The perfect travel bag?

In the long list of subject matters I have a serious deficiency, fashion is one of them. I’m a terrible shopper. I endlessly hem and haw and then finally buy something that I may or may not ever wear (while making passerbys wonder if I only have 3 outfits because I keep repeating the same old stuff constantly). I’m old enough now to realize this isn’t a phase I’m going to grow out of – I will just never be good at dressing myself. For this reason and my personal pennypinchyness (yes, that is a word!), I tend to shy away from buying anything that I deem too expensive. Instead I browse endlessly to search for the perfect item and never find anything. Enter my current quest: the perfect travel purse.

It needs to hold my camera but I don’t want a fug padded camera bag that screams ‘I want you to think I’m on assignment but really I’m taking pictures of cats’. It also needs to be able to hold my airplane essentials like a book and some magazines without it being so large as to be seen from space. And finally it has to be something that I can comfortably carry around all day without being the purse equivalent of mom jeans. On a personal preference level, I much prefer a single strap bag that can put on my shoulder comfortably. You see how I paint myself into a corner?

So I’ve been going round the interwebs to compare and contrast but nothing has really won me over. The closest thing I’ve found is this Kelly Moore bag which looks cute but at $170 seems like a lot for a fake leather bag. Plus I’m not sure if I really want all that padding.



Another option is this Epiphane bag. Also pricey for a plastic bag but kind of cute. Im not crazy about the color options with this one but I could get the black.



So what do you think? Anyone have either of these bags and want to chime in? (I’ve read some online reviews which seem to be mostly positive).

Or maybe I shouldn’t bother with the slr specific bags and go for something more generic? I’ve never used a camera bag before – why start now?

Edited to add: It doesnt need to have inserts. Im open to having a regular non camera bag provided it was large enough and had some handy dandy pockets. The problem is that I can't seem to locate a nice bag that fits the stuff I need and isn't too cumbersome. Im very open to suggestions if you know of one.

74 comments:

  1. nicole10:57 AM

    I have the Jo Totes Rose and love it!  Very sturdy, roomy and padded! 

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  2. Love a good bag! these are great!

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  3. Mojito Maven11:04 AM

    I have the exact Kelly Moore bag you posted. I will say that I like it and it is pretty to look at, but it is extremely difficult to switch out lenses, etc while walking around shooting pictures. I think it's because the leather is rather stiff and not soft. Also, the flap makes it hard to flip back (and keep back), so maybe consider a bag that doesn't have a flap?

    That being said, this bag might be great for travel because it does a. hold a lot of lenses, b. have a zipper, c. doesn't look like a camera bag, and d. is fairly comfortable to carry around (make sure to get the shoulder pad). BUT, I have also heard great things  about the Epiphane bag, as well as the Shootsac bag by Jessica Claire.

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  4. Mojito Maven11:15 AM

    I should also add that the Kelly Moore really doesn't allow for a book, etc, especially if you are carrying your camera body + lens, plus more than one lens. If you're carrying only the camera body and a single lens, you could probably fit a book inside it. 

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  5. Nanette11:16 AM

    You might think this is crazy - but I bought a Coach baby bag in nylon and it is unbelievable.  I travel A LOT and have to carry a laptop, camera, reading material, underwear, make-up - you get the idea.  I can't stand it when the bag starts out heavy to begin with and once I add everything in and hoist it up, I look like a hunchback.  This bag saved me.  Seriously.  I love it.  I know it's pricey, but I carried the previous model for 6 years before it finally wore out, so cost per use was very low.
    new BABY BAG OP ART NYLON TOTE
    $298.00 style:16975

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  6. Marianne11:20 AM

    Here are some (very clunky, sorry) links to my favorites. I've been looking for one for my sister in law's birthday recently. I have no idea on function, but these are a bit cheaper than the options you've shown as my price range is a bit lower. I've been looking for something really unique but not fugly. Difficult! Can't wait to see what you finally decide on.

    Jill-e
    http://www.jill-e.com/index.html

    Stash
     http://www.etsy.com/shop/mariforssell?section_id=6953566

    Acme-Made
    http://www.acmemade.com/catalog/CAMERA-CASES,5.htm

    LittleAccessories (etsy seller)
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/74103478/dslr-camera-bag?ref=sr_gallery_10&ga_search_query=camera+bags+dslr&ga_page=4&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade

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  7. I have the red Epiphanie bag, and I love the way it looks. The interior compartments are a bit smaller than I'd hoped; the bag doesn't hold all of my camera equipment the way my bulky, ugly camera bag did. However, I get compliments on it all the time! 

