Cinebags Lens Smuggler CB-27 Review – A Bag with a Secret Identity

Cinebags Lens Smuggler on safari

A bag that functions well in the field does not necessarily cut it when traveling by plane between locations. The CineBags – CB27 Lens Smuggler can do both well and has a secret which earns it the smuggler designation.

CineBags employed a clever concept for the creation of The Lens Smuggler: to design a bag that meets the requirements of the airlines carryon “personal item” while making a useful camera bag. Whether your main carryon is a standard roller bag filled with your wardrobe or a camera backpack stuffed with gear, this bag offers a clever way of carrying your important DSLR gear and laptop. It meets airlines’ carry-on dimensions and will fit under the seat of all but the smallest planes, as the regulations require. The ability to fit under the seat and the laptop bag façade minimizes the risks that you will have to check either your equipment or other luggage or both.


Cinebag lens smuggler inside

The main compartment has a plethora of rip-and stick adjustable padded dividers for camera bodies, lenses, rum bottles, hand grenades or anything else you can imagine. On the lid of the compartment is a multitude of see through mesh pockets for accessories, cords, extra batteries, flash cards, card readers, and cleaning paraphernalia. Remove the adjustable compartments dividers and the bag is spacious enough for use as a weekend travel bag.

The bag lives up to its guise as a computer bag with a padded compartment fitting a laptop of up to 15” and a second pocket in the front for a tablet or iPad. As with most laptop bags there is a front flap sporting all of the needs of a traveling professional: pen sleeves, cell phone holder, and a business card see-through pocket. To complete its mission to be an airport ready travel accessory, a back molding allows the bag to be easily slipped over the telescope arm of your wheeled carry-on luggage.

The Lens Smuggler is rugged. Built out of a tough waterproof fabric, with oversized zippers, adjustable padded shoulder strap, and a top carrying handle it is ready for more than just commutes to the office. It weighs in at 1995 grams.


I used this bag as a “personal item” carryon while traveling to South Africa for my series of safaris. I really appreciated the added carrying space, as my other carryon which is a camera backpack stuffed to capacity. The Lens Smuggler functioned well while working in departure lounges on office work and was much easier to grab stuff out of quickly than my backpack.



For fun I tested this bag out on a safari game drive. The Lens Smuggler’s guise as a laptop bag garnered me strange looks from the other passengers each sporting a dedicated camera bag. Once I revealed the bag’s hidden camera centric features, and they could see how well it functions in the field, they were impressed by the versatile bag and its convenient size.


I also tested it out as a weekender bag while photographing sharks from a boat in the Bahamas. In Simon’s Town South Africa it accompanied me on the boat holding equipment while we photographed the great white sharks hunt seals. New Zealand, Mexico, and many other wild places and it is still going strong.

If you’re looking for a ultra – organized bag that can transition easily between camera gear, laptop and paperwork, and general travel use, the CineBags CB27 Lens Smuggler is your bag.

Gregory Sweeney – & underwater photo tours