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Hi all,

I know there are a few posts already discussing kit bags, but I'm wondering if anyone out there really has found the perfect bag yet? Organisation has to be one of the most important aspects of our industry so is there a bag out there that can help us? It seems that many of you are less and less happy with the Porta Brace range, mainly due to noisy velcro. But are there really other options that are durable, will keep your kit organised and more importantly, safe! I'm looking for a case for a sound devices 702t rig, plus a larger kit bag to hold all my kit together. Any suggestions? Perhaps there's a gap in the market that has yet to be filled?

On another note, I'm curious to know how you go about preparing your kit bags (in terms of organisation) before you go out to record? Lets say you're about to head out to a field recording session. Do you have all your kit set up and ready to go before you set off or do you do a fair amount of setting up once on location? I guess everyone has there own style but maybe you have some tips that we could all benefit from...

Colin

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

There's no one perfect bag, but there are bags that are great for different things.

For me, I need three things in every field session: Something to hold the recording hardware, something for utility items, and something for my windshield (and the mic(s) therein) and mic boom, if I'm carrying one. Usually a regular ol' recorder/mixer bag with a large pouch solves the first two, but I often need either A) solid connection points (d-rings, carabiners, and/or webbing) to secure my windshield (and boom pole), or B) a backpack tall enough to carry my windshield and pole. If I use a backpack, it's gotta also be able to carry a few mic stands (I use lightweight photo stands, described here). What I, and others, generally find helpful in the field can be seen in this thread.

Another thing I do is to repackage tape for the field. I got into repackaging things like toothpaste when I got into ultra-light backpacking, the idea being that for one field session, do you really need a whole roll of gaffer's tape? I cut 1/2" PVC piping to the right widths and just re-wrap various kinds of tape and store them on a shock cord with a carabiner. Lighter, "refillable," and just easier to cart around. If you do any work with contact mics or lavs, you can't have enough types of tape in the field.

I often hike into locations for field recording, so I need a backpack that can store clothes, water, etc. Sometimes I just pile gear into a small trailrunning backpack, sometimes I use a full-on camera backpack (esp. if it might rain). When I actually need to backpack into a location, I wear the recorder on my chest; real audio harnesses are over-padded for concurrent use with a backpack, so I use the chest straps (webbing only) that came with my LowePro camera bag (also available separately). Sometimes a messenger bag or more urban backpack is better in urban settings where stealth and hiding one's pricey gear is more important.

Just some thoughts!

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Great tips! I've just come back from a 6 month backpacking trip and really appreciated the need to take a minimum of supplies. But I hadn't thought about applying this to my kit-bag. It's very true that carrying a full roll of gaffer is an added weight that can be reduced. Thanks for the advice!!! –  Colin Hunter May 23 '10 at 10:11

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