Skooba Photo:Tablet Traveler V.3, Video Review


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We reviewed Skooba Design’s Skooba Tablet Messenger V3 and their Skooba Design Laptop Weekender V.3 . Both are well designed and well constructed ways to carry and protect your gear on the go. Now Skooba has added yet another item to their growing V.3 line. This time out we are taking a look at the new Skooba Photo:Tablet Traveler V.3. The bag has an MSRP of just under $100. and it is great if you want to carry and protect your DSLR, tablet and a few additional accessories.

The bag is constructed from a Micro Ballistic Nylon exterior, while the interior is lined with smooth nylon pack cloth. Heavy-duty webbing makes for a study shoulder strap and handles and all load-bearing points are reinforced with ‘box-X’ or “V” stitching. Adding to the strength of the bag are metal, no-twist shoulder strap fasteners.

Let’s look at what Skooba has to say, and then run down the features on camera.

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From Skooba:

A one-of-a-kind image-maker’s bag, uniquely designed, compact solution for the growing number of people using a DSLR/tablet combo as a portable “digital studio”

More than a dozen pockets, compartments and organizers in all hold camera with mounted lens, iPad/tablet, and loads of accessories

Holds any DSLR with mounted lens — Camera section is 9.5” deep at its tallest point, more than enough room for a mounted 28-70mm, or even some longer lenses

Holds any tablet in well-padded internal sleeve with its own protective flap

The bag may be small, but it is packed with features. As Skooba puts it, “Pockets, pockets, pockets—more than a dozen of them, from the large main compartment to small accessory organizers.” Here’s a closer look:

The bag is small… and light. The use of water-repellant Micro Ballistic Nylon for the exterior results in a good balance of strength to weight. It is a difficult balance to strike when you are looking to make something that is highly protective while, at the same time, is light enough to carry for extended periods of time.

This bag manages to strike a good balance.

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It also holds a surprisingly large amount of gear.

Main compartment holds camera with mounted lens, in “quick draw” topload position Movable/removable divider allows storage of second, smaller lens. Camera section is 9.5” deep at its tallest point, more than enough room for a mounted 28-70mm, or even some longer lenses.

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The idea behind this bag is that you should be able to carry a mobile photography “lab” wherever you go. The bag achieves this by being big enough for you carry and protect your camera, your tablet, and just enough accessories to make the most of both of them while on the go — which is why,

The back of main compartment interior has padded sleeve for iPad/tablet, additionally protected by its own padded top flap.

And while I found the pocket to be a tight fit for the full-size iPad – it fit but with little to no room to spare — it is perfect for the iPad mini or something similarly sized. For quick access, the camera the bag’s top compartment opens “away from the wearer, allowing fast, unobstructed access to camera”. It is, of course, these small touches that make for a bag you will not only want to use but will actually enjoy having with you.

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And while this looks like a small, simple bag, it is a great example of how looks can be deceiving. Each side has a zippered area beneath which you’ll find an assortment of organizational offerings. For example,

Front and side accessory compartments are fully padded, with additional padded pockets inside – perfect for portable hard drive, battery charger and more.

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A nice surprise was the fact that one of the side compartments has Skooba’s “CableStable” built right into it. This is perfect for small cables and accessories that might otherwise get lost or become a tangled mess. I really wish every bag has something like this built into it. They don’t so, when using other bags, I actually carry a “free-standing” CableStable with me.

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The bag comes with a removable strap for those times when you want to throw it over your shoulder. And for those times when you just want to grab the bag and carry it like a lunch pail, you can use the “beautifully contoured and thickly padded top handle that makes hand-carrying a pleasure”. (Okay, that might be a bit too flowery for a handle but it is rather comfortable!)

When I first saw this bag in person I was a bit mixed. Sure, it was clear that this bag is built with Skooba’s excellent quality materials but, at 11″x9″x7.5″ and a weight of 23 oz. I thought it was too small to be of any real use. I then loaded my gear into it and got a bit of a surprise — the bag actually holds everything I might need on the go. My camera, iPad mini, cables, Livescribe Sky, notebook and a backup battery all fit and I had room to spare. The end result is a bag that holds everything I need in a protected AND organized manner, while helping make sure I don’t carry TOO much. Put differently, this bag is large enough to hold what I need but small enough to prevent overpacking. That’s a good thing if, for example, you are spending the day walking, taking pictures and trying to document an experience on the fly. For example, I can see this bag being quite useful, not to mention kind to my back and shoulders, during CES.

In short, if you are looking for a small bag that offers good protection, excellent organization, durability and a size that is “just right” this is on camera bag worth a look. Check it out, along with the entire V.3 line, on Skooba Design’s website. And remember, Gear Diary readers can save on purchases of $75 or more!

MSRP: $99.95

What I Like: Well contracted; Thoughtful design that is actually quite useful; Carries and protects your DSLR, camera and other assorted goodies; Built-in Cable Stable; Removable shoulder strap and permanent grab handle; Impressively practical if you are shooting and processing images on the fly

What Needs Improvement: At first glance I wasn’t overly impressed with its rather nondescript appearance

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.