BBP Bags’ $100 DSLR Slinger with iPad Slot is a new take on the popular sling-style camera bag. What makes this bag unique is that it is targeted at photographers who include an iPad as part of their kit.
A sling bag is like a backpack, but instead of two shoulder straps there’s one padded strap that goes across your body. This single-strap design allows you to quickly whip the bag from your back to your front, so you can pull your camera from the main camera compartment without removing the bag, and start shooting as fast as possible. It’s great for a photographer who wants quick access to their gear the moment a picturesque moment presents itself.
The DSLR Slinger, which weighs 2.5 pounds when empty, also has an additional waist strap that can be used to keep the bag more secure while you’re in motion. This strap better supports the load of a full bag, but it prevents you from doing the titular sling, so it’s best used when in transit. (The strap can be wrapped up and kept out of the way when not needed.)
The DSLR Slinger’s main camera compartment is located on the side of the bag, so it opens “on top” when you do the sling swing. This compartment can fit the body of a DSLR camera and a lens. The compartment’s padded dividers are movable to accommodate whatever rig you’re packing. On the front of the bag are two padded compartments that can fit a flash, a small lens, and other camera accessories. There are also smaller pockets on the bottom of the bag, and even on the strap, for other odds and ends such as memory cards and lens filters.
The DSLR Slinger is similar to other sling camera bags on the market—for example, it’s similar in size and design to Lowepro’s popular SlingShot 200 ($110). What the DSLR Slinger offers that others don’t is a flat, padded compartment on the back of the bag for carrying your iPad. (There are also two straps for securely strapping a tripod to the front of the bag, and a hide-away rain cover for protecting the entire bag from precipitation.)
For photographers who carry their iPads and the iPad Camera Connection Kit for previewing and backing up photos, the cushioned iPad pocket is a great feature, and the sling doesn’t fit or sit uncomfortably with an iPad inside. Sadly, the iPad compartment is just a tad bit too small to fit an 11-inch MacBook Air. It will, however, fit a 10-inch netbook.
This is a sturdy bag, made out of ballistic nylon and from a company with a reputation for durable products. It’s also very comfortable to wear, with smartly placed padding and mesh on the back, and a design that distributes the weight so that the single strap doesn’t dig into your shoulder. If you’ve managed to make the iPad an integral part of your photography workflow, and you’re looking for a sling bag that holds your device alongside your camera equipment, this unique bag is for you.