Tenba Messenger Bag Review – by Dean Neistat

Dean Neistat
Dean Neistat was born and raised in CT. After he graduated from the University of South Carolina, he spent 7 years in the USAF flying the C-17. He completed his service in 2012 as a decorated Instructor Pilot with more than 500 combat hours and several deployments. He settled in NYC to pursue a career as a Stuntman, Actor and Photographer. He is represented by Polaris Images.

Tenba Messenger Bag

I’ve been looking for a proper messenger bag that comfortably and safely holds my DSLR and gear for a long time.  I’ve tried many but I think I found a winner with Tenba’s Small Messenger bag.

Tenba Messenger Bag

Tenba Messenger Bag

The build is impressive.  The 1000 Denier Nylon exterior feels and looks great. It’s the same material I trust to save my ass from road-rash if I ever crash my motorcycle.  I love the reinforced grab handle and the correctly sized zipper pulls.  The zippers are large and strong.  There’s no superfluous material to jam them and they make a great confidence-inducing rumble when you zip and unzip.  The hardware is strong, metal and practical.  The clips are easy to operate and sturdy.  The only thing I don’t like is the ‘ergonomic’ shoulder strap.  It’s uncomfortable in most normal carrying positions.

Tenba Messenger Bag

Tenba Messenger Bag

Tenba really though about functionality.  There’s a plethora of internal but easily accessible pockets as well as two zippered small pockets on the front flap and a large zippered document sleeve on the back side.  Inside, there’s a sleeve for a 15″ laptop and a large pocket insert that comfortably holds a body and 2 or 3 lenses.  Your gear is double protected by the lightly padded bag and the padded insert.  You can easily reconfigure the insert to suit your needs.  My favorite feature is the quick-access zipper that allows you to bypass the flap and reach directly into the bag to grab your camera in a hurry.

Tenba Messenger Bag

Tenba Messenger Bag

Tenba Messenger Bag

Tenba calls this the small messenger bag. That’s definitely misleading.  There’s nothing small about it.  It is the right size–the normal size for a messenger bag.  I can fit a stack of documents, a camera body, 2 lenses, a 15″ laptop, memory cards, batteries and assorted nick-nacks and still have room to stuff in a change of clothes for the gym.

Tenba Messenger Bag

I like this bag.  It fast became my everyday grab bag.  It’s too small for a scheduled shoot but for anything else, it’s golden.  I love the construction and function.  It’s not expensive and the variety of colors available (I went for burnt orange) make it a very attractive purchase.  My only gripe is with the shoulder strap.  I much prefer a standard non-ergonomic, NON-anti-slip shoulder strap that lets me to slide the bag wherever, whenever I want.  But, that is one small complaint about an otherwise solid bag.

Tenba Messenger Bag

Please support The Photo Brigade!


You're awesome and that's why we work hard to bring you quality content, gear reviews, and guides. If you're interested in purchasing any of the equipment or services mentioned in our posts, please use our links as we will receive a portion of the sale to help run the blog. You can also search for gear directly via Amazon, B&H, and Adorama.

Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and listen to our podcasts on iTunes!

Comments

comments