Published on October 15th, 2013 | by Greg0
Billingham L2: A Classic Shoulder Camera Bag
If you want to carry a ton of photography gear with you, then there are loads of options- backpacks, roller bags, each of them offering plenty of volume and divider space. But if you’re looking for something smaller, most of the bags you’ll run across are boring and black. We prefer both a bit of style, and a more rugged old-school design. If you want zippers and tablet room and lots of pockets, you should look elsewhere. But today’s item is perfect if you want to turn back the clock a bit- whether because you’re a hipster and want to take your vintage Leica out safely, or because you simply appreciate the appeal of details.
The Billingham L2 ‘Alice’ shoulder-strap camera bag sounds, looks, and feels British. It’s not just the name, but the khaki color, and the brass feet riveted to the bottom corners. Leather details complement the khaki and add to the overall effect of being ready to join Dr. Livingstone on a quest. It’s a soft bag, but with a fair bit of padding, and is the ideal size for someone who wants to take their DSLR with them along with a small lens or two. You can’t attach your monopod, for instance, and there aren’t water bottle pockets or any of that jazz. But there are velcro adjustable dividers, and they provide enough to create small areas to wrap and protect your flash and assorted accessories.
We really liked the materials and construction- it holds up well to wear and tear, though it will show stains and dirt easier than black of course. The leather fasteners are good enough for most light inclement weather, and the aforementioned brass feet and reinforced leather ensure that accidentally sitting your bag in a small puddle won’t ruin your equipment. The L2 offers enough security to be called weatherproof, and the seams and sewing were impeccable.
Available in a few other styles, including a darker canvas with nickel fittings, the Billingham L2 is a lovely bag that should hold up for ages. The only thing missing is a padded shoulder strap; available at an extra charge, it would be nice to have included one by default. It stands out from the crowd, and doesn’t scream “expensive camera” so much as it says “I care about my gear”. Find it online for around $220, a decent price for a bag made in the UK.