Shootout Bagged (10 bags compared)

rlb

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Update: Added 3 more bags
Manfrotto Lifestyle NX, Vanguard Up-Rise II 22, Evecase DSLR bag

I also added an Oly 45mm 1.8 to my kit. Using the 12-42 as a stand-in for my 25mm that's on the way
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I've been looking for a new bag on and off for a while now (who isn't?), but I just can't decide on one. I noticed that just about every bag I pull up on Amazon right now has free returns. Not sure if this is a holiday thing or not, but I'm taking full advantage of it. Granted most of these are no-names, but that's not much of a factor if it's a decent piece of equipment for what it costs.

Kit: EM-10 with 14-42 kit lens, Oly 17mm 1.8 and (if Santa comes through) an Oly 25mm 1.8
Accessories: Spare card, lens pen, PD leash, PD clutch, micro cloth, and charger (when traveling)

What I'm looking for:
Zipped main compartment, room for my kit (and maybe room to grow?), closeable storage in main compartment, and zipped storage on the outside.

The Bags:
Has Potential (least to most expensive):
Manfrotto Lifestyle NX Shoulder Bag CSC V2, Grey (MB NX-SB-IGY-2) (detailed post)
Vanguard VEO GO24M BK Shoulder Bag for Mirrorless/CSC Cameras - Black (detailed post)
Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 20 Camera Bag (Pewter) (detailed post)

Returned(least to most expensive):
Vanguard Up-Rise II 22 Shoulder Bag for Camera and Accessories (Black) (detailed post)
CADeN Medium Camera Bag Case Shoulder Messenger Bag (detailed post)
Besnfoto Mirrorless Camera Shoulder Bag Small Messenger Case (detailed post)
BAGSMART DSLR/SLR Camera Shoulder Bag Compact Gadget Bag with Thicken Top Handle & Adjustable Shoulder Strap (detailed post)
Evecase Digital SLR/DSLR Professional Camera Shoulder Bag (detailed post)
BAGSMART Digital SLR/DSLR Compact Camera Shoulder Bag, Travel SLR Gadget Bag, Black (detailed post)
Jealiot Camera Bag DSLR Camera Bag Water-Resistant 1 Camera 2 Lens Camera Accessories Bag for Women MT25 (detailed post)


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And my current kit. I'll be adding 2 more small primes soon.

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Last edited:

macro

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Wow, that's a lot of bags.

Easy. Sounds like what I use for the Oly's. Small, light and portable. So grab a Stanley tool bag and you can grow into it for sure. It can hold two systems (Sony and Oly) with small lenses + the 500 F/4.5 and the E-M1 MKII with a 300 F/2.8L as well.

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Job done ;) The only real issue I have is ............

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Danny.
 

rlb

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Wow, that's a lot of bags.

Easy. Sounds like what I use for the Oly's. Small, light and portable. So grab a Stanley tool bag and you can grow into it for sure. It can hold two systems (Sony and Oly) with small lenses + the 500 F/4.5 and the E-M1 MKII with a 300 F/2.8L as well.

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Job done ;) The only real issue I have is ............

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Danny.
That's a lot of lens! What is the big boy?
 

macro

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Just pulling your leg ;) I need a large bag and plenty of zip side pockets, inside and out. In the trunk is the Canon FD 800 F/5.6L and it is used on m4/3. The 500mm in the bag is the main lens used though.

All the best and picking the right bag is not always easy, sometimes you need small and other times you need larger. Catch 22 I guess.

Danny.
 

Holoholo55

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... picking the right bag is not always easy, sometimes you need small and other times you need larger. Catch 22 I guess.

Danny.
Agreed. I don't have as many bags as I have lenses, but still quite a few. I use different ones depending on the mix of gear for a particular occasion and whether it's out in the field or an urban excursion. Interestingly, although it isn't perfect (wish it had a pocket for a water bottle), the F-Stop Brooklyn Sling is my most often used bag.
 

rlb

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CADeN Medium Camera Bag Case Shoulder Messenger Bag

The bag is nicely made, but the accessory storage is lacking. There is no inside pocket, and the one outside pocket opens fairly wide and lacks any organizing slots.

The size for my kit is not bad, considering I have a few lenses on the way. With 3 spare lenses there would probably be room to spare.

Overall it’s not bad, but the lacking accessory storage and the non-zipper top make it a deal breaker for me.

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rlb

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Besnfoto Mirrorless Camera Shoulder Bag Small Messenger Case
The size is nice for a 1-2 lens kit. That’s about all this bag has going for it. The top is zippered, but the zipper is anything but smooth. The accessory pocket has some organization but it’s not zipped. In fact, it’s secured only by the main flap which has a wake-the-dead velcro fastener.


Which brings me to the flap.

I don’t get the flap over the zippered compartment. I guess it’s to allow for easy in-out access when you’re out shooting? But IMO the flap just gets in the way, and it’s a “feature” I don’t see myself using. Unfortunately, many many bags suffer from flapitis.

