Tenba Skyline 12 Shoulder Messenger Bag / by Ian Clark

Ohhhh! A camera bag.

Ohhhh! A camera bag.

Ok, probably not the kit blog post you might have been expecting (eagle-eyed social media folks will know I’ve recently purchased a Nikon D7200 - more to come!), but not long ago I treated myself to a new camera bag (my third already) and thought I’d share a few thoughts about it. Because, well, camera bags are a perennial pain in the ar…

I spotted the Tenba bags a little while ago (think I first spotted them in Digital Camera magazine a few months back), and they looked like the kind of thing I was after. I’ve had a little (Nikon branded) messenger bag back from when I bought my Nikon D3200 (the bag was a “I need a bag for this right now!!!!” moment), and I’ve been thinking I probably should invest in a new one for when I’m out and about in the streets or not intending to take my tripod with me. This looked to me like it might fit the bill.

A couple of weeks ago I was poking around in our local camera shop (hi Canterbury Camera Centre!) and spotted the range on display so thought it would be a good opportunity to have a good poke around and see if they might be suitable. Originally I had the 13 in mind, but it soon became clear on having a good look at it that it was actually slightly too big for my needs (one DSLR and three lenses). The 13 had space for a further two lenses and when I thought about it I realised actually there would be a lot of fumbling around if I bought the bigger version (it only opens from the top and the lenses would effectively be stacked on top of each other, separated by a divider). On reflection, I plumped for the 12. It was big enough to carry what I have without being too unwieldy (I think three lenses is sufficient for a trip out and about). I have to say, I’ve been really happy with it.

Inside…with my old camera.

Inside…with my old camera.

Despite coming in at a fairly reasonable £55 (-ish), it looks really professional and feels like it’s made from good quality materials. The zips are strong and the material is waterproof (it’s made of “water-repellant 600D fabric” apparently), which is..well…good. On the inside there are a couple of mesh pockets to put little bits and bobs you might need (big enough for a couple of circular filters) and that’s about it other than the obvious storage space for the camera and lenses with two velcro dividers so you can shift them around. The zippable section at the front also includes a small pocket.

As I said above, I’ve been really happy with this bag, it’s just the right size for carrying around the city or for times when I don’t need so much stuff. However, it does have one flaw: it opens the “wrong way”. I say “wrong way” it quite possibly opens that way for a reason, but I find it slightly fiddly that it opens away from the body rather than towards. I guess this is good in some respects (the zips aren’t then on the outside of the bag), but I just find it a little annoying when I need to grab a lens quickly and have to faff around trying to unzip the bag and open it. But that’s a fairly minor grumble to be honest.

So…yeah…that’s a camera bag review. A part of me feels it won’t be the last…

Tenba front pocket