Crumpler's been turning out fine clobber carrying gear since the heady days of 1995 but when it comes to carting precious DSLR equipment, it's had to compete with established photog favourites like Lowepro and Tamrac. Cue a tie-in with camera-ace, Nikon, for a bit of good ol' fashioned profile raising and you have the co-branded 'the That'.
Brother to the backpack style 'the This' (we await 'the Other' with interest), it's a mid-size shoulder bag with Crumpler's familiar bean-bag-therapy-room styling. The whole crumply caboodle is accented in Nikon's traditional black and yellow colours – mmm, waspy.
One tough sack
It makes for a pedigree knap-sac and the quality is well up to Nikon and Crumpler's usual standards – which is to say it has fall-out shelter toughness with lashings of laid-back style thrown in. We particularly like the sturdy bag strap and out-size, rain-thwarting flap borrowed from Crumpler's traditional messenger bag fare.
Inside there's a cushiony soft yellow interior to welcome your gear and cure any seasonal affective disorder in seconds. For added kudos, a Levi's-style Nikon tag's also been sewn in.
Crumpler claims room for a Nikon D40X, a standard 18-55mm kit lens, a trusty 55-200mm zoom and, for good measure, an external flash – all your amateur pap needs for a good day's Flick-ring.
Feeling conspiratorial we opted for a Sony Alpha 100 with its kit lens, an old mid-size Minolta zoom and a Sigma flash and found – despite cries of derision from assembled naysayers – that all fitted in with surprising ease. Velcro dividers for the three internal sections also ensured a punishment-enduring custom fit as we proceeded with the 'ahem' tests.
A game of office rugby later and we were pleased to see our Sony tumble out in one piece, and still working – testament to Crumpler, or Nikon... or perhaps Sony. Anyway, it all passed.
Having squeezed in all the main essentials there's not a great deal of room left to spare. Crumpler's gone light on the extra 'function' pockets but one large exterior one is just dandy for a charger, as well as a smattering of extra cards, filters, TicTacs, Smints and other small confectionery essentials. We find Fisherman's Friends go furthest.
So that's two thumbs up for the That – one for Crumpler and one for Nikon. Surely more tie-ins must be on the cards. Let's see, Nikon trainers, Nikon beer, Nikon underwear? We think we're on to something here...