The Sinking Barge is Crumpler's hybrid bag. Instead of just splitting the pack in half (like the Lowepro Street & Field), they designed a clever system that creates a wedge shaped pocket at the front/bottom area of the pack (by front, I am referring to the area of the backpack that does not have the shoulder straps). This pocket hinges at the bottom to open outwards, but unlike a normal backpack front pocket, it has a set of gussets that prevent it from flipping all the way down and dumping it's contents. The result of this is that you can open the pocket and get at the camera without having to reach in with a hand to prevent the camera from falling out. And while it's a little awkward, you can get the camera out while the bag is still hanging from one shoulder. You don't have to take the bag all the way off your back to get at the camera.
The clean design looks nice, but creates a few minor annoyances. The bag always has a slight overstuffed look to it. Now, there is the possibility that I am overstuffing it. And maybe the larger version of the Sinking Barge (the Customary Barge, fits 17 laptops) would make a difference. In other little nitpicking, I wish the grab/hang loop was a bit larger and easier to use. I've also gotten used to having a mesh pocket on the side of my backpacks for a water or soda bottle. The Sinking Barge that I have is made of a couple of shades of blue. Shades of brown/tan and black/grey are options as well. The backpack straps are comfortable even with a full load. There is a nylon webbing hip belt. While I'm not sure how much this helps with load-carrying, it does help steady the pack if you are jogging or on a bike.
I am very pleased with this bag. It is a great camera backpack for the way I use it. For me, this means: carrying a small camera kit along with my daily stuff, airplane carry-on when I don't bring my full load of gear, car trips, adventures in the city, and maybe even light hiking. It gets daily use -- which is something that I cannot say about just about any other bag that I have owned. There is very little I dislike about the Sinking Barge. Even the items I listed above are just little nitpicking that could be fixed with 2 hours with a sewing machine if I really cared enough.
Featured MerchantsSearch for similar products on PriceGrabber Product:Crumpler The Sinking Barge Dk Brown/oatmeal/orange VendorVendor RatingAvailabilityPrice There are currently no sellers for this product.Search for similar products on PriceGrabberResults by PriceGrabber.comSearch for similar products on PriceGrabber