Crumpler Kashgar Outpost: Turn A Camera Bag Into a Handlebar Bag
The perfect handlebar bag for an amateur adventure photographer doesn’t exist yet. I say this because there just isn’t a bag out there that’s the ideal size for a minimal DSLR kit, comfortable to carry off the bicycle and ruggedly weatherproof. So I made one out of a new product from my favorite camera bag company.
On a longer bike tour it’s nice to have a handlebar bag that enables quick access to the camera. But there just aren’t that many options. Ortlieb is the go to company with three different size variations in their ‘Ultimate’ series. They also offer camera inserts for the larger versions, but they are boxy, bulky and just don’t seem comfortable to carry off the bike.
I brought the small Ortlieb Ultimate bar bag on our last trip, but I also limited myself to the somewhat dainty, fixed 35mm, Fuji X100. It and a pair of sunglasses were about all the Ortlieb could carry. No complaints about the camera or the bag, but for a trip to Africa I wanted a bigger kit with a couple of lens options. To accommodate a DSLR and 2-3 lenses, still a fairly minimal kit, a larger bag is necessary. I ran across the Crumpler Kashgar (large) and thought it was the perfect bag for the job.
The Kashgar Outpost, although very lightweight, is fairly rigid with a bottom plastic sheet, a semi-rigid foam body and plenty of padding. However, I felt that to make it perfectly rugged it needed a coroplast backing sheet. Here is the step-by-step process used to convert the Kashgar to a very solid bar bag using the Rixen and Kaul KLICKfix system.
Crumpler Kashgar Outpost (L) Specs (from Crumpler)
- Width: 28 cm / 11 inches
- Height: 28 cm / 11 inches
- Depth: 17 cm / 6.7 inches
- Volume: 7 L / 427 cubic inches
- Empty Weight: 0.8 kg / 1.8 lbs
Storage (from Crumpler)
- 7 litre padded main compartment with dual adjustable dividers
- Front accessory compartment with dual internal mesh pockets
- Rear slip compartment for an iPad or other compact e-vice
- Left and right side stuff pockets with velcro closures
Features (from Crumpler)
- Zipper/clasp combo closure for maximum main compartment security
- Fully adjustable, 38mm wide shoulder strap to lighten your load
- Removable non-slip shoulder pad with sweat vents to keep you cool
- Pivoting, padded grab handle stays out of the way until needed
- Stowable elasticised rain cover to keep your gear high and dry
- Water resistant 600D Field Twill outer with oversized front flap and hooded rear compartment zipper for wet weather shooting
- Ultra durable, anti-abrasive materials inside and out to pamper and protect
- Reinforced joining/stitching on all stress points for maximum strength
- The famous Crumpler lifetime guarantee to ensure your Kashgar carries on, and on and on