Published on May 15th, 2012 | by Kira0
Tenba Roadie II: A Bag to the Rescue
As a fashion photographer, I definitely recognize the need for a camera bag that is sturdy, portable, and doesn’t look like a camera bag. If you work with expensive gear and need to travel with it from time to time, you know exactly what I am talking about.
I often find myself traveling to several different locations on a shoot. I am that tiny girl on the train completely loaded up with gear bags. Just today the local shop girl told her dad how impressed she is by how strong I am. He took one look at my 5’2″ 95lb frame, and said I didn’t look it. My response was my standard one: I am a photographer, which is a nice way of saying a glorified pack mule. I have to be strong. That being said, I will jump at anything that will make the job easier!
The Tenba Roadie II Hybrid Roller/Backpack is precisely one of those items. It can carry a lot of gear. I was even able to fit a small light in the bag, with a camera body and a medium lens. There is room for a 17″ laptop in the front, and it can hold up to 400mm 2.8 or 500mm 4.0 lens. It even comes with its own multi-pocket wallet for CF or SD memory cards. For those in need of a little less space, we definitely recommend the light, comfortable Discovery Daypack that we reviewed a while ago. And they do offer a lot of other options as well, for those with other needs!
The real gem of this bag is how perfect it is for traveling. The dual ball bearing wheels, helpfully are user-changeable, seem to be pretty sturdy. And in a pinch, when you cannot use the wheels, the bag becomes a backpack. As to be expected, the loaded backpack can be on the heavier end. There is a front pocket for easy access for a phone or tickets or important documents. It’s the perfect size to be a carry on at the airport, which is very important, since us photographers hate the idea of parting with our gear. Finally, it does not look much like a camera bag. It just looks like a sleek piece of normal luggage for any normal traveler, making you inconspicuous, which is always a good thing while you is carrying around a lot of expensive equipment.
We love the dividers, flexible and removable, durable and well-padded. And the bottom of the bag is waterproof and held up well against some days on the road. The Tenba Roadie II Hybrid Roller/Backpack is on the higher end of the price range, at around $325, for a rolling camera bag, even for one that doubles as a backpack. However, as we all know, one pays for quality.