Bag Inquiry? needs: carry-on, ipad, quiet flaps

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by WT21, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Hi Folks,

    I'm looking at all the threads now, but there are SO MANY!!!

    Wondering if anyone can short-circuit this for me. Here are my needs:

    • Needs to carry a P100-300, EPL5, and probably a couple more lenses.
    • Needs to carry an iPad or 13" macbook pro. So, I'm thinking the bag size is defined by the iPad requirement mostly.
    • Airplane carry-on, so having extra room is a-ok.
    • Prefer option of velcro silencer, because I may double-duty this bag later for DSLR work.
    • Ability to double for DSLR, 2 lenses and flash
    • I'm partial to something other than lowepro-like nylon tourist bag. May little day bag, for instance, is a Domke 5xb
    • Budget can be a concern, so I can't go for the hadley-pro level recommendations
    • I prefer a soft inside, more than slick nylon or raw velcro type interior. Again, the Domke is a great example.

    I'm looking at the Tenba mini-messenger (nothing mini about it!) but it doesn't have the silencer flaps, and the inside is just nylon. Nice price and size, and the look is passable. Any others like that?
  2. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I have been using a ThinkTank Retrsopective 10 with a lot of success. It fits all of your criteria with the possible exception of the DSLR/2 lenses/flash line. It might or might not work for that, depending a lot on which DSLR and what lenses.
  3. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I have a ThinkTank Retrospective 20 that I bought to use with my 40D. Turns out it's the perfect size for a carry-on bag. It fits right under the seat in front of you on a plane. It's a bit large for :43: but will fit your DSLR and handles a 10" tablet with no problem. It's durable, has silencers and a very comfortable strap. I kept it just for the carry-on capability. :cool:
  4. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Real Name:
    I use Timbuk2 Snoop Small (it has plenty of room, don't let "small" name fool you) which fits OM-D with small-medium lens mounted and has 4 compartments for 4 additional lenses or 3 lenses and a flash gun. It has a few pockets in front for small flat things (batteries, cards, papers, wallet, phone, etc.). It also has a tablet compartment which I use sometimes for my Asus Transformer Infinity tablet with keyboard doc, so iPad should fit nicely as well. It also has the silencers that you are looking for. This is my go to family gathering, parties, or local "travel" bag. They go on sale once in a while so if you are patient you can find it for under $100. I got mine for $89 shipped in gun metal color. Timbuk2 The Snoop Camera Messenger Bag: Sports & Outdoors


    My other option as a carry on, is a backpack that I kept from DSLR days - Kata DR467i which is great as carry on - camera and lenses fit at the bottom (all padded compartment) and there is a good size compartment on top for any other stuff you want to take with you. It also fits any tablet or a small laptop. When I travel, I usually take that on a plane as a carry on since it fits all my camera/lenses gear as well as some stuff for kids and then I also throw a small Tamrac bag that fits OM-D and one-two lenses into luggage bag so I can go light when we do excursions or roam around. The backpack then stays at the hotel and holds the rest of the equipment. This particular model may be discontinued I think and I was able to get it for around $80-90 as well if I recall.


    Both of those are weatherproof and have clamps for tripod if this is something you want to bring along. I usually throw a small tabletop tripod in the bag and it is good enough for me. Also both will fit DSLRs if need be.

    Good luck.
  5. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    Real Name:
    Going to echo Y2k with the suggestion of the Timbuk2 Snoop messenger in small. (its actually more of a mediam sized bag). Thats pretty much what I've been using for the past 2 months and holds my camera w/ lens mounted and an additional 2-3 lenses with no issues and still have room for little extras like batteries/mini table tripod/lens blower/etc.... And as mentioned, also has velcro silencers and a laptop/Ipap flap. Seems like it might fit the bill. Like Y2K said, they go on sale from time to time so its an option. Im using it today with my G5 w/P25mm along with 2 other lenses and other goodies (adapters, batteries, etc...) Here's a few cell phone shots of the setup.

    "Pictures are worth a thousand words"
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Hmmm...maybe I should consider a backpack. My main goal here is to carry my gear. I'm bringing my Domke and will use that for walking around. I just want to carry my gear onto the plane. The backpack would also give me more storage for other things, like books, snacks, etc.
  7. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Real Name:
    That is exactly what my thinking was as well. I do not carry it around when I travel, this is mostly as a carry on bag since it fits more then just a camera and I put my tablet(s), phones, snacks for kids, sweatshirt, etc. and my hands are still free to hold kids and do other things. Then I carry a small bag around on the beach, etc.

    Sometimes I do use it as my carry to work backpack as well since it fits the laptop and if it is a nice day and I think I may do some shooting later I take this backpack just to have a camera on me.

    Hope it helps.
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    So, I found there is a difference between Tenba mini messenger, small messenger and small camera bag, all of which I could see a use for.

    Then there's the backpack approach.

