A bit worn, but perfectly functioning the Ari by Incase is my current camera bag of choice. I’ve used it for all of 2012 and currently have somewhere in the area of 35 weddings on it. 12 more weddings to go this year and I’m not shooting a single one without this bag on my back.


I’ve been through more camera bags than I care to admit. I thought I had found the holy grail with the Thinktank retrospective 20, but the strap on it and the way it sit on my shoulder was just too painful after a full day on my feet. Not with the Ari.


The bag is made of a heavy duty canvas with water repellant coating. I can vouch for the water repellant-ness too as I’ve been caught in one too many rainy downpours. It has a nice little rain fly that stores in the bottom pocket, but it’s so good at keeping rain outside the bag that I stopped carrying it.

The inside is padded very nicely and a few of the smaller pockets have very nice faux fur lining.

The strap is ultra-padded and totally awesome. It looks big and bulky but it wears beautifully all day long.

Zipper is good and strong and the padded handle is perfecto.

I predict this bag lasting many many years.

(Click images to view them larger)


As stated previously I’ve been using this bag for every wedding this year and couldn’t be happier. As I’ve scaled back the amount of gear I bring to weddings I’ve found the Ari to be the perfect solution for my somewhat minimalist setup. However, it still holds a TON of stuff considering how compact it is. Check out the video below to see exactly how things fit in my bag.

Now, the Ari was actually designed to work with smaller bodied cameras like the leica m9 and maybe a point and shoot to stash in the front zipper pocket. It does hold my Nikon D4 with a lens on it, but it won’t zip like that. So, if you’re someone that often puts their camera away with a lens on it… this bag is not for you. Honestly, I don’t know why you would. When I need two hands I just strap my camera on my shoulder or put it down somewhere… I never put it back in my bag. When I’m done shooting I just stow the D4 with the body cap and it zips up perfectly.

It does zip just fine with a lens on a camera without a gripped body… like the Nikon D800 or Canon 5D Mark III. It will hold a larger lens like the 70-200 2.8, but not while attached to the body, and not very comfortably with the lens hood. Thankfully, I never use zoom lenses at weddings and my prime lenses tend to be nice and compact. I don’t use lens hoods either.

The front zipper with magnetic cover is a really useful feature too. If you don’t store something enormous there (like I do) then it’s perfect for holding an iphone, point and shoot camera (I recommend the Fuji X-100), keys, wallet, and other various stuff. It happens to hold an m9 with 35mm 1.4 lens perfectly so I use it for that, or an LED lite panel I often use.

(Click images to view them larger)


The Ari by Incase is the perfect gear bag for me. I can’t think of a single change to make to this bag… except MAYBE one exterior slot to slide a phone easier. It’s the perfect solution for comfort meets function. Sure, I’m tired after a 15 hour wedding day but no bag is going to change that and my back is worlds better off than when I use any other bag. It just feels like an extension of yourself strapped in and ready to rock a photo session. If you’re ready to stop your search for the ultimate camera bag and start concentrating on your photography instead… then buy it.

Sam Hurd

Sam Hurd


Starting as a political news and celebrity portrait photographer in DC, Sam was instantly drawn to wedding photography as a space to promote more inventive ideas. Sam’s focus is on photographic techniques that are deceptively simple but have the potential to transform difficult or uninspiring shooting environments into one-of-a-kind opportunities for every photo made.

Most reviews, technical write-ups, and other photo nerd content is posted first, and exclusively, over on his patreon.