Please Meet The Family

Please Meet The Family

The Tenba Messenger DNA family. Here are four of them posing for you…

To start with, I have no idea what the DNA part of the names actually refers to. Not biochemistry, I daresay, but there will be some salesman’s explanation for the acronym. Whatever it is, disregard it – the real indicators are the numbers. The smaller bag is the DNA 8, and they go up in size to the DNA 15.

The maker’s advertisement tries to say that these are bags that can carry expensive equipment without advertising its presence. I think that is a long one, as they are very nice looking camera bags…and when did you last see someone carrying a good-looking camera bag that didn’t have expensive equipment in it? People might add their mobile phones, tablets, and purses to them as well. Don’t fool yourselves that the bag snatchers think it is full of tins of condemned salmon…

But past this advertiser’s spiel, the bags are really nice looking, and really well-constructed. They all feature tough nylon cloth on the outside and soft padding on the inside. The bottoms are sealed against wicking up moisture. The flaps are velcro’d and locked with magnetic catches. the zips are protected from the weather. And you can dive into the bag through the top without having to raise the flap.








The first – the olive DNA 8 – is the small mirror-less size that will accommodate a body and two lenses – or a flash if you prefer to do your shooting that way. You can stack an iPad mini in there as well as the various cards, papers, cleaners, etc. that make up a travellers bag. The shoulder strap is tough, yet silky smooth. Your neck will thank you.








The second – the brick DNA 11 – has more volume and more lens compartments. If you find the 8 too small, consider this for overseas trips. It will accommodate a mirror-less with 3-5 lenses or a DSLR with 2 lenses. The internal rectangular bucket is removable, so you can use the bare bag for those tins of condemned salmon. It will hold an iPad.

The third – the blue DNA 11  – will hold a larger device – perhaps a small laptop, as well as more space for bigger lenses. Is this going to get heavy? Well if it is, it is going to be the weight of the actual gear rather than that of an over-built bag. Unlike some of the leather bags on the market that are as heavy as the animals that were skinned to make them…the Tenba construction has all the strength and none of the weight. There is also, we hasten to add, a special strap that you rig up when you are riding a bicycle to prevent the bag from sliding round from your back to your front.








The final one – the grey DNA 15 – is the biggest of the lot, and will accommodate a 15″ laptop as well as more camera equipment than you could pay for with someone else’s credit card…When you are carrying weight like this the top-mounted handle is a blessing, and if you are inching your way forward in the economy-class  check-in line, you can sling the thing over the handles of your roller baggage to take some weight off your feet.

You can watch the ultra-business-premium class passengers stroll straight through and gnash your teeth at them.

The flaps for all of these are held by two velcro landing pads – but the velcro is directional. You can undo the flap with much less noise than usual by gripping the flap and pulling it down off the little sticky hooks.

Final security for the flap is via nylon straps that have a magnetic button catch. You just pop the strop on the button and it sticks. You slide it sideways to open it up. Very civilised.

Note: The pictures of the front of the bags are all to scale.

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