Wednesday, September 14, 2011

kelly moore bag review | 2 sues in raspberry

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):

nikon d90

nikkor 18-105mm f3.5-5.5 dx
nikkor 50mm f1.8
nikkor 35mm f1.8 dx
nikkor 70-200mm f2.8

nikon sb-900

sd cards
lens cleaning cloth
extra batteries
memory card reader (so the main photographer can upload my images)

tylenol/other meds
candy (don't judge)
hair ties/bobby pins
ID/credit cards
wedding schedule
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!

hood on:

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.

messenger style:

shoulder style:

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. :)



Trixieplum said...

Saw the link to your review on FB - And I couldn't agree more! It's a wonderful bag, and just what I needed for travel. It's big enough without being too much to cart around during the day, and I think I might even have enough room on the top to use it as my sole carry-on! As far as cons, I'm with you on the need for an extra long divider to cover the top (like with Libby) and the issue with the messenger bag shoulder pad preventing you from shortening the strap all the way. I'm taller, but sometimes I like to wear the messenger bag a little higher up on my hip, and the shoulder pad gets in the way a bit. O/w, I wouldn't change a thing - It's PERFECT :)

Zao Photography said...

I have the JuJu and the Classic but when I saw the 2Sues I just had to have it. Amazing review most!!! made me so much more excited to get the bag finally. It feels like this is exactly what I wanted all along.But one thing I wanted to say is the Classic does have the option to move your dividers in the Classic bag. It comes with three dividers (making it four "pocket areas") and I moved my down to three pockets. So just to let you know it does have that option to make the bag fit your gear and what you are wanting. Thank you again!

Kelly moore said...

Hey! Thanks for the great post! 2 quick things....the classic bag does come lined with Velcro panels so you can adjust the dividers....also, I'm pretty sure you could still use the shoulder pad even with the strap shortened. It's a tight squeeze, but wiggle it over the metal buckle thing, and you should be good to go!
Also, tell your hubby we are working on a leather version, but he will likely be thankful you purchased this one, because it will be over $300 :)
Best of luck!!

Veronica said...

Thank you for this awesome review. I have been deciding between the 2 Sues and the Classic as well. But I think I am sold. Ordering mine now. Appreciate the great pics as well. =)

Frau Haselmayer said...

WANT! WANT! WANT! It looks like the perfect camera bag I've been looking for years!

Justina V said...

Hey there, I'm selling my 2 Sues in Black:


Ale said...

what a great review! thanks!

Ale said...

what a great review! thanks!

Diana said...

HI. I am wondering how your 2 Sues is holding up after some usage. I didn't have luck with mine after less than two weeks of careful usage! Peeling from the fake leather at different spots. I thought it was just a fluke and Kelly Moore would replace it for me, but they recommended I exchange it for a more "durable" bag like their classic (no thanks too big and bulky!) or the Mimi (which is pretty but don't like the short handles!) I am soooo sad. I researched and obsessed over speding this kind of money for a camera "purse". I wondered if anyone else has had issue with the peeling. I literally have used mine for less than two weeks and very carefully and lovingly, I assure you. I loved this bag and bought it for an upcoming first ever trip to Europe. Would love to hear feedback on other choices from anyone. ... Thanks

Yen Minns said...

Hi Diana! I checked out my bag all over, and it hasn't started peeling anywhere. I didn't even think about this when I bought it. Thank you for letting us know! I'll try to do a follow up post on how my bag is holding up soon. Best wishes!

maye said...

yes Diana, i have the same problem, my Classic is peeling!!!!!!

Herzkram said...

Hey :)
Really nice review! I was looking for pictures for the 2 sues in raspberry. Luck, that I found your site. I was deciding between walnut and raspberry. And I really thought the color would be more "red" or "coral". So I think I find my choice of color: walnut :)
The 2 sues will be the perfect allround-bag.

Kind regards,

zebrakarma said...

Nice review, useful as I am thinking of getting this one. Tell me, where do you fit the water bottle, it's not clear from this and it's definitely something i will want to carry too.

Yen Minns said...

zebrakarma, I just put my insulated water bottle on the inside pocket in place of a flash or my camera. I keep the water bottle to one side of the bag. Usually, I'm carrying my camera with a lens attached at all times, so it frees up space for a water bottle. I just make sure that the water will NOT condensate. The last thing I want is to have water on my gear.

zebrakarma said...

That's brilliant advice, especially re condensation, thanks so much, think i will definitely get the bag now!

Anonymous said...

Hi yenn Ming, how is your 2sues now? As said, my classic was peelijjng within 2days, they change 2sues for me. N now my 2sues (mustard)are peeling like hell too, I m very very sad! Not even a year , n I swear I use it carefully n lovingly too. Diana, how your case now? Rgds. Maye

Anonymous said...

Sorry yen minns . I got your name typed wrongly. Rgds, Maye .

silvia said...

Ciao, Yen Minns!
Thank you so much, great review! I'd also like to order one 2 Sues, I'm just choosing the color. I like very much the Raspberry one, but from the posted pics I cannot understand its real nuance. So maybe you can help me: I'm afraid is too similar to the pink (that I really hate...), isn't it?
Thank you again and have a great day!

Yen Minns said...

My 2 Sues is holding up well; however, the straps are peeling a bit. I usually use the shorter strap. Where it hangs on my shoulder, the leather has started to crack. It's nothing major, but I wish it didn't have those cracking issues. Other than that, everything seems to be going well with it!

Bumble Bee T said...

Thanks for the detailed post and photos! I've also been trying to decide which bag, between 2 Sues and the Songbird. I like the slouchy look of this one. Thanks too for continuing to respond to questions about how your bag is holding up. My husband was also bummed about it not being leather. Is it still holding up? Or did the cracking get worse once it started? Other than the straps, how is the rest of the bag fairing? Thanks, Taryn.

HBell said...

Hi Yen
Just read your post on the 2sues bag, great and very informative. I've been looking, searching & obsessing over camera bags and my only concern was they weren't leather, are you still happy with yours ? Does it matter that it's not leather?
How has it held up?
Thanks Hayley