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The 24/7 Messenger Bag from Adorama (Review)

January 20, 2016 Comments off

24/7 Messenger Bag24/7 Messenger Bag
Adorama
$79.95

Joseph (thevideoguyjoe) Butler and I created a video review of the 24/7 Messenger Bag from Adorama on our My Technical Romance YouTube show. In the video, you’ll see our complete take on the Messenger Bag (Messenger) that is part of the 24/7 Traffic Collection. I was the primary reviewer of the Messenger. Joseph’s first time to see the bag was just before we performed the review on camera, so his impressions and commentary are all from his first impressions of it.

In the video, we discuss the bag’s style, its contrasting colors, its interior features, its 3-in-1 bag feature, its wearability, and its composition. We demo the bag’s fully and quickly adjustable shoulder strap, its protective raincoat, and its capacity to carry photography and computing equipment.

The Messenger is a classic style bag that is dual-purpose designed as a walkabout bag and as a bicycle rider’s bag. Since Joseph is an avid bicyclist, he takes the bicyclist’s perspective on photography gear and accessories. I’m more of a walkabout street photography with a tendency toward stealth and a bit of guerilla photography and filming. I snap candid photos of people on public transportation, on the street, in restaurants (often to my wife’s chagrin), and I love to catch people sleeping in public places. Carrying a visible camera isn’t always the best method for capturing unposed, impromptu shots. With the Messenger, I can “hide” the fact that I’m going to take your picture by posing as a random hipster with a cool bag.

The bag’s main flap either is coated with or completely composed of a water-resistant material, plus the Messenger has a built-in raincoat that pulls out of a bottom compartment. I really like that the raincoat, as I call it, does not detach from the bag. Being permanently attached means that you always have it available. Additionally, when the raincoat is tucked away in the bag’s bottom flap, it provides extra cushion to everything inside the bag. An added bonus for sure.

Messenger Bag and Bonus BagsThe Messenger is actually three bags in one. That is to say that within the large Messenger bag, there is a small mesh bag and a small camera and lens carrier. In the video, you can see the relative sizes of each bag. The mesh bag is for cables. It keeps your cables, chargers, and other items organized so that they aren’t lost by getting attached to other items that you’re pulling out of your other bags.

Camera BagThe camera bag is a smaller bag with a handle and double zippers. It will comfortably hold a DSLR with a lens attached plus at least two other lenses. This smaller bag is for quick camera access that doesn’t include a shoulder strap and a lot of accessories. For street photography, run-and-gun, or a bit of open-ended shooting where lugging around a larger bag won’t work.

The entire bag is well put together with very strong stitching and materials that are easy to clean, water resistant, and very sturdy. I feel like this bag would be one that could last for ten years or more even with very harsh handling and less than desirable conditions. You’ll change cameras long before this Traffic Collection series wears out. I’d love to see one of these bags five and tens years out to observe the type of abuse they can take. My guess is a lot.

I like the size of the Messenger. It’s not bulky and stiff like some messenger style bags are. It’s supple, but sturdy. It feels good in my hands and I have no fear of placing my most valuable equipment into it for a full-on street run.

24/7 Messenger BagNow the tricky part. There is possibly only one thing that I don’t like about the 24/7 Messenger, and honestly it won’t bother everyone, but it bothers me: The shoulder strap isn’t removable. I would prefer to have a removable strap that I could tuck away into a pocket or slot until I’m ready to use it again. At the ridiculously low price of $79.95 (Seriously, I thought it was a misprint until I called Adorama for confirmation), it’s a must have. If you ride a bike, motorcycle, or if you walk and shoot, I’m not sure that you could find a better bag at a comparable price. I’m actually not sure if you could find a comparable bag at twice the price.

If you check out our review of the 24/7 Sling Bag, near the end of the video Joseph says that he wishes the Sling had more room in it. Well, the Messenger is the bag with extra room, so guess who now has the Messenger bag as well as the Sling? If you guessed Joseph, you’d be correct. He convinced me that the Sling and the Messenger are two different bags (duh) with two different applications. Fifteen minutes later I’m too exhausted to argue, so he walks away with two bags. That’s OK, because he’s the one who usually carries around the DSLR and various accessories. For larger shoots, I have a small pullman bag that is part of a set of luggage my wife bought me last year. The luggage is really ugly, but at least this way no one would steal it. And if they do, the thief will be easy to spot.

Ken’s Review: 8/10

Recommendation: A great big bag bargain that’s actually three bags for an excellent price. One of the best values every. Buy it.

