Messenger "type" bags

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Dave Reynell, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    My gear, not much ! Is an ageing Panny G1, a 20/1.7, a 12/2.0 and the excellent Sigma 60/2.8. That's it, and I have no intention of expanding.

    Have a 30 year-old Fotima bag which is square and rather "lumpy", but does the job of protecting my stuff when I tote it around in the motor-car. I quite like the newer "event messenger" (think Lowepro) type bags and am thinking of updating..

    Any recommendations ?

    With thanks

  2. JNB

    JNB Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2014
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Gosh, there are quite a few choices for a kit as small as yours. At the more economical end are the LowePro Event Messenger Series, Tamrac Rally and Aria series, and quite a few others. At the upper end are the Billinghams.

    Perhaps start with defining how much OTHER stuff you might want to carry, as this may guide you a style and size of bag. Then look for other features such as ease of access, velcro or no, place for cell phone and/or water bottle, etc., etc.

    Your kit alone (along with a few accessories), would fit in a Domke F-5XB, a Billingham Hadley Small (probably Hadley Digital, too), Tenba DNA 8, Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 20. Bags such as these are slimmer and not as deep as bags meant for DSLRs.

    I have the Domke F-5XB and like it very much, except the loud velcro, which I've masked off. Recently, I picked up a Think Tank Turnstyle 10 (sling bag) which I like even better. Until the Turnstyle, I didn't like sling bags, but this one seems to work for me.
  3. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
  4. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    Have you thought of getting a Timbuk2 or Chrome bad + insert, its what I use for a daily bag works quite well as well.
  5. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    For the Mu-43 kit I use ordinary messenger bags with a either a Lowepro Apex 100 or 110 (depending on what I'm carrying) sat inside. It gives me half a messenger bag for other bits and pieces.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. khughes44

    khughes44 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2014
    Langley BC
    Kevin Hughes
    I, and many people I know, have bought the Courser messenger bag on Ebay. I have had mine for several years. It is a bomb proof bag and it looks great, drawing many compliments on its appearance. It will cost you around $40 and it's worth much more. Great value.
  7. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest


    Thanks for the guidelines. Trouble is, I live in South Africa and the market is tiny. Canon & Nikon rule with Olympus just starting to gain a foothold. Bags ? All we really have is Lowepro - I use a small one when hiking with my Panny G1 and either the 20/1.7 or 12/2.0 clipped on.

    I dotravel to the UK and Europe and sometimes Australia (have a son in Brisbane) so can wait a bit. I'll take a look about when next on travels.

    Thankyou again.

  9. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'm a huge fan of the crumpler bags myself when I'm only carrying a compact kit (I switch to vanguard with my larger kit as they had the only bag I could find that fit the 35-100mm f2.0). One of the reasons I like the crumplers is they have straps on the side which suit molle style drink bottle holders so you can put a decent holder for a bottle on the side.

    The downside is naturally they have some absolutely hideous colours available and you really need to find a sale before they're a truly reasonable price (like the one B&H had where they were $20, I bought two...).
  10. ddr

    ddr Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2013
    i use a small leather duffel and have an ebay korean partition inside. it doesn't scream camera bag at all and the partition is very versatile
  11. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan

    I've had good service out of the Tenba Small Messenger bag:

    has a removable insert so that it can be repurposed when not carrying camera gear, room for a laptop/tablet, accessories such as cleaning pens, filters, etc.

    That being said I've abandoned the Messenger type of bag in favor of the relatively low key, shapeless Domke F-3x bag.

    It does not offer the same level of protection as the Tenba but does collapse around my side when not filled with gear and getting my E-M5 in and out is a very simple procedure.

    Best of luck in your quest!


  12. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    I second the timbuk2 snoop camera bag or inserts. I use the size small bag and it provides plenty of protection for my camera and lense. Also has extra space for a water bottle or extra gear if you ever need to carry more stuff. You probably only need the xs bag.
  13. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I like the Think Tank bags. The retrospective line, specifically. I have a Retrospective 10, but you might like the 5 or 7 better for the amount of stuff you have.
  14. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Thank you to you all !

    I now have a wonderfully long list of bags to look at.


    • Like Like x 1
  15. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    The Domke bags are my favorites. I own 4 of the messenger bags. The canvas breaks in nicely. As a plus the bags can be put into the washing machine when dirty (after removing the inserts).
  16. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
  17. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    I got a canvas laptop messenger bag from J Crew and added an insert from Amazon.

  18. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 6, 2014

    I use one of these

    I can get a surprising amount of kit in mine, Lumix G6 Body with 100-300 attached, Lumix GX7 with 14-42 attached, Lumix 45-150, Olympus 40-150, Olympus 60mm Macro 3 Polarizing filters, small dedicated flash for Macro work, Macro flash bracket, Super Wideangle lens converter, ten camera batteries in a box and assorted other bits and bobs.

    For the price it was a bargain and looks good as well, not that I would not have bought a Billingham if their prices had not gone exponential or they had changed from their original fully customisable divider system to the one size fits nothing properly system they use now. ;) 

  19. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Here's the insert:

    Note it has nothing other than gravity to keep it closed, but the messenger bag I have has a zipper and flap.


    I posted some pics at

    The 40-150mm Pro with MC-14 attached will fit vertically in one end, btw.

  20. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    I have just bought a Crumpler Light Delight 2500 messenger bag. It is *really* lightweight (which is both a plus, and conversely means fairly thinly padded...). Got it for 20 quid which seemed reasonable.

    I can fit in it my E-PM2 with PL25 and VF2 mounted, plus my P14, P20 and O45 primes.
    It all fits in pretty well although no internal dividers so you need to keep the lenses in their pouches.

    All in all it makes a nice small light travel kit, albeit not really any room for any other accessories, but I'm happy, it suits my usage and I have several other bags that are a bit bigger and more robust when required.
    And it doesn't quite scream "camera bag" (to me, anyway).

    Crumpler Light Delight bag with E-PM2
    by wi-fli, on Flickr

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