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The Bowery – Camera Bag from ONA

I have a little problem. I can’t seem to find just the right camera bag to fit my needs. Big enough to stash keys, cell phone, Logan’s epi-pen and a couple other necessities (plus camera), but small enough that I don’t feel like I’m juggling a piece of luggage.

I’ve tried several different bags and all of them end up feeling way too big to be carrying around once I’ve removed the camera for use. And I don’t feel like it is exactly safe to make a habit of stashing my camera in my unpadded purse.

Enter The Bowery from ONA, purvyor of fine hand-crafted camera bags and accessories. It is a small bag, but not so small that you can only carry a camera. It is fully padded. Constructed out of water-resistant waxed canvas. Can be worn on the shoulder or cross body with the adjustable strap. Has pockets.

I tested The Bowery Bagout first on my recent trip to Napa, which I knew would be a “camera heavy” kind of trip (how could you not bring a camera when there is great food, olive oil tasting at a vineyard and hot air ballooning involved?) Then I used it again on a recent trip up the mountain for the day of fun with the kids. I was able to stash the following in this 10.5″L X 7″H X 4″D bag:

How to Pack The Bowery Camera Bag

The sunglasses easily fit in one of the side pockets when not in use. My phone fit in the opposite side pocket.

Inside the large section is a removable velcro padded divider. I removed that and placed my camera with lens attached in the main pocket. The strap was folded and tucked underneath. Next to that was the epi-pen. On the side of the camera fit my wallet.

Car keys clipped to the bag’s strap. Lipstick, gloss, and sunscreen fit in one of the two small inside pockets.

iPhone not pictured – had to use that to snap the pic!

Pretty cool, huh? That’s quite a lot to fit in a bag described as “small,” but do you really need much else when out and about for the day or even a short weekend trip? You could easily fit a whole lot more if you had a smaller lens, such as the 50mm f/1.4.

It gets better. If you do need a bigger bag, you can remove the strap from the Bowery, fold the lid back and slip it inside a larger bag to use as an organizer (and padded protection) for your camera.

I can see that I’ll be getting a lot of use out of my Bowery. It is an all around great daily camera bag! I’d be ok if it were just slightly bigger, but for now this camera bag is the best I’ve found to suit my needs for a compact bag to use on day outings and short trips. Way to go, ONA!

ONA sent me a bag for review, but experiences and opinions shared here are my genuine thoughts.

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Friday 15th of March 2013

I just ordered this bag and I was so glad to see your review showing the bag full with the description of what you put inside it. Most of the photos I found of the Bowery online showed it with a Leica. I wanted to make sure that my DSLR could fit and was happy to see that yours did, with lens! Thanks!

Ana Maria Villanueva-Lykes

Wednesday 5th of December 2012

Am wanting this for Christmas from Santa, but was a little hesitant because I didn't know if my dslr would fit with the lens attached. ONA's site didn't specify if the dividers are detachable. Your review helped me make my decision. I'm excited! Thank you!


Wednesday 8th of August 2012

I adore my ONA bag. I have a backpack bag, though, for travel. I would love to have another for just day trips and running around, too.


Wednesday 1st of August 2012

This bag looks awesome! Thanks for the great review. There are so many cute camera bags out there, but so many of them aren't really as functional as they are pretty. I look forward to checking ONA out.

Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

Wednesday 1st of August 2012

You know from our conversation back at IACP that I struggle with the same camera bag issues you do - I feel like Goldilocks most days looking for the one that's just right, while the tried-and-discarded bags pile up in my closet! I'll take a look at ONA's stuff and see if my perfect bag is hiding in plain sight.