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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.

The 24/7 Sling Bag from Adorama (Review)

January 19, 2016 Comments off

24/7 Sling Bag24/7 Sling Bag
Adorama
$99.95

Joseph (thevideoguyjoe) Butler and I created a video review of this bag on our My Technical Romance YouTube show. In the video, you’ll see our complete take on the 24/7 Sling Bag (Sling) from Adorama.com. The Sling is the perfect street photographer accessory. Not only is it comfortable for carrying while you walk, but you can also ride your bike with it on, which Joseph describes in the video. He’s the avid bike rider and he thoroughly tests items that are touted to be “bike friendly.” He also doesn’t mind telling you what’s wrong with an item. I’m also known for that too. We try to tell it like it is so that if you purchase an item from one of our reviews, you aren’t surprised or disappointed by what we think are negative aspects of it.

The focus of this review is really from Joseph’s perspective because he tested it himself. I only saw the bag for a very short five minutes before he grabbed it, read about it, put it on, and then disappeared on his bike with it strapped on him like it was his first-born child.

A few days later, we caught up with each other for the review video (below).

In this 12 minute video, Joseph tells you everything you need to know about the Sling and how he used it. In fact, he has to unpack all of his stuff from it during the video. Among the items he packed into it are his Canon 70D with the 18-135mm lens, bike tools, camera battery charger, and a few other items. After all that, I’m not sure he had room for a sandwich or even a candy…I mean energy bar in it.

The many faces of the 24/7 SlingHe’s the kind of guy who packs everything he needs, and then some, for his bike-powered photographic excursions. So, if you can believe anyone on how well this bag is made, how much stuff you can pack into it, and how it works on a bike, it’s him.

Joseph also demonstrates the adjustable strap and how to maneuver the bag once you have it placed comfortably on your body.

During the video, we discuss the workmanship, the design, the materials, and we demonstrate all aspects and features of the bag including its built-in raincoat that doubles as a reflective visual notification to drivers that you exist.

If you’re not a person who likes to watch videos or video reviews, let me spoil the surprise for you. He really likes the Sling. I really liked it too after seeing it in action. As I wrote, I didn’t see it or touch it very much when it first arrived, so I was as excited as everyone else to see it reviewed. If I were a bicycle rider, someone who walked to work, rode a bus or subway, this is the bag that I’d have. It has room for a tablet or laptop, plus a camera, lens, and accessories.

I actually wish I’d had such a bag when I was trapped in a thunderstorm a couple of years ago in Vedauwoo (Wyoming). My Canon DSLR got very wet even though I ran bent over for about two miles with it under my shirt. The outcome of that was that now my onboard flash doesn’t pop up when I need for it to. It just clicks and then gives me an error. Sometimes I can pull it up manually, but it’s a problem that I can’t solve. The Sling would have prevented that, plus I could have held the bag over my head during the downpour for a bit of protection. Unfortunately, I didn’t have such a bag because they didn’t exist yet. My normal camera bag, had I had it with me, would have been drenched too because it has no waterproofing.

The Sling also has plenty of interior padding to prevent breakage from accidental drops, plus the stitching and materials are really tough. Trust me on this point, because if they weren’t up to a very high standard, Joseph would have mentioned it. He puts items through their paces for these reviews in order to give you an honest, non-marketing, real world view of the product.

Joseph’s rating: 7.5/10

Recommendation: Strong buy. You’ll love the Sling for its compact size and big capacity.

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