Home International Jobs The Greatest Images Bean Luggage for Safari + What to Look For

The Greatest Images Bean Luggage for Safari + What to Look For

The Greatest Images Bean Luggage for Safari + What to Look For


In case you are planning a safari, the probabilities are good that you’re enthusiastic about taking a bigger digicam and lens with you. These can produce fantastic wildlife pictures, however in addition they include a draw back, which is that they are often heavy and arduous to carry for extended intervals of time.

Usually the answer to a heavy lens and digicam is a tripod or monopod. Nonetheless, most safaris have you ever observing wildlife from inside a car, the place it’s usually not attainable to simply arrange and use both a tripod or monopod. That is particularly the case when there are just a few individuals within the car vying for viewing area!

Nonetheless, you don’t wish to miss an ideal shot of a lion or an elephant as a result of your arms are drained from holding your gear up. As an alternative, it is best to take into account investing in a pictures bean bag.

On this article, I’ll let you know how they work, why you may want one, necessary options to search for in a pictures bean bag, and provides some suggestions on among the greatest pictures bean baggage for safari.

I like to recommend studying this put up together with my information to getting nice pictures on safari, in addition to my information to the greatest safari digicam and lenses, so that you’re totally ready on your journey.

Causes to Use a Images Bean Bag

A pictures bean bag, because the identify suggests, is a bag stuffed with beans (or related materials) which is used to assist a digicam when taking footage.

These might be positioned both over a window body or on the highest of the car in case you are standing up and looking of a pop-up high, and can let you maintain your digicam pointing in the fitting route with out tiring your arms out.

It’ll additionally let you use slower shutter speeds if required, relying on the obtainable gentle and the way a lot your topic is shifting.

Primarily a pictures bean bag presents related advantages to a tripod or monopod, however in a smaller and extra versatile package deal. Some key advantages of a pictures bean bag embody:

  • You don’t have to carry up your lens and digicam
  • It supplies a spot to relaxation and regular longer lenses or recognizing scope
  • They defend your gear from having to relaxation on the usually soiled and uneven surfaces of the perimeters of the car
  • It might probably additionally defend your gear and provides stabilization if capturing from the bottom
  • It’s extra versatile to be used in lots of conditions in comparison with a tripod or monopod

In fact, these pictures bean baggage are usually not simply helpful for safari however for all kinds of nature and outside associated pictures situations. So it’s nice if you may get a bag that additionally, you will have the ability to use elsewhere.

Listed here are a few pictures of me on safari with and with no bean bag to present you an thought of the distinction. I’ve used numerous these bean baggage on numerous safaris throughout numerous African nations.

Photography bean bag safari

Photography bean bag safari

What to Search for in a Images Bean Bag for Safari

Earlier than offering some prompt bean baggage, I wished to share my ideas for what to search for in a bean bag for safari pictures. It will show you how to to determine which bean bag goes to be greatest for you.



The very first thing you’ll want to take into consideration is the form of the bean bag. Images bean baggage are usually not simply shapeless spherical blobs, they have a tendency to have a selected type which permits them to work extra successfully.

There are three major shapes of pictures bean baggage. First, there’s a cushion-like flatter form which is the best possibility. Then, there’s the double cushion, which is successfully two cushions sewn collectively.

Lastly, there’s a model which appears a bit like a decrease case “n” (or an inverted “u”). This form has two “legs” with a cushion half on the high. It’s successfully a saddlebag form, and is the preferred possibility.

Beneath are some photos exhibiting a few of these totally different designs.

Photography bean bag safari

Photography bean bag safari

Photography bean bag safari

Which form will be just right for you will rely a bit on the place you’re more likely to be capturing. I discover the saddlebag fashion presents a very good little bit of versatility as it may be tailored to suit a wide range of areas, from capturing over a window body to balancing on the sting of a car roof when capturing via a pop-up high.

It additionally has the benefit that you could invert it when capturing on a flatter floor to offer a type of cradle on your digicam.

