My first encounter with Golla bags happened at the Mobile World Congress in 2012. Their vibrant display at the event was hard to ignore. Even now, it’s hard to ignore the breadth of designs and options they give you for protecting and toting your personal gear.
They sent over their Carter Large Pro Sling Camera Bag for review and I must say there is a lot to like about it.
- It’s solidly constructed. All the seams are tightly sewn and it appears that it would handle over-packing. Inside, it has three modular, velcro dividers that let you customize how you want to position your gear within.
- The polyvinyl exterior looks to be able to withstand the elements decently. I didn’t put it to the “DryCase” test or anything, but it looks like it would give you reasonable, temporary protection from water.
- The bag has good padding for protection. It feels “puffy” enough that you could drop it without inflicting too much damage to your camera.
- Let’s be honest, it looks pretty good. Vibrant blue. Large graphics. Stylish sling. I mean, there is the “man-purse” stigma to contend with, but if you are cool with “murses”, that won’t be a problem for you.
- It will hold a small tripod in the side exterior laces.
- Lastly, if you are a low maintenance traveler and leave the bulk of your camera gear behind, this little bag could double as an overnight bag instead of a camera bag only. It has a pocket to hold a tablet and a couple of zip pockets here and there. For a quick flight, it might do the trick.
There are a few negatives but very few.
- The biggest problem I have with the bag is that while it is big enough for a pro photographer to carry the necessary gear (and clearly that is the goal of the bag…I don’t want to distract from that), it’s not quite big enough to hold a laptop computer. As a traveling blogger, I need to have a laptop with me at all times which means I would need to carry two bags if I used this one for my camera. And this bag is a little too big to carry with another bag. So that is a bummer.
- Additionally, it is a tad bulky, meaning that it sticks out from your back a bit when you are wearing it. It’s not going to get caught in a revolving door or anything, but, it’s a tad fat. But most larger camera bags are like this though so, that’s a minor issue.
What I would like to see is a bag that holds the same volume of gear but is maybe a tad longer and dimensionally flatter (if possible). In this way it might be able to accommodate a small laptop as well and not stick out as far from your back. Maybe they already solved this conundrum with their Herman bag?
But as a camera/day pack, (when I don’t need a laptop with me), I would totally rock this bag. It is comfortable and offers good protection for your DSLR gear, and that’s what matters.
It looks like it will be retailing for $79.99 and will be available for purchase in the USA in about a month. Golla doesn’t currently sell bags at their own website, but initial online retailers will likely include ebags.com. In any event, Golla’s typical retailer list is here.