Small Bag for Travel

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by cmpatti, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    For strange sentimental reasons, I'm putting together a 3-lens kit that will include the Pany 14 and 20mm pancakes, the Oly 45mm and the EM5. I plan to take this on trips where photography is only an incidental priority (e.g., business travel), and I want a bag that will accommodate this small kit. The requirements are:

    • fit the EM5 with any of these lenses mounted, plus the other two lenses and a spare battery
    • small and unobtrusive as possible
    • shoulder bag that doesn't look like a camera bag
    • camera is readily accessible

    The Crumpler 3 Million and 4 Million Dollar Homes look like good candidates, and I'm planning to visit my local Crumpler dealer over the weekend with kit in hand to test both out for fit, etc. Before I plunk down the steep price of one of the Crumplers, I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on alternatives I ought to look at.

  2. JimmyK

    JimmyK Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 11, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Real Name:
    James Knodell
    I like the Lowepro - Exchange Messenger . I use it as a secondary bag when I want to travel light, or when I'm street shooting and want the bag to be inconspicuous and allow me to move through crowds freely. I have it in black and it looks like an ordinary messenger bag. In fact, I can use it as a messenger bag by simply removing the moveable dividers, which can be positioned inside the bag, any way you like them. While it's not heavily padded, it provides entirely adequate protection for a small kit. It has the added benefits of being inexpensive, light as a feather, quick to access, and reasonably secure when the closures are snapped shut.
  3. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Real Name:
  4. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Thinktank Retrospective 5 was my choice for a similar kit to yours. I can fit the GX1 w/EVF PL25mm attached, 14mm, 45mm, 7-14 (or one or two minolta lenses). Can fit the GX1, EM-5 and all four lenses easily as well. Enough room for filters, batterys, my headphones, cleaning stuff, wallet and cell if needed. Really this bag has a ton of space, is still really small, and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.

    Would highly recommend this bag, I know many others personally that would too.
  5. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Thanks for these suggestions, but they all look larger than what I'm looking for. (I already own the Exchange Messenger, by the way.) I want the smallest possble bag that will hold this minimal kit while keeping the camera readily accessible. Fitting more stuff is a bug, not a feature in this case.
  6. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    John M
  7. allenrowand

    allenrowand Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 10, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Allen Rowand
  8. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    ONA The Bowery is something I've always wanted but it's a bit expensive.
  9. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    You can always get a camera insert and put that in any bag you wish. I do this when I want to carry non-camera stuff with my camera stuff or when traveling in areas where I don't want to look like a photographer.
  10. plutoniumhunter

    plutoniumhunter Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2011
    Coming out of left field, I use a Hama aha 130 bag, it's not too big, IMHO, but it fits my G3 + 14-45mm, Metz 24 flash, Panny 20mm and 45-200mm all at the same time, there's also a variety of designs to choose from, mine's orange like this one: | Image: 00103730 aha: "On Tour" Digital Camera Bag, 130 SLR . Hama is a German company though, so I think the products are mostly for the European market, unfortunately.
  11. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Real Name:
    I was about to suggest the Domke F-5XB too. I have a black one that I use all the time.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
  12. GaryH

    GaryH Mu-43 Rookie

    May 1, 2012
    I also have and like the F 5xb but also have the Tenba Mini Messenger. It is a great camera bag along with being able to accommodate a small laptop or Ipad. It serves as a carry on also with room for magazines tickets etc. I highly recommend it for a M43 travel bag. It also does not look like a camera bag.
  13. brianb032

    brianb032 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2011
    What about a Visconti messenger bag? They should be thin enough to snugly fit your pancake-kit without much wiggle room. Amazon's return policy is quite liberal too, so you definitely won't be shortchanged if you don't like it.

    Bag 1 - Amazon
    Bag 2 - Amazon
    Bag 3 - Amazon
  14. m43er

    m43er Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 6, 2011
    Interesting looking bag.

    It's always exasperating for online shops to show just 1 picture of the product and expect people to imagine how the insides look. :confused:

    How many sales have they lost because of that.
  15. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    I love the Tenba Mini Messenger and use it every day as my go-everywhere 'man bag'.

    I always take a 4G iPad, iPhone, wallet, checkbook, sunglasses, pens, flashlight, pistol, spare magazine, knife, LX5, and a m4/3 body with two or three lenses in this bag. Works great. I love it. Take it everywhere I go... out to eat, shopping, you name it. All you might need while running around, nothing you don't. :smile:

    For travel, when I need to take more camera gear, I use the Tenba Messenger Small with all (or most) of the above and a few more lenses, passport, yada, yada.
  16. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
  17. plutoniumhunter

    plutoniumhunter Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2011
    Yep, I'll have to agree with you on that. I had to scrounge the net looking for more pictures, and any other reviews. Luckily Amazon did provide a few decent reviews, and also internal dimensions, so I took a leap of faith buying it on Amazon, as the first bag I bought was too small (barely fit G3 + 1 extra lens), and Hama aren't exactly the most well-known manufacturer. However, it was only £10 or so at that time (prices have since dropped further!), and reviews were positive and helpful, so I bought it, and never regretted for a moment since. :smile:
  18. abat

    abat Mu-43 Rookie

    May 30, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Real Name:
    Another vote for the Domke F-X5B. It is just the right size for your kit, doesn't look like a camera bag and feels comfortable slung over your shoulder. I put a bit of extra padding in mine at the ends and on the bottom to make it even more secure.
  19. Buddy

    Buddy Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 27, 2012
    I'm using the Lowepro Passport Sling, but could be a tad too large for your needs possibly

    Lowepro | Passport Sling™

    I use this daily and for my travel..Def wanted something simple, comfortable to carry, small n able to carry all my stuff.

    EM-5 w/12-50mm kit lens / Panny 20mm & 45-200 / Ipad / Battery cord / Fl300r flash / mem cards,cleaning gear,neck strap,iphone,keys,etc.

    ..n I haven't had to unzip the extra storage area yet, so u have that xtra room if needed....Hope that helps!
  20. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Thanks for all the great suggestions. Many of them are larger than I what I'm looking for, but the Domke is intriguing, so I'll see whether I can take a look at one before I pull the trigger on one of the Crumplers.