Hands-on With the New Slate Grey Gura Gear Kiboko

Regular readers or followers of my social media channels will know I’m a big fan of the Gura Gear Kiboko backpacks for photography travel with long lenses. Last year alone, I took over 50 flights with a Kiboko 30L+ on my back, covering Europe and North America and making it as far as Tasmania–a long way from my home in the Yukon.

For many years, the Kiboko packs were only available in black, but recently, Gura Gear has been experimenting with some new colorways, including the fantastically slick-looking and very limited Slate Grey model that landed on my desk a few days ago. Long-time Gura Gear fans might recognize this color as similar to the grey-colored Gura Gear Bataflae backpack, the Spiritual predecessor of the current Gura Gear Kiboko 2.0. This feels like a nice homage to the brand’s history, and I know many of you will love it.

Buy It Quickly – VERY Limited!

This time, the Slate Grey models’ production run was fairly limited, and I know Gura Gear doesn’t have many left. Last I heard, there were less than 20 left in the warehouse, so I’m not kidding! If you want to get your hands on one, don’t hesitate! Buy here now and save 10% with our discount code ShutterMuse10. Will Slate Grey come back in a future production run? Perhaps. But even if it does, it would likely not be before the end of the year.

Why Slate Grey Works

While the Kiboko 30L+ is also available in Pacific Blue and Sahara Tan now–both lovely colors–the Slate Grey fills a specific niche. Wildlife photographers make up the bulk of Gura Gear’s customers for the Kiboko backpack series, and most of those people are choosing a Kiboko for its famed carry-on friendly sizing and travel features. While it’s easy to meet carry-on dimensional restrictions with a Kiboko 30L+, little can be done about the weight of your bag. The reality is that most people travel with a bag over the weight limit, and we hope nobody asks us to put the bag on the scales.

You can never ensure that your hand luggage won’t be weighed at check-in or the gate, but you can mitigate the risks by doing a few simple things. One of those things is not to draw too much attention to myself or my bag. Gorgeous as the Pacific Blue and Sahara Tan models are, they are flashier. Of course, there is and always will be the standard black model, but the new Slate Grey is here for people who want something that looks (I think) even smarter than the black model but still fades into the background when it’s on your back. Importantly, this doesn’t look like a camera bag to the uninitiated, and subdued colors are always recommended for more incognito travel with a ton of expensive gear. I think the Slate Grey finds a great balance between subtle and smart.

Why The Kiboko 30L+?

This new Slate Gray is only available for the Kiboko 30L+ model, so let’s discuss that briefly. Gura Gear makes several versions of the Kiboko: 16L+, 22L+, 30L, and 30L+. The “+” denotes the existence of a laptop sleeve behind the camera compartment. The 30L+ model is the most popular bag in the lineup, and while I don’t know how many more 30L+ models they sell compared to others, I would guess it’s a significant difference. It’s not unusual to come across photography tour groups where everyone uses this bag!

I own both a Kiboko 30L and a 30L+, and the 30L is very little used these days. Although the depth of the camera compartment in the 30L+ model is a little less than the 30L, I can still fit my 60mm f/4 lens in it with no trouble. Even when I don’t use the laptop pocket for a laptop, I use it for maps, magazines, and my sun hat! I have no information about whether the Slate Grey color will ever come to other Kiboko sizes or Gura Gear backpack models, but I can certainly see why they started by offering it on the Kiboko 30L+.

What Fits?

My in-depth Kiboko review contains everything you ever wanted to know about this bag. If you haven’t read it yet and you’ve gotten this far into today’s post, I highly recommend checking it out. I’ll add some photos of the new Slate Grey model to that review, but I thought I’d leave today’s post with a few examples of gear that fits into this bag. Of course, this gear will fit in all colors of the Kiboko 30L+, but forgive me for indulging in the Slate Grey for now! Perhaps some of these load-outs will inspire you to grab one while stocks last (it won’t be long).

Where to Buy – Save 10%

Gura Gear has offered Shutter Muse readers a 10% discount on anything purchased in their online store. Just use the discount code SHUTTERMUSE10 after clicking here to access their store.

Photo of author
Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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