Sep 272011

Klein Tool Bags

When it comes to camera and

gear bags, sometimes the best

solutions are found in the

hardware store.  Builders need

to store their tools too, but

they prefer functional items

that will not break the bank.


Kein Tool Bags, designed for construction, but perfect for photography. © Adam Marelli

Color Coded Bags

I am a color coded guy.  Lenses go in the blue bag, wires go in the yellow bag, why?  Because when I picture electricity I think of yellow and when I think of lenses I think of being outside.   Since the sky is blue, lens accessories go in the blue bag.  While I was packing for Tanna I stopped by Home Depot to pick up some hand tools.  I was bringing Chief Jimmy Lumè and his students some chisels and other useful tools for construction.  The shelf below the chisels had a small package of canvas bags that caught my eye.  I picked up four zipper pouches sold in a pack.  There was a yellow, blue, army green, and burnt orange bags a little bigger than a pencil case.  They measure 12” x 6-3/4” which are be large enough for most of my photo needs.  I decided to give these small tool bags by Klein Tools a try.

Now to be fair, these were not a totally random discovery.  I am familiar with Klein Tools.  When I worked as a builder, I lived by the Klein double sided tape.  Over the years I probably laid out $50 million dollars worth of apartments with one Klein tape measure.  Their products are well built and designed for full scale construction.  I used to love the small Klein tool bags my electricians used, but as a Site Supervisor I never needed these small pouches.  But fast forward a few years to and now they looked like the perfect bags to keep me organized on the road.


The bags come in a set of four, but I left one with Chief Jimmy Lumè on Tanna. © Adam Marelli

The things I love about these bags are:

  • The come in colors, so it is easy to keep similar items together.
  • They are made from heavy duty 12 oz canvas.  They will last a very long time.
  • They are just the right size to hold portable drives, battery chargers and filters.
  • And they are not expensive ($28) and do not look like goofy hobbyist gear bags.

The Kein Tool Bags are the perfect size for all the small things that tend to get lost in transit. © Adam Marelli

Here is how I split up the bags:


Contents: My Sanity, Documents, and Money

  • American Money/Vatu’s, the local currency
  • Passport
  • Print out of Itinerary
  • Contact numbers on paper (you never know when your battery might die.  Always good to have hard copies of contacts in case you have no access to the internet)
  • Petzl Head Lamp (much better than a flashlight because you can wear it on your forehead or wrist)
  • Headphones
  • Two Pens



Contents: Camera Accessories and Wires


Contents: All wires, chargers, and things relating to electronics 

  • Portable Drive (Lacie 500GB with Firewire 800)
  • Leica M9 Charger
  • Sync cord for M9
  • Power Converter for Australia (Tanna runs on Australian style jacks)
  • Apple Power cord for Laptop
  • Cord for iPhone
  • Local cell phone and charger

Each bag served a specific purpose and I could easily keep things tidy inside of my luggage.  There is nothing worse than loosing something on the road.  You want everything to be right wear you left it.  With these bags, I was able to quickly grab one bag to head to the bank or go out to shoot.  They made life very simple.

And now back in New York, I am finding them to be very handy.  I keep one inside of my Filson Shoulder Bag.  It hold a pen, a Moleskine notebook and my small Italian language book.  The bag works well to help me find things inside the bag.  It keeps things separate from my camera, so I am not fumbling over a notebook as I pull out my camera.  I laugh every time I see people digging into their bag like its a rabbit hole.  You should control your bag, not the other way around.  If you want to pick up a pack of bags you can buy them on Amazon or at Home Depot.


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