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  8. I have the Jo Totes bag as well and I love it. Lots of room and customizable inside to allow room for my camera, accessories and personal stuff.

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  9. Catherine11:47 AM

    I have the Epiphanie bag (actually the red one you pictured), and I love it. And I particularly love it because I don't have to use it just as a camera bag. I got it just before I went to Atlanta for a weekend with my daughter, where we met my friend and her daughter. We had a lot planned that weekend, and I didn't want to lug a diaper bag and a camera bag (or even the camera in my diaper bag, which gets very heavy and very disorganized).  This was perfect. I used the middle compartment for diaper bag essentials and kept my camera and an extra lens on one side and my wallet on the other. It was a bit heavy, but that was the equipment - not the bag. Worked perfectly.

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  10. Katy M11:50 AM

     I have the same problem, this seems to be a definite hole in the market.  I even thought about trying to purchase the interior padded portions of a camera bag and fit them into a purse I like.  I hope you find something cute!  Til I do, I am stuck with an ugly Tamrac bag. 

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  11.  Have you shopped around to see if you like Jo Totes? I've also heard baby bags are perfect for carrying around cameras. I have a friend who picked up a cheap bag at Tj Maxx and used just old padding from old camera bags inside the bag for all of her equipment (I can't remember if she actually cut the liner to place the padding inside). She travels about 2 times a month internationally and she says it keeps things in place and well protected. 

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  12. Thepickygirlblog12:16 PM

    I have such a problem finding bags. I use a Hasselblad (from late 60s, beautiful camera) and don't want an ugly, bulky bag. I bought one a few years ago for a trip to Italy and haven't even taken the tags off. Ug -ly. But I was panicked. I finally found a Nine West diaper bag with pockets all the way around, and I added padding. Not ideal.

    I'm heading to NYC Thursday and had the same issue.  This time I bought an Elliot Lucca bag (from Marshall's), real leather, nice shoulder straps with body detachable strap and love it. May just use a shell for the camera and stuff it in there.

    So... this brings me to my main point. When are we going to start a business designing attractive, affordable, good quality bags??

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  13.  I have the Epiphanie bag in black and I really like it. I usually carry my camera, an extra lens and my speedlight, plus there is still plenty of room for a wallet and a other small essentials (you could probably also fit a small paperback--I usually stuff diapers and baby things). It's really easy to get in and out of, which I love. And I get compliments on it all the time. It's also comfortable to carry on the shoulder, though it gets a bit heavy with all my gear in there. I looked for a long time and finally picked this one and I'm pretty happy with. I know there are people on etsy who sell handmade fabric bags that are pretty cute and a lot less $.

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  14. I have a pretty small SLR case (it holds my camera, 1 lens and my speedlite if I'm lucky) as well as a bigger camera backpack for the long haul (and no, I wouldn't have bought the backpack -- doesn't it scream husband purchase? )  Anyway -- something like this one.  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/487241-REG/Domke_700_51B_F_5XA_Shoulder_and_Belt.html

    I'm planning on sticking it in a large purse when we go to Europe this summer.  Thought that might necessitate the seeing from space bit.  Hmm.  Am now off to google SLR bags.  Or maybe padding to put IN a bag.

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  15. My dad uses beer koozies for lenses.  I could see using those or something similar in a regular bag.  And my husband's Kata camera backpack has removable (via velcro) nylon-covered foam dividers for flexibility in the storage compartments.  Maybe make a foam insert for a bag you like?

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  16. Myssie12:30 PM

    I have a JoJo Tote and LOVE IT!!  

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  17. All my friends also like the Jo Tote mentioned by your other commenters:


    http://jototes.com/index.html

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  18. Alison Stewart1:31 PM

    Kate Spade is having a sample sale today - great large bags for a great price. Maybe you can find something there. :) 

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  19. OK, your post got me googling,  and there are DIYs all over the net on turning a purse into a camera bag.    Get one in real leather and line with foam, add dividers, voila. 

