Experience with Cooper Slim and/or Billingham Hadley Large

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by berkshiregrl, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. berkshiregrl

    berkshiregrl Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2011
    I've been looking at way too many camera bags for an upcoming trip and I think I've narrowed it down to primarily either the Tenba Cooper Slim or the Billingham Hadley Large.

    Right now I mostly use a Crumpler 4 or 5 Million or a Tarmac Aria 6. They are good for what I do which is traipse through the woods or on the beach, go to lacrosse & basketball games, those sorts of things. I usually also carry a backpack and this has worked well for me with my Em10 and 4-5 lenses.

    We're doing an Italy trip in June where we'll be a week in Venice, a week in the hill towns and a few days in the Dolomites. We also have to deal with the smaller carry on dimensions-the max for a "purse" which is how I plan to use the bag is 15.7 x 11.8 x 4. Both bags are around that.

    As I said I want to use it as my walking around bag without needing a second purse type thing. Both of those look OK to me-I don't want a girly type bag or anything too much in any way. Something kind of in unobtrusive but acceptable looking, if that makes sense.

    Does anyone have experience walking around with either bag or even something similar that you could recommend? How are they for walking around all day? Is it easy to stick an Ipad or Nook in and still have room for a wallet and your camera equipment?

    I'm still trying to decide what to bring in terms of equipment. As I said, I have an EM10. I bought the Oly 9-18 specifically for this trip so will take that. Also my 45. Other than that, I have the Panny 20, Oly 14-42, Oly 40-150, Oly 60, and Oly 75-300. Not planning to bring the 20, 14-42, or 40-150, And the 60 or 75-300, not sure which. I carry extra batteries, cards, a few filters. So the rest of the interior would be for non-camera things, wallet, keys, map, Ipad.

    So what bag will best suit walking all day and climbing in and out of Vaporetti while not drawing undue attention, at least because of my bag?

    Thanks for any and all practical advice. I am not much of an urban traveler.
  2. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    The choice between these two bags is a hard one.

    The Hadley is .4lbs lighter and I really like the large front dump pockets with the flaps that button. I like the old style look with the leather and pull over catches. You have to put your laptop/tablet in the same main area as your equipment, a design that seems to intrude on gear space. And there is no carry handle.

    On the other hand - the Cooper has zippered side pockets so you can carry a drink with something else on the other side. If the side pockets are not big enough you can buy attachable pouches and attach to the sides. The carry handle is handy and if you don’t want it, just disconnect it. There is a separate compartment for your laptop/tablet so it will not encumber your camera gear, and a trolley strap for putting over the handles of a roller bag.

    The front pockets are not very big but work for flatter items, and there are no flaps which I find often allow thigs to fall out when laying the bag down. For traveling the Cooper 13 adds additional storage organization that the Hadley doesn’t have.

    Both of these bags are very deep for m4/3s gear - use a Tenba BYOB 9 to replace the standard insert of either bag, it provides separation between equipment and other items I want to carry while walking around. I’ve found the BYOB 9 even enhances my use of the Billingham Hadley Small bag.

    I also have a Tenba 636-227 Tools Pack Lite Travel Bag for the BYOB 9 which is great when I don’t want to take much camera gear but still have room for a couple of small items like some snacks and windbreaker. Small, lightweight with some organization. Great for travel or walking around.
  3. berkshiregrl

    berkshiregrl Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2011
    Thanks, appreciate the perspective. I still haven't decided. We leave June 7th. First world problems right?

    , a
  4. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Seems to me that you're traveling with only one body and maybe three lenses. With that light a load, you might consider getting a general purpose bag into which you can put a small camera insert. It'd look less like a camera bag, but would give you a lot of flexibility at the expense of specific photo organization.

    I have a Tenba DNA 8 which is quite small. I took the insert and put it inside my backpack for airline transportation and then put the insert back in after settling in at the hotel. That's probably too small to serve you also as a purse, but the idea is that using an insert may be a good option for you, as Clint recommended.

    The Tenba BYOB 7 would probably be a little smaller than the DNA 8 insert, and a lot smaller than the Cooper 13 Slim. If you check out the Tenba page, you can see how the BYOB could be used in another bag.
    BYOB 7 - Camera Insert | 636-221
  5. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    I have a Hadley and only use it on road trips. Mostly from car to motel rooms. Otherwise to keep the dust out of the kit. on the back roads we drive. Couldn't imagine carrying it any distance.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.