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The Camsafe® Z15 anti-theft camera & tablet shoulder bag from Pacsafe makes a great travel companion. It allows you to bring along your valuable electronics plus other items, and keep them safe from not just bumps and knocks, but thieves. I’ve been carrying mine nearly every day for over two months now, and figured it was time to share how that’s worked out.
Like every Pacsafe product, the Camsafe Z15 has all sorts of clever security features in one low-key bag. I’ll list those components first, then look at it from a photographer’s point of view. Pacsafe’s Carrysafe strap has two strong but flexible steel wires, to prevent someone from slashing the strap and running off with your bag. It hooks on at either end with spring-loaded hooks that have a little lock on them, making it very hard to undo with one hand. On the top, the zipper pulls interlock, then can be locked in the Roobar, so it cannot be opened. Other zipper pulls have security hooks in little pockets that make them difficult for a thief to slide open. What all this means is that when you’re at a cafe or some other place sitting down and reviewing your images or checking your mail, you can lock the Camsafe Z15 to a chair, post, or whatever is handy, and it will not be easy for anyone to just run off with it. While on the go, such as walking in crowds, or jammed into public transport, even the professional pickpocket will look for an easier target.
On the front of the Camsafe Z15 are two zippered compartments. The outer one has a pouch with RFID blocking fabric for securing RFID enabled ID and credit cards, along with a phone pouch. There is also a key loop, pen holders, a lens cloth, and slots for business or credit cards, bus/metro cards, or similar items. The other compartment is larger, and will fit a standard 8.5″x11″ magazine or file folder, plus it has two zippered pockets that could each hold a ham and cheese sandwich.
Now for the camera bag part. Yes, the Camsafe Z15 has velcro dividers, just like most camera bags. There are top pockets with fine mesh to stow spare batteries, memory cards, or whatever little things you might need quick access to. And the flap on top opens away from you, which is so logical, I don’t know why more bags don’t open this way. You can fit a good size tablet inside too, in a dedicated sleeve. The bag is tall enough to fit a Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens. It’s deep enough fit a pair of 580EX flashes on the other end. And in the middle, you can carry a full frame DSLR, face down, with a prime or short zoom mounted. Unless you have a battery grip. Then there’s really no way to make it work. Big deal to me, maybe not to you. My solution was to go without the grip while doing the review, which worked out ok. Saved a bit of weight too.
My first outing with the Camsafe Z15, I loaded a full frame Canon, a 24-70, and the 70-200. That’s a lot of glass, but it’s comfortable to carry across your chest. Access is easy (when it’s not all locked up), and my gear felt secure. I really enjoyed working out of it, and if I was actually on vacation with minimal gear, this would be ideal. For every day use, I switched to a mirrorless camera with compact zoom, and that allowed me to pack a wide angle and fast 200mm prime lens as well. It’s the perfect kit for taking the long way home on your daily commute, especially if it involves deer sightings, dramatic clouds over a lake, or snow-covered peaks tinted pink by the sunset. Bonus: My WiFi enabled camera can send images right to the tablet stored inside, for viewing on a 7 inch screen.
We picked our May review items with Father’s Day in mind, but that doesn’t mean this is just for dad. This would a great option if you or a friend or relative travels a lot, or happens to like carrying around a real camera, rather than just a phone. If I rode a bus, train, or subway, I could fit everything I need for a day at work, plus my camera. For travel, it can carry my camera, tablet, sunblock, snacks, sunglasses, and all the other stuff that would normally go into a daypack, but with better access to the camera, and a lot more security. It’s got a price tag ($250) that’s as robust as its build quality, but unlike other bags, the security is not limited to some padding in the velcro dividers. And it’s made to last. Available in Charcoal or Slate Green at pacsafe.com
Full specs below
- Materials: (outer material) 600D poly canvas, PU1000mm (lining) 70D Nylon Ripstop, PU600mm, Polyester fleece, high density PE foam
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 24 x 36 x 22 cm / 9.4 x 14.2 x 8.7 in
- Strap length max (drop height): 77 cm / 30.31 in
- Strap length min (drop height): 42 cm / 16.54 in
- Weight: 1.3 kg / 2 lbs 14 oz
- Volume: 15 L / 915 cubic in