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  20. Bonbon283852:18 PM

    http://jototes.com/index.html

    These handbags are also camera bags

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  21. I am a portrait and wedding photographer and I have the Kelly Moore Hobo bag you have pictured above in the grey color.  I like this bag for personal outings where I want to take my camera but don't want to scream "I have expensive equipment!".  It carries the bare essentials I want plus my wallet.  You might be able to get a book in if you take out one of the padded dividers but a magazine I would say not. 

    The thing I do not like about this bag is the weight of it.  It's heavy completely empty so by the time you get all of your gear and personals in there it can weigh quite a bit.  It will definitely protect your gear and I like that you can use either the short strap to keep it tight under your arm or use the messenger strap to wear cross body.  It is a bit expensive...

    I have been looking at the Jo Totes Rose bag, I like that it has more padded inserts and the size seems good.  Might be my next bag buy.  :)  The price is better also. 

    If you want to ask me questions about the Kelly Moore bag feel free to email me at:  brenda@brendalandrum.net

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  22. Ryan Patterson3:51 PM

     There are plenty of camera bag inserts that can go into another bag that you like. Just get an insert that you like (~ $25) and take it shopping with you to find a bag that you like.

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  23. Colleen4:02 PM

    I had the same struggle when I was looking for a camera bag/purse. I looked at Epiphanie, Shootsak, Jill-e and a few others. Ultimately, I ended up getting the Jo Tote original tote in Red (which I see they no longer sell). I like my red Jo Tote because I can carry work papers with me, a laptop, book, etc as well as my camera, however it is big and boxy and therefore not appropriate for all situations in which I would like to have my camera. So, I bought the Kelly Moore hobo bag (in mustard) for a recenty trip to Africa  and it was GREAT. Small enough to carry around day to day, durable and functional. I saw that someone mentioned the material being too stiff, but mine is actually quite soft and flexible.

    As a carry on, however, I would agree that it, unfortunately, doesn't hold much beyond the essentials. I had my camera, an extra lens and a point and shoot in mine and outside of my wallet it was hard to squeeze extra items in. In hindsight, for a trip (and even for every day use) I would get the Kelly Moore "Libby" bag. It's cute, fits a lot of items outside of your camera and even though it is an investment at $249 I think it is a good quality bag.

    I hope that helps!

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  24.  You should look at Cape Cod leather (which embarrassingly I heard about through Bethenny Ever After)- all the bags are real leather and most of them are less than $170.

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  25. Jamieandjenb5:12 PM

    OK, take this for what it's worth (I say this because my normal, everyday, take it everywhere, purse is about the size of most people's overnight bags, so my opinion of what consitutes a "too large" bag would probably differ from yours....)  Here are a couple of bags that I would consider:  the Mini Puddle Jumper from LUG  www.luglife.com  Yes, not as "fashiony" (mmm hmm, that is too a word) as the other two you are considering, and yes, also maybe "fug padded"  :)  But they are very cute and come in lots of great colors.  Also, versatile as they are not  necessarily designed to be a camera bag.  Or Jo Totes http://jototes.com/.  Kinda plasticy/bowling bag looking, but I think very cute.

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  26. Elizabeth Johnston5:31 PM

     My current go to travel bag is this one: http://www.crescentmoonyoga.com/Item.asp?cid=1&scid=7&pid=60

    $129 Its a real leather Hobo, fits my Canon T2i with a DSLR wrap cover on it, iPad and Rick Steves if it has to on a plane. I empty it a bit more for walking around. It zips closed so I don't have to worry about fingers slipping in. It has a cell-phone pocket and I can use it as a yoga mat carrier at home.

    I really love cross body bags for travel as I can wear it and forget it a little more. I'm still looking for the perfect one.

    I was considering options from JCrew. Looks like I could slide the iPad in its own zippered pocket and have my camera in the main pouch. Detachable shoulder strap was a plus:
    http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Navigation/Women/PRD~29063/29063.jsp
    http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Navigation/Women/PRD~26082/26082.jsp

    Do let us know if you find the perfect bag.

