Tuesday, January 3, 2012

REVIEW: Black Rapid SnapR Camera Bag + Sling Strap

Black Rapid SnapR Camera Bag + Sling Strap (SnapR 35 Left, SnapR 20 Right)
Black Rapid SnapR Camera Bag + Sling Strap (SnapR 35 Left, SnapR 20 Right)

BlackRapid has a great reputation for creating high quality camera straps like the RS-7 I reviewed, but until I saw their display at PhotoPlus Expo I had no idea that they also made a camera bag.  I was very impressed with the SnapR product line when I first saw it because typical bags for this size are simply plastic pouches with cheap zippers, velcro or snaps. What I really wanted for my G12 and X10 was something that was built like a ThinkTankPhoto bag, but BlackRapid took that wish to the next level and threw in even more.

Here’s a short little video that shows how this bag not only offers a rapid strap, but also a hand strap for the bag or just for the camera. The net result is a nice design that offers multiple ways to transport and protect your camera:


Play in HD

SnapR 35 – Great for Mirrorless and Micro Four Thirds Cameras


SnapR 35 with a Nikon 1 V1 and 10-30mm lens

The first SnapR that I got my hands on was the 35 which was great because I was in the middle of my point and shoot comparison testing. It could hold my biggest camera, the V1, so everything else would work too. I loved having this bag for this testing and it was awesome for the bulky V1. I could even put the 10mm lens in the side pocket:


SnapR 35 with Nikon 1 10mm lens in the side pocket
with a V1 (with 10-30mm attached) zipped in the main compartment

It was too small to hold the massive 10-100mm lens, but I suspect few V1 owners would consider this bag if they had that big lens anyway. This is really a bag for those traveling light as this bag will hold the essentials in its two side pockets.

I tend to carry my smaller flip cage in the outer pocket (but it won’t zip when I do that) so I can have a tripod on the go. The iPhone also fits nicely in the outside pocket too!

SnapR 20 – Great for Mid-Size Point and Shoots like the Canon G12 & Fujifilm X Series

SnapR 20 with Fujifilm X10 inside (lens cap on)
SnapR 20 with Fujifilm X10 inside (lens cap on)

Since I own a Canon G12 and now a new Fujifilm X10, I decided that the SnapR 35 was a little more bulky that what I needed for my cameras. As a result I decided to try out the SnapR 20 to see if it was a better solution for my cameras. It turns out that the G12 fits perfectly and the X10 fits, but it’s a little snug for rapid insert and removals with the lens cap on. It glides in and out better without the lens cap off, but I always want my lens cap on so I’ve just dealt with the snug fit. I’ve also kept my camera strap on the X10 which really isn’t needed with this bag, so that would free up some space too. Personally I’d rather the smaller bag since it works for my X10 and is a perfect fit (with plenty of space) for my G12.

Here’s a shot of how my X10 is attached by its tripod mount to the shoulder strap for a true BlackRapid experience:

SnapR 20 with Fujifilm X10 - rapid strap connection
The built-in shoulder rapid strap means you are always connected
by the tripod mount for rapid removal, stability, and safety

Using the SnapR

The SnapR is more than just a camera bag. It’s a versatile camera strap system. You can make it as simple as a wrist strap design as shown here:


Wrist Strap Connection
Photo Courtesy of BlackRapid

Or you can leave the camera attached to the rapid strap as shown here (my preference):

SnapR 10 shown with rapid strap use in action
SnapR 10 shown with rapid strap use in action
Photo Courtesy of BlackRapid

When you are done using the camera you just leave it attached and insert it upside down back into the case as shown here:

image
Cameras are inserted upside down while still attached for rapid and safe removal
Photo Courtesy of BlackRapid

It’s a really cool design that works better in practice than you might think.

These are great bags with a sturdy external design, strong clips, and a super soft interior that won’t hurt your LCD or lens.There’s also a quick release zipper design for the front pouch that makes it really quick to remove your camera and pull it up the rapid strap.

Conclusion

Plain and simple – if you own a camera smaller than a DSLR and you want a great case and strap for on the go action, this is your bag. I’ve seen nothing on the market that I’ve liked as much so I highly recommend this product!

If you own a thin point and shoot like a Canon s100 then order the SnapR 10, if you have a mid-side point and shoot like a Canon G12, Fujifilm X10 or X100, then order the SnapR 20. If you have a mirrorless or micro four thirds camera that’s a little bigger then order the SnapR 35.

Disclosure

I was provided with sample bags for evaluation by BlackRapid and I may make a commission if you make a purchase using links on this blog. I believe in this product and use it personally, so I can honestly say that I would have bought it even if I wasn’t provided with sample bags by BlackRapid.

I live in the Seattle area so I was actually surprised to find out that BlackRapid is actually based in the Fremont area of Metropolitan Seattle, so that kinda gave me an extra reason to like them.

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6 comments:

Life said...

I think this is a good idea but I'm fairly certain any self-respecting man would rather die than put that on...

Ron Martinsen said...

Hi Life,

Ha, ha - yeah, I could have done a better job with the photos with models rather than snatching them from BR's site. It's actually not as girly as it looks here with the SnapR 10 shown.

I have no problems carrying around my 20 or 35 without fear of people questioning my manhood, but I've shared your feedback with BlackRapid.

Perhaps they need the Dude Edition that has a pinup girl on it or something

Lara said...

I would love to see a version of this that can hold a few lenses and have a pro body clipped like the black rapid straps do. Or a way to attach a bag to the current strap product lines.

Ron Martinsen said...

Lara,

I'll pass your feedback along to BR. I imagine you could attach the hand strap though and feed it through your BR strap to accomplish what you want though.

Ron

benobryan said...

Hi Ron
Are the straps of the 20 and 35 identical? (i.e. is the only difference the bag size?).
Thanks
Ben

Ron Martinsen said...

Ben,

Yes, they are identical.

I will point out that some have suggested that they would just ditch the bag and use the strap with their camera, but I don't see how this is possible.

The more I use these bags, the more I enjoy them - they are great!

Ron