The straightforward flatter cushion-like form can show to be fairly versatile, particularly when capturing on the roof of a car or from the ground. Personally I discover it a bit much less sensible for safari use because it doesn’t mildew to a car window or door space in addition to the opposite choices.

Laurence using R5 on safari in Africa



Images bean baggage are available in a wide range of sizes. The principle factor is to make sure that the bean bag you select is giant sufficient so your digicam and lens will comfortably match on it, while not being so massive that it’s impractical to make use of and carry.

Jackal Kenya


Filler Sort

Many bean baggage include the choice to buy them with a filling or with out. We usually discover it’s simpler to journey with an empty bean bag after which fill it with an acceptable filling at your vacation spot, resembling buckwheat (hulls), chook seed, or dried beans. This reduces the journey weight and bulk of the bean bag.

Nonetheless, it’s also possible to choose to buy a bean bag with a filling, which is commonly one thing like polystyrene balls to maintain transport weight down. This could undoubtedly work and offers you a light-weight possibility, though it gained’t be as secure as a heavier possibility.

Be aware that many sorts of uncooked and dried beans might be toxic to wildlife so when you use them to fill your bag you’ll wish to take additional care to maintain your bag away from animals and maintain them secured contained in the car if you depart it.

We’ve got had monkeys, notably baboons, attempt to snatch the luggage from the automobiles, as they’ve learnt that the fillings generally comprise tasty treats!

Photography bean bag safari



While the fabric the pictures bean bag is manufactured from can have some influence on its weight, the principle factor that impacts its weight is what it’s stuffed with.

If it’s stuffed with a lightweight materials like polystyrene balls for instance, then it is going to be very gentle. If it’s stuffed with dried beans or seeds, then it would naturally be heavier. The bigger the bean bag, the heavier it is going to be.

We’d usually advocate utilizing a heavier filling like beans or seeds because the bag will maintain its form higher when arrange and supply a extra secure base. Nonetheless, we’ve got additionally used a pictures bean bag stuffed with polystyrene balls with good outcomes.

On our final journey, we crammed our bag with a mixture of dried beans and a few pillow stuffing which was a very good combine .

Black Rhino Kenya



A safari might be fairly a difficult surroundings, with quite a lot of bumpy roads in addition to automobiles containing arduous edges.

It’s necessary that you just use a pictures bean bag which goes to face up to the rigours of this surroundings. You undoubtedly don’t wish to be in a state of affairs the place the bean bag develops a gap and bursts open half approach via your journey!

A well-made bean bag that has good stitching and which is constructed from a sturdy materials resembling canvas or one other thick hard-wearing materials could be greatest. Evaluating the 2 photos under, the bean bag on the fitting is made out of a harder canvas like materials which is able to doubtless last more.

Photography bean bag safari



On safari you usually need pretty impartial colours that don’t stand out. You additionally wish to keep away from blues and blacks which may entice tsetse flies.

Most pictures bean baggage we’re conscious of are available in shades of inexperienced or beige, or are in a type of camouflage sample of greens and beige colours, which works properly.

Photography bean bag safari



One of many extra necessary options of a pictures bean bag is whether or not or not it may be refilled. I’d argue that with the ability to empty and fill your bean bag is de facto necessary.

That is so you may change the contents to fit your wants. For instance, in case you are travelling gentle or wish to scale back bulk, you would possibly wish to empty out your bean bag and fold it up. Then, if you arrive in your vacation spot you may pop to a market and purchase some dried beans, rice, or buckwheat to fill it with.

Most pictures bean baggage are refillable. Some open with a zipper while others open with velcro. I’d personally advocate a system that closes with a zipper as it’s far safer and there’s much less danger of it coming open by mistake.

Photography bean bag safari



You’ll after all wish to take into consideration worth when buying a pictures bean bag. The excellent news is that almost all bean baggage are properly priced, usually coming in at round $25 – $85 USD.

In fact, you may pay extra (and fewer!), however in comparison with the value of many pictures equipment in the marketplace at this time we expect that is undoubtedly one of many extra inexpensive choices you should purchase to enhance your pictures and make your pictures expertise simpler whereas on safari.

