Back in October we told you about a really cool new camera bag we had seen while attending the PhotoPlus Expo in NYC I came upon the booth of a new product called Shoot Sac.
This new company was doing a brisk business at the PhotoExpo and the idea of a photo gear bag that didn’t look like your grandfathers camera bag was very appealing. So I called them up to see about getting a sample to review for the site. Ok so I’m a little late in making this post, by about 3 months… but I think it’s still worth talking about again.
The Shoot sac is a light weight bag with an adjustable nylon strap similar in design to a bike messenger bag that is made out of 3mm neoprene and measures roughly 17” in length and 9” tall.
The bag was initially designed to be useful for wedding and event photographers as well as others who need quick access to their lenses. While it’s not a replacement for a regular camera bag it would be a great location bag for photographers, assistants and digital techs whom on location might need to quickly throw a bag together with lenses and other gear for that quick run down the beach, or the photographers sudden need to leave that location you’ve paid to use in order to shoot in a location that he knows he’ll get kicked out of; or that quick trip in a zodiac to shoot on the side of a volcanic island.
As you can see in this photo, the bag stays close to the body which makes it not even appear to be a camera bag. This is probably a great idea for paparazzi or other situation where some semblance of discretion is mandatory.
The Shoot Sac comes in basic black but replacement covers can be ordered in a variety of colors, designs and fabrics.
One of the esthetic advantages of the Shoot Sac is the ability to change the bags cover flap which is attached by a strip of Velcro. This is simple enough with a quick pull on the Velcro and you can replace the covers or remove it all together.
The Shoot Sac has three pockets in the front and three in the back.
The back pockets use snaps as a method of closure, and the front are protected by the detachable cover flap.
This bag is really well made and for those wanting or needing to have an alternative photo bag this light weight bag makes a great option.
On some levels the Shoot Sac’s purpose is one of form over function.
However having said that I filled it with some heavy items around the house and gave it some abuse. This included dropping it from 6 feet, banging against the walls while running up the stairs, swinging it into a wall as if by accident, and the result was that nothing was damaged, including the bag.
(NOTE: no actual photographic equipment was used during these tests.) The sales team I spoke with were primarily selling to the DSLR photographer demographic.
But I wanted to see what practical application this bag could have for the commercial photographer that doesn’t shoot weddings or events.
So during one of our Digital Tech workshops a few months ago I filled the bag up with some typical Medium format digital gear.
2 – external Firewire drives
2 – 15’ Firewire cables
1 – 30’ Firewire cable
1 – USB cable
1 – Hasse 120mm lens
1 – Hasse 150mm lens
1 – Mamiya 140mm lens
6 – CF cards
1 – CF card reader
So here’s my take on the Shoot Sac.
Pros: It’s Lightweight, good looking, offers better than average protection to expensive equipment considering its thin appearance. The stitching looks pretty secure. Holds a good amount of equipment for short limited location situations
Cons: Currently the Shoot Sac comes in only 1 size, it could really use a shoulder pad because the shoulder strap falls off the shoulder every 30 seconds unless you walk leaning to one side. The current Velcro strip that holds the cover flap should be replaced with an industrial version. It’s just too easy to remove the flap or for it to accidentally get pulled off.
The addition of a Velcro strip or clasp on the front of the bag would be nice so that should the bag ever fall off your shoulder your lenses won’t fall out. The snaps on the back too need to be replaced with a more heavy duty version. The current snaps on the bag I received looked like they would pull off after a very short time. While it’s a great idea to have a replaceable cover flap it would be nice if this flap actually cover the entire width if the bag. As seen in the photo there is a fair amount of space on both sides that should a photographer ever get caught in the rain (like that ever happens) everything in the Shoot Sac will get a fairly good soaking. Double stitching all around would be a nice option along with wider pocket separators. The hardware for connecting the shoulder strap looks pretty but also looks like it would have a short life expectancy; so stronger materials would be a priority. For $179.00 all of the above issues should all be corrected.
Final thoughts: From my listing of ‘Cons’ you might think that I don’t care for the Shoot Sac.
Not So! I honestly think that this is a must have for the many situations over the years where I really could have used one of these. I only wish that I have invented it.
Further information: www.shootsac.com
ShootSac responds. Hi James! I just read the review you posted, thanks for that! It's nice to see people trying out the Shootsac in different ways than we even intended... we've had reports of people using it for all types of things (it even carries a six pack quite nicely). I did want to mention one thing to you, though. In the review you stated that the bag falls off the shoulder easily unless you walk with a tilt. The Shootsac is actually intended to be worn messenger bag style... with the strap going over your head and resting on the opposite shoulder. This would not allow for the bag to ever fall off or allow any of the contents to fall out. This also would take care of the issue of needing the flap (which is mostly for dust protection and aesthetics, as well as being a lens cloth is you have one of our designer covers) to secure down via velcro. We wanted the bag to be the fastest and easiest to get into and change your lenses out of... so securing the flap was against that. Anyhow, I just wanted to express my appreciation for you taking the time to examine and review our product, and to make you aware of the intended use of the Shootsac. I hope this clears up a little bit of what seemed to be negative aspects to you, and hopefully it will allow you to be more confident in using the bag yourself. I can certainly see why it would seem easy to fall if it was being worn straight off the shoulder! :)