Booq's Python Sling is a capacious and well made sling-style bag
Booq offer plenty of packaging options with the Python Sling
Until I was contacted by Booq to review one of their camera bags I had not come across the brand before. Their catalogue shows that they have a wide range of bags and cases and camera bags are just one of the categories they cover. Booq offer shoulder bag and conventional backpack bags, but I decided to have a look at their Python Sling bag.
If you are not familiar with sling bags, unlike backpacks that are supported by both shoulders, a sling bag only rests on one shoulder. This does mean that the one shoulder has to support more weight, but crucially when you need to access the conte
nts of your bag there is no need to remove it as you would have to with a conventional backpack. You just swing the back around to your front and unzip the section you want to access. Sling bags I have seen in the past have tended to be smaller and lighter than the Python Sling. Smaller bags will minimise any strain on the one shoulder that is supporting the bag.
The Booq Python Sling fully loaded with a tripod attached as well
With the Python Sling you have a heavy duty bag with lots of padding and top quality materials and stitching. The ballistic nylon exterior of the bag is coated to repel water but in a downpour you can quickly deploy a bright red waterproof cover that is built in to a side pocket. The bag itself has a generous DSLR-sized top compartment and the main compartment below can easily accommodate four medium telephoto lenses and bits and pieces or a longer lens and two smaller ones. You could also substitute a lens for a flash or another camera body. There are also zipped liner pockets suitable for filters, memory cards, batteries, etc. Velcro attached dividers are supplemented by long padded tongues that have velcro patches at each end. These can be used to cover over divided sections or wrapper around items, securing them at the same time. On the outside you will find two quick-release straps for holding your tripod or monopod. There is also a solid and comfortable carry handle at the top.
There is also a slot for a laptop built in to the section of the bag that rests against your back. Booq says a 13 inch Macbook will fit into the space provided. However, our 12 inch HP laptop only just left enough room for the zip to be closed. Netbooks and tablets will be much more comfortable in this space.
The sling has one large quick-release strap to spread the load and an iPhone-sized phone holder his built in. At the base of the bag is a an extra bit of strap for stabilising the bag. It wasn't obvious what this strap was for and I certainly think the instructions for using the bag could have included some extra information for the user to understand all the various features and options the bag offers.
Here are some more views of the Booq Python Sling in our image gallery. Click on a thumbnail to open a larger, captioned, view in a new window:
Conclusion and rating
The Booq Python Sling is well made and likely to last well. It has plenty of capacity for a sling type of camera bag, although the slot for a laptop is less generous. There are nice design cues, especially in the versatile padded 'tongues' for protecting ans separating items. On the negative side, fully loaded with a tripod attached, even with the generously sized and padded should sling strap the pressure on one shoulder is not to be underestimated. At just under £200 the Python Sling is not an inexpensive bag, either. But based on the nice design and high quality materials and manufacturing, if you prefer a sling type bag and need lots of room, the Python Sling can certainly be recommended.
DPNow.com rating: 80% or 4/5 stars