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rlb

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BAGSMART DSLR/SLR Camera Shoulder Bag Compact Gadget Bag with Thicken Top Handle & Adjustable Shoulder Strap

This is actually a fairly nice bag. It has a zippered top and it operates smoothly. There’s a small zippered pocket inside that can hold some smaller items such as a lens pen, screen cloth, and spare card(s). The only knock is the lack of organizers in that pocket. On the outside, there’s a large pocket with no organizers, which would make a good spot for a spare strap or something like that.


There’s another zippered pocket on the back, accessible only by opening a flap with a clumsy metal buckle. The pocket has some small organizers, good for spare batteries etc.

Overall it’s not a bad bag, but it’s a bit larger than I need at this point.

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rlb

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BAGSMART Digital SLR/DSLR Compact Camera Shoulder Bag, Travel SLR Gadget Bag, Black

This bag is big (too big for my kit) with plenty of storage, however none of the outside pockets are zippered. In fact, the main compartment is the only one zippered, and the rest are all velcro. Too much velco. And it has a flap. No good for my needs.

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rlb

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Jealiot Camera Bag DSLR Camera Bag Water-Resistant 1 Camera 2 Lens Camera Accessories Bag for Women MT25

This bag is huge, with tons of storage. It has a pocket on every side. Each one is zippered, but the pulls are large and heavy so it’s a very noisy bag. The outside pockets are numerous and sized such that they don’t need organizers. However, the inside pocket could do with some organizers because it's so large. Overall it’s not bad, but not a good fit for what I need. It’s also hit or miss with the zipper smoothness.

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rlb

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Not surprisingly, the 2 most expensive bags are the only ones I have real interest in. It may be unfair that I looked at them in order of least to most expensive, but I’ll worry about that when the bags start complaining.

Vanguard VEO GO24M BK Shoulder Bag for Mirrorless/CSC Cameras - Black

The Vanguard bag is a good size for my kit, but the additional storage leaves a bit to be desired. There are no inside pockets, and the outside pocket on the lid could use some organizers. There’s a second outside pocket secured only by an odd flap. I wouldn’t put anything other than a cable or a cloth in there, it doesn’t seem very secure. The main compartment is large enough to hold 4 small primes + M10 w/ small prime mounted. The only thing I’d struggle to find a home for in this bag is my spare strap.


Putting it on the keeper list, however one of the plastic clips on the outside is defective, so it’ll need to be exchanged if I keep it.

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rlb

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Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 20 Camera Bag (Pewter)

This is almost a no brainer, except for THE FLAP. WHY??? It’s just 100% in the way.

The main compartment is large enough to hold 4 small primes + M10 w/ small prime mounted. One divider also has some organizer pockets for a battery and SD cards. There’s a pocket on the inside of the lid, good for a few small things, though it has only 2 small velcro closures. A zipper here would have been useful.


Outside there’s a zippered pocket on the front with 2 organizers, and the short sides of the bag each have small pockets with elastic bands (no closures), looks like a good place to stick a lens cap while you’re shooting.


I need to decide if I can live with the flap, but probably not.

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ooheadsoo

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I think the purpose of the flap is two-fold. First, it provides an extra layer of protection from impact. Second, it allows you to have a small measure of security if you want to work with the zipper open.
 

The Grumpy Snapper

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I have a green coat. I've started to accumulate green bags, but remember, black goes with anything.
I have a black ballistic nylon Domke F-6 reserved for weddings and formal occasions. At the time it was cheaper than the regular canvas F-6 versions. I always buy which ever colour/model is cheapest.

Given the way Tiffen seem to be discontinuing various Domke bags I may have to start watching out for more deals on them.
 

PakkyT

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I think the purpose of the flap is two-fold. First, it provides an extra layer of protection from impact. Second, it allows you to have a small measure of security if you want to work with the zipper open.
Ya flaps are often there so you can leave the compartment unzipped when in use and easily access or put away stuff on the fly but also have that compartment covered so it isn't just hanging open for anyone to stick a hand in and grab something.

However another reason I believe a lot of bags have flaps is because the zippers themselves are not waterproof and so the flaps help keep water from getting directly onto (and through) a zipper to the inside.
 

LilSebastian

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I have the Mirrorless Mover 20 and I have yet to find a fault after two years. It keeps its structure while being flexible enough, thoughtful storage for batteries, wipes and memory cards and quality zippers that are quiet. Not exactly sexy in design or materials like a leather messenger bag but it just plain works.
 

The Grumpy Snapper

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Ya flaps are often there so you can leave the compartment unzipped when in use and easily access or put away stuff on the fly but also have that compartment covered so it isn't just hanging open for anyone to stick a hand in and grab something.

However another reason I believe a lot of bags have flaps is because the zippers themselves are not waterproof and so the flaps help keep water from getting directly onto (and through) a zipper to the inside.
Until getting a Domke F-5XB this summer I haven't owned a bag with a zipper closed main compartment since a brief fling with a LowePro bag in the 1980s. Give me a simple flap every time, the F-5XB made way for a F-10 because it has a flap and no zipper.
 
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