Once I’d received this lightweight (450g) bag hide, I couldn’t wait to try it out. So I decided to pop out to my local lake and see how it worked. Now I have never tried taking photographs from a portable hide, let alone a bag hide, so I was surprised just how easy it was to do. Simply throw the hide over you, the camera, and tripod and point the lens out through the adjustable hole. I must get an image of this.
Once under cover there is then a hood for your head to pop up through. Complete with a fetching scrim net to cover your face. A great concept to allow you to look around and be hidden. This can be stuck out of the way with the use of the Velcro pads attached, if required.
It’s then time to sit back and wait for the action to come to you.
Wildlife Watching Supplies Bag Hide – Review
On my first trip I was dubious as to how well the Realtree Hardwoods green camouflage hide would work. But to test it well I sat in quite a prominent place where my silhouette wasn’t particularly well hidden. Not something I would normally have done or recommend. After a few minutes the local great crested grebes were happy to come and feed within a few feet. Not something I have ever managed in the past, even with my stealthiest attempts. This could have been down to the grebes’ familiarity with local fishing bivvys, but I doubt it. However I had to find a stiffer test to put the hide through its paces.
Test two came on a snowy day. This meant the hides’ superb real-life (Realtree) camouflage was less effective. But the ability to hide my human shape was called into use.
The test was to try and photograph some locally wintering short-eared owls. Now this was not the easiest of feats normally, the birds are very observant. However after a few minutes of sitting waiting I had one of these stunning creatures flying within a few metres (see the tope image). They even landed in the
long grass near to me (unfortunately blocked by said grass so no photo opportunity). The birds continued to hunt around me for a couple of hours without showing any nerves, brilliant!
As you can tell the hide works.
Bag Hide Design
What of it’s make up?
Well, as mentioned earlier it is very light weight. Weighing no more than a small coat would. Easily rolls up to fit in a rucksack (or strapped to the side). And, interestingly, it kept me extra warm in the snow by taking the edge off the cold wind (obviously I had a coat on as well). It has also proven to be breathable in the sun. I assume the light material helps.
The aperture for the lens is a slit that has Velcro on either side allowing it to adjust around even the largest lens. Or close up on smaller lenses, keeping you hidden no matter what.
One of the great advantages is that it can be worn like a poncho as well. This means if you plan to move you don’t need to keep setting up and down each time. You can just wear it over your clothes and back back. This becomes even more useful when stalking your targets.
When you are sitting (I use a Walk Stool) the throw over hide is big enough to house a person; camera; tripod; and stool.
The actual camouflage material used is of a real tree type design and this merges well with most backgrounds. Or at least serves to break up the human outline if it doesn’t match the surround.
To conclude, the Wildlife Watching Supplies Bag Hide is not just useful for anyone wanting to photograph wildlife. No it is an invaluable asset to help you achieve this.
Roomy, light, portable, well designed, ignored by wary wildlife, and easy to use, a real winner!
I have now used this hide on occasion (still not as often as I should) over nearly a decade! I keep it in the second pocket of my main camera bag, so have it on many occasions, and it does not add much bulk to my gear.
It still works well (I was using it to photograph Great-crested Grebe and Kingfisher in 2014), and is still very easy to use. There has been no real loss of colour, no bleaching, (although as I said I don’t really use it as much as I should. And the Velcro still holds strong. In fact for a piece of photographic equipment it has out lasted at least 3 cameras!
Pretty impressive when you consider the cost is still very reasonable. I would still highly recommend to any wildlife enthusiasts, but especially wildlife photographers out there. Get close but don’t disturb the birds, that is the goal after all.
For the photos on this page I used my bag hide to allow me to get close enough.
You can read more of my reviews here
Whilst I received this product for free from Wildlife Watching Supplies, in return for this review. The views are my own and I was in no way required to make it positive. Please feel free to leave me a comment, I really appreciate the interaction and will reply as soon as I can. I apologise for any issues with posting comments, but sometimes Google’s blogger platform plays up.