30 May 2019 by Dave Kai-Piper
Over the years, I have had many different camera bags, mostly as I have had the need for different bags for different reasons. I love my Peli case for storing my kit when flying or traveling by car & my Domke is the bag of choice for my kit when on the bike, but nothing gives me the freedom and portability of the Cosyspeed bags – especially when exploring Ireland on the bike & here's why.
Traveling on a bike has some unique challenges and not just for the rider. The kit we carry is subject to the elements just as much as we are. Packing everything in the rear aluminium hard cases, inside the Domke that lives in that pannier is the best option for travelling on the highways and in harsh weather but when travelling about looking to find photographs stopping the bike getting off, opening the pannier grabbing a camera and shooting can sometimes be a pain, so, I use the Cosyspeed bags giving me quick access to my camera and supplies.
Why am I not using a tank bang?
The truth is I used to until I came across Cosyspeed, and I still would for things like maps and snacks. I think the idea that I can stop the bike and walk off knowing I have everything of value on me and I still have both hands free. The other unique problem I had is the shape of my fuel tank. the Triumph Explorer has a very angler shape meaning that fitting camera into the back is not that easy anyway.
What if I come off the bike?
When I am riding for distance or at high speed on the highway, I put the camera back into the rear pannier, only leaving my wallet, first aid pouch GPS tag and other important items on me. I roll the Cosyspeed round a little more so it's off my hip.
What can I fit in the bag?
I shoot with the Fujifilm GFX 50r when traveling on the bike. The bag fits the camera with a GF32-65mm lens with lens hood, spare battery, spare SD cards, wallet, GPS tag, small first aid kit, USB battery charger. I also have room to store my Go-Pro camera when it's not on my helmet. When I am not traveling with my camera gear, the bag doubles up as a place to just store my phone, keys, wallet or disc lock. This means I don't have to always take my panniers.
Why not use a backpack?
Some riders use small rucksacks. I have a super slimline one already that has Camelback drinks system built in. As a rule, I only have my waterproofs in that bag as I hate the weight on my shoulders. Camera rucksacs are just way too large & bulky to take on a bike unless you are mounting it onto the bike. In which case you would take something like a Peli 1510.
Is it safe?
The straps click into place and to be honest, are really tricky to take off in thick bike gloves, but this due to the dual locking feature. Once it is clipped on, it is not coming off, at all. Having a camera on your hip while riding does not affect the handling of the bike in any way. The bag neatly tucks in as my legs come up and with the Triumph Explorer, it sits perfectly in the gap between my leg, and rear pannier. The wind seems to just be pushed around the bike, I don't really notice any extra wind resistance.
Is it waterproof?
I have found the bags to be very good against the elements and the harsh conditions that traveling by bike can present. Not only is rain a worry but the dirt and grime from the roads is a worry just as the dust from a dirt trail. The way the bags close and the sideways movement pulls everything together creating a seal that is awesome at stopping dirt getting in. Even though.. I live in Ireland and when it rains.. It sure rains hard. In times like this, I just use the waterproof cover for the bag and problem solved.