For my “daily” shooting bag – I’ve been using the ThinkTank Retrospective 10. A great bag that I reviewed last summer. However – in Uganda – I figured I was going to be out in the field for some long hours – and I was probably going to want to a bit more gear on hand.
What to do? Well – I dug around the web for some options – but nothing really struck me as the solution I wanted to haul halfway across the world. And as it turns out – I had this almost 10 year old Timbuk2 messenger around (medium) – and a Domke insert that I’d picked up out of curiosity.
So – how did the combo work? In a word – great!
I could carry two cameras with lenses attached, another lens, a small water bottle or two, a table top Gitzo tripod, and the other stuff often found in camera bags – comfortably all day.
That’s not to say that it felt “weightless” – but it was quite comfortable.
The insert only extends to about 2/3 the width of the bag. That extra space in the bag (below – it’s shown on the right side) – is where I stuffed my water bottles. I had originally thought that I wanted water bottle holders or pockets on the outside of my bag – but – once in the field – it worked to be an advantage to have room in the bag for the bottles.
Of course – that extra room is also good for a light jacket, snack, and other stuff that you might want to throw in your bag.
As for the brown color – well – 10 years later – I might have ordered a black one (or a dark gray) – but hey, it was already in my closet. And – it definitely didn’t look like a camera bag.
If you were to build this collection from scratch – it’ll probably be about $130-$140 after you add the Timbuk2 shoulder strap pad.
Bottom line? Highly recommended for those times when you’d like to carry a bit more gear, have it quickly accessible, not spend a bunch of cash, and like to keep a low visual profile.