Tenba Messenger Large Photo/Laptop Bag - Chocolate (638-237)
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- Fits most 17-inch laptops
- Removable photo insert
- Easily holds D/SLR body, 3 lenses, flash, magazines and files, in addition to your laptop
- The most time-tested and proven outdoor textile ever; the optimal combination of strength, durability, and light weight
- Over 20 pockets and compartments to keep mobile hard drives, cell phone, MP3 player, cables, chargers, pens, and business cards
From the manufacturer
Air Mesh Back Panel
All Messenger bags have a padded, ventilated and moisture wicking back panel that provides cushioning and comfort at the contact points.
This is especially important when you are carrying the bag for long stretches on hot days.
Tough 1000 Denier Nylon Exterior
Nylon is more rugged, water- and tear-resistant than polyester, that’s why it’s used in all of the best adventure travel gear. A nylon exterior ensures that Messenger bags are built for serious everydaybuse, yet they remain extremely lightweight. And Tenba’s military-grade nylon has a polyurethane coating to make it extremely water-repellant.
The Finest Hardware Available
We use YKK zippers, Duraflex clips and steel D-rings because that’s what you need in a bag that you use every day
Waterproof Bottom Panel
You never know when you might have to put your bag down on a wet surface. And you might not even know what put the 'wet' in 'wet surface'. Messenger bags feature a special abrasion and moisture resistant panel on the bottom to keep the bag dry and protected no matter what’s on the ground.
The Tenba Messenger is an urban-inspired laptop bag that is designed to hold everything you need for a day; on vacation or at work; at school or at the gym. A removable photo insert holds camera gear as well.
Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2016
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- Sony A57 (same size as Canon Rebel series)
- Sony charger and spare battery
- Sony 35 mm 1.8 prime lens
- Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO HSM for Sony
- Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod
- Professional Cleaning Set for DSLR Cameras (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony) - Includes: Lens Cleaning Pen + Handy Empty Spray Bottle + High Quality Lens Brush + Air Blower Cleaner + 4 Premium MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
- Several lens caps and a cleaning cloth
You may not believe me, but here are all of the camera bags I have bought and returned before settling on this Tenba:
- Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 20 Shoulder Bag for Standard-Size DSLR with 3-4 Small Zoom or Prime Lenses ; this looked like an old video recorder case (ugly utilitarian), and the padding on the inside was too big. By too big, I mean my gear was rattling around inside because it wasn't held snugly, and I couldn't rearrange the padding to make it work correctly.
- Lowepro Event Messenger 150 Medium Shoulder Camera Bag with Tablet Compartment LP36415 ; this bag had a cheap feel to the material (but every Lowepro does to me), there were no outside storage pockets at all, and the inside would not fit all of the gear listed above.
- Timbuk2 Informant Camera Sling ; medium size was WAY too big. This thing was like 19" long, and I felt like I was carrying a case for a musical instrument. It was wider than my hips! Very well made, but it was too big.
- Case Logic SLRC-202 Medium SLR Camera Bag (Black) ; too small. No way, not happening.
- Case Logic SLRC-203 Large SLR Camera Bag (Black) ; this should have worked. A nice central compartment with sling holder for your camera (I have the Case Logic SLRC-201 SLR Zoom Holster (Black) ). The fail for this case is the side pockets. The get narrower near the bottom, so my sigma lens barely fit and was a pain to get out. Also, the material on the inside of those outer pockets bulged INTO the camera case interior. So when I filled up the other outside pocket with stuff, it made the remaining interior divider space unusable. Too bad, it is well constructed and not too big to lug around.
- Tamrac 5723 Zuma 3 Photo/iPad Camera Bag - Black/Gray ; too small, about the same size on the inside as the lowepro event messenger 150 mentioned above. Two other big fails for me are that you have to open the main flap all the way to access the gear inside (no top zipper opening), and the strap is sewn to the bag. If you don't like the strap, or if it breaks, you are SOL. Better built than the lowepro and a good option if you have a micro 4/3 system or sony nex system.
