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Professionals, particularly the ones who work on location and often under extreme conditions, are particularly picky when it comes to selecting the bags and cases they choose to transport their cameras, lights and audio equipment. Among video and ENG professionals—not to mention serious enthusiasts—the name Petrol gets a serious thumbs-up.
Petrol manufactures a range of ruggedly built, smartly designed professional carrying gear including semi-hard camera bags, camcorder bags, rain covers and wraps, lighting bags, backpacks, audio bags, tripod bags, rolling cases, LCD monitor bags and related accessories.
The words and pictures that populate Petrol’s website and print materials, as informative and well-illustrated as they may be, do not do justice to Petrol products. Notwithstanding looks—and yes, Petrol cases and bags are, in fact, handsome—Petrol bags and cases are designed and constructed for the long-haul.
In order to create semi-soft bags and cases that maintain highly protective qualities, Petrol utilizes patented Thermoform Technologies that combine brushed polyester, thick foam padding and cold-molded laminate panels that provide a huge measure of protection for your gear.
The bottoms of Petrol bags and cases are covered in a seven-layered, shockproof, cold-molded laminate with bottom risers that keep the bag off the ground to protect the bag and its contents from scuffs, dirt and water. Bags designed to be used vertically and horizontally feature the same protective elements on both bottom panels. Similarly, many of Petrol’s camera cases also feature a shockproof, cold-molded laminate Safe-Shell that protects your camera’s viewfinder system against damaging bumps along the way.
The fabric exteriors of Petrol semi-hard bags and cases are made of heavy-gauge 900 denier and ballistic materials that are tightly stitched together and heavily reinforced where necessary. Pockets and exterior access flaps sealed behind heavy-duty zippers protect their contents against the weather. For reasons of speed and flexibility, Petrol’s easy-glide, dual-directional zippers extend beyond the ends of the bags to allow maximum access to their interiors.
For an extra measure of security, the main carrying straps on many models are flared where they make contact with the main portion of the bag.
In addition to adding an attractive visual flair to the bags’ black exterior panels, the soft padded interior walls and divider panels in a variety of models are bright orange, making it easier to pack and unpack your gear, especially in low-light locations and on studio sets. Speaking of seeing in the dark, many Petrol bags offer a battery-powered LED lighting strip that attaches to the top lid of any Petrol Deca-series camera bag, which you’ll consider a godsend the first time you find need for it.
Many Petrol camera bags and cases feature a Petrol AccuSlide camera retention system, which consists of straps that move along twin tracks of polypropylene piping, allowing you to “mount” your camera securely, and jiggle-free, into the bag. Many Petrol cases, backpacks and bags also feature a protected, padded slot for laptops up to 17" along with an ergonomic “U-Grip” handle system, which consists of interlocking, injection-molded polypropylene handles that snap open and closed fluidly.
A particularly nice “Petrol” touch is the blank logo frame found on many Petrol bags that allows you to personalize your bags and cases with your company’s or project’s name or logo.
Petrol offers camera bags and cases in a number of shapes, sizes and styles. Included among them are Deca Dr. Bags, which open up extra wide (like the wide-mouthed opening of a traditional doctor’s bag) for easy removal of camera gear. They are available in a choice of sizes: Deca U-Bags, which are designed to transport Sony DSR-250, 370,570, D600, Panasonic DVC-200, DVC-PRO line, Canon XL1S /XL-2 and similar-sized cameras (PC102). For larger camcorders up to 27" long, Petrol offers the larger and roomier model PC103.
Deca Mini Camporters, which are available in three sizes, are designed to securely transport camcorders measuring up to 16"(Deca Mini Camporter Small), 18"(Deca Mini Camporter PC202) and 20" (Deca Mini Camporter PC206) respectively, along with a number of accessories and attachments.
In the backpack department, Petrol offers several lines of backpacks designed for transporting HDSLR camera systems: the Petro PD332 D-SLR Cam ’n Go, Petrol Digibacks, the D-SLR Campack Plus and D-SLR Sling Bag. Petrol’s patented Safeback Integrated Backpack Carrying System is designed with the same level of regard for end-user sensibilities that sets Petrol products apart from competing bags and cases. In addition to polyfoam-filled straps that will not dig into your shoulders, Petrol’s Safeback system is easily adjusted for optimal balance and weight distribution.
Depending on the model, the front of the tripod harness contains zippered pouches for spare cards, meters and other smaller accessories or components.
Petrol’s Cambio equipment bags are carry-on rolling bags that double as camera-support systems once you get where you’re going. Petrol Cambio bags feature lockable wheels and a third stabilizing leg that unfolds from the rear of the roller bag. There’s also a sturdy telescopic center column that can be extended up to 56" (142cm) and will support a fluid head and camera system weighing up to 9.9 lb (4.5 kg). For solo shooting, Petrol’s Cambio camera carrier/support systems can easily make the difference between a smooth and choppy workflow when shooting without the benefit of a spare set of hands.
If you work on location, precipitation is inevitable, and that’s where Petrol rain covers and CamWraps come in handy. Designed for use with traditional camcorders or HDSLRs, Petrol rain covers are made of the finest transparent polyurethane, rip-stop fabric, waterproof black nylon and zippers and clear plastic windows. Cable pass-throughs and monitor enclosures enable easy connectivity and viewing, as well as full functionality of your gear when shooting in rain, snow and other adverse conditions.
Just as Petrol’s rain covers protect your cameras from adverse elements, so do Petrol sound bags, monitor bags and assorted pouches. Each of these is manufactured to the highest standards using the best waterproof cordura and foam padding for their respective jobs. They are designed to maintain a smooth, fumble-free workflow regardless of your working conditions.
Petrol CamWraps feature 3D Micro-Fiber Mesh construction that offers a combination of shock and scuff resistance for your gear, while allowing for a continuous flow of ventilation and moisture disbursement.
Larger tripods are pricey, and when you transport them you want the best protection you can get. Large enough to swallow a Sachtler DV-12 video tripod and an O’Connor 1030 Studio fluid head (or similarly-sized tripod system), the Petrol Deca Tripod Cage not only protects your tripod support system, but also features heavy-duty wheels and a hidden backpack harness that make it easy to transport the bag and its precious cargo.
As the name suggests, the Petrol Deca “C-Stand” bag is designed to safely transport two C-stands (disassembled) or grip stands, the Deca C-stand case is made of water-resistant Cordura nylon and features rigid internal panels and foam padding, an internal diaphragm designed to keep everything in its intended place, an interlocking handle with front and rear handgrips and built-in wheels.
The Deca Medium Light case, which is designed to carry up to three heads and stands, and the Deca Large Light Case, designed to carry up to four individual heads and stands, feature an easy-view orange interior with removable cushioned dividers, a heavy duty, water-resistant external fabric cover, an interlocking carrying handle with side handles and a removable shoulder strap.
Petrol products are designed and built to withstand the rigors of professional use under sunny skies as well as the extremes of inclement weather. They also have one additional selling point worth noting: specifically, their price tags, which are well in line with bags and cases that simply cannot compete with Petrol’s offerings over the long haul. As a professional, you deserve the best gear your hard-earned dollars can buy, and Petrol bags and cases will protect your hard-earned investments for years to come.