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Yes Please

image-8About 6 weeks ago, I received the Gura Gear Unita in the mail, and I was excited to giving it a thorough going over after having used the Gura Gear Kibobo 22L+ for over a year now.

I liked the bag from the outset, but there were three main things I was looking for that would have to match, or exceed that of the 22+ for me to switch over to it as my primary bag.

They were:

  • Build quality – I could throw me old bag out of a moving car on the edge of a cliff (not recommeneded) and the contents would likely be safe
  • Ease of use – I’ve had camera bags that open from the back before (although, in fairness, they didn’t open from the front too), and I was never impressed with the setup
  • Tripod carrying – As much as I like my old bag, the tripod attachment was a definite afterthought, and meant carrying it far more than I would have liked

You can purchase the Gura Gear Unita by clicking on this link, and you can save yourself 10% by using the coupon code ‘EXPERT10’. If you prefer Amazon, it’s also on there too.

It’s by no means a cheap bag, but in my experience with photography gear, you really do get what you pay for.

Did this bag live up to my expectations? Lets have a look…

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Versatility & Size

I don’t know about you, but I have different bags for different occasions. I have a small camera bag, a big one, a laptop bag, a weekend bag, etc., and it’s all taking up space at the bottom of my wardrobe.

My favourite thing about this bag is that it solves this problem.

So let me start by saying that this bag is quite big, and although that’s great, it would traditionally mean that it’s not for everyone.

If you’re a casual photographer who only likes to carry a few lenses on the occasional walk, then this may be overkill.

However, it’s certainly multipurpose. Have a look at how the bag is laid out:

ModuleOptions

The bag itself it empty, until you start adding different modules. A small one, and a large one.

I use the large module to carry my cameras and lenses, and the small one to carry flashes, accessories, and maybe a video camera, like so:

IMG_7525

As you can add and remove these modules to suit what you’re shooting, it starts to free up the rest of the bag for other uses.

For example, I spent the last three nights in London visiting a friend, and I only took the bottom module with me. I put two film cameras and a lens in it, and used the rest of the bag for my clothes.

IMG_7504

Because the majority of the padding is in these modules, there’s plenty of room in the rest of the bag, and it’s very lightweight too.

There’s also room for your laptop, bottle of water, and other small accessories.

And of course, if you’re the type of photographer who likes to have a wide selection of gear at their disposal, then this bag will definitely allow you to do that.

I have two other bags I use when taking photos, depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing, but this bag is definitely my new go-to bag when it comes to Landscapes and Portraits.

IMG_7513

Build Quality

The quality is exactly what you’d expect from a bag of this price (~$200-$400 depending on the extras you choose). It’s lightweight, waterproof (with an additional cover too) and well ventilated.

Something I rather gushed over on the Kiboko 22L+ was the zips, and I can’t help but share the same feelings for this bag, I mean, just look at them:

IMG_7519

Okay, maybe it’s just me.

If you are wanting to use this bag as a camera bag (which I’d imagine you are), then make sure you purchase at least one of the modules as that’s where 95% of the padding comes from on the side of the bags.

There’s also waist straps for distributing the weight of the bag around your body.

image-7

If I’m being entirely fair, I found the modules rather awkward to begin with, but you soon get used to them, as you’ll see here…

In Use

image-6I guess a USP of this bag is the way you can access it when you’re carrying it. There’s three different entrance points, depending on what you’re trying to get to.

On the front, you can access the main, large module, as well as the laptop and accessories compartment. And on the back, there are two different zipper sections for both modules.

With the smaller compartment unreachable from the front, I keep my flashes and other stuff I don’t use so much in here, and keep the most commonly used stuff such as lenses and cameras in the main compartment.

Why does this matter?

Well, if you have your waist straps on, and you don’t mind looking a little silly, you can spin the bag around and access all of your main gear, without having to remove the tripod from the front, as you can see on the right.

Looks a little awkward, but it works surprisingly well.

And that leads me on to talk about the tripod carrying, the one feature my old bag really lacks.

Tripod

Gura Gear have managed to come up with something that they call the Tripod and Hydration system (like the modules, this is an additional extra), and it works by attaching to the front of the bag, and holding the tripod underneath. You simply slip a tripod leg over the top.

And as the name suggests, you can also use a hydration system like a CamelBak to keep you hydrated at the same time, which is extra useful on those long hikes.

image-9

Pros

  1. It’s very well made and sturdy
  2. It’s really comfortable to wear, especially when you do all the straps up nice and tight
  3. The bag is discrete; it doesn’t scream camera bag the way some other bags do (unless you’re carrying a tripod!)

Cons

  1. The bag lacks adequate padding and compartments without the use of the additional modules. I would encourage you to not think as these as an additional cost on the price of the bag, but rather a cheaper way to purchase the bag if you’re not looking to carry photography equipment.
  2. The top module does tend to squish the bottom module when they’re both fully packed
  3. I had to watch a video to learn how to put the bag together properly, so there’s a slight learning curve there

THSJacketWaterbottle__60102.1389379073.1280.1280

Summary

My favourite thing about this bag is how versatile it is. I use it when I’m taking photos, when I go away for the weekend, when I want to carry my laptop with me, and more. It also carries my tripod with ease.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the bag costs roughly $400 with the modules and the hydration system, but with that said, I think it’s worth the money, if you can afford it. It really depends on your priorities.

Would a new lens be more beneficial to a beginner? Probably. To a pro? Probably not.

When it comes down to it, how often do you carry your equipment around, and how much protection do you need it to have?

If your answers to those questions are ‘a lot’ and ‘enough to keep it save from small drops and knocks’, then get this bag.

You can purchase the Gura Gear Unita by clicking on this link, and you can save yourself 10% by using the coupon code ‘EXPERT10’. If you prefer Amazon, it’s also on there too.

Gura Gear Unita Camera Bag Review

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Josh

Hey I'm Josh, I'm Photography in Chief here at ExpertPhotography, and I'm in charge of making sure that we provide you with the best content from the most knowledgeable photographers in the world. Enjoy the site :)

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