- Ape Case Pro ACPRO1200 Medium Digital SLR and Video Camera Case ; I almost chose this case. Fatal flaws are: 1) it is UGLY. It looks like Fred Flinstone's big square lunch box with a big ugly Gorilla logo on it. 2)It is 1 pound heavier than the Tenba. May not sound like much, but when I loaded it up and put it on my shoulder, I immediately thought "crud, I would not want to lug this around all day". Maybe the square shape makes it stick out farther from your body and somehow pulls you off balance a little more, not sure. It just feels a lot heavier loaded up. It is certainly very well made, I love the bright yellow lining on the inside so you can see everything. Tons of useful pockets inside and out. It was actually kind of awkward to fit my camera though in the configuration it came in, and there was clearly a spot for the camera to sit with a lens. I didn't see how else I would rearrange the padding to make it work better, so that was a problem, and even though it seemed to be bigger on the inside, I didn't have any more room for my gear than inside the Tenba. Did I mention this thing is freakin fugly? Yeah, well x2.
What I love about the Tenba:
- Top zipper so I can reach in and grab my gear while the bag stays on my shoulder. You can easily reach inside and get anything in the main compartment, and put it back just as easily.
- Very light. Loaded up on my shoulder I feel like I could walk around with this gear for a while and not get fatigued.
- Enough extra pockets to store things like memory cards and lens caps. I keep the lens rear caps in one of those small zippered upper pockets on the outside front flap. Easy to get to.
- Removable, replaceable shoulder strap.
- Doesn't look like a camera bag (Ape Case! Yeesh.), but is well padded and stores the gear better than many others, at least those that I have tried listed above.
What I don't like, which is why it got 4 stars:
- Another reviewer complained about the back material that would be rubbing against your hip as you carried it. I can see how this might pill and get worn down, as it is softer and less durable than the rest of the outside case.
- The padding part of the shoulder strap is kind of hard. I will wait to try it first, but I can see it being very uncomfortable for extended periods. This can be replaced though.
- No side pockets for water bottles or anything else. There are some nylon straps on the sides though, big enough to stick your thumb through. You can probably hook something onto these straps to hang stuff off of them. I bought some Bluecell 3 PCS Different Size Elastic Hook and Loop Reusable Fastening Wrap Strap with Plastic Buckle End. I'll run one of these through a strap, and then use the velcro loop to hold a monopod up against the case. I take a monopod almost everywhere with me.
- There are no tripod (or monopod for me) straps. The fugly Ape Case had them, and all of the Timbuk2 cases have them.
- While it looks better than many camera cases, and most importantly DOESNT look like a camera case at all, it is not as cool looking as say this one: Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger bag..
I'll take some pictures of the Tenba next to the Ape Case and Tamrac so you can see size comparisons, as well as the Tenba loaded up with my gear. I'll post an update here when the pics are up.
When I received my Amazon box, my first thought was that the bag must be folded up inside the box or otherwise just mushed in very tightly. When I opened the box, the bag was indeed flattened, but not at all folded or crammed in. The bag is admittedly smaller than I expected, but only by a fraction. If I had to guess, I thought it to be about 15-20% larger judging by the product photos. I'm above average in size (5'11" and 220lbs.) so maybe it was just my perspective playing tricks on me. Regardless, its size did not turn out to be an issue at all. In fact, it's a strength of the bag.
I have a lot of crap. Seriously, when I'm older I might wind up being diagnosed as a gadget hoarder. I prefer to think of myself as a sentimental early adopter...or an electro-connoisseur, if you will. Everyday I carry all of these items to school in this TENBA bag (and this bag alone):
~ 10" Netbook ( ASUS Eee PC 1015PN-PU17-WT 10.1-Inch Netbook (White) )
~ 10" Tablet ( ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101-A1 10.1-Inch Tablet Computer (Tablet Only) )
-~- with leather case ( VIPERTEK Multi-Angle Leather Folio Case Cover for Asus Eee Pad Transformer 10.1-Inch TF101 Android Tablet Wi-Fi (Black) )
~ DSLR Camera with TWO lenses( Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens )
~ Point-and-Shoot Camera (the large faux-SLR style Casio Exilim EX-FH20 9.1 MP Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) )
~ iPod Touch ( Apple iPod touch 32 GB (3rd Generation) OLD MODEL )
~ Nintendo 3DS ( NEW Nintendo 3DS Aqua Blue (Videogame Hardware) )
~ Nintendo DSi ( Nintendo DSi Matte - Blue )
~ Flip-style video camera ( B-Stock Creative Vado HD Pocket Video Camera 8GB + Accessories Pack (Red) )
~ Smartphone ( Motorola Atrix 4G Android Phone (AT&T) )
~ Headphones in carrying case (Bose® IE2 audio headphones)
~ Large 3DS case w/23 games cartridges plus accessories inside (Nintendo 3DS Pull and Go Folio - Blue)
~ A leather billfold-style wallet
~ A small case with spare SD cards
~ 2 laser pens
~ A few ink pens
~ And one very fat over-sized glasses case for when I switch between my nerd glasses and aviator sunglasses
ALL of this fits in the case simultaneously, and without issue. I should warn you that if you plan to pack any more than what I've listed into the bag, you'll start having issues. As it stands, I am using none of the three large flat pockets on/in the bag. I have the front straps completely loosened and the bag is *just* accommodating all of my technojunk as it is. I might be able to fit in a spiral notebook or two, or maybe something small like some more laser pens, but anything big enough to fill one of the large pockets would be seriously compromised by the bag's bulge unless it were flexible (like a spiral notebook.)
