We were recently asked if we would like to review the new Peter McKinnon Camera Sling from Nomatic, so we jumped at the chance.
After striking it big with crowdfunding, camera bag manufacturer, Nomatic has gone from strength to strength. Their latest partnership with YouTube megastar Peter McKinnon has delighted fans around the globe, and it seems their collaboration products have been well received.
However, the camera sling space has been heating up lately with what seems like every camera bag manufacturer under the sun releasing their take on sling-style bags (read our reviews here). So, does the Peter McKinnon Camera Sling 8L live up to the hype? Let’s find out.
Editors Note: Nomatic sent us the Peter McKinnon Camera Sling to review and keep. However, this is not a sponsored post, nor have we been told what to say. All views on this camera bag are our own. We tell you this as we always want to be honest with you.
- Lots of pockets for accessories
- Ample padding
- Camera-centric design
- Elastic loop for quick closure
- Premium feeling materials and construction
- The bag can be a little stiff, including the zippers at times
- The hook and loop Velcro can be hard to position
- It’s a little spendy
Peter McKinnon Camera Sling 8L — Technical specifications
All of the technical specifications for the Peter McKinnon Camera Sling 8L are from the official Nomatic website:
- Quick one-handed closure system
- External Molle Hooks (Straps Sold Separately)
- Internal organization pockets
- 3-way carry
- Custom & durable hardware
- Water-resistant materials and zippers
- 1 Included Stabilizer Strap
- 5.5″ D x 13″ W x 8″ H
- Weight: 1.6 lbs.
- 80% Nylon 20% Polyethylene
Peter McKinnon Camera Sling 8L — Ergonomics and build quality
The Peter McKinnon Camera sling looks like many other slings that have recently hit the market. After all, there’s only so much you can do when designing small camera bags like this one.
The first thing you’ll notice is the Peter McKinnon signature panel on the front. I can’t say I’m a fan of it, but it is what it is. The matte black finish looks very stylish. In addition, a feint textured design is woven into the fabric, which looks great. Another design aspect used throughout the bag is the Peter McKinnon Skull and Crossbones logo. The branding calls for you to ‘fly the flag’ like you’re some creative pirate. This branding is most evident on the back panel where a large Skull and Crossbones lives.
You can tell by looking at the sling that Nomatic has used premium YKK zippers. The zippers have premium metal pulls, and you can see that the strap has an excellent padded section, which is something that other slings opt to leave out in favor of just having a skinny strap. However, I am disappointed that Nomatic opted to use plastic strap adjusters. They feel tough, but metal adjusters would have fit the bag better.
Easy to manage
The camera sling is just over 1 foot long; it’s 8 inches high and has a depth of just 5.5 inches. The bag is incredibly manageable, thanks to these dimensions. When you factor in the weight of just 1.6lbs, you end up with a camera sling that is pleasant to carry around on long excursions. The material is a mixture of Nylon and Polyethylene. The bag offers some water resistance and is lovely to the touch. I would describe it as almost a rubbery feel.
I have used the Peter McKinnon Camera Sling for the better part of two weeks, and I have subjected it to camera walks in nature and around the city. At one point, I was caught in a brief rain shower, and the bag held up just fine, thanks to the fantastic zippers, which close tightly.
The bag has stood up well to the tasks I have put it through. Nomatic and Peter McKinnon have done an excellent job designing this sling. The bag has a nice clean design that sets it apart from others, and I don’t doubt it will last quite some time.
Let’s take a look around
The overall design of the bag is very clean. You’ll find external Molle Hooks on the bag’s front and underside. These are great, but it’s where one of my gripes comes in. Nomatic wants to nickel and dime you to death to use them. The straps to use the hooks are sold separately. So, if you want to carry a small tripod under the bag, you’ll have to pay more cash (a two-strap pack is $19.99) over the $159 entry fee. Not cool.
There’s one external pocket on the back of the bag, which is big enough to house your phone. There’s also a nice thick panel of padding on the back, which makes the bag comfortable to carry. In addition, there’s also a strap on the back that will slip over the handle of most rolling luggage.
Inside the main compartment is where the Peter McKinnon Camera sling starts to come to life. In the space behind the front panel, you’ll find three small elastic pouches perfectly sized for SD cards. In addition, there’s a generously sized zippered pocket, two medium-sized elastic pouches for cables, batteries or accessories and two large elastic pockets that could hold AirPods, a small smartphone, some lens filters, or other accessories.
Given the bag’s dimensions, the main camera compartment is bigger than you might think. There’s plenty of padding inside to protect your gear, and there are two padded dividers that you can move around to fit your camera and lenses. Like the outside, the bag’s interior has an excellent clean design, and the choices for storage are smart.
Peter McKinnon Camera Sling 8L — What can it hold?
The Peter McKinnon Camera Sling is big enough to hold a small mirrorless camera and one to two lenses. I have used the sling with an Olympus E-M10 IV with an attached prime and a zoom without any issues. I have also used the sling with a much more compact setup that includes my Ricoh GR IIIx (read our review here), A Q20 II flash and multiple accessories.
The sling even held my APS-C Pentax K-S2 DSLR with a Pentax 18-135mm zoom attached, and there was still room for another small to medium-sized lens or my Ricoh GR IIIx, and the LightPix Q20 II flash. The amount of gear this 8L sling can hold is pretty impressive. You could probably even get away with having a camera with a small prime and a small drone.
As mentioned above, this camera bag has plenty of pockets and pouches that can hold accessories. I managed to fit multiple batteries, a power bank, USB cables, SD cards, a pair of headphones and some cleaning accessories into the spaces provided.
Of course, your mileage will vary based on the gear you own, but I have been impressed with what I have been able to cram into the Peter McKinnon Camera Sling. Owners of compact cameras, Micro Four Thirds cameras and most smaller mirrorless APS-C cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm and Sony will have no issues with this bag. However, owners of APS-C DSLRs like the Nikon D500, Nikon D7200 and the Canon EOS 7D II might have some problems.
Peter McKinnon Camera Sling 8L — In the field
If I had to describe the Peter McKinnon camera sling from Nomatic in one word, it would be comfortable. You can tell that a lot of time went into designing the bag to feel great when it’s on your person. The bag is neither too big nor too small. The strap can be adjusted to multiple lengths, and the sizable padded area offers plenty of relief. The padded back panel is a nice touch too. So, no matter how much stuff you cram into the bag, you won’t feel anything poking you.
Another way to make the bag more comfortable is to use the included support strap that wraps around your body and connects to the bag. The support strap will stop the sling from sliding around on your torso. It was great to use it while walking around, but I think those riding on bicycles will get even more pleasure from using it.
Finally, some Innovation
The zippers, for the most part, worked flawlessly. A few times, they decided to get caught up, but the issue was easy to rectify. The front flap, when open, provides a nice, wide access point to get to your gear.
One feature I love is the elastic strap housed in the front panel. This strap allows you quickly secure the bag after you take out your gear. You simply pull the strap and loop it over a metal bracket on the back of the bag. This means you’ll likely get whatever shot you were after as you don’t have to fight the zippers to seal the bag back up. It’s a small feature that yields big camera bag performance improvements.
Overall, the Peter McKinnon Camera Sling is a great way to tote around your gear. The sling doesn’t scream camera bag, which I like. The only people who will know what it is are those who know who Peter McKinnon is, and that is given away by the signature panel on the front of the bag. So, because of its comfort levels, minimal design and spacious interior, this bag has become my daily carry when I want to travel light.