Waterproofing camera bags is generally difficult--there are simply too many zippers, seams, flaps, and other potential points of entry--so most manufacturers opt to just put a bag over them. The Camera Armor Seattle Sling switches that up, encasing your gear in a thick, strong waterproof bag that then secures inside a sling bag. Its relatively small size requires you to travel fairly light and its square shape is a little odd for a sling, but the Seattle Sling is a strong choice for photographers who frequently find themselves in damp, dirty, or dangerous conditions.
Everything that sits inside the bright orange dry bag is protected from weather and water. Keeping the bag airtight is simple. The bag seals at the top with magnetic strips, which you fold over the top three times and secure to strong plastic clips that run outside the sling and connect back to the bottom of the dry bag. It essentially creates loops at either end secured around the sling itself. There's also a strap that runs across the top of the dry bag's flap, adding another layer of security.
Tenba's line of Shootout camera bags and accessories is designed for people who shoot more outdoors than in. Its Shootout Sling bag is no different, offering your camera gear protection from weather (rain cover, weatherproof zippers) while still letting you quickly draw and shoot. The overall design is top-notch, with several thoughtful features. However, if other sling bags don't fit you comfortably, I can't say that this one will be any different.
One of the best features of this bag is that Tenba made it very easy to get at your gear. You can go in through the top, and for drawing a camera fast there's a side-entry hatch with a pocket on top for memory card and battery storage. Finally, the whole back zips open (pictured), giving you a full, top-down view of everything in the bag. This makes it very easy to get at all your stuff, organize things, or reconfigure the dividers.
The Kata 3n1-10 is the bag I'm currently testing. It comes in three sizes and mine is the smallest, but it's a good day bag. One of the biggest problems I have with slings is that the straps are usually fixed to the bag, meaning you can only wear them on one shoulder (typically the right). So if that shoulder gets sore from carrying the load, you're stuck. The 3n1-10 solves this by giving you two straps--one on each side--that can either be used one at a time, or as a back pack with the straps crossing your chest or just straight down.Read more about the Kata 3n1-10.
The Kata 3n1-10 has quick-draw openings on each side of the bag, as well as a big mouth in front and a smaller compartment at the top. It's not as easy to get into as the Tenba, but it's not exactly hard either. And again, it does have the strap thing in its favor. The 3n1-10 comes with a rain cover and has the company's ribbed protection to keep your camera and accessories safe from shock.
This is the Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW, a slightly smaller version of the 300 AW we reviewed in 2007. (There's a 100 AW, too, if you want to go a little smaller.) The bag has many of Lowepro's special features such as Zip-Stop buckles that keep zippers from completely opening, three SlipLock attachment loops for adding the company's various SlipLock pouches, and an All Weather Cover to keep it dry and dust-free.
While it doesn't open as fully as the Tenba, it comes pretty close. The 200 AW holds an SLR with midrange zoom lens attached along with three or four extra lenses, cables, and accessories. You also get a built-in memory card pouch, microfiber cleaning cloth, and two large organizer pockets.