I was really attracted to the design of the Crumpler bags which looked like messenger bags instead of the traditional gear bag. Crumpler’s main selling point the appearance of their bags which reduces the chance of theft.
So I offloaded my aging Tamrac and went on to search for a replacement. In the end, I got myself the Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Home which was adequately large enough to house my Nikon 70-200mm AFS VR with my D100 and vertical grip attached. The slightly smaller option which was the Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home didn’t make the cut in terms of capacity although it is identical to the 7 Million Dollar Home in terms of design.
The 7 Million Dollar home comes with a whole set of Velcro dividers, which enables you to configure how you want your gear to be arranged. The possibilities are endless, really.
The Space Between:
The main cavity of the bag is where all the good stuff goes in. The inner dimensions of the 7 Million Dollar home measures 38x28x18cm with a volume of 15 liters. This probably doesn’t mean much to some people, so look at the images to get an idea of what can be done with this bag.
The Crumpler website states that you can fit a digital SLR with vertical grip w/ kit lens attached, about 3 lenses, external flash unit and additional odds and ends. I find this to be a pretty accurate description of the bag’s capacity.
The top of the camera bag has a fishnet insert which can house some additional accessories like cable releases, memory cards or instruction manuals. It’s pretty large too.
The front part of the bag also has space to slot in slightly thicker objects, like (a Bible) a book or maybe a small bag of chips. There’s also a fishnet zipper compartment in there to house smaller and flatter objects.
The carrying strap of the bag is wide and comfortable. It’s adjustable, so you can change the length of the strap. The strap comes with a sliding pad which makes the load a lot more bearable. It’s also helps keep the strap from sliding around too much.
I was however a little disappointed that my 70-200mm could only be loaded in vertically only if the camera body wasn’t mounted (see pic). The same goes for my 300mm f/4 AFS which is about the same size.
When mounted on a F100 body as shown, the camera body sticks out of the bag’s cavity. You can close the camera bag, and snap on the lock, but I would only recommend this arrangement as a short term solution as it’s awkward and not very secure.
The other option would be to remove all the dividers and place the lens and body combination in a horizontal position (see pic). You’ll get some access space on the sides, but it’s not large enough to fit another lens in. Maybe an additional flash unit. But you’re wasting a lot of space above the body. This may be a good solution if you only intend to bring the 70-200mm and F100 w/ grip.
The Crumpler 7 Million Dollar home is a pretty well built bag. Only time will tell whether the bag is up to the rigors of regular use, but it does look promising. It’s the biggest of the Million Dollar Home series but it’s not awkwardly large. Slinging it over is comfortable and access to the main compartments are fairly easy.
But once again, the main selling point of this bag is that it doesn’t scream “Camera Bag” which one, lowers the chances of you falling prey to a snatch thief, and two allows you to bring your stuff into places where cameras aren’t allowed…..provided they don’t search the contents of your bag of course.
I highly recommend it.
©Michael Ng 2005
The full review can be read here: http://www.pbase.com/mikench/crumpler
This review was also featured on Paul Rance's Cambags.com at: www.cambags.com