Bag for life

With the market for fashionable camera bags on the up, Lucy Mowatt put one through its paces on a day out seeing the sights and sounds of Norwich

When I was tasked with the assignment of writing a camera bag review, I must confess that I wasn’t overwhelmed. The thought of hauling around a drab black rucksack seemed a little unexciting. But when Photography Monthly then told me that I’d be reviewing a Kelly Moore bag, all of that changed — who wouldn’t want to play around with a fashionable handbag that’s been specially designed for a camera?

The American retailer has so many designs and colours on its website that it was actually very difficult to pick just one. After a few moments of indecision, I eventually opted for the B-HOBO bag in a vibrant mustard yellow with burnished brass trim. It seemed to be the perfect choice for a spot of summer sightseeing.

When the huge box arrived, I felt like a child at Christmas. The colour and design matched the imagery on the website, so there was no disappointment when it arrived. In fact, all of the details were perfect; the stitching was neat and nicely finished, the magnet for closing the bag was hidden and, all in all, it looked worth the $169 price tag.

As well as the little strap for hooking over your elbow, the bag comes with a longer strap that can be worn across the body, which has a padded shoulder pad for comfort — handy when your bag has doubled in weight with a camera inside.

Simple But Effective

Inside, the clever camera compartment (described as a basket on the website) can be removed, and the dividers can be easily adjusted to fit most sizes of equipment, thanks to Velcro fastenings. It’s a very simple idea, but one that has largely been overlooked by camera bag manufacturers. The fact that this feature can also be entirely removed means you can use it as a standard handbag too — perfect for when you need to travel light. Thankfully, the B-HOBO has plenty of pockets, so I could keep possessions that might damage my camera in a separate space. The other advantage for me, as someone who regularly loses her car keys in the cavernous pit of her handbag, was that I could keep my keys in a specific place.

Putting it to the Test

And so, the real test — taking the B-HOBO out into the real world. Loading the camera into the bag was simple, popping it securely into the compartments, where it couldn’t move around. The padded walls of the camera compartment were surprisingly rigid too, so I was happy that the camera wouldn’t be crushed, in spite of the bag’s body being rather soft. It also felt secure when positioned across my body — no one could get to the camera without me knowing. I hadn’t realised how reassuring that would be in a tightly packed tourist spot.

However, knowing that the camera was secure and safe more than made up for the bag’s weight.

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