All our products are crafted locally in our workshop by the most skilled sewing team in San Francisco.
- 1050 Denier Black ballistic or brown waxed canvas
- Full-grain leather accent
- More details here
- Full: 12.5” (l) 5” (w) 8.5” (h)
- Compact: 10.5” (l) 4” (w) 7.5” (h)
- Weight: Compact: Ballistic 2 lbs.; 907 gm / Canvas 2.2 lbs.; 998 gm
31.75 (l) 12.7 (w) 21.59 (h) cm
Insert Dimensions: 11.5'' (l) 5'' (w) 7.25'' (h)
Volume: 8.7 Liters
26.67 (l) 10.16 (w) 19.05 (h) cm
Insert Dimensions: 10.25'' (l) 4'' (w) 6.5'' (h)
Volume: 5.2 Liters
Full: Ballistic 2.5 lbs.; 1134 gm / Canvas 2.8 lbs.; 1270 gm
- Adjustable and removable padded camera insert with adaptive padded dividers.
- Removable insert attaches with magnetic Fidlock snaps.
- Dense, lightweight, foam padding surrounds camera insert and camera bag shell.
- Zippered, three-dimensional pocket on leather flap for quick-access items.
- Pleated open pocket under flap for bulkier accessories.
- Mesh interior pockets provide room for SD cards, flash drives, batteries, and chargers.
- Adjustable tripod carry straps attach to the bottom of the bag.
- Padded Suspension Strap that rests on your shoulder for comfort and flexibility.
- Flexible strap options: Strap attaches to D-ring on left or right side of either shoulder.
- Simple rear handle facilitates quick grab or slides over suitcase handles.
- Easy-to-access: Top-down opening for grabbing camera on the go.
- Gold interior lining in the front and back pockets for visibility.
- Breathable mesh back padding enhances airflow and cushioning.
- YKK waterproof zippers and highly water-resistant materials help protect contents.
I love Waterfield Designs - I have purchased 18 of their products since June 2010. This, my 19th purchase, was also one of the most expensive. More on that later...
- Innovative flip design makes changing lenses a breeze
- Elasticated strap
- Grab handle
- Well built
- Not the most-elegant looking bag: has the aesthetics of a brick
- Inflexible divider/wasted space
- Difficult to open one handed
- Noisy zip!
- Questionable durability: how long with that zip last?
I bought this "Compact" Cargo Camera Bag (US $389) to replace my much-loved Billingham Hadley Small camera bag (price: US $230), which was getting a little too painful to carry over my shoulder.
I've been giving it an intensive test drive, pounding the streets and galleries of Boston whilst photographing autumn colours, landmarks, sculptures and some fine art. I've enjoyed using the bag - but there are some issues, which I hope the team can address in a "Mark 2" version. In the meantime, I hope that my feedback will be useful for prospective customers.
- I currently shoot with a Canon EOS 5D - a full-frame DSLR.
- I only ever use prime lenses - these are all Canon "L" series lenses: a bit heavy and clunky.
- With my Billingham bag, my typical walk-around kit is the trio: 24mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.2 and 100mm f/2.8 Macro.
I'm able to fit all these in the Billingham bag, which has removable velcro dividers including a little adjustable flap which lets me position a smaller lens under the camera grip. That makes 3 prime lenses, one camera body. So how does the Waterfield "Cargo Camera Bag" (Compact) Compare?
1. Will it hold my stuff?
In making the divider fixed, there isn't enough flexibility: I need more width on one side of the divider (for the camera body + extra lens) than on the other side (single prime lens). The divider _can_ be popped sideways - but just not enough to be useful (I need another centimetre or so). As a result, I'm reduced to carrying only two out of my "Holy Trio" of prime lenses plus wasted space.
And before anyone points out, I freely accept that Waterfield describe this (Compact) bag as being suitable only for two lenses, not three - it's just that an identically-sized bag, the Billingham Hadley Small, does let me carry three lenses, with no wasted space. (No, I don't fancy the "Full Sized" bag; I generally find with Waterfield that their Compact designs are about right, whereas their Full Sized variants are too big. But that's just me.)
