As a self proclaimed bag-o-holic I am the first to admit that I have a slight obsession. I could compare various sizes, shapes, compartments, and finishes all the livelong day. So you can imagine my husband’s shock and horror, when I actually stopped carrying a purse more than a year ago when he bought me a book book for Christmas. These days when I need more than a wallet, phone and debit card, I usually also need my camera. This of course is totally separate from my giant Think Tank rolling bag which will always be my main bag. It holds 90% of the gear that comes with me for every wedding and most photoshoots. But sometimes I just don’t need all of that gear. I just need my camera and I don’t want to shove it in a backback wrapped in a sweater.
I am very particular about the kind of bag I invest in. After quite few misses over the years of ones that never worked out they way I had planned, I finally bought a Kelly Moore Hobo bag because of another photographer’s personal review. I really appreciated the non-biased review enough to sway me to try Kelly Moore, a company I had not heard of at the time.
I purchased the hobo because of the need for a discreet camera bag that looked like a purse but could also fit a pro size camera. Or a camera bag that could also fit a wallet, phone, lip-gloss, keys, and the a few extras (like a 16 oz coffee where a telephoto lens would be – BONUS). It was perfect for my frequent trips to NYC. Jumping on and off trains, subways and taxis – I never wanted to worry about rolling around a big camera bag. Also perfect for day trips with the family where I need to be the mom carrying the snacks, hand sanitizer, dad’s wallet, matchbox cars, ipods, phones and OH … a camera. ALL fit perfectly.
The hobo has served me well for these purposes but over the past 2 years my traveling has increased quite a bit and the need for NOT having to carry on luggage has dramatically increased. No one wants to check a boatload of camera gear never knowing if the baggage will be lost and wonder “will I have the tools that I need to do my job once I get there”. So I will never check my gear. Ever. Ever. Ever.
So I carry on. Along with clothes, toiletries, a laptop, phone, ipad and other items needed to make any photo/work trip possible. That is a LOT to carry on and the restrictions for one bag + one PERSONAL item did not allow my hobo bag + laptop bag to come on an airplane with me. I’d end up having to shove my laptop and iPad in my suitcase and now I’m bored on a plane with a “purse” that has my camera + one lens only and my phone and whatever else I could shove in there. Using every last millimeter. I tried getting clever and put the hobo bag and laptop bag in an oversized TOTE bag calling THAT my ONE personal item, but nobody was buying it and I had to gate check that thing twice. So….I went on a mission to fix this problem.
After searching the web and probing other photographer friends I settled again on a Kelly Moore bag. This time, the Hobo’s big sister, the Libby.…and I couldn’t be happier!
You can see the contrast in size to the hobo – which I’ll still use and love for it’s original intentions. The Libby fits all that AND a bag of chips, or kale if you prefer.
As a test I loaded it up with:
- Canon Mark III
- 100M Macro L
- 7MM Fisheye
- 50mm 1.4
- 580 EX flash (2)
- Pocket Wizard TT5 Flex (3)
- CF Card Reader
- Card Wallet
- Battery Charger and extra camera battery
- AA Batteries (12 or so)
- Laptop with full size charger
- Pens and Small Pad
- Business Cards
- Book Book (wallet)
- Small make up bag
And there was STILL about 4 inches at the top with a flat divider that could easily fit a sandwich with a bottle of water (if you dare to put liquids in with all of that gear in there). You could also easily roll up a change of clothes or extra sweater.
I COULD BARELY LIFT IT, but it fit. And that’s all that mattered to me. Now it’s a “personal item” and I could get through the airport just fine. I could travel easily alone with one rolling overhead bag and the Libby bag to hold everything in. It fits THIS NEED perfectly. I won’t use it all of the time, but when traveling, this will be my go to bag.
I have since learned a lot about Kelly Moore and her company and it has made me want to support them even more. I have great respect for companies that go above and beyond their need to just service a customer or sell a product. Instead of stopping there, they use their platform as a way to reach out and serve others using the company as a tool to accomplish a greater goal. It aligns so much with the goals I strive for in my own business endeavors and helps to make purchasing decisions that much easier.
If you are in the market for a travel camera bag, that will hold your camera, passport and your kitchen sink, consider the Kelly Moore Libby Bag.