All in all, it feels like the end user is given options when it comes to the pockets. I doubt all of them can be used effectively at the same time (unless nothing too large were put in the bag), but I don't thin they were necessarily meant to be. I can definitely see re-purposing this bag in many different ways for trips, new classes at school, taking to work, and so on. I've found the arrangement that works best for me, and it just doesn't happen to take advantage of all of the bag's pockets. Other users might end up using a completely different set of pockets than I have. Who knows?
This is the best cargo bag I have ever owned. I was tentative at first because of its size, but that wasn't a problem. I considered buying Tenba's backpack instead, as a messenger bag weight down with ll of this junk would put quite a strain on just one shoulder. It turned out that the bag itself was so light, the material so breathable, the frame so rigid (yet flexible), and the padding SO incredibly plush that it isn't at all uncomfortable to lug across campus for me. I am somewhat of a big guy and I am by no means a weakling (quite the opposite, in fact) so my strength is working in my favor, but that's not the point.
Pound-for-pound, everything I put in this bag FEELS much lighter than it does in another bag of equivalent capacity. I'd say that this bag, between all of its features, FEELS 1/3rd as heavy as my Canon camera bag filled with the same amount of electronics and goodies, which is very significant considering that the weight of all my gadgets plus the bag is around 20 pounds on a scale.
If you're unsure about this bag, but are as much a gadget-fiend as I am, get this bag. It really won't do you wrong. Just take caution and DON'T OVERFILL IT....as much as you (and I) may want to. ;)
UPDATE 6 WEEKS LATER: I have added a video to really show off the holding capacity of the bag. There have been some substitutions over the last 2 months, as well. The tablet now has the keyboard dock rather than the leather case (just as thick either way), there is an extra lens on my DSLR (the large lens), there are some extra little bits, and the Point & Shoot camera I listed above was used to shoot the video. Also, the video shows off how well the bag has held up for 6 weeks of heavy use. It has zero flaws other than a few stains so far.
Top reviews from other countries
The bag is smart and does not look like a camera bag, which is one reason I got it. It's slim briefcase form conceals a spacious main compartment that can accommodate a large DSLR (D700/800) with lens attached and two further decent sized lenses. As an alternative one lens old be ditched for flash guns or other items.
Build quality looks superb and access is good considering the style of bag, either by a top zip or by raising the whole flap. It's definitely a more urban bag and not one I would take to the rainforest or a dust nightmare due to the edges being unsealed...it's perfectly ok in normal use.
There are almost too many pockets, flaps and zipped compartments all over and inside and their cumulative bulk may actually detract slightly from useful storage capacity. The pockets are not gusseted and therefore are very tight, so have limited use, but are great for papers, cards, travel documents etc.
It could never be my only camera bag but I love the design for some types of travel, a photo day bag or going to see clients or to camera club.
Tenba, please take note: what I really want is a stylish handbag/workbag that will protect a small camera while keeping my personal stuff organised.
Needed something that was light, strong, protective and flexible to be used as a travel bag, carry-on bag, camera bag and laptop/general bag. This Tenba does it all with ease. On my trip to the USA, used it to carry a DSLR body, 2 lenses (prime and small zoom), 15" macbook pro, camera accessories and travel docs. Once there, it became a discrete, full time camera bag.
Build quality is top notch. Quality materials, well padded in the right places, great zips, waterproofed bottom, plenty of pockets and internal padded dividers to customise to whatever your carrying that day.
Although classed as a "small" bag, it is amazing how much you can fit into it with a bit of imagination and organisation. Happy to recommend it.