In Search Of a Good Camera Bag

When I was younger, I learned the hard way not to buy cheap hand bags. I bought a bunch of these (including illegitimate knockoffs sold to me in a backroom somewhere in Chinatown — which I will never again do for so many reasons!) and they would never last.

Lo & Sons The Claremont bag that I'm parting ways with
Lo & Sons "The Claremont" bag that I'm parting ways with

Now that I'm older and (so I hope) somewhat wiser, I invest in handbags that will last me a while and put up with abuse. I take the subway almost every day of the week so bags I wear can't just look pretty but they really have to function, especially under stress. A bag I carry should be able to get bumped into by a hobo and brush it off! Not only that, it should be able to fit all the junk I need in a day (wallet, digital devices, makeup, etc).

Because of this need for high performance, I exclusively buy leather. I know not everyone is a fan of animal skin but it lasts for years if well taken care of which is important to me. There's so much fast fashion that's basically disposable clothing and that feels a bit wasteful to me. You could have a really productive debate about the issue but ultimately, I go with leather (or sometimes canvas).

As a Leo, I'm somewhat vain so on top of high performance, I also want a bag that looks good. I don't care about labels as long as it is aesthetically pleasing and functional. Well, scratch that, I don't care about labels unless the label is Chanel. Their classic handbags are beautiful and timeless while their special collections can be incredibly innovative and whimsical. Right now they have one that looks like a rocket ship! Last season they had one that looked like a robot! If I wanted to irresponsibly spend our down-payment fund, I'd have a field day buying ridiculously small (but adorable!) handbags at the Chanel store.

But, back on topic, I'm in search of a functional and beautiful leather camera bag which is surprisingly difficult to find! When most people think camera bag, they think of something big and bulky that screams "I have expensive equipment inside me!" That's not really what I'm looking for. I'm looking for something that looks like a regular purse but has enough padding and/or compartments to store a camera so I can carry around my Canon Digital SLR with a larger lens attached without drawing too much attention to myself. And also, I think this would motivate me to take more photos when I'm out and about.

I thought I had found something good in The Claremont from Lo & Sons but it's not quite the size I need — it's a touch too small for me so I'm selling it for less than retail price.

Because I'm analytical by nature, I'll probably post about all the various options I find (like I did for
work-related bags) but it's slow going at the moment so that might take a while.

Much like my dedication to buying good wireless ear buds, the search continues.