, tripods, that sort of thing? This will likely do what you need and more.
It's longer that your average standbag, which means it'll also take a telescopic background pole. It's also got a large cross section, so you can fill it up with a lot of gear.
Smaller stuff can be stored in the four pockets, they're designed to carry extra sunbounce screens but they're good for all sorts of grip, tape, power cables...
Of course, once it's full, you'll need the help of the wheels (which are aided by a very large skid plate) to move it around.
A great bag for all your not-so-fragile stuff. And not badly priced at £235
Speaking of fragile stuff, this bag is where that stuff goes.
We like this bag, and it's smaller sibling, the 910, because they're deep. It's really hard to find a bag that is small, but deep enough to fit longer lenses (and stuff like that) in upright (rather than laying down) which makes much better use of space. We use these for Elinchrom Quadra Kits, Lumedyne kits and Marshall monitor kits (the 910).
Lightware bags consist of a hard tub surrounded by a soft, foamed, outer. The tub in the base is made of a single piece of plastic, rather than 4 separate sheets, so there are no weak points. They’re, much lighter that hard cases and we know many customers for whom the bags have paid for themselves in reduced excess luggage fees.
At £250 the 1015's not cheap, but it'll last you years. We have a saying; "no one owns one lightware bag" because once you've got one, you'll want more!
Made under licence in the far east, to a lightware design, this case is a close copy of the Lightware PK1600, However this case is £159 whereas the PK1600 is £345. We love it because it easily carries a three head flash kit, with room left over for accessories. It also does it in style, being very well made and good looking (in our opinion). Unlike most cases supplied with kits, this one really protects your gear, the padding is super thick but firm enough to keep things in place. It comes with 2 upright dividers, splitting the case into three vertical slots, perfect for flash heads, or an Elinchrom Ranger pack and 2 heads. In short, this case makes a perfect upgrade if you'll be traveling with your lighting kit.
Elinchrom 2 Head Soft Bag.
This was a mainstay kit bag alternative for many years. If you were buying a set of classic Elinchrom 500 heads you could have the big grey plastic case, with ample space for a third head, or you could go light weight, with this case.
Nowadays, because Elinchrom supplies it's kits with lightweight fitted cases, there's less call for this bag. However, if you're buying a couple of heads secondhand or are looking for a bag for existing kit you'd do well to consider this one.
The main compartment is split in two by a soft flap divider, each half is perfectly sized to take a flash head with head cover and a 16cm reflector. There's a large pocket on the front that will take the mains cables and another under the lid for small accessories like triggers and sync cords. The lid is secured by two clips at the front and another two at the side. There is a grab handle on the top as well as a shoulder strap.
This bag isn't fancy but at £90 it's very good value, well built and does the job.
Lightware Laptop Messenger Bag
Ok, so this one's a personal favourite. It's not particularly cheap, at £215, but it's not bad when compared to an equivalent Billingham say. The construction of this bag is top notch, using the best materials and with really high quality stitching. Inside is a laptop slip case and a removable camera section, with two removable dividers. The outside has 4 large cargo pockets, each big enough for a lens. With the camera section removed the bag can be used as an overnight bag. If you fancy a change of looks, I've found that the padded camera section fits perfectly inside many larger canvas messenger type bags, converting them into surreptitious camera bags.
As I said, not particularly cheap, but a bag that will suit for many occasions.
Well I hope you liked that roundup of our favourite bags. Please leave a comment telling us what your favourite bag is.