Last month Alison wrote asking about laptop bags which could also hold a DSLR with accessories for her upcoming trip, and one of the first things I said in my reply was that most of the ones I had seen were a bit drab, especially considering how much I know she loves color. See, that’s the thing about Alison – she and I will ooh and ahh over purses and laptop bags together, but invariably I will find myself contemplating the brown ones, whereas she will be drawn to the purple or aqua ones; that girl loves color!
So back to my story. The next morning, after doing a bit more research, Alison sent me a link to the Alison site where she had found a bag that we both immediately began to salivate over: the Crumpler Limited Leather Daily. Available in black & dark gray, dark brown & dark orange, dark red & white…and the magnificent combo of off white & dark green, the Limited Leather Daily is a big, bold bag. Needless to say, we both wanted one; Alison made me promise that if I got one it wouldn’t be a brown one – even though I thought the dark brown & dark orange one looked pretty good. 😉
The Limited Leather Daily is not available on the US Crumpler site (which is why I didn’t even know it existed), and the price displayed on the European site was a little bit distressing considering that the British Pound is basically worth twice an American Dollar. That Alison is a crafty woman however, she started bargain hunting and found them on another UK site for substantially less with free shipping (UK only). Even after paying for shipping from Alison to me, I got off for less than the listed retail. After impatiently waiting for what seemed like forever (but was really only a couple of weeks), my off white & dark green Limited Leather Daily arrived.
Gorgeous, isn’t it?
Instead of the rubber Crumpler logo which we have all come to expect, this limited edition has a shiny metal badge.
So first, the measurements: the Limited Leather Daily is approximately 16″ wide x 13.5″ tall x 8″ wide, and roughly guessing – it weighs about five pounds with the camera insert in place. It has a leather front flap with leather sides, and the parts of the bag that aren’t made of leather are made of what Crumpler calls “Rooster Tex”, but it’s basically what I would otherwise call Ballistic Nylon. It’s a very tough material that is dirt, stain and water resistant; which is a good thing, considering that I went for a totally non-characteristic off white. The entire bag’s exterior is either double layered or slightly padded, which makes the bag feels substantial and protective. The shoulder strap is about 15″ long, and it is padded; the only things that seem to be missing are a handle on the back of the bag and a slash pocket; ah well – I have to find something wrong with it, right? 😉
The strap on the bag is an amazingly heavy duty 2″ wide webbed nylon affair, which can be adjusted to wear either on the shoulder or bandolier style. It has a heavy plastic quick release clamp for getting in and out, and any excess strappage can be tucked under the loop worked into the side of the bag for that purpose.
You’ll notice that there was a female pinch clip on each end of the back’s bottom, it’s for attaching to the “third-leg stabilizer” strap.
Whether you use the stabilizer strap or not, there will always be at least one pinch clip dangling…or will there?
Of course not, this bag is much too refined. Special pockets are built into each bottom corner to accommodate any unused clips. This is yet another example of how the Limited Leather Daily has tried to anticipate every user’s need, without making one user conform to another’s. The male clip, attached to the third-leg strap, can be removed by undoing the plastic quick release clamp and letting out the strap.
As you can see there are also two pinch clips on the flap, so I find it redundant and mildly irritating that two largish patches of Velcro were also used. I guess if you are too lazy to use the clips, you will welcome the convenient security of the quick-grab Velcro. 😛
On the front of the bag is a large double-zippered compartment with a mesh and nylon compartment built into the flap and accessed by a 8″ zipper. Along the back wall, there are two 7″ x 7″ mesh and nylon pockets which secure at their tops with small patches of Velcro, in between those pockets are three pen holders.
Built into the back wall is a padded laptop compartment which measures approximately 14″ wide x 10″ tall x 1″ deep.
Technically this pocket is made to fit up to a 14″ laptop, but the site mentioned it would fit some 15″ laptops. Taking a chance that my svelte MacBook pro was one of them, I ordered…and luckily it fit! I like how the flap can either be Velcro’d down to secure the laptop, or it can be tucked under the Velcro retaining flap built into the top wall for that purpose; this gives unfettered access to the laptop, which should be very handy when checking in. Notice how there is all sorts of lovely room in the huge compartment in front of the laptop? When the DSLR bag is in place, that is all gone. But the beauty of the this bag is that when you don’t need to carry the DSLR, you’ll have lots of room for…whatever.
Notice how the bag’s bottom is wide and flat enough that the bag will stand up on it’s own without flopping over? Crumpler definitely gets bonus points for that. I also like that the entire interior is composed of ripstop nylon – there will be no snagging allowed in here!
Looking into the spacious main compartment, you’ll see that there are three pockets built into the walls opposite the laptop sleeve. The two on the sides are approximately 8″ wide x 8″ tall, and they are held shut at their tops by small patches of Velcro. The one in the middle measures 7″ wide x 7″ tall, and it has a flap cover which secures with Velcro.
This ripstop nylon case is what I keep referring to as the DSLR bag; it can almost be seen as a bonus, since it functions as a top handled storage bag for cameras and accessories even when they are not in the larger Limited Leather Daily. The DSLR bag measures 14″ wide x 9″ tall x 8″ deep, and it has a single zipper which opens to reveal…
A soft, padded compartment which can easily hold a DSLR with lens installed, an extra lens or an external flash, and other small accessories – depending upon how it is configured. The padded interior walls are held in place with Velcro, so they can be attached wherever needed to make the compartment best work for your needs.
I see the removable 7″ tall x 5″ wide x 3″ deep accessory bag as yet another bonus, because it can also be used inside the main messenger bag to carry items which might need to be separated from others or that might benefit from being kept in a more padded environment. When the accessory bag isn’t in the DSLR bag, there is room for another full size lens.
Here’s my 5D resting in its new home – which is where it will be from now one, whether I am carrying it with me or not.
This is Sarah’s friend Emily, she is 5’1″, and as you can see…
…the Limited Leather Daily makes her look even tinier.
The Limited Leather Daily is a very good looking, very big, very well made, very versatile, and yes…very expensive bag. There’s really no way for me to help you make the decision on this one: you’ve either gotta have it, or you don’t.
The Crumpler Limited Leather Daily is available from Crumpler Europe; you can find them on other retail sites. If you want basically the same bag, but without the removable DSLR bag, you can get the amusingly named Ugly Divorce bag, but honestly – it’s the same price, so you might as well get the extra goodies. 😉
MSRP: £199 (approximately $400) – search around for less expensive retailers, though
What I Like: Extremely well made; gorgeous color combinations; holds a lot of stuff; included and removable DSLR and accessory bags; should last forever
What Needs Improvement: No top handle on the back of bag; no pocket on back side of bag; good luck finding it outside of Europe and the UK :-/