I have been looking for a small/medium messenger style bag for my everyday use when I only want to carry a DSLR body with a lens mounted, an additional lens and a flash. I also want a place to put an iPad and a water bottle.
My choices came down to the Think Tank Retrospective 10, a DIY bag with camera insert or the new Lowepro Event Messenger bag. I went to my local camera store and I like the Lowepro Event Messenger 150 the
best. It is also priced at a more reasonable $59 (compared to $159 for the Think Tank) close to the final price of the DYI bag.
The bag feels small, but it is really well made and has plenty of room. The color is actually more pleasant to see in person than it looks on the web. The shoulder strap is very wide and feels really comfortable even with full load. There is also a small handle attached to the back for hand carrying.
There is a zippered compartment in the front of the bag that can hold memory cards, spare batteries, pens, filters, etc. The main compartment is divided with velcro-attached dividers that can be arranged according
to your specific need. The iPad compartment is in the back on the main compartment and it's very well padded.
I can fit an un-gripped 5D Mark III with 24-105L lens attached in the middle with the lens facing down, a 70-300L lens (with reversed hood) on the left side and a 270EX flash tucked inside the right side under the camera. There is more than enough room to tuck in the camera strap and close the lid properly.
I can also fit a 70-200 f/2.8 and a 580EXII instead, but the bag becomes really tight and pushes toward the iPad compartment too much. Removing the flash makes the fit more comfortable.
Features that I like:
- It doesn't look like a camera bag even with the small Lowepro logo in the front
- It has a velcro silencer similar to the Think Tank
- Fits a water bottle on the side pouch
- There is an additional deep pocket in the back that can fit a book, a map, passport, or a wallet
- It has a fastener on the main flap, so it can be securely closed even when the velcro silencer is used
- The memory card holder can fit either an SD or a CF with protective case although there is only room for one.
Features/drawback that I don't like:
- The fastener on the main flap is not adjustable so it can't be fastened if the bag is overloaded
- The side pouch is a tight fit for a normal water bottle, I wish it's a bit bigger
- The shoulder strap should be a bit longer. I am 5"8" but I already have to adjust it to maximum length to get the bag rest on my hips
- There is no rain cover included
Overall, I think this is a perfect bag for my need. It looks great and feels great to carry around.