Several weeks back , I wrote that I am on the look out for a camera bag which will accommodate my gear beyond what my Lowepro Nova 170 AW can carry. To summarize my previous blog, I am looking at Lowepro Classified 200AW, the Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Home and the Tenba Messenger Photo/Messenger Large.
I decided, eventually, to get the Tenba Messenger bag and I am very glad I made that decision.
The bag, with my Macbook Pro and the photography gear that I want to always be with me when I do my "walk", weighs about 19 lbs. Without the laptop and it's adapter, the bag weighs in at around 13 lbs. The bag is very roomy and I can fit in my Canon 7D with a 70-300mm lens attached. I am able to put my 17-85mm lens, 50mm lens and my 430EX II speedlite with room to fit in a 100mm macro (hint to the wife) and another speedlite, albeit you will have to place it on a side outside the insert. (again, hint to the wife). The camera compartment is well padded with a generous number of removeable inserts. Moreso, the camera compartment can be removed and you can use the bag as a regular messenger bag.
The bag can pack a lot of things inside. With my camera gear packed and my 15 inch MacBook Pro also inside, I was still able to put a book and my Kindle in the space between the front of the bag and the insert. There are plenty of pockets but they become essentially useless when the bag's fully packed. There are pockets in the flap but, as before, they don't accept much if the bags packed.
Now, I won't bring my laptop together with my camera gear most of the time but it is nice to have that option. Also, one of the thing that attracted me the most is that there is a zipper on the top portion of the bag so you can get to your camera in no time at all. I am hoping, though, that robbers won't have the same ease with my camera. An observation: the zippered top is also hard to open with the bag loaded.
I walked for about a quarter of a mile with the bag fully loaded and found that, despite the weight, it was a comfortable walk. The strap has a thick padding and the weight of the bag is distributed along the weight of this thick padding.
As a conclusion, I believe that this is a perfect bag for me. In lieu of the laptop, I instead bring a book or two and the kindle so I'll have something to do in my downtime. So, I will just put my book(s) and the Kindle in the slot for the laptop. There is even some room left for an iPad! (Once more, hint to the wife...)
This is the best everyday photo bag for me.
-- Text written in my iPod Touch