Why is Chobe Called '19-24L'?

Why have such an odd number designation for Chobe? Quite simple really. Late last year we decided that all of our bags needed a consistent measurement in the name. We opted for interior useable volume.

The Chobe is two bags in one. A 19L daily workhorse and a 24L traveling phenom. It’s designed so that no matter the configuration, the bag can hold up to a 15” laptop in its own compartment, iPad or Kindle in its own compartment, pens, keys, business cards, documents, gum, coins, phone, water bottle, memory cards, chargers etc. In fact a quick look through my bag and it gets labeled a ‘man purse’ pretty quick.

Two of my favorite friends hanging out in the Salt Lake City airport. The Chobe on the left is in the 24L configuration and the Chobe on the right is in the 19L configuration.

The point is, there are two configurations:

  1. A 19L daily workhorse ready for the day-to-day business and a small camera. The external walls are lightly padded, so a camera can easily slide in and have minimual protection without the insert.
  2. A 24L traveling phenom with enough room for all of the above plus pro-size DSLRs with L-brackets, a variety of lenses, extra set of clothes and anything else that is needed. This larger size is also great when the other bags, like a Kiboko 30L, end up getting overloaded and the fine airline agents decide to throw some rules around. Simply slide some gear from one bag to another. No biggie.

So, Chobe is the 19-24L because it quite simply adapts from 19L to 24L with the flick of a zipper.The only challenge is deciding what not to take, because with the Chobe - you can always make more room.

Every Good Superhero Has a Sidekick: Gura Gear Kiboko 30L and Chobe.

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

FAQ: Do Kiboko Bags Allow For Tripods?

A frequently asked question around Gura Gear central is whether or not our Kiboko line of bags can carry tripods. The short and easy answer is a resounding YES. In the images below you will notice that we have a Really Right Stuff Versa TVC-24L attached to the side of each bag. Keep in mind that the tripod is the ‘L’ version, which means that it is longer than their standard model.

On each Kiboko bag we recommend putting 1 or 2 of the legs down into the stretch pocket at the bottom and side of the bag. Then use the strap with attached clasp to secure the middle/top of the tripod.

Happy shooting!

Gura Gear Kiboko 30L bag with RRS TVC-24L tripod

Gura Gear Kiboko 22L+ bag with RRS TVC-24L tripod