Finding a good multipurpose bag can be difficult. The Crumpler 8 Million Dollar Home is a good example of a shoulder style camera bag with optional laptop storage. It works best as a camera bag; the laptop storage sleeve is added as an afterthought for a photographer that needs to download pictures in the field.
Crumpler originally started out as a company that specialized in messenger bags. For many years, people would buy one of these messenger style bags, and then customize them to their particular requirements (such as photography, or a diaper bag). As this caught on, Crumpler realized that they were missing out on an opportunity, and went into creating other styles of bags on their own.
Enter the 8 Million Dollar Home. Based on a messenger bag, the 8MDH is a large bag, with a series of removable dividers that can be arranged based on your particular needs. I was able to fit a DSLR body, an 18-200 zoom lens, a 50mm lens, a 16-85mm lens, a BlackRapid strap, a flash, and a 14 inch laptop all in the main compartment. The front compartment held my filters, memory card adapter, GPS, notebook and pen, cell phone, and a battery charger. The cover flap has a mesh pocket with a zipper closure which could easily hold lighter items.
The cover flap is held (very securely) with either two patches of velco, or with two buckles. One feature particular to the 8MDH is the “stealth” velcro covers. This allows you to fold two pieces of cloth over the hook and loop fasteners, which eliminates the noise caused by opening the bag. The cover can still be closed using the standard latch buckles, as the stealth covers disable the velcro.
Because all of the padding is customizable, you can add or remove sections as needed. I found the inserts to be very durable, and well designed. Once you put an insert in place, it’s not going to move again unless you want it to. The should strap is a bit beefy, it’s quite wide and can be bulky at times. I’m over 6 feet tall though, and the strap was sufficiently long enough to fit properly over my rather large frame. I would recommend checking the fit in a store before you purchase this bag, as the strap is not removable.
Crumpler makes great bags. The 8MDH might not be for everyone due to its large size, but it will hold a ton of camera gear as well as your laptop. Keep in mind this is also a shoulder style bag, so if you’re looking for a backpack, this bag isn’t for you. Crumpler bags also don’t look like a camera bag or laptop bag, which can help prevent theft. The $170 price tag is steep as well, but a bag like this is something you’re going to buy once and then not have to replace for 10 years.
Don’t forget to check out the other bags we’re reviewing for Bag Week!