While traveling, I'm either too slow to take my camera out of my bag to capture that perfect moment, or too nervous to flash such a pricey piece of equipment in public.
Enter the Cloak Bag, the world's first shoot-through camera bag. The bag's unique bottom zipper design allows photographers to snap away without removing their SLR cameras from the bag, which saves time and also affords photographers a bit more discretion when taking photos in unfamiliar locals where thieves may target tourists. For $49, it's a steal to have that peace of mind.
“We invented the Cloak Bag largely to provide a solution to photographers who are fearful of traveling with their cameras in plain sight,” says Robert Merrill, who helped invent the bag. “Until now, their only option was to carry the camera in a ‘discreet’ bag such as a backpack, but this only makes them less likely to use it because of the inconvenience of retrieving it.”
Cameras are securely fastened inside the bag through a screw that fits into the camera's tripod mount and a replacement strap. A zipper at the bottom of the bag opens to unveil the lens, and a top flap and side slits allow photographers to easily access the camera grips, controls and shutter button.
The bag's lightweight nylon fabric is durable and water-resistant, and comes in two colors, including a rich brown and an icy grey. It fits most SLR cameras, including ones as large as the Canon 5D Mark II and as small as the Canon Rebel XTi. (The inventors tested over 20 other SLRs to make sure they all fit into the bag comfortably.)
Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.