Date: 01/09/2015 | By: Mathieu
The everyday bag – The Cosyspeed Camslinger Streetomatic Review
Cosyspeed bags rapidly became one of my favourite solutions for carrying around my mirrorless gear. Since my first review last year, I have used the Camslinger 105 and Camslinger 160 a lot on various occasions, including professional assignments back in Italy. Being belt bags, they are smaller and obviously have less space than shoulder bags or backpacks but if you are willing to reduce your gear to the bare essentials, you’ll find that these bags embrace the mirrorless philosophy very well: carrying less, and carrying it better. For a short outing in the valley, mountains or city, I find it to be the best solution as you are free from shoulder straps and bigger bags that can often get in the way.
After the release of the first series, Cosyspeed made some minor improvements to the design and released a “Paris Grey” version of the Camslinger 160. Then, a few months ago, they sent us two prototypes of their second generation belt bag called Streetomatic. Today, they officially announced the launch of this new product on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, so I can finally share my thoughts with you.
- Interior Dimensions: 7 X 6 X 4.2 in. (175 X 155 X 105 mm)
- Weight: 700g
- Phone pocket: 3.2 x 0.6 x 5.5 in (80 x 15 x 140 mm)
- Accessory pocket: 3.1 x 1 x 5 in (80 x 15 x 140 mm)
- Adjustable blet: from 75cm to 125cm (30” to 50”), optional belt extension up to 165cm (65”)
- Exterior Materials: Nylon D600 fabrics with PE plate between inner and outer fabrics
- Interior materials: Soft fabrics.
Disclaimer: Cosyspeed provided us with several prototypes of the bag so that we could test it in advance and give the company our personal feedback before finalising the product. We have not been paid nor do we participate in any sort of affiliate program with Cosyspeed. This article reflects our personal opinions.
Design and ease of use
First of all, the Streetomatic comes in three different colours: Khaki, Blue and Black. One of the complaints users had about the first generation of bags was the lack of colour choice and a more “fashionable” design for walks around a big city. Personally, I never had any problem using the Camslinger in Turin but when it comes to bags, customers often care as much about the design as they do about functionality. The one we received is the Khaki model but my personal preference is the black version.
The improvements made to the first generation of Camslinger bags are essentially the two lateral and external pockets, which are an excellent addition. The Camslinger bags were nice but were lacking the possibility to house a simple battery or cleaning cloth in a separate compartment. The Streetomatic has a zipped accessory pocket on the left with a smaller pocket inside. I use them to hold a cleaning cloth, one or two spare memory cards and a small air pump. The other pocket on the right closes with a simple velcro flap. Cosyspeed calls it a phone pocket but I put my spare batteries there instead.
The bag’s main compartment also has a new open/close mechanism. Instead of the Tenax Knobs, you get a more traditional metal buckle. I must say that I prefer the original knobs mainly because there were two of them. This meant that you could adjust the tightness of the closure. However this buckle is more elegant and remains as easy to open and close. The process of opening and grabbing the camera can easily be done with one hand.
The interiors are made of soft brushed tricot and come with lots of dividers made of the same material. The exterior material is made of nylon and between the exterior and interior fabrics there is an additional PE plate for extra protection. The main cover includes two flaps on the side to minimise splash or dust infiltration. Overall the bag is very well-built, and feels solid and robust enough to protect your gear. The Streetomatic is water resistant and will stand up to some light rain but it is not entirely waterproof. Cosyspeed includes a rain cover that you can fold and leave attached to the belt when not needed. However the attaching mechanism is a little bit weak and can easily detach itself, so if you don’t want to lose it, it is better to store it somewhere safe.
The belt is the same as the other bags and comes with a robust plastic buckle. The size can be adjusted thanks to the 125cm velcro surface. There is also an optional belt extension to go as large as 165cm. While not its primary usage, the Streetomatic can also be carried as a shoulder bag.
Like the Camslinger bags, you can also attach some optional pouches to the belt like the Lensbag 80 or Stuffbag 30. A finger strap is also provided.
How much gear can I carry? A practical example
You can use the Streetomatic bag in two ways. The way you choose mostly depends on the system you are using and how much gear you want to carry.
- You can arrange the space for both your camera and one or two lenses so that all your gear can rest inside.
- You can carry your camera separately with a strap and use the bag for spare lenses and other accessories.
I tend to choose the second solution and carry my camera with a good strap around my body. It is also a question of finding the optimal weight. If the gear inside is too heavy, the bag can be uncomfortable to carry around. The first example shows a setup that weighs around 1.3kg. I would consider this the limit.
Example 1: One full frame camera and two lenses
Example 2: Two Fujifilm cameras and one lens
Note that for this configuration, I had to remove the 35mm lens hood and store it separately from the lens.
Example 3: Three Micro Four Thirds lenses
The Streetomatic is a nice upgrade from the first generation of Camslinger bags. The new pockets on the sides are definitely a welcome addition and make the bag a more complete carrying solution. The new design should make it more appealing to customers who also care about design and not just functionality. The bag’s build is robust, water resistant and can quickly become an inseparable companion. I was already a great fan of the first generation of bags so I have no problem saying that I have used the new Streetomatic intensively since the first prototype arrived a few months ago.
The black version is a special edition designed in collaboration with renowned street photographer Thomas Leuthard. For every purchase of this special edition bag, €10 will go to a Street Kids Project in Burundi.
The Streetomatic starts at an affordable price of $55 and should be available in October if the campaign reaches its goal. You can find more information on the Indigogo campaign page and the official Cosyspeed website. You can also watch the official video presentation below.
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