Timbuk2 Snoop Camera 2014 Messenger Bag
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- One exterior pocket. Four interior
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||VIDEO CAMERA CENTER||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||BlueMall|
|Color||Black/Black Farp||Graphite||Brown||Gray/Black||Black (Orange interior)||Shadow Gray|
The Snoop Camera Messenger Bag/SLR Camera Case would make an excellent spy. On the outside it plays it cool with dark coloring and classic messenger bag styling, but on the inside it's calculated, cautious and a little bit sneaky. The fully padded, totally modular interior is designed to house camera lenses, bodies and batteries. Simply move the walls around to fit the cameras you carry. If you really mean business, you can secure your tripod with the adjustable straps on the bottom of the bag. And when you're not packing (cameras), simply remove the padded insert and rock it like a classic messenger bag.
Size: Small | Color: Black/Black Farp
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Matte finish Cordura exterior differentiates this Snoop from prior models with glossy ballistic nylon. Cordura is lighter, but not as clothing friendly as ballistic nylon. It's also slimmer than last year's Snoop. Buckles are now hidden under the flap and look cleaner than exterior ones but more fiddly: velcro catches less easily and buckles take longer to get to. The main flap is significantly shorter than the 2013 Snoop so stuffing the bag results in the flap riding up too far to snag the velcro or buckle. Even when not stuffed, the clear front pocket often peeks out from under the flap (see product photos).
CAMERA INSERT sides and bottom contain dense closed cell foam padding. The XS insert finally has a zippered lid, enhancing protection. Blue tricot cloth lines the interior: easy to see inside and kind to camera delicates. Two velcro secured dividers make resizing partitions a snap (larger Snoops have more dividers). Finally, the insert is removable: pull and rock the Snoop like a bike messenger.
What fits in the XS? The slim profile makes it ideal it for M4/3, EOS M or Fuji X series. My Olympus Pen E-P3 with 14-45 zoom fit with ample room for a Lumix 45-150 and flash. With a small camera like a Pen in the insert, an iPad in the slash pocket is doable albeit scrunched. If you're gunning for a DSLR bag, buy a larger size, S or M. I measured bag depth and this Snoop is smaller than prior XS models: 2013 XS Snoop is 5.25" deep whereas the new model is 4.75." My 6D with 24-105L just squeezes in the 2014 Snoop, but the resulting "baby bump" prevents the main flap from closing properly. The same combo fits comfortably in the 2013 XS Snoop: more depth and the flap extends all the way to the bottom.
STRAP & PAD: The Double-Loop CAM buckle is the big innovation of 2014: pull the doodad up or down to adjust strap length. The Double-Loop CAM is smaller than prior designs and eliminates the dangling strap webbing that plagued earlier models. Not all is puppy dogs and rainbows in Timbuk2land: prior Snoops boasted comfy 2-inch straps but the 2014 XS/S Snoops were degraded to a shoulder biting 1 3/8-inch strap. Ouch! Only the medium 2014 Snoop (& all Snoops prior to 2014) is blessed with a 2-inch strap.
The shoulder pad is tiny but more grippy than prior models. In fairness, the thin strap and pad are okay for carrying an ILC kit like an EOS M or Pen. However, a 1 3/8" strap on a small Snoop with a 5D MKIII and zoom would be painful. My cure was to spend $15 on the "Custom Strap Pad 2014 - For XS/S Messengers" (STYLE 838-2-555). It's 12 inches long, soft, flexible but well padded--everything the stock pad should be but isn't. When worn sling style it wraps around the shoulder and contour of the chest for even distribution of weight. I bought it directly from Timbuk2.
USING THE SNOOP: The soft sided Snoop molds to my body, making it easy to needle through crowds or run for the train. The Snoop is a little slower on the draw than a semi-rigid camera bag, e.g., Crumpler Kashgar Outpost Camera Bag, mainly due to dealing with the floppy lid while drawing the camera.
VERDICT: Overall this is a nice bag but stumbles with a short main flap/lid and thin strap. The XS size is ideal for mirrorless/ILC but too small for most DSLRs. Most significantly, the Snoop doesn't look like a camera bag, helping you blend in with the crowd.
- Great padding. I never felt worried about my camera getting bumped when we were in crowds.
- Discrete - it didn't scream 'camera bag' like many of the tourist's bags did. And in Europe Messenger bags are very popular, so it blended in well.
- Padded strap - Helped keep your shoulder from hurting after 10 hours of walking.
- "Hidden pocket" in the front that opens from the side. If you didn't know it was there you would never really find it. But i kept my wallet in there so that people couldn't see it in the clear pouch. LOVED this feature.
- Removable camera pouch - I was able to use this as a normal bag if I didn't want to carry all of my camera gear but the gear just stayed in the snoop pouch.
- Size - I ordered the "small" and it fit my Canon 6D wtih a 24-105 lens attached, as well as an external flash unit. It would have easily fit another lens (even the large 70-200) but I didn't want to carry the extra weight so I only brought one lens. Also - I am a woman and 5'2"... the bag didn't feel enormous on me.
- Easily adjustable - very easy to adjust the length of the strap.
- Weight - I found that this bag got extremely heavy after carrying it for a few hours. I ended up taking out the Snoop pouch on some days and took 2 of the removable padding strips, lined the bottom of the bag, and that helped significantly.
- No external storage - I really wanted a place to carry a water bottle that wouldn't get my camera gear wet. I would have liked to see a side pouch. Also - an external back pocket with a zipper would really help to store things you need to grab quickly without having to open and close the bag all of the time.
- Size of the snoop pouch - I almost wish I had an extra small pouch with the small bag. It would have allowed easier access to the internal pockets. As it is, it was pretty much stuffed in there.
Overall, I am pleased with this bag and would buy it again. It held up extremely well while traveling. My "cons" wouldn't be as big of a deal if I were only using this bag when going on photo shoots, but for traveling would have been really nice to have fixed. A few modifications would make this a 5 star bag but if you are looking for something with great protection for your gear that doesn't scream "$2000 camera here!!" this is an excellent choice.
Versatile - Removable padding panels allow you to get creative with what this bag will hold
Durable and secure
Attractive and not at all bulky when compared to other camera bags
Boobs - carrying this bag close to your body can take a little maneuvering if you have them
Size limitations - this isn't really a con, so long as you understand that this bag will probably *not* hold every piece of gear you own.
Also, please note, keeping a lens on while your camera is stowed can really affect the width of this bag, as well as the coverage the flap allows, depending on the size of your camera body.