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12-07-2012, 06:39 AM   #1
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Shoulder bag for 12" Laptop and K-5 + small(ish) lenses?


I'm looking for a messenger bag that can accommodate my rather oddly shaped Laptop, my K-5 and a number of mostly small lenses.
While there is a multitude of messenger bags that fit the broad description, the rather odd shape of my Laptop (Lenovo X200T, ~30x26x3.5cm) rules out allmost all of the smaller and cheaper options and leaves me with a number of overly large and a few rather expensive choices.
Since the lenses I own or plan/consider to buy are mostly small, I'd like a bag that can be subdivided into into as many small compartments as possible. Unfortunately there is no way for me to try any of my current candidates hands-on (short buying them and sending them back) and the manufacturers' websites usually aren't very helpful.

I'm down to four main candidates:
- Vanguard Up-Rise 33 / 38 (~70/85 new)
- Think Tank Urban Disguise 50/60 V1.0 (~110/120 new, ~90/100 used)

The largest lenses I might want to transport eventually are (maybe one or two at a time):
Pentax F70-210/4-5.6
Samyang 85/1.4
Sigma 10-20/4-5.6
Sigma 8-16
Tamron 28-75/2.8

It would be nice if the bag could accommodate the K-5 with the grip attached but I can do without, quick access without having to open an annoying front flap however is pretty much a must for me.

Design-wise I prefer the Think Tanks but my wallet doesn't...

Does anyone have experience with any of my candidates or know of an alternative I haven't considered?


12-07-2012, 06:49 AM   #2

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Give Brenthaven a try. No other soft sided bag in the world offers that level of protection.

Also be sure to give some of Brenthaven's YouTube videos a glance; showing how well their bags protect gear

12-07-2012, 07:16 AM   #3
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I'm pretty happy withmy Think Tank Urban disguise. It comes with an immense number of movable padded dividers. The whole thing is itself well padded and the shoulder strap is a good one. I also ordered the optional harness, which allows it to be carried back pack style. This works well, though will be uncomfortable for long hauls for which one would really need a proper backpack
12-07-2012, 07:56 AM   #4
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I have the same conundrum, and I'm looking towards the Crumper New Delhi. By the looks of the cheapest model (230, 59.50) you could get a K-5 with one of your zooms plus another zoom or big prime in there, perhaps with room elft for a flash and then batteries and filters can go in all the little pockets.

Granted, I'm thinking more about aesthetics, but I have a Kata 3n1 20 if I don't mind looking like a tool. The New Delhi looks really nice, comes in a bunch of colours and gets good reviews. One to consider?

Link here: lots of little compartments

12-07-2012, 09:06 AM   #5
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I'd also consider the Tenba Mini Messenger. Two things that make it stand out:

- "Quick Access" feature.
- The removable padded camera compartment.

I have the "Small" version of it. It is really not small, can fit a 15" MacBook Pro.
12-07-2012, 09:50 AM   #6
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Generally, the problem is that the laptop compartments in most bags are sized for wide screen laptops. While having a wide screen display, my thinkpad's protruding battery and thick horizontal display edges (which are due to it beeing convertible to a tablet) give it a rather square shape (~30x26cm) that only fits compartments meant for much larger laptops (which are usually found in overly large bags).

It doesn't fit any of the Crumplers short of the million dollar homes, some of the larger Tenba and Brenthaven bags do have the room but - going by the pictures the manufacturers provide - they all seem to be designed to carry few large items, not many smaller ones. Plus they are rather expensive and hard to find in Germany.

As long as my laptop fits, I don't really need much space, what I do need is something to keep all the small stuff from bouncing around (and into each other) inside without putting them all in lens pouches/cases individually.
12-07-2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
I'd also consider the Tenba Mini Messenger. Two things that make it stand out:
I give one vote for this one too.

I've been in the same boat, but one thing I dislike about all the bags you mentionned (add the Lowepro Pro Messenger to the list, it's very well made) is that they are thick and short, instead of long and thin. The choice I made (hopefully Santa will bring it to me) is the Timbuk2 snoop messenger, small size for me, but they provide measurements for the laptop compartment so you could figure out if the XS could work for you.

Otherwise, just get a good messenger bag with an insert. That's what I do right now, what annoys me is that I want a place to attach my tripod (the Snoop has that) and my messenger bag's top closes with a zipper, which means the opening is never wide enough (the flaps that zp together are always in the way).

12-07-2012, 05:45 PM   #8
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Have you looked at some of the Tamrac shoulder bags?
Tamrac - Photo/Computer Compatible Bags

The Tamrac Aria 6 is an inconspicuous and compact bag that also fits my netbook in an internal compartment, but it may be too small for your laptop.

I also have a bigger Kata DB-455 shoulder bag that I can also recommend. It can take a 13 inch laptop easily in a dedicated compartment.
12-07-2012, 09:44 PM   #9
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may be useful in selecting
12-08-2012, 07:26 PM   #10
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I have the Tamrac Zuma 5. I also carry a 13.3 notebook with an oversized battery or an 11 inch netbook. My bag's photo gear includes a K-r, 18-55 & 55-300 kit lens, a K-A 50mm with attached macro converter, an F 35-70 (or K-A 28mm or DA L 50-200) a flat panel LED light (mostly for macro work), a big Sigma P-TTL flash, and a bunch of accessories. Everything is accessible while I am standing and wearing the bag.

So long as I limit my PC accessories, I'm okay. However sometimes I am flying on a business trip and need a bunch of PC gear. Since I am only allowed my roller luggage bag and photo bag as a carry-on (and on small planes, my rollerbag has to be surrendered to cargo for the duration of the flight), I have figured out how to double my space for my one (ahem) personal carry-on .... I purchased a couple double-end spring snap-clips commonly used for securing dogs. I have a PC messenger bag the same width and color (black) as my Zuma 5 and I connect the two bags back to back using the clips and D-rings. I have just ONE shoulder strap. The whole works is still under carry-on size limit. Once on the plane I can separate the two cases if necessary to fit in the overhead bins on smaller planes.

I can take my PC messenger bag to my business meetings, and leave it secured in my hotel room after work and carry my Zuma 5 messenger bag about to satisfy my hobby. When I travel strictly on pleasure, I take just the Zuma 5 with my netbook, charger and a mouse - and all the photo gear mentioned above.

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