“Hold up guys, I need to change my lenses.”
Rewind to 2007 when I was still in college and my photojournalism teacher and mentor taught me to never be this guy. Fast forward to 2008 during my first internship at PC Mag (then PC Magazine) and the journalists that I interned under would say the same thing. Why? Well, that guy slows everyone else down in the group.
This is one of the primary reasons why I don’t use backpacks for my photo gear, but when it comes to packing loads and loads of stuff on you in a comfortable yet low profile and fashionable way, it’s very tough to beat the Langly Alpha Pro backpack. Sure, backpacks don’t give you the quick, on the go access that a messenger or tote bag do, but it makes up for it in being able to carry lots of stuff on a daily excursion.
Made of canvas and leather, Langly camera bags join ONA, zKin, Artisan and Artist and others amongst the lineup of beautiful camera bags designed to also be very functional as a camera bag.
So how does it do? To be honest, Langly may have everyone else beat when it comes to the adventure photographer.
Pros and Cons
– You can stuff a lot of gear into this bag
– Lots of pockets
– Nice buckles
– Extremely comfortable and durable in many areas of the bag
– $249 price point is a bit pricey, but well worth it
Taken from the Langly Alpha Pro Olive listing.
Crafted out of waterproofed canvas with leather and brass detailing, Langly bags are designed to hold an SLR and up to 4 additional lenses, and a 15” laptop. The top compartment holds at least a days worth of clothing making it ideal for day trips.
The Langly Alpha Pro camera bag is designed like many other backpacks, but what’s so familiar about the Langly bags are that they’re inspired by military-style backpacks. However, these are made from canvas and leather–much like vintage packs were designed. As you can see, the Alpha Pro has a top pocket, a second lower compartment with a zipper, three side pockets, and clasps to close it all up.
The top compartment is close by these two clasps. The buckles can be undone or you can undo the button claps and lift the flap up.
Inside this area you’ll find a giant pocket for lots of stuff. We stuck a Sony A7 with 35mm f1.4 in there along with a book at one point. There are zippered pockets in here too. Behind this pocket is a sleeve to hold a 15 inch laptop.
Come back to the front and you’ll see two side pockets and one on the front. They’re both small and designed to section off smaller essentials like a book, iPad, phone, chargers, a water bottle, etc.
Unzipper the lower half of the camera bag and you’ll find a larger compartment for other stuff with dividers. We stuck the Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 lens and the Canon 6D in here with no issues at all. The compartment can be modified to hold clothing if you need it to.
Last but not least, the bottom of the bag has straps that can hold a tripod if you have one with you. We stuck a mirrorless camera tripod in there, but it’s capable of holding many others–just nothing as large as my torso when collapsed.
I don’t have a major complaint about the Langly Alpha Pro’s build quality except that I’d really, really love faster access to my gear than having to take the camera bag off. One solution is to the a Peak Design Capture Clip if you choose.
We took this bag down into the NYC Subway system during rush hour and surrounded by lots of people in addition to excursions around Greenwood Cemetery, Prospect Park, and around the Gowanus Canal. The entire experience was very comfortable and the bag took bangs while protecting the gear inside.
Ease of Use
Loading up the camera bag is very straight forward. Essentially it included stuffing one review unit (though I could have stuffed more) into the top, one into the lower compartment, a book in the front pocket and other necessities in the sides. On photo walks, friends and I would sometimes find cool things like free books or random stuff for sale. The bag was able to accommodate the other things that I picked up along with holding the gear that I kept so precious.
After lots of overpacking, you’ll start to realize that the bag is almost out of reach–and I’m a 5’6″ guy with fairly long arms too. To access my water bottle on the side I had to dislodge a strap, in which case the pack can become heavy depending on what you’re packing. Again though, this is designed to be a backpacker’s camera bag.
This is what made me realize that it isn’t only just for that, it’s also specially designed for travellers and just as a day bag. In fact, it’s main emphasis can be being a day bag and a camera bag secord–or vice versa.
This versatility makes the Langly an excellent design.
Though I usually don’t use backpacks unless I’m flying out for a trip (which I do at least once a month), the Langly has a lot to it. As a US Veteran myself, there is quite a bit of nice familiarity to it for both my past and my present. Stuff your camera(s), lenses, flashes, radios and all the essentials that you need in there and you’re ready for pretty much any situation that life will throw at you. Alternatively, you can leave most of that stuff at home and stuff it with lots of clothing.
When working in conjunction with something like the Peak Design Capture Clip, you’ve got a heck of a bag that really can’t be beat.
If you’re a backpacker, adventure photographer, or a travel shooter, you’ll want to bring the Langly Alpha Pro with you.
We award the Langly Alpha Pro our Editor’s Choice award and five out of five stars. The bag is available for $249 on Langly’s website.