New HoldFast Bag Lets You Tote Around Your Camera Inside Bison Skin


HoldFast Gear makes gear for photographers that you won’t really find from other companies. Last year one of their big products was the MoneyMaker, a suspenders-style leather camera strap that looks like it popped out of an old detective film.

Today the company added a new eye-catching product to its lineup: the Bison Tote. It’s a tote bag that’s made out of bison hide.

Each bag is hand-assembled by the designer, HoldFast founder and photographer Matthew Swaggart.


The bags feature a giant inside pocket and a slim outside pocket for carrying around your stuff without compartmentalizing it. It fits a 15-inch laptop, your smaller electronics, your camera, and all the small items you need by your side over the course of a day.

While the bag doesn’t come with standard camera bag dividers or padding by default, Swaggart is planning to release an insert that will make the bag work as a proper camera bag for your camera(s) and lenses.


The bag will be available in both black or mahogany American Bison hide, and measures 14x4x11 in dimensions. They cost $220 a piece over on HoldFast.

Bison Tote [HoldFast via The Phoblographer]

  • A_Lwin

    1) Personally I feel that the bag looks tacky.

    2) Though I don’t support PETA and I am not some stupid vegan, I have to wonder: what is the conservation status of these animals? Should we be supporting this product?

  • Michael Zhang

    Hmmm… Good point. Wikipedia says the animal is “near threatened” and that half a million of them are being raised on commercial ranches.

  • dz

    The genius of Holdfast is in the hipster-ish marketing and imagery. The products are basically off the shelf hardware and leather (look at springfield or tandy leather) assembled in novel ways, costing probably ~$40. Nothing wrong with that, and I use the moneymaker regularly.

    But a tote bag that doesnt come with dividers or padding, but is targeted towards photographers? I dont get it. Sure, it’s leather, but the functionality ends about there. If you don’t believe me try using your grocery store tote as a camera bag.

    I just don’t get it.

  • harumph

    Love the touch with the Stars and Stripes. Killing as many buffalo as humanly possibly was one of the first Great American traditions.

  • Mug

    can´t they just kill themself and make the bags out of their skin?
    im a proud vegan…

  • jajsj

    no you are some other stupid….

  • Mehmet Kıvanç Özel

    For America!?

  • Swade

    And that’s why they use bison now, and not buffalo

  • destroy_all_humans

    no thanks, waiting for panda

  • brandon

    you guys should go out west. there are bison everywhere, and they are farmed. the bison are good. we should raise lions/tigers/ and pandas like this, then they’d be everywhere, everywhere but the endanger list. also, i love my “moneymaker”, it’s awesome.

  • harumph

    Bison are buffalo. Same animal. Bison is the word for the North American buffalo. Maybe you’re thinking of beefalo, which is a cow/bison hybrid that we farm for meat and leather?

    But yes, Bison are farmed now as well, so it’s different from the wholesale slaughter that occurred when we (white Europeans) first set foot here. It was really just a joke.

  • eraserhead12

    I certainly hope Petapixel gets paid to advertise such an unappealing generic tote, whose only novelty is its near-threatened animal hide. $220 for a bag that is in no way designed for a photographer? I’m surprised hipsters like this kind of stuff, it looks like something targeted towards an aging middle-america..

    I’m all for small businesses, but I think I’ll pass on this.

  • Anthony

    If they shoved a growler, a fixie, a V60, and a mustache in these pictures it would break the internets from hipster overload.

  • Carin Basson

    The commercial farming of bison feeds into the conservation efforts, since you automatically have a lot of people with financial incentive to keep the species healthy. It’s not like rhinos that can’t be farmed – maybe if they could be we could flood the market with legitimate rhino horn and the poaching would stop.

  • Ken

    I’m not buying one till they come out with the Bald Eagle backpack.

  • A_Lwin

    I think we’re way past the point where hipster has become mainstream.

  • A_Lwin

    I would rather see these creatures thriving in the wild where they belong and not in some ranch.

  • Swaggart

    This tote bag is exactly what it says it is on my site, it’s a tote bag. I didn’t market it as a photography bag with dividers. It’s just a tote bag. And you are way off on what it cost to make a MoneyMaker my friend, if it was that cheap I’d be a happy man!

  • dz

    I think this article should do a better job of pointing out that it is, in fact, just a tote and not a camera bag.

  • Swaggart

    I agree, I don’t market it as a Tote for photographers, but I guess since I do make things for photographers then someone maybe misinterpreted what this product is. I never claim it to be a photo bag.