I was recently prepping for a shoot in the city the next day so one of the first things was to decide which camera bag or backpack to carry my gear in.
I opened the big closet in my storage room where Peak Design, F-Stop Gear, Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear camera bags and backpacks are kept, took a Peak Design Everyday Backpack out into the sunlight and, lo and behold, found it was infected with mould.
I then took out two Peak Design Everyday Messenger bags out into the light to find that they, too, are infected with mould.
None of the Think Tank Photo, MindShift Gear, Cosyspeed, and F-Stop Gear bags and backpacks appear to have been infected with mould.
For safety’s sake I had no choice but to immediately throw out all three Peak Design camera bags and backpack and luckily there was a trash collection tomorrow morning in order to get them out of the building.
I was saddened by having to do so as I applaud the creativity and innovation inherent in Peak Design’s products and have enjoyed using all three in the way for which they are designed, for daily carrying of the more mundane items of life and work along with camera, a lens or two and other smaller photographic items.
I have a large collection of Peak Design camera straps but almost all of them are stored attached to cameras in reasonably well-sealed plastic boxes with silica gel packs inside, and so far I have not found evidence of mould on any of them.
None of the Peak Design bags and straps had leather trim on them; they were all in the Charcoal colourway that is trimmed with synthetic materials whereas the Ash colourway is trimmed with leather.
As soon as I threw out the Peak Design bags I checked the straps on my cameras as well as two other boxes containing several spare straps and accessories.
Ever since the climate here in Sydney started becoming progressively more subtropical several years ago I have been conscious of the possibility of mould infection in leather products after discovering mould on a leather jacket, leather boots and leather-trimmed shoes.
I tried out several brands of anti-mould sprays on them but the mould eventually returned so the jacket and footwear had to be thrown out.
Then I discovered that certain types of plastics can also become infected with mould, most notably several Hedgren shoulder bags made from synthetics.
I have been progressively swapping over to shoes and other products made from synthetics rather than leather but it is clear that certain synthetic materials can also be a threat.