shh... just let me have a moment... sigh. i finally bought a kelly moore bag. the newest 2 sues bag in raspberry to be exact. i've been drooling over kelly's entire line of camera bags since january 2010. yes, i check her website almost as much as i blog stalk other photographers. i'm not ashamed to say that i know exactly what colors each bag comes in and wonder why some colors get switched out often. but i do know that this bag is not the last kelly moore bag i will own.
before going into detail about the pros and cons of the bag, i should let you know that this is the only camera bag i own. i do my own portrait photography, but i also shoot as a second photographer at weddings. i don't own as many lenses as a main wedding photographer usually does. here's a peek at what i do bring to a wedding (as a second photographer):
nikkor 18-105mm f3.5-5.5 dx
nikkor 50mm f1.8
nikkor 35mm f1.8 dx
nikkor 70-200mm f2.8
lens cleaning cloth
memory card reader (so the main photographer can upload my images)
candy (don't judge)
hair ties/bobby pins
camelbak water bottle (insulated)
so let's get into it. the 2 sues bag essentially has two fronts to it. the front side that i use has two deep magnetic flap pockets and two more shallow zippered pockets right behind it. the "back" side is just awesome. there is a flapped pocket that zips out to have one side as a card wallet with the other side dedicated to holding either compact flash cards or sdhc cards. under the same flap is another pocket. if you aren't sick of the pockets yet, there's another zippered pocket right behind all of this!
i love, love, love these pockets because it fits everything i listed in my accessories and others list minus the camelbak water bottle. i'm pretty notorious for losing my lens caps. these pockets are great for storing lens caps when you're switching out lenses.
i should let you know that i had originally ordered the classic bag because it had three dividers allowing for 4 interior compartments. i knew that with nikon gear, you can't really close the bag, which is a bummer, but i was ok with that. so when i was finally ready to order the classic, the 2 sues came out. uhh tough decision! i really needed several different compartments for the weddings, but i loved the 2 sues bag! the 2 sues bag is slightly narrower than the classic, but it's deeper and higher.
so i emailed kelly asking if they sold dividers separately. goodness. i could probably write a whole post dedicated to what great customer service kelly moore bag has!!! they immediately responded saying they would just include extra dividers for free and would change my order from a classic to 2 sues if i would like. heck yes!
the great thing about the 2 sues bag for nikon users is that the bag will allow you to have your 70-200 in the bag and zipped comfortably and still have the "slouch" look.
but it gets better! it can even hold the 70-200 with the hood out and still zip up!
and zipped up!
not shown in the above pictures was my camelbak water bottle. i have a metal one with an insulation sleeve. it gets its own compartment so that my gear doesn't get any moisture on it. my camera fits comfortably with a lens attached on the top of all my gear, and you guessed it. the bag will zip up.
while i'm out at a wedding, i don't like to zip up my bag so that my lenses are accessible, however, i don't like the thought of my equipment being so exposed to weather all the time. good news! right above the zipper are two hidden magnets. that way, your bag will close up when you're not using it. all you have to do is slip your hand inside to open your bag!
kelly moore forgot to send me my extra dividers, but they are graciously sending them to me without extra charge. again. amazing customer service. and i mean, they respond to your email within a minute. no joke.
unlike the classic bag, both walls of the bag (and long divider) have the soft velcro along it so you can move the dividers as you please. i really wish the classic had this option. if i end up buying the classic some day, i may just add my own velcro to the inside of it to add extra dividers.
***UPDATE*** two sources, one of them being kelly moore herself, informed me that the classic is lined with velcro panels, so should you wish to move those dividers around, have a go at it! ...of course, this only fuels my wishes for a classic bag...
since i don't have a laptop or ipad, i take the long divider out. this gives me more room for my lenses, flash and water bottle.
another great thing about this bag compared to the classic is the two shoulder straps. one to carry like a purse and the other as a messenger bag. i have some pretty bad back issues i'm working out. this is very conflicting when it comes to having to rush around on a wedding day carrying some heavy gear. however, i keep both these straps on so that when i need to pick up my bag quickly and set it down, i can use the shoulder strap. but if i'm walking around and need my gear on me, i can just use the longer messenger strap. both straps are removable.
did i mention that this bag is perfect for me because my husband can also rock the raspberry look? **christopher says it's not his color of choice...but it really is an awesome color. :D
yes, when i get tired of walking around with my bag, my amazingly sweet husband takes my bag without me even asking and puts it over his shoulder. sigh... what's sexier than christopher? christopher wearing my sexy kelly moore bag.
the color of this bag is just gorgeous. i don't know what you all are seeing on your computer, but on their website, the color is more like a muted raspberry. almost like a coral raspberry. but my bag is a very deep, rich raspberry. it's beautiful. i love it. the color pops, that's for sure.
one thing i don't like: i can only shorten the messenger strap so much before i can't use the shoulder pad. i'm a short person, and i wish i could shorten it more (and still use the shoulder pad). i know this is a pretty standard messenger strap length, but i just had to put it out there.
***UPDATE*** i've had a number of people suggest pulling the pad across the buckle or even switching the pad to the other side of the buckle. brilliant! thanks for the help!
and here's a quick summary of the pros and cons i've compiled. feel free to add to the list!
//bag zips with 70-200 with hood on
//messenger style strap allows for weight distribution
//shoulder strap makes the bag feel even lighter!
//no need for a wallet
//room for a laptop/ipad
//if you don't own a laptop or ipad, even more room for lenses!
//the color. o the color! it's very vibrant.
//AMAZING customer service. hands down.
//my husband can wear it.
//since i use this as my main bag, i would like it slightly wider.
//for traveling purposes, i would like to have a 2nd layer of padding to cover the lenses when i put my camera body on top and zip the bag close (like the libby bag).
//messenger shoulder strap sometimes too long.
//**this one is from my husband** it's not real leather
***UPDATE*** kelly also said that they are indeed working on a leather version. woot woot! it just may be a little more on the pricey side...
not only is the bag great for a second shooter, but i think a main wedding photographer, a hobbyist, or even a mom on the go would enjoy this bag. i will most likely use this as a day bag and carry my camera around with me more often.
seriously... longest. post. ever. if you've made it this far, you're a trooper. i just wanted you to have a detailed review of the 2 sues bag. leave a comment letting me know you made it all the way down here. :)