Anyone have Crumpler's "The Sinking Barge" camera+laptop bag?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Westside guy, May 12, 2007.

  1. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW

    I keep hunting for the perfect bag to let me carry my Macbook Pro and my Nikon D70. I've been using a Crumpler Dreadful Embarrassment messenger bag, and padded wraps for the camera. This actually works well for traveling to/from work; but it's not a good solution for, say, a day hike (not that I'd take my laptop on a day hike; but if I bought this bag I'd likely sell the messenger bag).

    "The Sinking Barge" looks like a good solution, and its camera compartment should hold my D70 with my 18-200mm lens mounted - but it's hard to tell if the laptop compartment will handle my 15.4" C2D Macbook Pro (I don't know if the MBP size changed at all when they upgraded to the Core 2 Duo chip). In the past I've found that this laptop doesn't always fit in places a Powerbook did, because it's a centimeter or two wider.

    Does anyone out there have this bag and a Macbook Pro? I know there's a bigger bag ("Customary Barge"), but I'd like to go with the smaller one if possible.

  2. terriyaki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2005
    Both the Sinking Barge and Customary Barge are a lot smaller than they seem. Your 15" MBP might make for a tight fit in the Sinking. I actually went to my local store the other day with the intent of buying the Sinking but ended up getting the Customary because the Sinking was too small for my kit which was a shame since I really liked the small size of the Sinking. Too bad Crumpler doesn't offer another bag in the barge line that fits in between the two.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
  4. Westside guy thread starter macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Thanks for the responses - sorry to have left you hanging. Unfortunately I've gotten a fair bit of first-hand, yet conflicting, advice on this from various sources. I guess I'm going to have to check it out myself as soon as I can get to a shop that carries both.
  5. $qwuzzy macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2007
    the sinking barge will probably not fit your 15.4" MBP

    i was recently looking into both these bags. headed into the crumpler store and compared them side-by-side. the sinking barge fit my 13" MB, but i doubt it would fit your MBP.

    i actually picked up the customary barge. it was only $20 more, and fit a fair bit more in it (more room in the laptop/stuff compartment - camera compartment was about the same). i can even leave my MB in it's Waterfield sleeve for added protection (although i seriously don't it needs any more protection - the crumpler bag is built like a tank!!!)

    hope that helps
  6. Westside guy thread starter macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    As of a few days ago I am the proud owner of Crumpler's Sinking Barge backpack. It fits the 15.4" MacBook Pro quite well - actually if you look at the sleeve dimensions, the Sinking Barge and Customary Barge are exactly the same width and height (so the Customary Barge will fit a longer notebook computer like the 17" MBP; but if overall girth is an issue with the smaller bag, then the laptop won't work in the larger bag either).

    In the end, the single fact that steered me to this backpack (versus the Customary Barge) is the depth of the bag overall - this bag is about 10 inches front to back, while the Customary Barge is 12 inches front to back. I can slide this one under a bus/train seat, or in a file cabinet drawer at work, where the larger bag would not always fit. I will say that, if this sort of space were not a concern, I would prefer the extra room of the Customary Barge - but in the end my laptop and my "essential" camera gear travel quite well in this bag, so I am happy.

    I must add that this bag has got to be the most comfortable backpack I've ever worn!

    Thanks, again, to all of you who offered your thoughts and opinions - I appreciate it.
  7. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    I had that same debate and actually chose the Tamrac 5549 backpack over the barge for my own personal gear.

    Not sure if my decision was the best, however the features fit me well for what I needed. I wanted a bag that I could wear on my motorcycle and have it stay secure to my body. It has 2 buckes (kinda like seatbelts) to secure it to my back. It also has two mesh pockets on the side that hold one Nalgine 1 Liter water bottle nicely.

    My usual kit in my bag.
    - Macbook
    - Canon EOS 30D
    - Canon 70 - 200 F2.8 L USM lens (and hood)
    - Canon Powershot Pro1 (backup camera and odd angle camera (Tilt swivel LCD screen)
    - Canon EF 35 - 135 lens
    - Three BP 511 Batteries
    - Two BP 511 Battery chargers
    - 4 Compact Flash cards
    - Wireless remote for Pro1
    - Two B+W UV Filters for L lens (in cases)
    - Two UV filters for 35 - 135
    - Circular polorizer for 35 - 135
    - 4 towels
    - 4 lens wipes
    - 3g 15 gig iPod
    - 5g 30 gig iPod
    - iPod Firewire wall charger
    - iPod remote
    - Ipod cables for both the 3 and 5 g
    - Ipod Dock
    - Charger for Macbook
    - 2 sets of Sony Earbuds
    - Compact Flash Card reader
    - Two (one on each side) Nalgine 1 liter bottles (gotta have my water!)

    It holds lots of stuff, and I could likely cram in more (and have) when and if I need to. Even with all that stuff, it has ample padding for the shoulders, and the back rest is ultra thick and provides great padding for my MacBook, and myself!
  8. outaru macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    I just bought a Sinking Barge today.. The size is just right..
  9. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    Crumpler does make a nice bag - the only problem I had (even though this wasn't the sinking barge, prob similar construction) was the bag was so well built and padded, there really wasn't much room in the bag I bought. I was looking for a "regular" sized backpack, with similar volume to a backpack such as a regular old Jansport. I thought the "salary sacrifice" would do the job, but b/c of the shape of the bag, the ample padding, how the zipper worked, etc, my 13inch alum macbook hardly fit at the corners. The rest of the bag hardly had room for anything else. Point is, I sent the bag back and prob will have to go with the next size up, "King." I dont think I will buy another until I see this in person somewhere - I ate the shipping both ways and don't want to do that on a second bag and still have nothing to show for it!

    Now, if only there was a place in town that carried these...

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