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  27. Chelly Jones6:32 PM

    what about transforming a favorite non-camera bag into a camera bag. Or  buying a standard bag that you like and getting a camera case insert? This way you have the protection you need for dslr but still functional for magazines, passports, wallet, etc? Check out The Roma insert by Ona Bags. http://www.onabags.com/store/accessories/the-roma.html I purchased the mans camera bag for my husband and the quality is top notch so I'm sure the insert is just as good.   

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  28. Carol7:21 PM

    Here is something different and fun.  The Ellison Camera Bag at www.jeanneoliverdesigns.com. 

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  29. MrsLimestone8:07 PM

    That's a good idea but I don't have a bag (aside from somenon ideal cheapies) that would be large enough.

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  30. MrsLimestone8:10 PM

    I don't even need the insert - I just want to find a bag that will hold it all, look cute and be comfortable to carry. Can't find one.

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  31. MrsLimestone8:11 PM

    Oh no - heaviness is definitely a con. And if it doesn't fit much else then its out. Thanks for letting me know.

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  32. MrsLimestone8:12 PM

    I've seen these and while they are cute, the styles aren't for me.

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  33. MrsLimestone8:12 PM

    If I could find a bag that worked, that would be fine. I don't need the inserts. But what bag? That is the question!

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  34. I haven't read all the comments so I might be repeating things, and I can't remember exactly what gear you have but . . .

    I have been searching for a great travel bag as well.   I have similar requirements, I must be able to wear it cross body, it must zip up, I need to be able to fit my body (canon 5dm2) in with a lens on (at least a 24-70 f/2.8), another lens (maybe 2), batteries and charger (and converter as needed), memory cards etc, plus all my purse type stuff, wallet, sunglasses, iphone, keys, and carry on stuff, book, medicines, lotion, eye drops, glasses, passport, ipad, etc. 

    I have both the KM hobo that you mentioned, and the epiphanie belle, similar to the lola, you can see them both loaded with just my photography gear here.
    http://michelelouise.blogspot.com/2010/09/i-admit-it.html
    The KM hobo is a great around town 1, max 2 lens purse/camera bag combo.  WAY too small to function as a carry-on, and not big enough for me to use in a foreign country since I refuse to leave my fancy lenses alone on a bus or in a hotel room. 

    The epiphanie made a trip to Egypt with us last year, and it was my best option at the time.  Overall I was very happy with it.  It did most of what I needed it to do.  It didn't do two things however, 1) let me carry a laptop or ipad safely 2) I had to store my carry-on stuff on top of my camera gear, which was fine on the plane but a pain at other times.  It also has a rather large footprint which was awkward at times.

    I recently bought a new bag (I might have a bit of a problem), the KM libby.
    http://michelelouise.blogspot.com/2011/04/kelly-moore-libby.html
    For our trip next year to Thailand.  I really think it will be a much better fit for what I want in a carry on type bag.  There is room for the ipad, I can store carry on stuff down on the same level as my gear, it has a smaller, but taller shape to it.  I have been really happy with how my KM hobo has held up since I bought it last year so I expect the same from this. 

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  35. Jenireni39:31 PM

    I use a Tamrac backpack. Great all around travel camera bag. We've taken it all around the world and the best part is the hubby can carry it too and can hold the camera and swap out lenses. It's also red, and we figured that's good because IF anyone ever tried to grab it and run, we'd see them running. ha! :)

    The only issue is travel books fit on top but not magazines. they are a bit to big. So I carry those on the plane and then once at my destination, slide the magazines into the front pocket of my luggage....

    Good luck! :)

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  36. Jessica Brown9:54 PM

     How about a bag like this fossil backpack - http://www.fossil.com/en_US/shop/women/handbags/utility_bags/maddox_backpack-zb4518p.html?parent_category_rn=30005&departmentCategoryId=30000&N=0&Ns=p_wsc2|0||p_weight|0&pn=c&rec=17&imagePath=ZB4518311.

    Then you could have free hands.  I love not having to hold a purse on my shoulder....

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  37. Tonia9:59 PM

    It's not very fashionable but I love our Lowepro backpack.  It fits the SLR, an extra lens, flash, extra batteries and memory.  The one we have also has a padded compartment for a laptop or Ipad.  I use it for magazines too.  The top is large enough for my wallet, sunscreen, sunglasses etc.  A side pouch for bottled water.  The best part is that my husband and I can trade off carrying it so I'm not stuck lugging the camera the entire trip.  We may look like college kids but it certainly saves my back over carrying everything on one shoulder.  I also like the side entry which makes it so much easier to change out the lens.

    http://products.lowepro.com/product/Fastpack-250,2086,14.htm

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  38. Should check out this new brand Lo & Sons - www.loandsons.com! 

