Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger Hothttp://cambags.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/65/6e/0c/5ab529a5ebdeee2caf2312423d91adb3_XL22.jpg
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I bought this bag as one in a series of unsuccessful purchases, and ended up returning this bag. I ended up keeping the Keen Alameda 15, also reviewed on this site. For the price this bag just did not bring enough to the table.
Outside this bag is very sharp and well built. The strap is solid with a nice pad and a quick adjust buckle. It has an odd hook shaped protrusion near the buckle that I presume is to attach something, though I couldn't determine what. There are tripod attaching straps on the bottom and reflective strips on the flap straps. Unfortunately there are no exterior pockets on this bag.
Opening the flap you find one main compartment and four zippered pockets.
In the pictures you'll see my hand in the "napoleon" side pocket (?) and three pieces of paper in the three horizontal pockets, the bottom of which has see thru plastic. The strange part is these pockets offer almost zero usable storage space. They don't expand whatsoever, so unless the gear is perfectly flat it will not fit in any of these four pockets. All four literally share the same "room" on the outer panel too so putting something in one would limit what could be squeezed into another. Very poor design.
Conversely, the main compartment is pretty well thought out. It is roomy (not as roomy as the Keen) and contains a laptop divider and a removable padded, divided camera "case." It's unclear on their website, but this case has its own zippered flap that CAN be zip'd closed while in the bag. OR, you can unzip, tuck the lid behind by the laptop sleeve and slide a velcro lip over the front to secure the case in the bag. Being able to zip the case closed while in the bag is nice for keeping your gear where it belongs, especially when they bag is laying on its side (in an overhead on a plane). The dividers are usable and well placed, though you only get 4 so your options are limited.
My D90 with battery grip technically fit in the bag, but it made the entire bag bulge outward. Removing the grip it fit pretty well, if not too snugly. The tripod fit standing straight up, which was nice.
Of note, I would NOT carry my laptop in this bag without at least a neoprene case of its own. The back panel is not padded, nor is the divider between the laptop sleeve and the main compartment.
The tripod straps are cool, but the more I thought about it, this bag was intended to be discrete and not look like a camera bag in the first place. Hence the "snoop" moniker. So why would I want to strap my tripod to the outside of the bag anyway- that would blow my cover!
In the photos you will see my D90 without the battery grip, then with the grip. Note the bulge.
You will also see a comparison side view of the bottoms of the snoop and the Keen Alameda 15. Note the nearly 2 more inches of depth.
Overall I applaud Timbuk2 for the idea, and for several of the features. However, this bag is just not quite ready for photo enthusiasts- and definitely not for what it costs.
Equipment list in bag
pros and cons
View all my reviews (58)
I decided to get myself a new camera bag for Christmas. I was finding that carrying a separate camera bag with my daily work stuff was getting old fast, especially when I ride my bike to work.
timbuk2 snoop camera messenger. Front of bag
I was retrofitting my old Domke F-5XC (you can see my review one this site) into my Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger with my MacBook Pro and its accessories for a while. The only problem was it was getting quite larger and heavy. It did not have a problem carrying the gear, but it does have a distinct "Military" feel to it.
I started again with the criteria of not wanting a camera bag looking bag, and had to be able to carry my laptop or iPad when needed. I narrowed my search down to 3 different bags, and 2 different companies. One was Timbuk2 and the other was Maxpedition.
Maxpedition has a messenger bag that is quite simply GIANT. For those interested, it is the Larkspur messenger bag. It's so giant that i could fit my iPad and a camera body, in the same side pocket. Not the main compartment, but a side pocket, together. It also is just that a giant bag were you'd need to spend a lot more money to customize it to your needs (Inserts and etc)
Again the bag had a distinct military feel to it, and it was around the same price as the bag that I eventually picked which was the Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger bag.
The Timbuk2 bag is essentially one of there already good messenger bags but offers a camera insert that is removable. I like to call it the camera bucket, which can be customized to your liking. According to Timbuk2, the medium bag can fit a 15" laptop and 2 camera bodies with lenses. The small can fit 1 camera body and lenses with a 13" laptop.
timbuk2 snoop camera messenger. Canon EOS 40D. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM . Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. Canon EF 100mm F/2.8 USM Macro Lens. Canon 430EX Speedlite flash. Extra CF Cards. Extra battery for 40D. Pens MacBook Pro and sometimes a iPad. MacBook Pro Charger .iPhone and iPad chargers
It has a handle and can be zipped up and removed when you do not need it. It offers versatility that other bags do not. The Snoop also has Tripod attachments under the bag included and has other nice features that were thought of by the designers of the bag. The corners of the bag can be velcro'ed to keep the elements out, the cam buckle that can released so you can get the bag off of you if you have a helmet on, or a hat, or the cam buckle can not be used at all if you need that much extra length. It also has a extra stabilization strap to keep the bag from moving while on bike or walking. It also features a Napoleon side entry pocket allows for one-handed access to key items without opening the messenger flap.
The bag consists of ballistic nylon, and has a waterproof liner to keep the inside waterproof, and I feel is very well constructed. I am slated to take a few trips this year and will be able to test its durability.