So far, we have bought two bags to keep our ever-growing mirrorless collection safe and sound from the elements – the National Geographic Earth Explorer Pouch for casual street photography, and the LowePro Event Messenger 150, for work assignments and more important outings or trips abroad. The latter is the subject of this review.
It was Mathieu’s decision to invest in the LowePro Event Messanger mainly because our beloved Olympus OM-D E-M5 has taken the Nikon D700’s place as his primary work camera. While he already owns a large camera bag, it is meant for DSLRs and long intimidating Nikkor lenses, not equipment from the Micro Four Thirds collection, so the decision to buy a new bag was a logical one.
The first thing I noticed about this bag was its compact and discreet appearance. It sits comfortably at your side, and does not bulge outwards, making it easy to walk and carry the bag at the same time. The design is also simple – it comes in a subtle grey colour with a dark grey stripe across the front. Like most messenger bags, it features a large flap which closes with Velcro. Interestingly, if you’re in a situation where you have to continuously open and close the flap in a hurry, or where you don’t want to make too much noise, you have the option of unfolding the Velcro hook and loop fasteners.
The bag contains a padded and adjustable divider system. As you can see from the photo below, we’ve divided our bag into three main compartments which are big enough to hold:
- One X-Pro1-sized camera with lens attached
- Two extra mirrorless cameras such as the x100s or OM-D E-M5 OR a pair of lenses
Note: The product description states that it can fit a DSLR with lens attached plus two-three additional lenses, but observing the bag with our mirrorless gear inside, I feel it would be a seriously tight squeeze.
The bag also has a lot of vertical space, meaning you can use the dividers to create two levels.
At the front, there is an additional zip-up pocket with three smaller pockets on the inside, which are useful for holding memory cards, pens, extra batteries. Note that if you fill the external pocket with accessories that are too bulky, the bag will not close properly. At the back, you’ll also find a hidden slot for your iPad. The iPad fits well with an Apple Smart Cover, but if you have a thicker cover/case, you could find the compartment too tiny.
Anyway, for its size, this bag really does fit a heck of a lot of equipment. It is also very easy to open and close quickly to grab your gear, which is the main reason Mathieu purchased it.
Holding the bag on your shoulder, it feels lightweight and comfortable. The sliding pad on the shoulder strap also provides extra comfort for those long days out shooting. The only drawback is that it isn’t waterproof. It seems to be able to resist a light shower, but any more than that could put your equipment in danger.
So, was the LowePro Event Messenger 150 a worthwhile investment? Definitely. While Mathieu has yet to test it out on his first assignment, our walks around the city have proven that it is the perfect bag for the mirrorless camera enthusiast.