SkimmerSack II Camera Beanbag Support for Wildlife Photography
Our most popular innovation is now even better, with improved construction and a reinforced top section. Nature and wildlife photographers everywhere keep the SkimmerSack II camera beanbag with them for the ultimate in flexibility and portability while traveling around the world, whether on safari or on the road at home shooting from a car window or roof.
The SkimmerSack II camera beanbag was designed by professional nature photographer and Founder and President of NatureScapes.net, Greg Downing.
“I personally developed the SkimmerSack II for use with the Skimmer Ground Pod II when shooting out of the car with a big lens and I have found it to be the best solution by far. Gone are the days of a permanently mounted window mount or overly large bulky beanbags that cradle the lens too much and restrict your movement.” –Greg Downing
The SkimmerSack II bean bag for wildlife photography transforms into many different configurations for endless shooting possibilities, with or without the use of the Skimmer Ground Pod II. It’s also the most durable and flexible camera bean bag support on the market.
- Unique and transformable design provides a multitude of uses and configurations. Please see the detailed images for examples.
- First ever “U” shaped bag with unique round-top design for use alone, or matched perfectly with the Skimmer Ground Pod II placed on top.
- For use with any lens and camera combination from wide angle up to a 600/4 or 800/5.6.
- Continuous non-skid Toughtek® fabric inside of the legs provide a non-slip grip on car doors.
- When paired with the Skimmer Ground Pod II you can use it with any ballhead/gimbal head or simply install a quick release for the lowest profile option. Riser blocks may also be used to fine-tune your shooting height. The vehicle images shown in the photo gallery are of the original SkimmerSack on a Toyota® Highlander which is rather short for a sport utility vehicle.
SkimmerSack II is made in the U.S.A. and ships without fill for your convenience. Greg recommends filling this camera beanbag with sunflower seeds so you can feed them to the birds afterwards.
NEW! If you’re looking for a camera beanbag that is slightly smaller than this one, check out the SkimmerSack Mini Camera Beanbag Support for Wildlife Photography.
Please see the Specifications tab below for more information and tips from Greg on how to use.
What Makes the SkimmerSack II the Best Camera Beanbag for Wildlife Photography?
- Highly contoured design allows for less fill than other bags and weighs only 8 pounds when full using whole sunflower seeds.
- Large zippered opening with protective flap for easy secure filling.
- All seams are double stitched for extra strength; stress areas stitched at least 5 times. The SkimmerSack II Camera Beanbag Support for Wildlife Photography is more durable than any other molar style beanbag that we know of, all of which are made of either cheap nylon pack cloth or canvas materials and none of which are double stitched like the SkimmerSack II.
- Buckle straps at each end of the legs for tying the bag down to door handles or a safari roof rack.
- Sewn in handles on each side may be used for tie downs or to secure the Skimmer using a 3″ climber’s clip attached to the carrying tab of the Skimmer Ground Pod II.
- Filled: 10.25″ tall x 6.7″ x 8″ (26 cm tall x 17 x 20 cm)
- Weight when empty: 4.9 oz (139 g)
- Weight with a poly fill (including sack weight): 11 lbs, 8 oz (5.2 kg)
- Weight with buckwheat hull fill (including sack weight): 2 lbs, 13 oz (1.3 kg)
Fabric Construction and Hardware
- Durable 500 denier DuPont Cordura® nylon (waterproof urethane coated)
- Non-skid Toughtek® fabric on interior
- Fabrics made in the U.S.A.
- Color: Black
- Self-healing #5 zipper
- New buckle closures
- Made in the U.S.A.
- All seams are double stitched with nylon thread for added strength and durability
- Stress areas are stitched at least 5 times
How to Care for the SkimmerSack II Camera Beanbag
Lint and dust can be removed with a lightweight brush. Hand wash in lukewarm water using a mild soap. Drip dry. Use a moist rag with soap for spot cleaning.
Unless you are using synthetic fill, we recommend storing the bag empty in order to prevent mold and fungus from forming inside.
Basic Fill Guidelines
- Please see the included instruction sheet for suggested fill; Greg likes to use sunflower seeds and feed them to the birds when finished with them. With 70–90% fill you can place over a car door and shoot with a lens alone or with the use of a Skimmer Ground Pod II on top. It can also be used upside down. 9 liters of fill by volume is needed.
- With 40% fill the legs can be folded under to make a flatter pancake-style beanbag for use with smaller lenses or for a lower profile. With 70–80% fill the legs of the beanbag can be spread out and placed on top of a car or in between the rails of a safari vehicle, leaving the round surface available for cradling your lens or placing the Skimmer Ground Pod II on top.
- We recommend about 80% fill when using with a SkimmerSack II camera beanbag from the car, using more for a tighter and firmer top and less for a lower profile. Less fill allows the SkimmerSack II to be cradled by the excess material on the top surface and allows a lower shooting profile. By adjusting the amount of fill, the SkimmerSack II can be transformed for a variety of uses, with or without the Skimmer Ground Pod II. See the detailed images for just a few of the suggested configurations. The possibilities are endless!
Greg’s Tips for Using the SkimmerSack II Camera Beanbag Support for Wildlife Photography
Use the Skimmer Ground Pod II with it! Attaching a quick release clamp to the Skimmer Ground Pod II allows the SkimmerSack II to become a giant low-profile foot for your lens. Since the Skimmer Ground Pod II is round and fits perfectly on the top of the SkimmerSack II, it allows photographers complete freedom to pan side to side and lean up and down for unrestricted movement. Installing a ballhead or gimbal head on the Skimmer Ground Pod II works also but often puts the rig too high for shooting out of a car.
When filling the SkimmerSack II don’t fill it too tightly, just leave a little room to allow it to “hug” the Skimmer Ground Pod II which essentially operates like a giant ballhead.
For a lighter fill try buckwheat hulls or poly beads, such as those found in beanbag chairs. Some nature photographers even travel with the SkimmerSack II used this way.
Greg’s favorite fill is whole sunflower seeds because they are lighter than beans or rice and birds love them! When you’re finished you can just dump them on the ground.
The easiest way Greg has found to fill the SkimmerSack II is to use a plastic bird feeder filler which is essentially a large funnel. A small can or drinking cup also works.
NatureScapes warrants its products against defects in materials and workmanship for two years. This warranty does not cover damage caused by negligence or improper use, nor does it cover the breakdown of material which inevitably occurs with extended use, including zipper, hook, and loop wear. Our liability is limited to replacement of original gear; compensation for damaged equipment is not implied. Ship prepaid and insured to us with a copy of the sales receipt. If the beanbag is found to be defective, we will repair or replace at our option.