Somewhat like Goldilocks, I’m forever searching for something that’s just right. In my case, it’s a carry-on bag that totes my camera and laptop, has a little extra room for a wallet and phone, and is comfortable to use. Extra bonus if it’s not an obvious camera bag, so I can escape the watchful eyes of thieves looking for a free DSLR camera.
I’ve been testing out the Pacsafe Camsafe Z16 during my travels in Vietnam for the past couple of weeks, and it’s already like a tried-and-true friend. The bag has enough space for my camera and laptop, plus room for a bit more, like an additional lens or two, my smart phone, wallet—even charging cables. The backpack-style bag has a subtle look, and the brand isn’t your typical camera bag manufacturer, so on the street, I look like I’m walking around with an urban backpack.
The Camsafe bag integrates pickpocket-resistant interlocking zippers, a “Roobar” anti-theft lock that keeps the main compartment locked down, slash-guard straps to keep thieves from cutting through the fabric, and comfortable padding. I’ve lugged it around for days on end—from city streets to temples to riverboat trips—and it’s gotten a little dusty, but has always been easy to carry.
The main compartment includes Velcro separators, so you can shift them as necessary to fit your gear. Something I discovered when packing the bag for the first time is that trying to cram your 13-inch laptop in at the last minute can be a little difficult, and it’s much better to pack it first, before stashing your camera, lenses, and whatever else you want to take with you.
The backpack straps are easy to adjust and there’s an additional sternum strap that helps secure the bag when hiking, cycling, or riding on the back of a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City. The fabric is easy to clean, and after being out all day, I’ve scrubbed it lightly with a washcloth and the dust is gone.
See other Pacsafe reviews on Practical Travel Gear.