    And be sure to watch the cute product videos

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  39. Those are beautiful bags! I would suggest making sure that whatever bag you get has a crossbody strap though. There's nothing quite as effortless as not having to make sure the bag is staying on top of your shoulder, or having to hold it there with your hand, or trying to juggle coffee, magazines, carry-on and purse.  Nine West and J.Crew have some classic, beautiful bags that have the crossbody strap option.
    Whenever I travel, I always grab my bags that have a crossbody strap... there's just something I love about having my hands free, and the ones that have the option of doing both.. even better!! But I do love the red color of the Epiphane bag!!

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  40. I have the red epiphanie bag you posted and I. Love. It.  Truly, madly, deeply.  Yes, my husband knows and is ok with that =) 

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  41. I have the KM bag and love it.  That being said I rarely travel with it as my only carry on and am always with my boyfriend who is carrying a much larger camera bag.  I can say that I was surprised about the quality of the faux leather.  I think that the Jo Tote could be a good option.  I looked into inserts, but I was concerned about them moving around in a bag even in padding.  I am not a professional by any means but those are my two cents.

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  42.  Can I turn you onto "The Big Buddah" you can carry all, faux leather and it won't break the bank, more so I love the long handles I can just swing on or off.

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  43.  opps.... I'm so sorry I didn't realize you were looking for a camera bag....have you heard of Gola?

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  44. Megan Tsang2:50 AM

     The Kelly Moore bag that you show is great and sturdy.  However, I personally think it's a little big for everyday.  I have the Posey Bag which is smaller (and cuter).  It's perfect for travel, however the Posey Bag isn't made as well as the others.  The Posey Bag is the perfect combination of purse and camera bag.  

    I don't like the Epiphane Bags because they're kind of bulky.  

    Have you considered a normal purse and buying an insert such as...http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/camera-bag-insert/  

    I'm going to buy a similar, smaller version for my normal bags

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  45. Megan Tsang3:11 AM

     p.s. If you follow Kelly's blog, she often gives away discounts.  They're not big, but any discount is great, right??

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  46. Becky7:04 AM

    I just purchased a Jototes bag and love it! I actually bought an older style that they are not making this year on ebay for half the price new! My bag is a generation that supposedly did not pass inspection by Jototes but I can not tell any difference at all. Just an option to consider if you find a bag you like but aren't in love with the price!

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  47. MrsLimestone7:12 AM

    No, it doesn't have to be a camera bag. What is the big Buddha?

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  48. MrsLimestone7:13 AM

    I don't know why but I can't walk around comfortably with a heavy cross body. I feel like it whacks me as I walk. That's why the comfort on the shoulder is key for me.

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  49. Travelista10:33 AM

    I have two that I love: one is a padded insert that goes into any bag (see http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/camera-bag-insert/) and the other is my absolutely favorite (see http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/classic-leather-camera-bag/) 

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  50. Travelista10:34 AM

    It would help if I linked correctly!  http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/camera-bag-insert/
    http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/classic-leather-camera-bag/

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  51. Anittah Patrick2:16 PM

    I travel all the time for work and have to lug around various things such as laptops, running shoes, my Nikon D70 ... I really really like this with gold trim.  When I was hospitalized, it was my hospital bag. When I flew home with my cat for Turkey Day, it was my carry on (aside from my cat of course).  When I train all over the NE for work, it's with me.  http://www.loandsons.com/the-og Probably not your style -- it's a little bit quiet fashion-wise -- but it goes great with anything from jeans to a LBD because of its clean lines and understated style.

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  52. Derek Lo4:00 PM

    Thanks Anittah!

    The popular and amazing photographer Jamie Beck actually uses our Lo & Sons O.G. bag as her go-to camera bag! http://fromme-toyou.tumblr.com/post/5392575386/gpoyw-commuting-to-conde-nast-this-called-for-a

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  53.  I have a Kelly Moore and I love it. Perfect for traveling and day to day too!

