Between the camera body, lenses, and all the accessories, DSLRs are expensive. Few things make a DSLR owner more nervous than carrying their gear in the rain. This is one of the major influences behind the Miggo Agua Quick-draw Storm-proof Holsters, a set of simple, protective camera holsters made for DSLRs, super zooms, and mirrorless SLRs.
The Agua holsters are designed to keep your camera dry in even the wettest of conditions. They are advertised as being storm-proof, but not waterproof, so while you should be able to use a holster safely during a storm, don’t plan on scuba diving with it.
The folks at Miggo sent an Agua to me to review, specifically the 35 model which is made for mid-sized DSLRs. I tested it with the Sony RX10, a bridge camera with a DSLR body and a sizable 28-200mm lens.
The Aqua is a simple storm-proof holster, holding your camera and not much else. This isn’t a full-fledged camera bag for your extra lenses, lens hoods, etc. A small pocket for your lens cover snugly fits your lens cover so you can quickly pull your camera out and take a shot.
The holster comes with two side-squeeze buckle attachments that enable you to attach your camera directly to the removable strap, or to a short buckle inside the holster itself so you can remove the camera, snap your photo, and return it to your bag without risk of dropping or losing your gear in the process.
If you choose the right Agua holster for your camera, it should fit snugly and without a lot of bounce or give. The Agua is well shaped to the camera and lens, without compressing it. I was able to fit my Sony RX10 in the holster, along with its lens and a small lens hood, without any issue.
The Miggo’s water resistance is top-down, meaning that if water is coming in contact from the bottom of the bag up, it will likely find its way to the natural gap at the edge of the zipper which is covered by a thin covering. So, theoretically, your gear should be absolutely protected from moisture as long as you don’t turn the holster upside-down or find yourself in a situation where water is shooting up from below.
I decided that the best way to test a storm-proof camera holster is to give it a storm to withstand. Initially stuffing the holster with paper towels, I hosed it down in the backyard using a rain-like shower and moderately high-pressure jet settings on the hose’s nozzle. After roughly 2-3 minutes of hosing, I checked the paper towels for any moisture.
To my surprise, the Agua’s contents were remarkably dry. There wasn’t the slightest hint of moisture along the seams or edges of the zipper where you might expect. The results were very much the same when I trusted my camera to it and ran the test again.
The next test I did involved dropping it in ice and puddles. Again, the gear inside remained dry while being dragged on the ground.
There is a lot to like about the design of Miggo’s Agua. It features a smooth, matte rubber-like exterior with a blue patch along the top. The shape matches the camera inside, so there is no hiding the fact that it is a camera bag.
Looking closely at the exterior, you see the tiny squares that make up a rip-resistant construction, hinting at excellent durability from Neoprene, tarpaulin, and Lycra, combined with plastic buckles and loops.
The inside of the holster is soft, with a self-molding area for the lens so you can keep your camera inside without the lens cover.
One of the coolest features of the Agua is its detachable strap which can attach to your camera’s buckles to double as a camera strap when you aren’t using the holster. As a camera strap, it is remarkably comfortable due to its abundant, squishy padding. Bright blue colors make it easy to see in dim lighting. Every buckle and loop is plastic, making it free from any risk of rust or corrosion associated exposure to water.
The Miggo Agua has a lot more appeal to practical shooters that care more about function than form, or don’t mind the modern, obvious design. If you prefer a more subtle, multi-purpose bag that will hold a bit more than your camera, this is probably not the solution for you.
At between $55 and $70 USD, this holster falls in that sweet spot between impulse buy and pricey. You’ll earn your money back no the purchase the first time you take your camera out on a rainy day. It’s a great choice for nature photographers and others that frequently find themselves around waterfalls and streams. It won’t keep your gear dry under water, but it will hold up remarkably well in the midst of a thunderstorm.