*** Suggestion: Either provide a more-flexible adjustment, or revert to Velcro. ***
2. Ease of Access
I _do_ like the way this bag facilitates changing lenses! No longer do I have to awkwardly crouch down, knees aching, whilst cradling a precious lens in my lap. Unfortunately, the "flip" design comes with a downside: the zip. The whole design hinges on a zip (a potentially expensive failure point), which is awkward to use one handed and very noisy to open (try using this bag in a museum gallery...). I mean, if avoiding velcro for a one-off divider insertion is such a big deal, why opt for a noisy zip that has to be used all the time?!
By contrast, the Billingham bag uses a flap which, whilst it _does_ make access to the camera compartment more difficult, also allow rapid access to the camera compartment - something that can be easily done just by feel.
*** Suggestion: Magnetic Closure ***
This design is crying out for a magnetic "snap shut" closure - perhaps with an additional locking mechanism for extra security. The idea would be that, on arriving at a shoot, one would unlatch the bag - which would then remain closed until one pulls apart the magnetically-fastened sides to remove the camera, and then have the bag snap shut afterwards.
Perhaps my main reason for purchasing this bag was to have a comfortable "suspension" strap. This works, up to a point - but sadly, this "Compact" size has a smaller-diameter strap that just doesn't provide the comfort and support of the larger strap (e.g., as supplied with the Mac Studio case and, presumably, with the "Full Size" camera case). I also found that when adjusting the strap length, the fixings would invariably slip, resulting in the strap lengthening over time.
*** Suggestion: provide the wider strap with both Compact and Full sized bags. ***
4. The Price
It's a unique, well-built camera bag that has many virtues. Unfortunately, it's also very expensive. Generally, this isn't an issue for Waterfield products: they easily justify their cost. But when compared with similar not-made-in-China bags from companies such as Billingham (which should cost more, as they're made in the UK) the price is harder to justify: this bag is almost twice the cost of a comparable Billingham bag ($389 vs $230). So is it worth it?
If the issues I've raised were to be addressed, I'd give an unequivocable "Yes"; until then...
I love your items, they’re amazingly made with fantastic materials. I was excited to see a small camera bag. As I expected, premium, wonderful materials. However, the 3 section insert with fixed sections does not offer the required flexibility. I use a longer lens which does not fit on camera in any of the sections. Typically I would remove one or both center dividers to accomodate my camera with lens. This is not possible in your bag. So my only recourse is to remove the insert completely, at which point my camera easily fits, but I lose the benefit of the protective padding.
I would have liked to see much more flexibility in arranging the internal dividers.
The Quality and craftsmanship this company produces is unbelievable and always have a luxury feel to it! If your investment into your gear was a simple decision of going with the best to level the playing to making magici happen with your equipment then look no further because Waterfield has listen to it’s valuable customers and film makers to collaboratively design a camera bag that will stand the test of time and give you peace of mind in the harshest possible filming conditions and give you a stylish look and feel as you commute to and from set. This camera bag is stylish and functional, what are you waiting for place your order and get your gear ready for its new cozy surroundings of the Waterfield Luxurious camera bag!!
It is obvious a lot of thought went into preparing this camera bag for production. I have had it a very short time, but am extremely pleased so far with the look, feel and functionality of this bag. This is a top-of-the-line product.
I own several bags from Waterfield Designs, and this one is as excellent as usual.
It fits two Leica Ms with lenses + extra lens, or a Sony A1 with a lens attached + one extra. If you remove the padded foamy insert, it can even fit a Sony 1 with a 100-400 mm lens, although it is a very tight fit.
My favorite feature is the easily removable foam insert with a sewn-in divider. It's very well padded for extra protection you might need during travels and can be removed if you want a bit of extra space or want to use it to carry something other than a camera.
I don't like super-padded camera bags because they end up heavy and inefficient - I'd instead use a camera pouch or a wrap for transportation. But I believe WD found a great compromise with the removable insert that doesn't take up much space.
Carryology - January 26, 2023
“I think Waterfield are onto something here with the Cargo, and if you’re looking for a modern luxury camera bag, this is a top tier option.”
The Cargo Camera Bag comes in two sizes and can fit the following devices:
- Compact Size:
- Mirrorless camera body/lens + 1 extra prime lens and accessories
- DSLR camera body/lens + 1 extra prime lens and accessories
- Full Size:
- Mirrorless camera body/lens + 2 extra lenses and accessories
- DSLR camera body/lens + 2 extra lenses and accessories