  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    My primary carry-on bag (for clothing and such) converts to a backpack so I needed something easily carried as my second bag - most airlines allow a second carry-on bag. The Retrospective 20 is perfect because I can also carry a book, snacks, water (purchased after going through security) as well as my tablet and camera gear. I rarely take a checked bag because of the cost - so two roomy carry-ons are a must for me. :biggrin:
  10. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Is price a factor? I know people like the look of the ThinkTank Retrospectives but the LowePro Event Messenger line is one third the cost with the same set of features. Come in colors other than black, and the LowePro labeling is very subtle. Of course if money is no object and you don't like LowePro looks (you seem to indicate that) then certainly get what you want and include aesthetics in the decision.

    I think the backpack suggestion is a really good thing to consider. There are a wide variety of options in that form factor. One thing to watch out for, I've found many that are designed for photography that I've tried to not be particularly comfortable. Often straps stink or they don't sit right on your back. UPS tracking says I have a LowePro Flipside Sport 10L showing up on my doorstep in a few hours - my latest attempt at finding a photography backpack that actually works as a backpack. I saw a good review of it on the forum here a few weeks back and then Best Buy had a big sale the past weekend so I couldn't resist.

    So far for planes I just have a generic non-photography backpack that is reasonably lightweight and I put whatever bag system I plan to use in the bottom of that. Tablet fits easily along the back of the backpack and the top half or so is available for whatever else.

    Good luck, I know how frustrating bag shopping can be. I've tried and changed things so many times over the years. Each time my system changes it is a new quest for the "perfect" bag or bags...
  11. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    if you are not taking the backpack with you as walk around, then i suggest get a big one and put an insert in it. it might be good to have separate compartments, one for the camera and insert, one for the other things. I like the idea of inserts because you can take it out and the backpack would just be another backpack for other uses.

    I have a "JanSport Boost" backpack which has two ginormous compartments, and I put a "Mountainsmith Kit Cube" in the middle compartment. the kit cube is probably a bit too big for m4/3, but it will fit DSLR comfortably. I think Crumpler has a backpack line called the Barge or something that sort of does the same thing, but since I already have the Boost (and like 10 other assorted backpacks, camera bags, and messengers), I just got the cube insert instead.

    If you are starting fresh I think the Crumpler solution is probably better, because with most non-camera backpacks, the compartments are divided vertically, so putting things in front or back compartment and eventually it falls to the bottom and gets squeezed by the camera sitting in the other compartment. where as the barge divide the compartments horizontally, so the non camera stuff will stay put in the top compartment. On paper at least, I never had a chance to play with one in person.
  12. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    Tenba mini-messenger is a good option. With Timbuk2, I would look at the D-Lux series for the padded iPad/laptop compartment and add the Snoop insert and silencers rather go with the Snoop series if you want to carry an iPad/Mac.
  13. skellington

    skellington Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Real Name:
    I went with an f-stop Brooklyn Sling. They have other bags in that line that are similar sized.

    It carries my full kit (G3 + lens, flash, 45-200, 2 more primes, charger, eneloop charger, filters, etc.) with room for a paper-back in the body. (I did steal a couple of extra dividers from an old bag of mine.)

    Fits an iPad with a standard cover, and probably a Macbook Air 11", but I don't think it will get a 13".

    And plenty small to count as a "briefcase/purse" and fit under the seat in front of you without completely blocking your feet.
  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Thanks much! I went to my local camera store, and they had that exact Kata backpack, so that's what I went with. I think it'll work just right!
  15. fluberman

    fluberman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 19, 2012
    Real Name:
    And which small bag to carry around?
    I'm interested in this idea too, using a backpack and a small bag.
  16. Haans

    Haans Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 18, 2012
    A while back I got a bag from China off'n eBay. Fairly nice bag with a foam insert and holds two Leica M's and a couple of M lenses, maybe 3. They have larger sizes too, and may have laptop size also. Just type in canvas camera bag in search and it comes up. Think it was 30 bucks with free shipping...

  17. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Domke 5Xb. I'll usually take a body w/ 2 lenses during the day, and this bag is perfect for that.
  18. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    ThinkTank Retrsopective and Timbuk2 were my first thought along with a larger Domke F-8## series. With the ThinkTank you have 3-4 options in increasing size and the Domke's have 6 options of varies sizes and configurations (width, height, etc.) F-802/803/808/831/832/833. Love my 5XB rugger wear as well, seems the perfect size, holds all my current m4/3 stuff with ease.
  19. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
  20. WJW59

    WJW59 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2011
    I tried several different bags and ended up with a Lowepro Event Messenger 100 as my everyday camera/ipad bag.

    Lowepro | Compact System Camera Bags

    What I tried before deciding (most purchased used):

    Two different Tenba Messengers (mini & next larger)
    a couple of different canvas bags (and different inserts)
    a small Lowepro backpack
    Click Elite Traveler (went to my niece for her everyday use)