View Full Version : Kifaru camera inserts or bags???

Daniel Gentile
07-05-2006, 12:46 AM
Ok I know... kifaru usually does not make "custom requests"... but I still thought it would not hurt to post this here...

I do a lot of photography... usually have my DSLR and two lenses along (and maybe one external flash...)

I hate those standard camera bags which literally say "mug-me" somewhere on the top, front or the sides /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

so I converted an old messenger bike-bag of mine into a camera bag by making an insert for it...

it's good and it works well...
but it got me thinking how nice it would be (especially for the travelling purposes) to have a Kifaru kamera bag which offers Dock&Lock to attach the bag to my Express during the travels when I don't need "fast" access to it... or add the kifaru shoulder-strap to make it into a shoulder bag...

I thought about "converting" a Tail Gunner... and add some dock & lock straps.

here are a few pictures of what I've made for my messenger bag...



it's padded with EVA Foam... features 1000den. cordura on the outside and 420er nylon on the inside... it's "stiched" with grade #30 nylon thread... the thing still missing: seam-tape... but I had none at my shop.

Any chance to see something more "professional" and flexible (velcore attached inserts) for a kifaru bag? or even a kifaru camera bag?
THAT WOULD BE so gooooood!

Olive would work perfectly for me ...



07-05-2006, 01:35 AM
Daniel, ever thought about using a strong metal box with round edges? You pad the inside of the box and the outside. If the padding at the outside is thick enough, you can literally put your body on the camera without crashing it.


Daniel Gentile
07-05-2006, 04:03 AM

besides not having too many sheet-metal tools at my shop (it's a smithy) the metal boxes would be "heavy" if sturdy enough...
however I've seen one fellow using fibreglass stuff to make what you described... he basically made back-pack inserts from fibre-glass "panels" (with the resin-hardener) ... same as in some ship-building applications...
this would be both: stable and lightweight... and much simpler to get into "proper" shape.

07-05-2006, 06:29 AM
I noticed the othr day that on the Hunting side they make padded pullouts


might they be useful for a camera?

Still not dock and lock but you can attach them to PALs with a small carbiner or to a common loop via your chamber pocket.

Alternatively I a side opening long pocket and cut up an ensolite sleeping pad to compartmentalise it?

This would not look like acamera bag (because it is not one) but I imagin you could get a DSLR with say a 50mm lense and a couple of spare lenses and cleaning gear in there pretty easily.

Neither suggestion is what you have asked for, but possibly on of them is good enough?

07-05-2006, 09:13 AM
i have been using a Scout with a kata 35mm bag inside to carry my 20D (and extra lens) for about 4 OIF tours now. other than dust, i have no damage yet. the kata bag is a c-58 model and fits like a glove. i D&L the Scout to my Navigator when i move about. the Scout doesnt get many looks and is less theftable (sp?) than a regular camera bag.

if you want to beef up your current bags, try using aluminum clipboards for backing. they bend easily to shape and are cheep.

07-06-2006, 04:55 PM
Last year when I went to the 'stan I talked to Kifaru about making a custom camera bag within a Tailgunner I. I wanted a plain padded insert and below is what Janice and I came up with.





It is a regular tacti-cool TG 1. Inside as seen in the picture it has three "loop" patches sewn to the bottom. The insert is a 420d zip top bag with about 1/4" padding in between the layers of nylon. On the bottom of the insert it has three "hook" patches that correspond to the loop patches inside the TG1. I usually have my Canon 20D with 24-105 lens, a 50mm lens and a 430ex speedlite inside. In the many pockets of the TG I are the rest of my accessories. I also use the insert inside my Scout or my Mountainsmith lumbar pack depending on the circumstances, and equipment I want to carry. The TG I is the usual bag. The TG I fits inside a medium pod on the back of a RAID or Marauder very well. To top it all off is the patch/nametape loop I had sewn on the lid.

