How to Choose the Right Camera Messenger Bag
Take one look at the variety of camera bags available to photographers today, and you’ll find all sorts of options.
From backpacks to roller bags to messenger bags and everything in between, it’s not like we’re lacking for choice.
One of the most popular types of bags today is the messenger bag, and for good reason.
Of course, even within that segment of the market, there’s tons of choice.
In this guide, I outline a few crucial considerations to make when looking for a messenger bag using the 4V Design SIMO Messenger Bag as an example.
Is It Versatile?
One thing to think about when buying a camera messenger bag is if it’s versatile to fit a number of needs.
On the one hand, you want something that can help you carry your gear comfortably while protecting your camera, lenses, and other accessories at the same time.
On the other hand, you also want something that can serve other purposes, too, like everyday use.
The Simo Messenger Bag does just that.
The bag has a removable photo insert that changes the bag from a photo-specific carryall to a bag you can use to carry personal belongings on a weekend trip or use as a briefcase for your commute to work.
But when the photo insert is in the bag, it provides you with a padded, organized space to keep your gear safe and sound as you travel from one shot to the next.
That’s precisely the kind of versatility you want!
Speaking of Camera Inserts…
A key component of any camera bag should be an ability to organize your gear in a way that makes it easy for you to see and access.
With four dividers to separate camera bodies and lenses, the SIMO Messenger Bag’s insert gives you precisely the organization you crave.
The insert will accommodate two mirrorless cameras and lenses or a large DSLR camera and two lenses.
Beyond that, the insert also has pockets on the front, rear, and sides for easy storage of camera accessories like memory cards and extra batteries.
In other words, even if you aren’t the most organized person in the world, the camera insert in this bag will get you organized with each piece of your kit stowed securely in its own little padded space.
Is it Accessible?
When it comes to camera messenger bags, some photographers assume that one is just as accessible as the next.
That’s not the case, though.
Some bags have a narrow top opening, making it more difficult to see into the bag, let alone put items in it or take items out.
That’s why it’s necessary to inspect the level of accessibility of a messenger bag before you commit to buy.
The SIMO Messenger Bag has two leather flaps, that way when they’re opened they stay flat in a vertical position against the bag walls.
That gives you a wide berth for getting gear in and out of the bag…
Additionally, the top flap can be folded onto the back of the bag, giving you even easier access to all the interior compartments.
What’s the point of having a camera bag if you can’t get into it easily?!
What Else Can You Carry?
I noted earlier that versatility is an important virtue in a camera bag.
So too is having enough space inside the bag to carry something other than your camera and lenses.
In the case of the SIMO, two large inner pockets are available to carry anything from valuable items like your smartphone to documents to a laptop.
In fact, one of the pockets is padded and large enough for a 12-inch laptop, meaning you can easily bring your post-processing tools along with you when you head out to shoot.
And where lesser bags might offer you space, something you don’t get is thoughtful details like YKK spiral anti-scratch zippers…but the SIMO bag does.
One of the interior pockets has these zippers.
That gives you peace of mind that the valuables you put in there won’t get scuffed up on the way in or out.
How’s the Strap?
The strap on a messenger bag is probably the single most important feature.
Because you only have the luxury of one strap, all the weight you’re carrying is borne by one shoulder.
That means that an exceptional strap is needed so you can carry that load in ultimate comfort.
The SIMO bag has a top-of-the-line strap that’s purpose-built for performance and comfort, just like 4V Design’s impeccable camera straps.
It’s ergonomically cut so that it adapts perfectly to the contours of your shoulder, no matter which shoulder it’s being carried on.
The strap is also highly adjustable to adapt to a wide range of heights. Carry it across your shoulder or your chest, too, with lengths that range from 41 inches up to 53.5 inches.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
The Simo bag’s strap has a roller buckle attachment on one end.
That means you can add accessories like lens pouches to the strap for even more versatility and convenience.
Even the way that the strap is attached to the bag is innovative.
Using two large, custom rivets and 40mm D rings, the strap and bag are joined together for a safe, secure method of carrying the weight of your gear.
The angle of the strap attachment also helps distribute that weight for a more comfortable carrying experience.
When it comes to the shoulder pad, you want a bag with a pad that allows you to comfortably carry your gear.
The SIMO bag not only has rich padding to soften the load you’re carrying, but it also has Ultra-Grip Technology to keep it in place on your shoulder.
What’s more, Ultra-Grip Technology is waterproof and washable so that you can carry your bag with confidence, even in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
In other words, the SIMO Messenger Bag might just be the ideal camera bag.
After all, it’s got all the features you want in terms of versatility, carrying capacity, versatility, and comfort.
Believe me, as someone that owns a 4V Design bag, I can tell you firsthand that it will be one of your favorite camera accessories hands down!