Self Build Camera Bag: Part 2

I've taken my own Sweet time over it but I've now completed the second step in the construction of a lightweight camera bag. At least it shouldn't be too difficult to explain. I've basically put the foam insert into a roll-top waterproof bag. The hardest bit was choosing the bag. After some deliberation I chose to run with a Pod Airstream Lite Dray bag. Why? Well because the small is the right size, they look funky (which might take the edge of the home-build look) and, most importantly, they have a grab strap across the base. The latter is essential since it provides something to anchor webbing to without having to glue or stitch to the bag itself with all the risk that entails: the idea is that this thing should be waterproof so I don't want to compromise the function of the bag as shipped from the factory.

So what have I done? Well, as I said , I've put the foam insert (described in the previous post) into the bag. It didn't stop there though. I also stitched two short lengths of elastic to the grab strap and attached the female side of a webbing buckle to the end of one and the male side to the end of the other.

When the buckles on the roll-top are mated with these buckles it makes for a neater closure. In addition, I modified the lid on the foam insert, replacing the hinged lid with a barn door opening (thanks to Mac E for the idea). I think this gives better access to the camera.

First impressions? It'll do the job, and at a weight of 72g it's shaping up to be a big weight saver. I need to think about the insert some more since it looses shape a little when the closure is made and the elastic is under tension. Not a big problem but there's room for improvement. Whats next? Well I have to put together a carrying strap so I'll be fooling around with some webbing, D-rings and snap toggles. Also, since I'll probably only be taking one lens to Rondane and won't need space for my tele lens, I'll shorten the insert and padd it out with some extra foam to see what that brings in terms of stability. Better get a move on though. Rondane is coming up fast!


  1. That looks great, just how I'd visualised it. I'd been thinking of attachment straps and had wondered if it would be practical to use a 2nd stuff sack as a pouch for the drybag, you could stitch straps on anywhere as the drybag would sit inside the stuffsack. The 'Strap-under' mod would be worthwhile for any roll top (especially one used for a sleeping bag)and would make them fit into the bottom of a rucksack better without the sticking out roll & buckle.

  2. Yeah I have to say I prefer the straps being neatly tucked outof the way. In teh meantime I've beefed up the foam insert and it resists the tension of the side elastics much better. The whole thing keeps its shape. Now working on a shoulder strap.

  3. I like the look of this, I need to get the Pod bags, but with time on the wing I may need to wait until after summer. Thanks for the suggestions.

  4. roger, don't mention it. It's fun to do. The Pod roll tops are a realy nice product. I'm impressed with them.



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