Crumpler Six Million Dollar Home Camera Shoulder Bag review . . . continued

Just for fun, we wrapped up all of gear (plus an additional Nikkor 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 wide angle zoom) in a variety of zip lock bags, packed it all in the Six Million Dollar Home, then placed the bag in a bathub contaning an inch (2.5cm) of water. We left the brand new bag sitting there for three minutes, but then we got nervous (despite the Baggies) and took it out. Call us a bunch of cowards. Anyway, there was no water penetration anywhere. I wouldn't make a habit of challenging your camera bag that way, but it's nice to know that a bit of absent mindedness on a wet day doesn't automatically mean your gear will be soaked.

The best test of any bag is a field test. The bag has changed hands a few times around here — everybody at Kickstartnews wanted a crack at it — but I managed to wrestle it back and use it daily for two weeks straight. Now I don't want to give it up. The biggest problem I face is that while there are all sorts of really great bags on the market, the Crumpler is front & center right now and it's a tough, functional, good looking bag which almost anybody can shoulder or sling comfortably for hour after hour of wandering and shooting. In Toronto I wandered through Allen Gardens (a very large complex of domestic and exotic greenhouses set in a downtown park) for two hours one day. The Six Million Dollar Home worked perfectly, never got in the way, and allowed me to deploy my Nikon D700 and 105mm VR macro lens quickly. The only 'problems' I encountered came in the form of three different people who interrupted my shooting to ask where I got the good looking camera bag.


I borrowed the board room of a downtown law office located on the 30th floor in order to do some skyline shooting near sunrise. The Six Million Dollar Home looked right at home and worked perfectly well — it is fundamentally, after all, just a camera bag — but once again, garnered a couple of compliments for its looks.

The bag was finally given a tough test at an outdoor Tamil/Sri Lankan protest rally (also in Toronto). The crush of people was worrisome, especially because there were a lot of police in attendance and a lot of heated demands being chanted. One again, the Six Million Dollar Home did a perfectly good job of protecting my gear while also allowing a quick draw. The well padded back panel of the bag also gives it sufficient stiffness to prevent deformation and supports shape retention in situations where there's lots of abrasion and bumping. The bag works.

Cons: The shoulder strap attachment points can in some situations allow dust and moisture to penetrate into the semi-hidden side slot compartments. Don't use the slots for anything that is affected by inclement weather. I'm reaching for a criticism here, because the bag really is an all-around great performer. The bag is wide enough to accommodate a Nikon D3 or a Nikon D700 w/grip or Canon 5D or 40D w/grip, Canon 1Dx MKIII, etc., etc. In fact, depending on how you load the bag, even with those full size bodies there's a bit of depth to spare, so we think that Crumpler could slim the profile of the Six Million Dollar (and Seven Million Dollar) Home and still retain all of the bag's great features, utility and good looks.

Pros: The Six Million Dollar Home can be used to comfortably carry anything from small entry-level film and digital SLR kits up to bulky pro bodies (Nikon D1/D2/D3/D700 w/grip, Canon 1D/1DMKII or III/5D/5DMKII w/grip, Sony A900, any of them with short to medium zoom lens attached), with room to spare for an additional lens or two, flash, accessories, and loops to add more pouches. Crumpler operates several retail stores in Canada and the U.S. including this one at 831 Queen Street West in Toronto. The Crumpler shoulder strap breaks in beautifully and remains one of the best designs on the market today. Crumpler successfully manages to design and make casually good looking, gently structured bags that retain their shape no matter what sort of heavy camera body and lenses you choose to carry. The improvements over the already-good first version of the bag are numerous and clearly show that Crumpler is listening to its customers. The bag also looks good, carries cleanly in all three positions (left shoulder, right shoulder, slung) and is available in an assortment of deep color combinations. It's easy to walk around for hours with the Six Million Dollar Home without any unusual fatigue (as long as you're not trying to carry every piece of camera gear you own). Most of the color choices for this bag include bright inner fabric which makes it just a bit easier to find small items in the bottom of the main compartment and accessory compartments. Normal operation of the bag is nearly silent when the velcro cover patches are in place, and that puts the Six Million Dollar Home right up there with the best consumer, traveler and enthusiast camera shoulder bags on the market. The Six Million Dollar Home doesn't look much like any sort of conventional camera bag, which is an advantage in any environment in which you'd like to keep the presence of your camera grear a secret. The Six Million Dollar Home is fully compliant with international airline carry-on size restrictions (but always check with your airline anyway). The bags keep going and going and going. I treat my own green Six Million Dollar Home twice a year with stain repellent spray and wipe it down with a damp, soapy sponge every so often. Works like a charm. It's an excellent, highly functional and versatile camera bag. Highly recommended. Get it here or here.



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