If I had to choose one style of bag as my personal favorite it would have to be the traditional messenger. I love the flexibility, the ability to “dress it up” or “dress it down” and I love the ability to carry “just enough” gear. Oh, and I just tend to like the way they look. That’s why I was so taken with the Tenba Small Photo/Laptop Messenger bag. It offers all of the flexibility of a traditional messenger in a bag that is well-made, roomy and looks great. At the same time, it doubles as a highly protective camera bag and, when used in this way still has plenty of room for a laptop as large as a 15 inch MacBook Pro.
The company does offer two other sizes – the Mini which is appropriately sized for a camera and a tablet and the Large which has even more space than the one we are reviewing. The Mini looks fantastic but I wanted the flexibility to carry a full-size laptop. The Large has a tremendous amount of room for storage and the neat option of having a custom logo plate on the front. I would have loved to have the Gear Diary logo on my bag, but the Large struck me as being a bit too big for my taste. So – the Small version it was.
Let’s take a look at what the company has to say about it and then jump into our video review.
The Tenba Messenger is an urban-inspired laptop bag that’s designed to hold everything you need for a day; on vacation or at work; at school or at the gym. A removable photo insert holds camera gear as well.
From the outside the bag measures in at 16.5W x 11.5H x 5.5-8.5 in. This translates to interior room of 16W x 11H x 5-8 in. That does not include the laptop compartment which is large enough for my MacBook Pro. It weighs in at just 2 lb. but felt much lighter. Finally, it includes Tenba’s Messenger Removable Photo Insert. A great addition that adds a good deal of flexibility to this bag.
I like this bag a lot and expect that it will be on the short list of bags for CES 2013. The flexibility, build-quality and photo insert that lets it switch from Messenger to Camera Bag in seconds is a GREAT design choice. There is one place where I do find some fault with this bag. The grab handle is positioned a bit too far back for my taste and causes the bag to sit at a bit of an angle when carried. It is a small complaint and one that will certainly not prevent me from using this bag but I do wish the handle was positioned more centrally on the top.
You can learn more here on the Tenba site.
What I Like: Well made; Flexible; Looks good; Lots of compartments, many zippered for protection; Sturdy clips and pulls; Removable camera insert that lets this move from camera bag to traditional messenger and back in seconds
What Needs Improvement: No personalized logo plate on anything but the Large version; The grab handle is positioned a bit too far back