The Boda Dry Lens Bag Reviewed

Boda Dry Lens Bags

This past weekend I had a chance to try out a new product that I found at PMA. I had been looking for a gear bag that would be the perfect solution for photowalks and I think I found it in the Boda Dry Lens Bag. Boda makes two different size lens bags, the large and the small. I chose the large bag because I wanted something that could handle enough equipment for a day shoot that would still accommodate my 70-200 f/2.8 VR lens. This is a fairly sizable lens and it usually requires a bigger bag. I also wanted something that would carry a couple of smaller zooms and a along with a few accessories. The Boda Dry Lens Bag met all of these requirements and a few more that I didn’t realize I needed until I had them.

Boda Dry - Front

I was impressed with the bag from the moment that I took it out of its packaging. The outer shell is tough, durable, and waterproof Cordura. The zippers are tight and seal all of the compartments well enough to keep out the elements. The underside of the bag is padded and has a rubber coating, which means that there are no worries when setting it down on wet ground. This in itself is a huge bonus. I can’t remember how many times I have soaked the bottom of my backpack on dew-covered grass.

There are numerous outer compartments that accommodate a flash, filters, lens cloth, pens, maps, and other various items. Under the front flap lies a nifty built in card vault that will keep all of your compact flash cards handy and dry. Also, there is a cinch-top mesh drink holder on the side of the bag (one of those things I didn’t know I needed until I had it). Because when you are photowalking you need to keep hydrated.

Boda Dry Card Vault

The top flap zips open for easy top access and can be folded to the back and snapped in place to keep it from getting in the way when you are actively using the inside of the bag. Inside, the deep main compartment is split into two halves (left and right) with a full-length divider. There are Velcro dividers to stack a couple of shorter lenses one on top of the other using a horizontal divider. These are easily moved, or removed to facilitate whatever configuration works best for you.

Boda Dry Top View

The entire system is carried by either an included padded shoulder strap or by a padded belt that is available separately. After using the shoulder strap, I think I can probably do without the belt. It was comfortable and I could easily sling the bag from front to back as my shooting dictated. Another nice feature of the strap is that it has quick-release clips on the side so if you wanted to remove it in a hurry (I wore the bag sling-style), you just reach down and slide the clip off the post. There is also a sturdy little handle on the top of the bag for easy hand carrying.

Boda Dry - Side

I carried this bag during my last photowalk and I have to say that it served my needs more than adequately. The contents for that day included the 70-200, a 24-120, a 17-35, my Epson P-5000, a small towel, 4 CF cards, a lens cloth, my Hoodman Loupe, and my Diet Mountain Dew. The bag was comfortable and provided easy access to my gear. It was fairly light, considering the gear I was carrying, and never felt like it was in the way. The only downside to this bag is that it’s not quite large enough to accommodate all of my lenses plus my DSLR body. That’s not to say it wouldn’t fit but I would have to have cut down on a lens or two to make it work. That being said, this is a shooting bag, not a camera bag.

All-in-all, I will have to give the Boda Dry Lens Bag the PhotoWalkPro Seal of Approval for delivering what it promised. As for the price, the large lens bag goes for $195.99 and the smaller Boda Dry Jr. is $165.99. If you act before March 19th, you can get a 10% discount. Just enter “wppi2008″ in the promo code box to receive your discount. For more information or to order your own, click here - BodaDry.

I was also hoping to test out the Think Tank belt system but when I tried to order it, I found that there was not one in the country to be had. I was trying to purchase the Pro Modulus Speed Set which is a 12 piece system but neither Think Tank nor any of their distributors had one in stock. I may still try and search one out but for the moment, I am completely satisfied with the Boda Dry Lens Bag.

Comments

  1. Jeff

    This is the second review of the bag that I have seen. There is just on question that has not been answered.

    Will the 70-200 fit with the camera attached?

    I work in downtown DC and ride the metro. I carry my camera every day to and from work. I want a bag that will hold 2 lens a flash and a couple of odds and ends. I carry the ThinkTank “Urban Disguise 50″ and mostly like it. The only problem is that the 70-200 does not fit with the camera on.

    Sorry I missed the walk. (Probably would have the answer already if I was not so afraid of the rain – haha)

    Thanks
    Monty

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I’ve got the Think Tank belt system and also recently picked up the large Boda. Personally, while the both (obviously) carry your lenses and accessories, I feel they each have their place and work best for different occasions.

    The Think Tank belt (Steroid version) works great for sporting events and other times when you will be very active as you shoot. For example, I found it perfect for shooting a gold tournament last summer where I was constantly on the move. It keeps the weight low and around you hips, which really helps avoid back pain. That said, if you’re in a situation where you care about how you look…this is not a flattering rig;) Again, that’s fine for certain situations, but you can’t really wear a sport coat or longer jacket while using the belt as hips are instantly about 10 inches wider when wearing it. When it’s loaded up with gear you can’t take it off too easily and even if you could, the belt has viable shoulder carrying option. The Think Tank belt system is an excellent piece of kit and I recommend it highly, but it definitely has it’s sweet spot of usage. If you are working the sidelines or walking any serious distance this is the way to go

    On the other hand, the Boda will work really well for an outdoor portrait session or a wedding. This is not to say you can’t use it for sports also; you can…especially with that optional belt piece (which I do not own). One of the nicest things about the Boda is how you can easily set it down for a few minutes while shooting and then throw it back over your shoulder when you’ve ready to move on to the next location. And it works easily over a sport coat, etc. All in all this is much more casual looking set up.

    That’s enough of my blather. Bottom line is they are both amongst the best for carrying additional lenses and accessories. To answer Ron’s question above, I would not suggest the Boda for carrying the camera with lens mounted…especially a 70-200. IMHO, there are better choices for that equirement. I have an order Tamrac Velocity 9 that has served me well for several years and holds a couple medium/small lenses and/or flash along with a body and 70-200 mounted. I guess you can never have too many camera bags!!

    Last thing Jeff. I live close to you so just let me know if you’d like to take my Think Tank setup for a test drive.

    Cheers,
    Alan B.

  3. great review i have the older version and the jnr and was in two minds as to whether to purchase this newer dry version and you have just helped make my mind up.

    many T’s

    Karl B..

Trackbacks

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