As many of you know, in addition to working with Gura Gear, Andy Biggs travels quite a bit for his photographic safari and workshop business. Most of his travels tend to be to far away places, so who better to explain why the Chobe was created. Andy settled down for about 15 minutes in between trips to share his perspective on travel and the reason we developed Chobe to be the ultimate sidekick to the Kiboko.
As a ‘planes, trains and automobiles’ type of traveler I have to rely on many different types of transportation to get to and from my destinations. In addition to my foreign travels, I also do a fair amount of domestic travelling for lectures, photography outings, and business meetings. It goes without saying that getting my gear and myself from point A to point B, without any hassle, is top priority. That is exactly why the power combo of the Gura Gear Kiboko and Chobe bag was created.
At Gura Gear we thought about how photographers travel and how gear is used. We had to rethink everything from all angles. The goal was to make a camera bag that could accommodate the biggest super telephoto lenses and still be used as a carry-on for most commercial airplanes around the globe. We launched our original Kiboko bag back in 2008. The bag is fully functional with a unique butterfly style opening and extremely lightweight and durable. As expected, the bag has been a huge hit in the marketplace. The Kiboko bag has now evolved into the Kiboko 30L but the basic DNA remains the same. The question of why the Kiboko doesn’t accommodate a laptop comes up occasionally. As we had to balance the size of the bag, what the bag can carry, and how much the bag weighed before and after gear was put inside, we consciously decided not to ruin what we had, by trying to fit in a laptop compartment.
Since almost every major airline in the world allows for 2 carryon bags (a main bag and a ‘personal item’), we determined the easiest way to travel is to separate camera gear from computer gear. Designing the Chobe as the perfect companion for the Kiboko 30L was the logical solution.
Now when I travel my stuff is not only protected but also easily accessible. I put all of my cameras, lenses, and small accessories in my Kiboko 30L and I use the Chobe for my Macbook Pro, iPad, headphones, travel documents and any other travel-related knick-knacks.
What I love about my Chobe bag is that it holds a ton of gear and can fit easily underneath the seat in front of me on an airplane. This is especially useful since I can easily access everything I would need during the flight and just as easily put everything back without leaving my seat.
I mostly travel using the padded insert for the Chobe because I enjoy the freedom of being able to transfer some camera gear from the Kiboko 30L into the Chobe. I do this because some airlines have a very limited amount of weight allowance and by moving things to the Chobe bag I am able to stay within the weight allowance.
Tip: I have yet to meet an airline that has ever weighed my ‘personal item’. A personal item is often referred to as a computer bag, purse or umbrella. Since my personal item is my computer bag (the Chobe), I move items into there as a temporary way of working the system to my advantage.
When I am on a photographic trip, I also may use the Chobe as a dedicated camera bag for short walks around town. I can easily put a camera, (or two), and two to four lenses into the Chobe. This makes for a great bag for urban shooting.
After being in the market for more than three years, I am happy that I have two bags that were developed for many different purposes. Traveling with gear has made photographers more and more stressed. Although we can’t eliminate every stress, (you’re on your own with squatting toilets and crowded foreign embassies), we are proud to say the combination of these two bags has solved many of the main stress points of traveling photographers everywhere