John Y
07-07-2006, 03:23 AM
Your TG 1 Camera bag is REALLY COOL!! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif This is what I'm looking for /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif !!! Can you post some photos about the interior setting of this padded insert??? Many many thanks!!! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

07-07-2006, 03:42 AM
Does the padded bag have removable walls for sectioning out your camera gear? This needs to a be a regular item for sale!!!

07-07-2006, 03:42 AM
Does the padded bag have removable walls for sectioning out your camera gear? This needs to a be a regular item for sale!!!

07-07-2006, 08:49 AM
OK guys, I will nip this in the bud right up front. We ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT be making any camera bags or inserts. It's just something we don't do, or have any plans to. Just like we won't be making computer bags, adventure racing packs, bicycle bags, etc...

Another thing that needs to be explained, is the issue of custom work. I know some of you on the boards here have seen from time to time, custom work done by the shop. Janice is the one that has done this work, and only did it when she had the time available. I have just been informed by Janice that she is just too busy to be able to do ANY type of custom work from this point on. For one, the shop is too busy just processing orders, and trying to get them out the door. Also, Janice has to train new sewers, is currently working on the sleeping bag project, and any other free time will be spent on R&D for future projects.

If you have any custom work that needs to be done, your best bet is to contact guys that specialize in that type of work. Eggroll, who posts here on our board, is one that can accommodate most any custom work you may need. Also, there is John Willis from Original SOE Gear, and quite a few other guys that do good custom work.


07-07-2006, 11:35 AM
Courierware makes a camera insert for their messenger bags, and I've found that the insert works pretty well in my Scout, with a pullout on the bottom.

07-07-2006, 01:10 PM
Didnt mean to get the boys all riled up about the custom work. Hope I didnt cause any inconvenience to Kifaru, that definitely wasnt my intent.

Everyone else,
The bag is a standard TG I, I'll be happy to discuss it at length, but the Kifaru site gives a pretty good description. The insert is empty on the inside. No dividers. However I think some "loop" strips could be sewn on the inside to accomodate standard velcro padded dividers from other camera bags.

I guess I'm just lucky I asked at the right to to get a Kifaru camera bag made. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

07-07-2006, 01:17 PM
No worries Sigo /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif . You're right about the timing though for your TG I mod, as custom work is just not possible anymore.


07-08-2006, 03:41 AM
So that's a no go on the Kifaru golf bag with matching multi-cam driver covers and molle compatible beer coozies I was going to call about? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Sigo it looks like your tailgunner is pretty stock except for the velcro, that pull out does not look like it would be terribly hard to get someone to make. I bet the velcro would require the removal of the bottom of the tailgunner though.

Thanks for the heads up on guys to talk to about this stuff Mel, my girlfriend would love a set up like Sigo has, the commercial camera type stuff we have casually run across looks like made in china junk, but I guess you get spoiled with the bomb proof Kifaru gear. "Hmmm this'd break if I filled it with bricks and dragged it behind the truck..." Heh heh.

Sigo any chance of getting a picture of the inside of that pull out?

As far as stiffening plastic inserts would work fine and weigh less. I have a HSGI square case that is molle compatible. I think it was made for a pair of small steiner binoculars.I think it is just light plastic sheets sandwhiched between two sheets of cordura.

07-08-2006, 09:39 AM
mel's not kidding when he says janice can't afford the time to take on custom work anymore. janice is such an accomodating sweetheart that she has a difficult time saying 'no', when customers request custom work. however, i know that in order to accomodate that, she has sometimes given up her personal time and gone in on the weekend to help get military orders out and accomodate custom jobs.
janice, thanks for all that you do at kifaru - you're a wonderful lady.

07-14-2006, 12:43 PM
Domke (http://www.tiffen.com/domkecat33.htm) makes accessory camerabag inserts.



07-18-2006, 08:44 AM
thanks for the plug

In answering the flurry of emails and PMs asking about custom gear yes I do make some custom gear.

I do not make pouches with Dock n Lock attachments, and I no longer modify existing Kifaru packs.

If you're looking for MALICEd based items, then we can talk. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif