Case Logic sent us a Reflexion DSLR +iPad Cross-body bag for review. After spending some time with it, here are my thoughts.
The bag is very well built with beefy zippers and solid stitching. It appears Case Logic has gone to the effort of making a high quality bag. It has those little extras that take a product from being so-so to surprisingly nice. It has a ton of small pockets and holds a surprising amount of equipment, especially considering it’s size. I like the looks of it and the bag feels like it’ll protect my gear sufficiently. There are a couple things that annoyed me or I felt it was missing (see below), but overall a nice bag for $67 (BH Photo). It comes in three colors, a grey, brown/tan and pomegranate (pink/purple).
What Can it Hold
When considering a new camera bag (and I’m a sucker for camera bags), the first question I always have is, how much can it hold? I generally have an idea about what I want to carry around on a trip and need something to carry it. I filled the bag with a few gear variations to give you an idea of size.
Canon 5D Mark II, 70-200 f/2.8 IS + lens hood reversed, 24-70 f/2.8 + lens hood reversed, iPad 1
It’s a reasonably tight fit but it works. The lens hoods have to be reversed and the 24-70 needs to be attached to the camera for this to work, but everything fits and zipper closes just fine. I feel this is the max fill of the bag. There is still plenty of room in the front pocket for odds and ends like a wallet, passport, money, memory cards, phone, charger, battery etc. I didn’t bother adding all these items as they don’t take up much room and wouldn’t prove anything adding them. It’s the big items we have problems with, not the small ones. The iPad in the photo is the original ipad, so certainly the largest one. I really like that there was no velcro on the iPad compartment. When I stuck my hand in the iPad pocket I was expecting a Velcro closure for some reason, a Velcro that would annoy me and scratch my hand every time I reached in. None to be found, thanks Case Logic.
Canon 5D Mark II, 2 strobes, 24-70 f/2.8, iPad 1
Here’s another variation with two strobes. I tried with three but it wouldn’t fit. There is a room for half a strobe more – so perhaps some strobe batteries could fit if you wanted or a couple pocket wizards. Pocket wizards also fit nicely in the front pocket.
Canon 5D Mark II, 70-200 f/2.8 IS
I wanted to test if the 70-200 would fit in the bag attached to the camera. The only way I could make it work was if it was laying down, bag insert taken out. This works fine but it’s a bit of a waste of space.
Bag Insert: 70-200 f/2.8 IS, 24-70 f/2.8
Here’s an example of how large the bag insert is. There is a nice divider that can be bend to the side or kept between the lenses. I couldn’t fit both lenses in the bag with the lens hoods on. If you want that, you’ll need to store one lens out of the bag like in the first example.
The Front Pocket
Here’s a shot of the front pocket from the Case Logic website. It’s quite roomy and space doesn’t get stolen from it if you fill the main compartment.
What I Don’t Like
Ok, here’s what I don’t like. There is a metal bar around the top opening. This is also something I do like (as you’ll see later on), but it creates a real problem for anything you put in the side ‘water bottle’ pockets. As far as I’m concerned, those stretchy side pockets are simply unusable except perhaps for storing the included lens cleanign cloth. The metal bar on the top get’s in the way of the side pocket opening and can’t be pushed out of the way for access. You can squish a water bottle down there but it is always being pushed crooked by the bars.
I miss a little clip inside the front pocket to attach my keys. Most backpack and other bags I’ve purchased recently have a little clip to attach things, such as keys. As I see this as a type of day bag, a key clip seems like it would make sense.
Lastly, I think a thin pocket on the back of the bag would make a lot of sense. I can see myself using this bag a lot while traveling. If I were carrying my passport, a spare credit card or extra cash, it would be nice to keep it in a pocket which is less accessible to pick pockets. A thin pocket on the back of the bag would be perfect as it would be against my body while carrying it.
What I Like
There’s a lot I like about this bag. The strap is very wide (read comfortable) with a large cushy pad. The opening of the bag is very unrestricted and opens wide thanks to the wire frame. Even though the wire frame was a negative point for getting in the way of the water bottle pocket, it is also a positive point for providing better access to the main compartment. Shoulder bags always seem to have the problem of closing while you try to dig around in them. This bag has solved that problem with the wire frame and side attached shoulder strap. I like the style of this bag and it certainly doesn’t scream photographer. The material of the bag is thick and the stitching seems very solid. The zippers seem beefy and aren’t going to split. Overall a well made back and gives a good impression.
To Buy or Not
So would I tell a friend to get this bag? Sure. It’s a nice bag and if it fits the size you need it seems like fair price at $67 (Get it at BH Photo). There is also a larger option for $89 or a backpack in the same style for $99. The negative points I have were fairly picky and nothing that would really turn me against choosing this bag.
Have you tried this bag? What are your thoughts?