As new parents and daily gear-haulers, my wife, Evelyn, and I know our way around bags, especially camera bags. With over 10 years of experience working, living and breathing photo-retail, we have seen them all. It’s rare when a new bag gets us excited, so we were pleasantly surprised when Kelly Moore did just that.
Big camera bags are never sexy. One of the reasons I love having a small mirrorless camera is that I can easily carry it with me, and I prefer using bags that don’t scream, “I am a photographer; ask me to take pictures!” The Kelly Moore Followell bag immediately caught my eye when it arrived with its classic styling that doesn’t overplay the vintage aesthetic. What immediately inspired confidence was the tough top faux-leather flap, which snaps firmly onto magnets on the bag’s outer lining. Too often they are a pain to get into or flop open too easily, and this was one of the few that feels both secure and accessible. The interior camera basket is removable, so you can use it for photo gear or as a day bag.
I’ve often found that many camera bags have large central chambers but never enough room for the small stuff you need. The Followell has several small pockets, perfect for cables, chargers and small tablets. While there are sleeves for business cards or credit cards, I do wish the bag had one or two larger slots for a screw-in filter or two. It’s a pain taking filters in and out of their cases. What I liked most about the Followell was that it hasn’t sacrificed functionality for looks like so many other vintage-style bags. My gear felt secure, and there was plenty of room for the necessary accessories. All in all, I was surprised and impressed by this bag, but I was curious what my wife would think of one of the women’s bags.
Here are her thoughts:
“The 2 Sues Bag was the first Kelly Moore bag that I had the chance to see. I knew immediately that I wanted one. This tall, soft, faux-leather purse-style bag looks absolutely nothing like a camera bag. The materials the bag is made with are extremely high-quality, I actually thought it was real leather until I read that these two bags were made with man-made materials. Both sides of the 2 Sues bag are stylish, giving it two possible fronts with a variety of zippers and pockets to store stuff, including an easy access pocket for credit cards, passports, memory cards, the works… There is substantial padding at the bottom to protect camera gear in a removable gear basket. Another small yet cool feature is the little magnets at the top of the bag. If you quickly grab something out of it and do not want to worry about zipping it up right away, the magnets in the seam stick together so people cannot see into the bag. The fabric is waterproof, and it is an all-around great bag.”
While the Kelly Moore camera-bag line may not have the endless options compared to other manufacturers, I think it speaks volumes that we were both able to find one that easily fits our needs. And let’s be honest: as photographers we care about aesthetics, so it’s great to find a camera-bag series that works well and looks damned good!