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  • Writer's pictureGareth Partington

Tenba Messenger DNA 13 bag review

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

I had been looking for a messenger style bag to carry my Fuji camera around in and had spent some time debating over this and that. It ended up coming down to two bags the Peak Design Everyday messenger or the Tenba Messenger DNA 13

I had looked at reviews of both bags and looked at the cost. The bag was going to be primarily used as a day bag for taking to work and ensuring I carried a camera round with me, something which I wasn’t currently doing.

I found a great deal on camera world and took the plunge to buy the Tenba.


So how does it fair I hear you ask?

When I first got the bag I was blown away by the quality of it, the stitching and material just ooze high quality and the closing mechanism with its magnetic buckles and quick access zip on the top are just fantastic designs. This is something I have come to use loads and been able to quickly unzip the top to grab the camera, in one smooth motion ensures you don’t miss any shots.

Within the bag there are loads of pockets and compartments to store batteries or accessories and you can carry a lap top as well. I don’t have a laptop preferring to work on my desktop but I’m sure when I do invest in one it will sit in this bag. Instead I use these sections to keep a sketch book and tablet for writing ideas down. The organisation of the pockets inside seems really intuitive and grabbing items from different locations is a breeze.

The bag is comfortable to wear, but and this is my biggest issue with it, and I think it will come of any messenger style bag. When its fully loaded up, it doesn’t half feel like it. You can certainly feel the weight just on the one shoulder. The strap has a nice bit of padding but I don’t feel it is enough for a slim build like myself and is something I’m going to see if I can add to it. The actual strap looks like it is made of the same stuff as your car seat belt and is tough as nails. The clips by which it attaches to the bag are big and sturdy looking like they could take some weight through them.

If the bag isn’t over loaded with kit, it feels very nice upon your back and my first hesitation was “Is this too big?” but once you are wearing it it feels the perfect size for everyday use. You can even fit your sandwiches in, which is a must for me if out for long day.

tenba bag

Another benefit is, it does not look like a camera bag and does not scream look I have an expensive camera in here. It is smart enough to use at work or the office and practical enough to take with you to a wedding shoot.

The silent Velcro is just an ingenious idea and it takes a few goes to perfect the opening but it can be done, I can see this been a real benefit when the sound of opening bags would be frowned upon i.e. a wedding ceremony.

I am yet to use it on my bike but it does come with a strap to secure the bag across your body when cycling and a pull over rain cover which is silver to make you more visible to traffic. Again just a great idea that I didn’t think of, I was surprised when I discovered it.

I usually carry my camera kit around in a camera rucksack, so this has taken a little adjusting to get use to, but I think if you are you considering the bag you won’t regret it.

I can highly recommend the Tenba as a cheaper alternative to the Everyday Messenger Bag. It doesn’t quite have the same kudos amongst other photographers but at half the price it seems like a real steal to me. I will definitely be considering Tenba for future purchases and camera world dispatched it so quickly.

Let me know how you get on if you have one of these or any tips to improve the function of this great bag.

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