Photography bean bag safari


Different Options

In addition to the above options, some pictures bean baggage produce other options you would possibly discover helpful. These embody straps or pockets, or issues like being water-proof.

A strap or twine can undoubtedly be helpful as you should use it to safe the bean bag when in use. Water proofing can be useful when you assume you can be capturing in moist environments.

Some have shoulder straps to make them simpler to hold if capturing on foot – these straps can be used to safe to the automobile. As well as, among the flat baggage can be used as ballasts on your tripod.

Talking of tripods, some pictures bean baggage even have the choice to connect a ball or pan head to the bean bag, supplying you with a better of each worlds possibility.

Leopard - Safari Photography Tips


The Greatest Images Bean Luggage for Safari

I’m now going to undergo what I feel are among the greatest choices for pictures bean baggage for safari. These are ordered by worth, though pricing can differ so do test.

You’ll discover this isn’t an enormous checklist. That’s as a result of there are only some manufacturers who concentrate on this type of product. Nonetheless, these manufacturers do know what they’re doing and the result’s a stable product.

Moreover, with Kinesis and LensCoat, they provide a spread of choices at totally different sizes and worth factors to go well with most digicam setups.

Personally, from the checklist under I’d advocate both the Kinesis SafariSack 4.2 or the LensCoat LensSack Professional Jr as my favorite choices to be used on safari.


Kinesis SafariSack 1.4

Kinesis have been making pictures bean baggage for safari for a few years, designing their bean bag merchandise particularly for photographers heading on safari in Africa. What we like about them is that clearly Kinesis have put some thought into what’s necessary for this type of product.

They’ve a spread of safari bean baggage, however we recommend testing the SafariSack 1.4 as a very good possibility when you would favor a flatter bean bag possibility.

The Best Photography Bean Bags for Safari + What to Look For

This bag is made out of rip-stop 400-dernier nylon. It has a zippered compartment so you may simply fill and empty it. It has D-rings on the ends so you may match a strap, and there’s additionally a small sewn-in strap which can be utilized to safe it to a car.

It will work for smaller and bigger cameras alike. When you’ve got a smaller setup particularly then this generally is a nice possibility.

Verify worth on Amazon right here and on B&H Photograph right here.


Kinesis SafariSack 4.2

My favorite possibility from Kinesis is the SafariSack 4.2, which is designed for these of you with bigger lenses and cameras.

The Best Photography Bean Bags for Safari + What to Look For

The SafariSack 4.2 is double-stitched for sturdiness and constructed from robust rip-stop Nylon. You get a rubberized backside to stop it from slipping, and there’s an elective shoulder strap in addition to a hand strap.

Maybe the perfect function although is the 2 built-in quick-release straps. These enable the SafariSack for use in two major modes when on safari. With the straps undone, you should use it as a flat sack, which is extra suited to use when capturing on the highest of a car or different flatter floor.

You possibly can alternatively join the straps to create the basic saddlebag form, permitting it for use over a window. Primarily you get the perfect of each worlds, making this a contender for the perfect pictures bean bag in the marketplace.

The bag is out there with or with no fill, and there’s even a alternative of filler materials.

Verify worth on Amazon right here and on B&H Photograph right here.


NatureScapes SkimmerSack II Mini Beanbag

The NatureScapes SkimmerSack II beanbag was developed by a full-time nature photographer who wished a bean bag that will meet his wants. The excellent news is that this has resulted in a beautiful product that’s supreme for safari pictures.

The Best Photography Bean Bags for Safari + What to Look For

The SkimmerSack II is made out of robust 500 dernier nylon cordura, with a non-slip rubbererized coating beneath to assist stop it from shifting round when in place.

The inside is constructed from a rubber-like materials, giving it some water-resistance. It’s double-stitched for power and has a zipper opening for including your individual fill. There’s additionally a hand-grab loop strap on every finish of the bag, and there are a pair of straps on the base to let you safe it to a door deal with or roof rack for security.

Verify worth on Amazon right here and on B&H Photograph right here.


LensCoat LensSack Professional Jr

One other well-known model within the pictures bean bag world is LensCoat, who make a spread of bean baggage that may accommodate a variety of lenses. They’re additionally obtainable in a number of colours.

