Brief Review: The Superlight, Highly Recommended Tamrac Aria 6 (Bag)

Amin Sabet

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Joined
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Boston, MA (USA)
Like many here, my search for the perfect bag has been long, and I've picked up many bags along the way.

Of course there is no perfect bag. There are bags for traveling with lots of gear, and bags for carrying less gear. Luxurious bags and low key bags.

Here's what I'm looking for in a daily driver:
  • Room for three MFT bodies with lenses mounted
  • Good protection / padding for the above gear
  • Quiet (no velcro or option to silence velcro)
  • Easy to access gear
  • Water resistance
  • Nice looks that don't scream "camera bag"
  • Light weight
  • Tablet space a plus
Enter the Tamrac Aria 6:

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The Aria 6 comes in 4 colors: black, berry, moss green, and brown. This page at Adorama does a good job of representing the color options accurately.

As you can see, the Aria 6 looks like a typical shoulder bag. I chose moss green, which is a nice looking, understated color with a subtle metallic sheen. The bag has a simple one buckle closure with no velcro involved for securing the front flap. A nice, easy to open, quiet design. The bag material is nylon, and I've put its water resistance to the test with good results (gear inside remaining nice and dry) on several occasions.

After opening the front flap, you have access to a roomy zippered front pocket:

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Opening the zipper on top gives you access to your gear. In this case, I've got a pair of headphones on the left, Olympus E-M1 with Nocticron mounted in the middle, and E-M5 with PL25 mounted on the right. As usual for such bags, the dividers can be moved around and are held in place via velcro. There's also an internal padded section towards the back which can hold an iPad, other tablet, or small netbook, shown here holding my Nexus 7:

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There are also open pockets for easy access on both sides (handy for phones, glasses, etc) as well as the back (useful for documents or fast access to a tablet):

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The Tamrac Aria 6 has been my daily driver for many months now. The things I like most about it are that it is incredibly light (just 18 oz) yet well padded on the bottom and all sides, has lots of space, and isn't overly thick. It stays close to my body like a typical shoulder bag and unlike many bags designs for camera gear. It's also very reasonably priced and has held up well to use.

I don't expect that the Tamrac nylon will survive the years as well as the canvas and leather of my Billingham Hadley Pro, but then it doesn't cost half of what that bag costs. The Aria 6 also sees more use thanks to weighing less than half the weight of the BIllingham, the latter weighing about as much as a ThinkTank Retrospective 7.
 
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Savas K

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
Messages
784
Schweet and unassuming. Rather than be expensive looking, nor as though pulled from a dumpster, it strikes a pleasant balance. Like a day bag that a tourist in NY would be carrying, unlikely to be all camera gear.
 

Search

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
80
This does not look like a camera bag, which is what I want. I will be checking out the smaller versions. I will also see if an existing messenger bag can be repurposed to serve as a camera bag.

PS Thanks for the review!
 

Ricoh

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
978
Location
UK
Real Name
Steve
Looks a nice bag, maybe too nice; the front detailing looks a little 'girlie' - I'd have to get my wife to act as my Sherpa - now that's an idea!

Excellent review though, thanks.
 

Search

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
80
Can the dividers be removed and used as an insert in another bag like the timbuk2 snoop? In person, does it look like a regular messenger bag?

PS The previous post mentions that it looks "girlie" . Does it look that way in person?
 

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