I got to use my new Tamrac 5591 Big Wheels Speedroller 1x today at an event. The short of is it did not disappoint. Allow me to blabber on…
My previous camera bag was Tamrac Expedition 6x ca. 2006 (or is it 2008?). It can load two DSLRs, quite a few lenses, and accessories. It’s big…and heavy. Anyway, I’ve had it for a long time already and I am getting, ah, how do you say this…more mature? Ok, I’m getting old and the gear I carry is not getting lighter anytime soon.
So for less than a year, I’ve been on the lookout for a good rolling case. I actually wanted a Pelican, but then, just before I bought the Speedroller, I was able to sample one out during Photoworld Manila and it was heavy! That was without gear in it. I got tentative. For many guys, the pelican is the way to go if you travel a lot by plane and boat. It’s very rugged and they say it even floats. Me? I more often travel by land today.
Going back to the Tamrac 5591 Speed Roller, I knew that I wanted this. One reason is that I have been using Tamrac bags for a long time and I’ve got Tamrac pouches that I use in my shoots. These pouches attach neatly with my Tamrac bag that is compatible with their MAS (short for Modular Accessory System). So I jumped in and bought it because it was being sold at 20% off at Photoworld Manila.
So how was it? This morning I loaded it up with a Nikon D600 and D300. Attached an 80-200mm f/2.8 to a camera, a Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8, a Nikkor 12-24mm f/4, a 50mm f/1.8, an SB700 and SB800, a 15″ Macbook Pro, iPad, and a few other photo accessories, power cables and chargers. Needless to say, it got heavy. Outside, the wheels were smooth. The telescoping handle felt sturdy and did not feel that it was going to break. The zipper was oh so smooth. I also attached the two lens pouches at the side of the bag and I was off.
I walked with it for about 50 meters before I got on a cab. Lifting it was heavy though, good thing I always watch my back and heaved in the propers posture.
What do I think of the inside? The foam dividers were stiff as they should be. The velcro was very tight. So when I rearranged it you really have to “tear” it out. The pockets inside are not so roomy but I still had cables, memory cards, speedlight stands fit so no worries there.
Negatives? I think the laptop compartment could be more expandable. I was able to fit in an iPad with the Macbook Pro but felt like it’s not as padded as I would hope it to be. Plus, when you open the case (see above) the weight of the Macbook and the iPad weighs the “door” down so you would have to lean it to something solid.
In summary, besides the cost, I paid 12,400 for it, I’m happy. I know these kinds of bags are not cheap. But if you had a Ferrari, would you buy cheap tires? No, I don’t think so. The gear in the bag is not cheap. I need to take care of them. So I need to buy what I should buy and not cut corners.
Here is the description of the Tamrac 5591 from their website:
This compact rolling case conveniently provides protection and fast access to two pro DSLRs with lenses attached, 3-4 additional lenses, accessories, and a laptop, and is carry-on compatible. A separate, foam-padded outer pocket holds most 15.6″ screen laptops up to 15” x 11½” x 1¼” in size. The ballistic nylon outer shell and rigid, plastic-armored walls make this an extremely tough and protective case. Internal adjustable, foam-padded dividers can be arranged to fit a wide variety of photographic equipment.Windowpane-Mesh™ pockets inside the lid organize small, vital accessories like memory cards, batteries, and filters. The industrial-strength telescoping handle locks open or closed with the push of a button while the big wheels provide a smooth, stable ride. Tamrac’s Modular Accessory System™ (M.A.S.™) attachment slots allow complete customization with Tamrac’s optional M.A.S.™ accessories.