As I’m waiting for my custom-made Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger to arrive (ETA is 12/19 – full review will come soon after :)), I’m wondering what features make up the perfect bag. The Ona Union Street was pretty close – it held a lot, it looked great and it seemed like it would be comfortable to carry. Unfortunately, it lacked a key element: accessibility. A bag needs to be convenient to be effective, and even if the Ona wasn’t a fairly expensive bag ($279 isn’t Billingham money, but it isn’t AmazonBasics, either), I would have been unhappy to carry it. I sent it back – B&H just confirmed my refund today – a free plug: They rock. Their customer service rocks. I highly recommend them, and hope to spend a few hours wandering in their store sometime soon. Anyway…
My bag needs to have the following traits:
- Versatile – lots of pockets and places to put stuff that is easily accessible. Travel well.
- Spacious – hold my body and 4-5 lenses. One lens would be replaced by a flash (when I own one and decide to carry it…). It needs to hold my laptop and various cables, notebook, pens, etc. so I can have a single bag when I travel.
- Protective – don’t let me break my stuff. Please.
- Comfortable – my equipment felt more comfortable to carry in the Ona bag vs. my current LowePro 202 AW, and actually felt lighter. Also, don’t have fiddly designs – be simple and easy.
- Attractive – as I mentioned in my other article, I travel in the corporate world, and I want something that has some style and design. The pro photographers roll their eyes at this, but I’ll steal my own quote: I don’t want a bag that looks like it belongs on “That 70’s Show or “Star Trek” – I want something that looks good. Attractive design and high function aren’t mutually exclusive. They just seem to be in the world of camera bags…
So that’s my list – what do you want in a bag? What do you love and/or hate about the bag you have now? Traditional, messenger or backpack?