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  54. Megan {Honey We're Home}7:08 PM

     That's a great idea to get a bag that can protect your camera.  That's part of the reason I don't take mine out of the house- I don't want to haul that bulky camera bag AND a purse.  I have the opposite problem shopping- I usually see too many things I like!

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  55. Little Edie8:56 PM

     You and I share the same kind of shopping paralysis.  I can buy [and have - twice] the first home I see, but I'll spend months trying to pick the right hand bag or boots, etc and then just never get anything.  I'm working on it.

    I can't speak to the camera bag, but girlfriend, dump the books when traveling and get yourself and e-reader immediately.  I did the whole indecision thing with that and mercifully my sister gave me a basic Kindle for a gift and I adore it.  I am never without it especially when traveling.

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  56. hschilpp9:08 PM

    I have the Kelly Moore Hobo in that Muted Teal color and I love it. The padding is easily removable, so don't worry about that. 

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  57. carinaK9:45 PM

    These are a new product line out of Canada (my home and native land!), that does camera bags -- not sure if you want the fake leather, but they look gorgeous (on-line at least).... http://www.lovetheit.com/

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  58. Rocio9:04 AM

    I really like the  Epiphane bag, but looking at their website I like the http://www.epiphaniebags.com/#/shopginger/ the ginger one better.  I am more of a messenger type of bag girl.  Shoulder bags fall off all the time.  Good luck in finding what you need.

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  59. michele4:47 PM

    I was having the same prob.  Dad decided I will carry the camera for our trip.  I found a vintage messenger bag on etsy, similar to the link below and made my own camera insert with cute fabric.  Divider is removeable and you can also purchase other dividers online if you don't want to diy.
    similar bag:   http://www.etsy.com/listing/74335166/catch-me-light-sky-blue-large-samsonite?ref=cat3_gallery_15
    camera insert: http://www.lilblueboo.com/2010/10/camera-bag-insert-tutorial.html

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  60.  Jo Totes! I want one so bad! I saw someone with one the other day with a camera, an ipad, & all of her regular purse stuff in it. Great colors, too!

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  61.  This might be out there, but have you thought about diaper bags?  There are a lot of pretty ones out there right now in either nylon or leather.  Marc JAcobs for nylon and Storksak for leather are some good options and they usually come with a lot of compartments/pockets inside.  I've been using a diaper bag as my camera bag recently and I'm loving the space and organization.

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  62.  The bags are great! i want one for my mom on her birthday as my birthday gift!

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  63. I just read all these responses and it looks like the market is in need of a good camera bag desinger :)  Anyway, I'm going out in left field with my idea- I just got a Longchamp hobo bag, its messenger style and its super light weight alone and durable for travel which I like.  I'm in the process of trying to figure out how to make an internal padded case for my camera to use inside in the bag.  I'm going to Sri Lanka in July and I need to be able to carry my camera and other stuff like you mention so I'm crossing my fingers this plan works. 
     
    Here is the bag (sorry for the long link) : http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306418049&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446369304&R=671194091022&P_name=Longchamp&N=4294912180+306418049&bmUID=j0cp2vF
     

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  64. A Spears7:36 PM

    I want this bag. I think it's super cute and it's padded.

    http://kettihandbags.com/collections/frontpage/products/backgammon

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  65. I have the Epiphanie Belle and love it. It does not feel plastic-y at all. I've had it for a year and I love it.  I am looking to get the Epiphanie Clover, because I want to carry my laptop.  The Epiphanie Belle carries more lenses than the Lola.

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  66. I recommend the Epiphanie Bag.  I think the Belle is a bit better than the Lola you have shown.  The Belle is a tad bigger. I've used mine for a year and it looks perfect. I travel with it all the time.  I'm actually looking at the Clover one now to fit my laptop in it.

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  67. The bags you chose are great! Have you seen Crystalyn Kae's bags? I love her bags {I would love to own one some day!} http://www.crystalynkae.com/ The Soiree bag is great, but drawstring... she might do custom work, also!

