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FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Bags, Backpacks & Cases 
Thread started 12 Jan 2013 (Saturday) 23:45
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Billingham Packington Review with Photos

 
mag10
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Jan 12, 2013 23:45 |  #1

I started looking at Billingham bags when I was looking for a medium sized shoulder bag that could fit one dslr body, 2-3 lenses, and my 13" Macbook Air, if needed. Before I purchased the Packington, I first bought a Hadley Pro. After receiving the Hadley Pro, I found out that it was a bit small for my needs and could not hold my 5D Mk III without having a bulge. I then did more research and purchased the Packington. It was a bit of a gamble because I wasn't able to find any detailed reviews or many useful photos of the Packington on the internet. Fortunately, it has turned out to be just the right bag for me. I hope this review will help others considering the Packington make their decision.

I had a chance to take the bag on a trip to Asia over the holidays and put it to use. Overall, I am very happy with the bag. It easily fits one body with two or three lenses, and accessories. It also fits my 13" Macbook Air. When I want to carry more gear, I go with a backpack. But when I want a bag for carrying around the city, or for travel, this bag fits my needs.

Pros:

- Very comfortable to carry - the shoulder pad distributes the weight of the bag surprisingly well and is one of the most comfortable shoulder/messenger bags that I've used, even when loaded up.
- Quality and details typical of Billingham - which is to say very good.
- Canvas feels and looks high quality and is waterproof on top of that.
- Classic styling makes the bag go with whatever you're wearing and suitable for all occasions.
- The "flap" dividers that come with the insert are very useful as they allow you to split up a vertical compartment into two separate shorter compartments while still allowing easy access to the item in the lower compartment.
- pockets on the sides are useful for holding accessories, cellphone, wallet, etc, while providing easy access.
- Removable camera insert allows the bag to be used as a general purpose bag or work bag.

Cons:

- Lack of a handle on top like the Hadley Pro is an inconvenience. I end up using the waist strap as a grab handle, but it's obviously not as good as having a real handle on the top.
- Color and fabric is susceptible to color transfer from jeans.
- Top opening of bag would be better if it could open wider. As it is, it is hard to slip my laptop in and out quickly, like at TSA checkpoints at the airport, and doesn't give you much room to maneuver a DSLR body in and out.
- Need to purchase optional straps to attach tripod (though I probably would use my backpack if I need to carry a tripod too)
- Waist strap doesn't seem to be necessary for its intended purpose.

Those are my observations so far. When I am researching bags, I find that photos are the most useful, so let me move on to that part of the review....

The first two photos are of the front and back of the bag. Note the waist straps that hang on the back of the bag when not in use. The zippered flat pocket on the back is good for stashing documents and magazines. The loop on the top of the back side of the bag is apparently for use in an optional backpack strap system. There are four other loops on the bag for the backpack strap system.


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Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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mag10
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Jan 12, 2013 23:46 |  #2

The next two photos are close up looks at some of the details found on the bag, including the great shoulder strap that I discussed above.


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Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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mag10
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Jan 12, 2013 23:47 |  #3

What I have in the bag:
- 13" Macbook Air (also provides a sense of the size of the bag)
- 5DIII with 17-40L attached (hood reversed when in bag)
- 70-200 2.8 IS (hood reversed when in bag)
- various chargers, memory cards, rocket blower, and other accessories
- Additional room available for either another lens, a water bottle, or flash

I haven't tried it, but I am pretty sure you could fit two camera bodies with standard lenses attached in the bag as well if you configure the bag to have two compartments instead of three.

The second photo shows how all of of my stuff fits in the bag without causing any bulge when zipped up. You can also see how the top flap folds back flat, if you need quick access to the camera compartment.


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Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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mag10
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Jan 12, 2013 23:47 |  #4

Photo of the camera compartment inside the bag with the top flap closed. Note the Macbook Air stored outside the camera insert. Ideally, you should use a thin laptop sleeve as well, to provide some more protection for the laptop.

The second photo is with the top flap folded back, and shows how the camera and lens fit. Note that I used one of the flap dividers to protect the LCD screen from the hardware of my Luma Cinch strap.


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Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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mag10
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Jan 13, 2013 00:00 |  #5

Photo with the flap divider flipped up, revealing camera body.

Second photo is of the photo insert out of the bag. Note there are two clip buttons on the insert that engage with associated buttons inside the bag that help hold the insert in place.


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Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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mag10
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Jan 13, 2013 00:06 |  #6

Finally, the tag inside the back document pocket. A very nice touch.


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Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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hfgarris
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Jan 13, 2013 12:03 |  #7

Very nice Billingham ... and a great review.

Thanks for posting this, it is really difficult to find good interior pictures of Billingham bags!


-howard




  
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858
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Jan 13, 2013 14:13 |  #8

Great job. Thanks for taking the time. Might just be my next bag.


7D

  
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mag10
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Feb 05, 2013 13:58 |  #9

hfgarris wrote in post #15482748 (external link)
Very nice Billingham ... and a great review.

Thanks for posting this, it is really difficult to find good interior pictures of Billingham bags!


-howard

858 wrote in post #15483197 (external link)
Great job. Thanks for taking the time. Might just be my next bag.

Glad to hear the review was helpful!


Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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MDJAK
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Feb 05, 2013 18:41 |  #10

Excellent, top quality, top notch review accompanied with great product shots. Billingham should reward you for that with some free merchandise.

I have the 307 but find it a bit heavy for my liking. I guess I'm just a wimp and a shoulder bag and me don't get along.

I look forward to more reviews from you.

mark




  
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mag10
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Feb 05, 2013 20:10 |  #11

MDJAK wrote in post #15576794 (external link)
Billingham should reward you for that with some free merchandise.

Thanks for the kind words. I would love to review more products from Billingham, especially if they will reward me with free merchandise :)

I considered the 307 as well as I really liked the opening and the way the bag looks, but my concern was the additional weight and bulk of that bag. Give the Packington a try if you are looking for a slimmer and lighter bag.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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BlurMyReality
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May 21, 2013 01:59 |  #12

Nice pictures! I'm about to order a Billingham bag and I'd probably end up with Packington. Hadley Large is too shallow and other bags like 307 and 445 are too heavy. I'm concerned about my MBP 15 Retina not fitting it though - do you think it will?


My travel photography blog: http://blurmyreality.c​om/ (external link)

  
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mag10
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May 21, 2013 11:23 |  #13

BlurMyReality wrote in post #15952146 (external link)
Nice pictures! I'm about to order a Billingham bag and I'd probably end up with Packington. Hadley Large is too shallow and other bags like 307 and 445 are too heavy. I'm concerned about my MBP 15 Retina not fitting it though - do you think it will?

I haven't tried to fit a 15" MBP in the bag, but I will say that it's a snug fit with my 13" MBA in a sleeve. You may be able to fit in the 15" MBP, but it would be a really tight fit and won't be very easy to get the computer in and out of the bag.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

  
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pean12
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Apr 23, 2014 15:01 |  #14

Thanks for the review and photos. Can the waist strap be removed? Anybody tried a 15inch MBP in there yet?




  
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freitz
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Apr 23, 2014 16:46 |  #15

What made you pick this off the Hadley large Pro?


Camera: Leica M240 - Summilux 35mm 1.4 FLE
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Billingham Packington Review with Photos
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