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 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.
The Shootout Sling models come in two sizes, small and medium, and three color choices: all black, black and silver, and black and olive green.
Not everyone can wear a sling, usually because of the way it distributes weight or because of the strap design. The single shoulder strap on the Shootout Sling is wider than many, at roughly 3.5 inches, and is well padded. A stowaway security strap tucks into the bottom right of the bag for added stability as well. It's a good fit if you have broad shoulders, providing extra support and comfort, but those with narrower shoulders might find it cuts too close to the neck and rubs. The strap is fixed to the bag, too, so you're stuck wearing it on your right shoulder.
Also, if you like or need to run around with a lot of gear, this isn't an ideal bag as--true to its name--it is small. The bag measures 8 inches wide by 15.5 inches high by 7 inches deep and weighs 2.5 pounds. (The medium-size version adds an inch in all directions.) I was, however, impressed with the room inside for its size. Carrying one or two SLR bodies, three or four lenses, a flash, and accessories should pose no problem. I managed to stow a Nikon D60, two lenses, a flash, and a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook in it for a trip.
There are eight adjustable and removable dividers inside to help keep things in place. Or you can rip them all out and top load an SLR with a 300mm telephoto lens mounted.
This brings me to one of the best features on this bag: its points of entry. 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, 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 shell is made of water-repellent, ripstop nylon with weather sealing on all the zippers. The sealing makes the zippers a little tougher to move, but that's the price you pay for the protection. The bottom of the bag has two rubber treads, so putting it down on wet ground isn't an issue. Between the treads is a small nylon strap, too, so you have something to grab to swing the bag around front. There's a large zippered pocket on front with a bungee cord on its face to hold on to an umbrella or jacket. Plus, Tenba includes a rain cover that snaps on and protects the entire outside of the bag, except for the thickly padded back support. On the right side of the bag are two compression straps for securing a small tripod or monopod, and there's a cell phone/MP3 player pouch attached to the shoulder strap.
All in all, the Tenba Shootout Sling camera bag is an excellent option for those out for a day of shooting in the great outdoors. The single-strap design matched with the side entry gives you fast access to your camera and simultaneously allows you to use the bag for arm support when shooting. But you should definitely try the bag on for fit before committing.