After Lowepro Pro Trekker - The G-32
In search of a lighter bag in January 2018, I switched from the photography bag I had been using to the Gura Gear Elite G-32. (I sold the previous Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW bag, bad decision #1). The equipment list below was what I was using when I had the G-32, which worked well.
16-35mm f/2.8 III (Canon)
24-70mm f/2.8 II (Canon)
70-200mm f/2.8 L II (Canon)
300mm f/2.8 L II (Canon)
180mm f/3.5 L macro (Canon)
1Ds Mark III with L bracket (Canon)
miscellaneous additional items
In addition to the space within the unit, It was also almost long enough for my torso (something I had never considered) and was comfortable when hiking the few miles.
2018 Equipment Transportation
For a number of different reasons, during the summer of 2018, I sold both the 300 f/2.8 L II and 180mm macro lens. I used the 300 very little, and have moved to using the 70-200 for macro type photography that I find of interest.
Needed - A Smaller Bag
With the removal of the 300 and 180, the G-32 was now too large. My photography lenses became:
16-35mm f/2.8 L III USM (Canon)
24-70mm f/1.4 L II USM (Canon)
85mm f/1.4 L IS USM (Canon)
70-200mm f/2.8 L III IS USM (Canon)
The G-32 was now too large.
The Switch - Gura Gear G-26
At the time, I really liked the way Gura Gear bags worked. they were deep, equipment well protected, and though the harness system was less than the Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW that I had previously, I fetl it worked well for what I was doing.
Thus, I looked no further than the G-26. With the purchase of the G-26, I sold the G-32. (Bad decision #2).
With the exception of the 180 macro and 300mm, I followed the initial layout of the G-32 when I started setting up the G-26. The numerous removable padded dividers made this easy to place all of my photography equipment.
Side one (the left side looking down, top of the bag is to your left), contained what would be my most used lenses and the camera body.
The 70-200 f/2.8 L III, being the longest lens, was first placed into location. The camera body went next, perpendicular to the bag. Once both were in position, the extension tubes and 1.4 telextender fill another location.
The remaining items on side one (the air blower, spare battery, extra cards and hand-held GPS) took residence in the remaining open spaces.
The right side of the bag (looking down, top of the bag is to your right), held the 16-35, 24-70 and 85mm lens, each in their own dedicated location.
Two polarizing filters, both shared a space with a small cleaning cloth.
In the lower right corner, I kept the rain cover for the Gura Gear, and a small plastic cover for my camera and tripod head - should I ever get stuck in the rain.
The G-26 by itself is weather resistant, the cover is for heavier rains. Although the camera body and all lenses are weather sealed, in heavy rain I like to add the rain cover.
Easy To Carry, Easy Storage
The Gura Gear Elite G-26 bag with my equipment weighed in at just under 22 pounds. (The tripod, which I always hand-carry, is not included in the weight).
Like the larger G-32, the G-26 maintained its shape. The bag didn’t flop over, or “collapse”, making it easily storable.
One Area I Overlooked
Being about four inches shorter than the G-32 doesn’t seem like much. However, the difference was noticed when storing the bag in the closet or in the car.
However, while it was a benefit in storage, once on my back for a hike, that loss of a few inches was quickly noticeable.
The Gura Gear G-26 and G-32 do not have an adjustable torso height feature. It is only one size, and that size is dictated by the height of the pack. I failed to take this into account when I purchased the G-26. And worse, after I received it I convinced myself it wouldn’t be a problem. (Mistake #3)
With a longer torso, it jsut never felt comfortable. the torso length was simply too short for me. (In retrospect, I did not remember it being too short with the G-32, but of course, I sold that immediately after getting the G-26, and no longer had it available).
Back to the Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW
After using the G-26 for about a year, and always finding it not quite comfortable for hiking, I switched back to the Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW (which I had to re-purchase since I had sold the earlier unit I had).
Did I learn my lesson about comfort? Yes. Some things you simply cannot “wish away”. Looking back, this full circle transition - if I had really thought hard about what I needed — would never have occurred. That’s what I get for reading photography articles and reviews!