The Cloak Bag Story
After returning from a three-month stay in Buenos Aires, one of the first things I wanted to do was sort through all of the great pictures I’d taken. But when I scrolled through my library, I began to realize that so many of the amazing scenes that I was looking forward to revisiting were nowhere to be found. The truth was that in and among the bustling crowds and chaotic streets of the city, I was often too afraid to use my camera. Almost every time I pulled out my new SLR in public, my Argentine friends would quickly advise me to put it back in its bag to avoid being robbed.
While both my camera and I ultimately returned home safe, I could recall at least two occasions during my trip when my local friends' forewarnings narrowly saved me from a mugging. Both incidents occurred while my camera was out in plain sight, a beacon screaming, ‘Hey, look at me! I'm not from around here!’
I had identified my problem: How do I carry my expensive camera around so I can get great shots, and not have to waste time removing it from a bag or worry about getting mugged because I looked like a tourist? I searched to see if a solution existed. There were plenty of so-called "inconspicuous" camera bags, but at some point, they all required that revealing and inhibiting act of taking the camera out of the bag. So my friend, Tim Winfree, and I, both designers with engineering backgrounds, teamed up to develop a camera bag that would simply let you shoot through it.
While the idea seemed simple enough, it took many months and many prototypes to arrive at a bag that was lightweight, manageable, easy to use, and looked unlike a traditional camera bag. But in the end, we made the world's first and only shoot-through camera bag, the Cloak™ Bag.-Robert Merrill, Co-inventor