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  68. Christy Wood3:39 PM

    Sorry for the long post but here goes:
     
    Please, please update if you find one! I've been searching for this elusive creature for over a year!  I don't mind paying a little more for a well made bag but if it's over $100, I need more than just a pretty camera bag - I want to be able to use it for a purse too. And all the insert padding really adds to the weight of the bag & takes away from the flexibility for non-camera items (like travel guides). The other thing about these pretty camera bags is they're mostly aimed at pros - when I travel, all I carry during the day is my SLR with one lens attached & maybe one lens in the bag. I don't bring my flash or several lenses while traveling. There are some cute etsy options, like this one (http://www.etsy.com/shop/bankgrrl?ref=seller_info – guess she has a new site for Ketti handbags & it restocks on June 6th) that get great reviews, but most are fabric & I dont' think that will travel well enough to justify spending $100. Several people suggested backpacks but I did that once for a post-college trip & never again because it feels way more vulnerable – all your stuff is behind you plus when switching lenses you have to stop/take off backpack/set stuff down so you can get in backpack.  Just didn’t work for me.
    So I normally use a large purse, but they aren't up to the weight of my Nikon & the straps have started tearing/separating. 
    I just want a bag that 1) is big enough to hold my camera (no inserts or dividers); 2) has strap drops longer than 8 inches (because my arms are bigger than spaghetti noodles, esp. when in a jacket); 3) is of good quality (doesn't have to be python or exotic material, just decent materials & sturdy construction); 4) is stylish; 5) closes with a zipper (to discourage pickpockets); has comfortable straps (not braided or super skinny)
    For local travel, I don’t even bother padding my camera & just use the bag my other lens came in.  But for our vacation in the fall, I’m probably going to get either a skin for my camera like this one:
     
    http://www.adorama.com/ICDSPNKD7000.html
     
    Which will protect it in my bag & hide the brand name while using it.  Or a small case that I can drop in my purse, like this one:
     
    http://www.adorama.com/INKCFDC3.html
     
    And a padded bag or skin for my extra lens.  I’d rather do something like this that’s flexible, rather than try to put padded inserts in a bag.
    I’ve been putting purses that I think will fit the bill on an Amazon wishlist & plan to sort through & choose one this summer.  Some I’ve bookmarked include:
     
    http://www.ebags.com/product/latico-leathers/mimi-detailed-shoulderbag/154030?productid=10028578
     
    http://www.fossil.com/store/Fossil/en_US/shop/women/new_arrivals/handbags/vintage_re_issue_convertible_hobo-zb4621p.html?departmentCategoryId=30000&selectedsubcategoryid=212506&N=0&Va=23&Ns=p_ws0%7C0%7C%7Cp_weight%7C0&rec=18&pn=c&imagePath=ZB4621111
     
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/b-makowsky-belted-tote/3059120?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&P=1&pbo=6023790
     
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/62592867/gunmetal-grey-lambskin-shoulder-and
     
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/60133849/camel-lambskin-leather-shoulder-and
     
     
     
     

    ReplyDelete
  69. MrsLimestone10:24 PM

    Your wishlist is exactly what Im looking for.  I don't carry a lot of gear with me so I don't need to hold a ton of stuff.  And I want to be able to use it like a real purse when Im not carrying my camera.

    Thanks for the suggestions. Off to check them out now.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Christy Wood10:54 AM

    Thanks! I thought your criteria sounded similar to mine. Please let us know if you get a bag & how it works out. 
     

    ReplyDelete
  71. Jan Mullis10:18 AM

    It's not a glam bag, but I am So picky about a travel bag.  I recently got the Lowepro Passport sling, and I love it. I traveled with 83 of my middle school students to NYC (from GA) in May, and the bag was perfect for my DSLR, airplane stuff, and travel stuff. 

    I also have the Coach baby bag and it is great, but too big for all day travel IMO.

    ReplyDelete
  72. ToniaG12:47 AM

    Saw this today on Cup of Jo and it made me think of this post.  Not sure if you looked at these or not  http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2011/09/thursday-giveaway_15.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FbboSV+%28A+CUP+OF+JO%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

    ReplyDelete
  73. Easweetie1318:30 PM

    another great option is from JoTotes, I have one of them and love it, plus its half the price.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hmhque7:12 PM

    This is a neat idea to convert any purse to a camera bag with cushioning for your components. I thought of you when I first saw it on pinterest.
    http://vanillaandlace.blogspot.com/2011/01/diy-camera-pursebag.html

    ReplyDelete

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