In planning a scouting trip to Spain for realfoodtraveler.com, we’d read horror stories about pickpockets and thieves slashing and grabbing bags, especially in popular tourist areas like La Rambla in Barcelona.
Having just invested several thousand of dollars in upgrading cameras for the magazine, we were worried so we turned to the luggage security experts PacSafe for solutions.
PacSafe’s USA Sales and Marketing Manager Evan Wert suggested PacSafe’s PhotoSafe 200, a large security-enabled shoulder photo bag. It’s an attractive bag with two padded interior compartments for camera equipment; a zippered compartment with multiple pockets; a large mesh exterior pocket, two deep mesh pockets on either side, perfect for water bottles or an umbrella; and a slim pock that rests against the body that works for a book, map, train tickets, or other easily accessible items. All the compartments are covered by a flap that keeps everything safe and, as we found during a particularly rainy day in Barcelona, dry.
The bag comes with a thick detachable shoulder strap with a generous shoulder pad and a quick-grab hand carry handle.
The security features of the bag include slash-proof straps and sides; heavy-duty steel loops tucked away that you can lock down the zipper pulls, making it impossible for thieves to open; and a lock that allows you to attach the bag to an immovable object in case there’s not a safe large enough.
I carry a Canon DSLR with a chunky 18-200mm lens. The camera and lens easily fit into one interior compartment with room to spare. It enabled me to easily store a notebook, camera batteries, charger, sun glasses, reading glasses, and a pashmina wrap (for cool evenings) inside. The zippers for this padded interior section are on the inside facing the body, which made it easy for me to access, but virtually impossible for anyone else.
In the zippered multi-pocket area, I was able to carry important items like wallet, passport, keys, traveler’s checks, extra money, a travel hairbrush, and a few chocolate bars.
One day in Barcelona, the skies opened and it poured, catching us without an umbrella or plastic bag for my camera. Though the bag got quite wet, I was pleased that the large covering flap shed rain well and kept my camera – and everything else – completely dry. After our drenching experience, we purchased a small umbrella, which fit nicely into one of the deep mesh side pockets (along with several last minute items I’d stashed in there).
I wandered the streets of Barcelona at all hours of the day and night with the CamSafe 200 and felt secure.
Real Bottomline: If you’re a photo enthusiast who likes a side bag for your camera gear that’s got plenty of room and gives a genuine sense of security, I highly recommend PacSafe’s CamSafe 200. — Review by RFT Editor Bobbie Hasselbring