In photography, there are many important if not utterly crucial pieces of equipment. However, what good is an expensive tripod or an expensive lens if there isn’t a proper bag to hold them? As we all know, there are plenty of Camera bags on the market, many of which vary in shapes and sizes to accommodate different camera bodies and accessories. What’s important however is how well can the camera bag protect its innards? And if it can how usable is it in practice? . Today we have the Eastpak Pary Black, a camera shoulder bag that is honestly rather sleek and rather understated. Designed by Eastpak an American company that specializes in making durable and customized backpacks the Pary Black is yet another one of Eastpak’s more recent offerings.
Given that my current camera bag had been worn, I was actually rather delighted to have received such a generous sample from Eastpak. For those wondering the camera bag comes in two trims: Pary Black and Pary Ash Blend. The former being an all-black bag affair while the latter being a grey bag with black trim.
An interesting thing to note before we continue is that Eastpak’s warranty for the Pary is a staggering thirty years. This is honestly pretty impressive given the general wear and tear camera bags are subjected to and perhaps a very telling statement on Eastpak’s faith in their own product.
So, let’s take a look at Eastpak’s offering as see if it’s worth it’s namesake and price tag? The only way to find out is to take a look.
On the first look of the Pary Black, we can see that it’s a rather no-nonsense and understated sort of bag. With a plain logo on the front and what seems to be a rather sturdy construction, at the very least, it’s physical appearance is not one to cast doubts. Upon looking at the top of the bag, we find that the bag features a carry handle on the back as well as a pocket with Velcro that can hold smaller items for easy access. The top flap also has a zipper pocket which can easily hold a variety of items such as phones, documents and anything with a rather thin profile in relative safety. As for the main flap, the Pary Black benefits from having both velcro and clips to ensure that the anything in the main body of the bag will not fall out and remain securely enclosed in the bag.
The back of the bag has a simple pouch which is secured with velcro, it’s nothing very special, but at the very least it’s apparent that Eastpak didn’t skimp on the pouches. Even though the rear pouch isn’t necessarily used all too often, it’s inclusion is at the very least a good gesture suggesting a considerate approach from the bag’s designers.
Inside the bag we see that it is split into two sections with the larger section having two dividers that are secured in place with Velcro. By including dividers that can be configured according to the user’s need, it’s clear that Eastpak places quite a lot of consideration into ensuring optimal usage. For the purposes of this review, I had my set-up for a larger center partition to allow me to place my camera in the center of the bag for easy access and my additional lenses on either side of it.
As for the smaller section of the bag without the dividers, it’s not big enough to store large objects, but it can definitely store items such as books and tablets.Also note that the interior of both pouches is lined with a smooth soft cloth material to protect and prevent scratches on any fragile objects placed inside the bag. Although this is standard fare in most camera bags, cheaper ones usually skimp on such things. Finally, note that there is a small zip pouch on the front of the bag which can easily accommodate some smaller accessories such as USB sticks or SD cards.
On the other hand the materials used for the exterior of the bag is not something extraordinary. It’s just black fabrics with padding. It does the job and given this products’ rather businesslike intentions, I’d say it suffices.
As an interesting aside, I found it rather striking that the bag when empty was actually rather thin. In fact I would confidently say that the Pary Black looks more like a shoulder bag as opposed to a bulky camera bag. There are however, advantages and disadvantages to this, all of which I’ll mention on the next page.
With a few days to get to familiarize myself with the Pary Black and perhaps giving me more of an excuse to play with my camera, I ended up taking the Pary Black onto a few adventures. One such adventure involved me lugging around the Pary Black for several trips to London and during which I found it invaluable . The previous camera bag I had had the rather unfortunate inability to carry much more than just my camera and maybe my lens. As many of you photographers know, there is nothing more inconvenient than needing to carry multiple bags. With the surprising amount of extra space in the Pary Black, this problem became quite nonexistent. Using the Pary I, was able to take my DSLR along with a secondary lens, an additional battery, as well as my tablet pc, which in comparison to your average camera bag is honestly impressive. So as far as the Eastpak’s ability to configure itself and its carrying capacity I can confidently testify that it passes with flying colors.
I will say however, initially I was actually rather worried about the seemingly thin construction of the bag. Most camera bags offer at least a decent amount of padding to prevent damage its contents. With the Pary Black, despite it’s rather thin appearance, it actually has a rather thick interior that shields your precious DSLR camera and lenses rather well.
Of course with all this said, the pricing is admittedly a little high. However when factored with the 30 years warranty for this bag, I honestly don’t think you could really go wrong with it. Given that the warranty is literally half a lifetime, I honestly don’t think the slightly higher price tag of the Pary is a worry.
All in all the Pary proved to be a rather excellent product that not only exuded build quality but also an air of logical designing. With that being said it is hard to give any specific ratings but I will give the Eastpak Pary an award. I feel that the only award suitable in my opinion is the Editors choice award as I felt it met all my needs by protecting my gear, looking great and above all offering an extraordinary warranty for a rather reasonable price.
When awarding the Eastpak Pary Bag I looked at the three key points, design, performance and value. In my opinion awarding it five stars for all three points is valid as it covers all these areas appropriately. The build quality is excellent, the performance was exceptional and excellent value for money.