Stealth Gear Double Bean Bag – Review

Posted by Brydon Thomason on Sunday 29th May 2011 | Reviews

Out of all the kit you feel you should have as a wildlife photographer, a bean bag surely has to be a ‘must have’. Personally speaking I very probably use a bean bag far more than a tripod, whether it be balancing over a barnacle covered boulder in the ebb photographing Otters or out the car window, with camera and also telescope.

As a photographer Otters are undoubtedly my favourite subject and signature species. Perhaps surprisingly to some there are actually few occasions when a tripod may be practically used when stalking Otters (there are however exceptions to this of course). It is imperative that your silhouette blends in and merges into whatever your surroundings may be, whether it be boulders on a shore line or the contours of a grassy bank – your silhouette must not be seen.

With a bean bag it becomes much easier to lay flat or crouch tight against a boulder than if you have a tripod or monopod.

I was thrilled when I became aware that Stealth Gear were launching their own bean bag a few months ago. It came as no surprise what so ever when arriving in the post I saw that its design, engineering and manufacture was (as par for the course with all Stealth Gear products I have been supplied with), nothing but quality.

Previously I have used bean bags but it’s surprising just how many little gripes you can make about a bag of beans! But SG has come up with the good’s and designed a bean bag and (like all their products) that is just for photographers.

The bean bag itself is effectively ‘saddle’ shaped so it hangs/spreads itself very well either on solid ground or a car window. There is good sized zipper on one side which makes it easy to fill and empty when travelling whilst on the other there is a cheeky wee zipper for an accessory pouch.

One of my favourite features is the adjustable strap for carrying which even has a free moving cushioned section for comfort when carrying over the shoulder and for long hikes this is certainly
appreciated, especially as I often end up carrying two, one for myself and one for my Otter photography clients! It also has two different options for the strap to connect.

The general size I found to be just right both for carrying when full and also for what could be used on it; easily large enough for larger lenses such as 300 2.8, 500 and so on. The build quality is superb also and the material is waterproof – all in all it has brought the bean bag forward to a brand new level!

Brydon Thomason