Product Review: Kelly Moore Libby Bag

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
  • 24-70L
  • 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
  • Mouse
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • 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.



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January 28, 2014 - 3:11 am

Libby McGowan - SOOOO Gald I just stumbled upon this! I am trying to make this choice right now and the color was a huge decision! Although I LOVE the Orange, the grey is more like my branding and won’t be so bright and distracting on a wedding day.. Thanks for this! Now to place my order!!

January 7, 2014 - 7:36 pm

Annerieke Hukkelhoven - Thanks so much! Actually, I took the gamble that the Libby was indeed grey and ordered. It arrived today actually and i LOVE it!

January 7, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Angelsea Urban - Annerieke – Sorry I JUST saw your comment come thought! The Libby bag (the larger one) is “Grey” and the Hobo is black. Hope that helps! 🙂

December 29, 2013 - 11:28 am

Annerieke - Thanks for the great review! Now I am even more convinced this is going to be my new camera bag.. Just a question about the color: is the bag in the pictures grey or black?

March 27, 2013 - 12:12 pm

Tiffany Farley - I want. this. bag. The end.

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