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Domke Next Generation Metro Messenger Photographer’s Bag (Review)

May 26, 2015 Comments off

Domke Metro Messenger BagDomke Next Generation Metro Messenger Bag
Tiffen
$349.95

The bag I chose for review is the Domke Next Generation Metro Messenger Bag from Tiffen. This particular bag (pictured right) that I reviewed is a photographer “gig” bag for me. Sure you can haul just about anything in it, including a laptop and accessories. But I’m an avid photographer who carries a camera, multiple lenses, and multiple camera bodies, and sometimes multiple cameras with me. I also throw in my battery charger, a flash unit or two, small lights, various cables, and even film (Yes, film. Don’t judge me). This bag can hold more than you can carry–trust me on that point. I’ve filled it so full and with so many different things that I’m sure the people behind me at the airport were rolling their eyes and taking some heavy sighs at the spectacle. Watching me pull out so much stuff from that bag–I’m sure I looked like a guy pulling clowns out of a Volkswagen at a rodeo. But I don’t care. The bag is capable of holding my stuff, so I’m going to take advantage of its capacity.

The Metro Messenger bag is one tough cookie too. It’s made of Cordura, which is a military-grade nylon blend fabric that’s used to make backpacks, duffle bags, and other stuff for the military. It’s also the material that’s used to make a lot of the new lightweight, super durable luggage that you see in department stores.

I chose the Metro Messenger because not only does it not look like a standard issue photographer’s bag, it can double, as I wrote earlier, as a laptop or other type of tote. The Messenger style bag has a good look for me that’s somewhere between briefcase/satchel and small suitcase. I don’t want to feel like I’m carrying a purse/murse nor do I want to look like I’m toting a really fancy diaper bag. That’s why I chose the evergreen style of the Metro Messenger. It’s classic, smart, and professional without being stuffy or pretentious.

Metro Messenger - Inside LookYou can also tell that this is a substantial bag. In other words, it isn’t some cheap knockoff of a bag that you really want. It IS the bag that you really want without paying the big price for it.

Now you might say that $349.95 isn’t inexpensive, but I’d tell you that you’ll probably never have to buy another one unless it’s a gift for someone. In other words, you’ll likely never have to replace it, so $349.95 is a steal, even if you keep it for just ten years, but you’ll keep it longer because it won’t wear out.

Color – Black
Fabric – Cordura
Laptop Friendly – Yes
Carry Options – Shoulder
Exterior Size – 21 in Long
Weight – 4.50 lbs
Exterior Dimensions – 21″L x 5″W x12″H
Interior Main Dimensions – 16″L x 4.5″W x11.25″H
Internal Laptop Area – 14.25 x 9.5″
Dividers – (2) D6
Webbing Color – Black
Warranty – 2 Years

 

DOMKE NEXT GENERATION METRO MESSENGER – CORDURA BLACK
Satchels, Courier and Messenger Bags

NEXT GENERATION brings evolutionary and revolutionary features to the trusted name of Domke. The Metro Messenger (the grandchild of the F-832) is part of the Metro Series of Satchels, Courier and Messenger Bags. The Metro Messenger , with functionality as the core design inspiration, integrates our patent pending systems for personalizing, protecting and accessing your valuable gear. Also available in RuggedWear Black and RuggedWear Military.

Features:

  • Black color with Sand color webbing
  • Top access with double zipper
  • Rear slide pocket
  • Expandable zippered side pocket
  • Stacked front slide pockets
  • Key-ring strap
  • Secure luggage strap
  • Numbered identity plate
  • Side rain hoods
  • Padded zippered tablet sleeve fits up to 14.25 x 9.5
  • Foam-lined laptop cargo pocket with double zipper
  • “Quiet” system hook and loop silencer
  • Expandable front pockets
  • Custom antique steel hardware
  • Detachable Gripper shoulder and grab strap
  • Domke flap tucks in for anonymity
  • All zippers YKK®
  • Comes with 2 dividers – Additional divider inserts (D6) available in GearProtex Accessories

Accessories:

  • Domke GearProtex Insert System – a revolutionary, customizable insert system that allows you to compartmentalize and organize your contents to create any size or shape using bendable, self-adhering separators.
  • Domke PocketFlex Pocket and Pouch System – an ingenious system of movable, pockets, patches and pouches.  These innovative storage components adhere to all interior surfaces, personalizing your storage.

Why it’s Frugal: The Domke Metro Messenger bag by Tiffen is frugal because it will quite possibly outlast you. I’m pretty sure that if you amortize the price over 20 years, you’ll see that for less than $1.50 per month is a great deal. The bag is tough, attractive, and functional. And it could become an heirloom. What else do you need?

The only negative about this bag is that it only has a shoulder strap and no handle on the top. I don’t always want to shoulder a bag, but it’s required with this one. Yes, it’s a messenger bag, but a top handle would be a very welcome design addition to this near perfect product.

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