trip prep: the perfect camera bag

Right now I’m on the Eurostar traveling under the English Channel to Paris, where we’ll pick up a rental car and drive to Normandy. We’ll be visiting the D-Day beaches and Mont Saint-Michel. Hopefully we won’t have problems with toll roads or getting stuck in any roundabouts.

It’s no secret that I love taking photos, so photography is a big part of this trip. Of course, I want to experience the cities and places I’m visiting, but for me, the experience isn’t complete unless I am also photographing it. This means I’m always lugging around my big camera.

I bought my Canon Rebel used a few years ago. It came with some lens filters, a tripod, and a Tamrac camera bag. At first I tried to use that camera bag to protect it, but it wasn’t big enough. I couldn’t fit my wallet or some of those other essentials in there with it. For a long time, I would just stick my camera in my handbag because then I at least had it with me, but I worried about the lack of protection. Then I bought a daypack from Photojojo. I hoped that it would double as an everyday handbag. But that didn’t work either. Although it was bigger than the Tamrac, it still too small for my camera (and an additional lens) along with my wallet and other essentials. Plus it was bulky and it squeaked. Time for a new one.

The criteria for a new camera bag:

  • I wanted it to look like a real handbag – not camera equipment. For one thing, I didn’t want any potential thieves to notice I was carrying around expensive equipment, and more importantly, I wanted it to look cute.
  • It needed to comfortably hold my camera, an additional lens, and all the traveling essentials. For me, that includes my wallet, chapstick, medicine, a pen. notebook, my Kindle, Nintendo DS, and ideally a bottle of water or umbrella.

It doesn’t sound too difficult, right? But it was! I spent hours searching on Amazon and eBags and anywhere else my google search led me. I found lots and lots of bags, but none of them really met both criteria. They were either too small or cheaply made or boring black. Then I stumbled upon Kelly Moore bags. I knew I had found the perfect solution in the 2 Sues bag.


So I’m a little embarrassed to link to the site because then you will know how much money I spent. I have never spent anywhere near that money on a bag before. After I ordered it, part of me hoped that I would hate it so I could send it b ack and get a refund. But of course, I loved it.

Is it truly the perfect camera bag? For my needs, almost. I was hoping to use it as an everyday bag, but it’s a little too big for me to do that. I also noticed the built-in slots for credit cards and ID are a little too shallow (remember when my license fell out on the way to the airport?). But the bag is big enough for my wallet (so the slots aren’t really necessary) and all of my other essentials. Along with good shoes, it’s the one accessory I will wear every day of my trip. It’s comfortable and cute and well made, so I think it’s worth it.


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