The Best Photography Bean Bags for Safari + What to Look For

We’d advocate looking on the LensCoat LensSack Professional Jr. This saddlebag formed bag can deal with lenses as much as 500mm in size (variations are additionally obtainable with assist as much as 800mm).

There’s a non-slip coating and it’s made out of sturdy water resistant Cordura with bolstered seams. It additionally has two storage pockets, MOLLE webbing straps, and two locking YKK zips that make it straightforward to fill and empty.

Maybe probably the most attention-grabbing function of this bean bag although is the truth that it comes with a detachable mounting plate with a 3/8″-16 thread. This can be utilized to connect a gimbal or ball head, which means you may doubtless use it together with your current tripod head. This offers you the perfect of each worlds – the compact and transportable advantages of a bean bag, with the pliability of a head, making it simpler to trace shifting topics with out having to regulate the bean bag.

Verify worth on Amazon right here and on B&H Photograph right here.


Make Your Personal Images Bean Bag

As a result of a last-minute baggage mix-up previous to a latest African safari, I used to be left with out my pictures bean bag simply earlier than the journey began. Fortunately, my mum is an skilled with a stitching machine, and occurred to have some good high quality thick linen materials handy.

Between us we got here up with a design for a u-shaped bean bag with a zipper. My mum made it with a heavy calico cloth and a zipper. We then dyed it inexperienced. As soon as in Uganda, we crammed it with dried beans and a few pillow stuffing.

It labored nice, and goes to point out that in case you are a bit artistic, you may undoubtedly make your individual bean bag resolution.  Nonetheless, this feature might be greatest for these with a stitching machine and a few fundamental stitching abilities!

Elephant eating Kenya


Suggestions for Utilizing a Images Bean Bag

Now that you’ve chosen your pictures bean bag, I wished to share just a few tricks to get probably the most out of it, primarily based on my experiences.

  • Invert your tripod collar. When you’ve got a digicam with a tripod collar, rotate this so it’s on the high of the digicam quite than the underside, as in any other case it’s going to get in the way in which of the digicam resting totally on the bean bag
  • Fill it in vacation spot. In case you are touring, as you doubtless can be for safari, it can save you your baggage area by filling the bag in vacation spot quite than travelling with an already full bag
  • Select your filling correctly. There are a number of choices for a filling. I discover buckwheat, sunflower seeds, or bigger dried beans works properly. The form of rice means that’s can compact a bit an excessive amount of and means you may lose among the versatile form advantages of a bean bag. Polystyrene balls can work however I discover them to be a bit too gentle and noisy, to not point out environmentally unfriendly.
  • In case you are utilizing an natural product to fill your bean bag you’ll want to take care that it doesn’t get moist, and bear in mind that it would should be changed every so often.

Shoebill Stork

Additional Studying

That’s it for my information to the perfect bean bag for safari pictures. Should you discovered this convenient, you would possibly get pleasure from a few of my different pictures content material. Listed here are some articles to get you began.


Seeking to Enhance Your Images?

Should you discovered this put up useful, and also you wish to enhance your pictures general, you would possibly wish to take a look at my on-line journey pictures course.

Since launching the course in 2016, I’ve already helped over 2,000 college students discover ways to take higher pictures. The course covers just about every little thing you have to know, from the fundamentals of how a digicam works, via to composition, gentle, and picture modifying.

It additionally covers extra superior subjects, together with astrophotography, lengthy publicity pictures, flash pictures, and HDR pictures.

You get suggestions from me as you progress, entry to webinars, interviews and movies, in addition to unique membership of a Fb group the place you may get suggestions in your work and participate in common challenges.

It’s obtainable for an incredible one-off worth for lifetime entry, and I feel it is best to test it out. Which you are able to do by clicking right here.

And that’s it! I’d love to listen to about your ideas on wildlife pictures on safari, and am comfortable to reply any questions you’ve gotten. Simply pop them within the feedback under and I’ll get again to you as quickly as I can.

Photography bean bags


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