Insulates cameras and electronics from extreme heat and cold
Structured boxy design with flex
Sewn cap closure keeps out dust
Great for use as a cooler, tool case, art supplies or fishing tackle
Flat exterior side pockets to slip in a lens cap
Open interior lets you maximize space
Can fit big camera bodies like the Nikon D3 with room for extra lenses
No breakable parts, e.g. zippers, snaps, buttons, etc.
Dimensions (approximate size):
Exterior: 10” W x 7 ½” H x 7 ¼” D
Interior: 9 ¾” W x 7 ¼” H x 7” D
Exterior: 14” W x 10” H x 7” D
Interior: 13 ¾” W x 9 ¾” H x 6 ¾” D
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit”
My hot wife and I travel a lot, but when we go on long trips her job is to pack everything: her clothes, the kids’ clothes, even my clothes. My job is to lug it all around. I carry all the luggage out to the car, load it, unload it at the airport, carry it to the check-in counter, pick it up from the airport, load it in or on the rental car, unload it from the rental car, and take it up to the rooms. That’s the hard part, right? So, when she’s packing or we’re leaving a place, she used to complain when she’d catch me playing Scrabble online or just kind of goofing off, and then I’d complain she didn’t help load or unload. We’d have this fight all the time until one day we both realized it’s just easier if we do our own things and leave the other person alone. Every time, though, the gadget bag is what I pack things in. The cameras, lenses, chargers, cables, extra batteries, all of our gadgets, computers and charge the iPads. That’s my responsibility when we travel in different places around the world. It works great. (By the way, now we’re so used to our arrangement that we can pack a 4-5 week trip the night before. Practice makes everything easier.)
Bags in Action
Customer Pics & Reviews
Customer Reviews 3 reviews
66.6667% of reviewers recommended this
Fits perfect in between the grips....holds more than thought....mounted it with the straps that are now discontinued but no biggie easy anyway to mount.....gives her freedom of not having to hold stuff....and makes an outing enjoyable....got a black one to match the chair because she said it would look more 'stricking'.......now I have 2 which is a good thing...very happy
Nice little bag for a Micro Four Thirds system!
What a nice and simple little bag! I purchased the Small size via the Dave's Deals page and I'm so glad I found it there since this particular size has been discontinued. As of writing this review, there's still one more bag available in this size in the Dave's Deals section in case you want to pull the trigger.
I got the Dark Coffee Brown version because I just love that deep brown color! It goes well with just about any type of clothes, from business attire all the way down to flip flops and Hawaii shirts. Really, you can't go wrong with any of the colors available from SBL, but I find that this particular color is easier to "dress up" and match with virtually any colors. The Chestnut is pretty awesome too, the Tobacco Brown is more casual/adventurous, and black is of course always a safe and stylish bet.
To make the choice of color even more interesting, it's worth pointing out that the leather actually feels distinctively different to the touch depending on your choice of color. The Tobacco Brown color has a softer feel to it, while the DCB almost feels plasticky in comparison. However, don't let the first impression fool you: that plasticky feeling is only there when the leather is brand new. As you start to use your leather item and bend/twist it (either naturally through years of use, or deliberately to speed up the aging process!), it starts to develop a lovely patina and get the kind of wrinkles most people expect to see on leather products because they so often come already broken in and softened for you. Not so with SBL.
This is part of the beauty of it: you get full grain leather, the thickest you can imagine, but it ships completely without any sort of pre-aging process -- it's your job to work with the leather to break it in, or keep it just the way it is if that's what you prefer! On my particular Dave's deal, the bag was actually a little worn in already so it had some nice wrinkles, especially on one of the sides. That's totally fine with me as I expect the entire bag to look like that after it gets some more use -- in fact, I'll probably work with it to achieve that look sooner rather than later. This highlights one of the things I really love about SBL: their products just get more beautiful the more you use them!
I own a M43 camera system so the Medium sized Gadget Bag would have been overkill and would probably result in me leaving it at home more often than not. If you own a traditional SLR system, the Medium size makes a lot more sense as the Small size basically only fits the camera with one lens attached. For the M43 system, however, this Small size is a perfectly reasonable option. It certainly won't fit my entire system, but it's perfect for those days when I only need the camera and a couple of extra lenses. With that kind of load, the total weight with three lenses wasn't something I even noticed after a full day of walking around. The shoulder pad is nice and very comfortable, making carrying this bag a breeze. However, one thing I discovered was that the weight listed on SBL's website (430 grams) is without the shoulder strap -- with the strap included, the bag weighs a hair under 800 grams according to my kitchen scale. But despite the incorrect weight specification on the website, the bag is very far from heavy, and its small size means you're unlikely to ever fill it with more than a kilo of net equipment weight anyway.
There are no dividers or padding included in this camera bag, so you'll have to come up with your own solution depending on what you need and how much protection you want. The full grain leather coupled with the inside pigskin makes a pretty thick and sturdy case, so unless you're really careless with the bag, you probably don't have to worry too much about the protection from outside forces. What's left for you to solve is making sure the items stored in it don't bump into each other and get all scratched up.
I place two lenses in neoprene pouches at the bottom of the bag (the Cosmos Black Extra small DSLR Pouch from Amazon fits the Olympus 45mm and even the 60mm macro perfectly, despite its name). Then I place my Olympus OMD camera with e.g. the 20mm pancake lens directly on top of those two lenses. I have a small divider from an old and worn out camera bag -- sometimes I use it to separate the lenses from the camera for added peace of mind, other times I don't. If you want that kind of protection, one tip is to buy a simple neoprene-based item like a mouse pad or hiking seat pad and simply cut it to fit your needs. You could easily build your custom padding this way for less than ten dollars if you shop around a bit.
A camera with three prime lenses suits my needs about 90% of the time I'm out and about and want to bring a camera with me just in case. With this load in the bag, here's still some room left for small stuff like a wallet and a phone, or maybe a small clip-on flash or a spare battery. You could definitely fit one or maybe even two more M43 lenses in there if you tried, as long as they're small prime or pancake lens. It just depends on what your priorities are -- for me, this bag is more useful when it's lightly packed so I can easily switch lenses without having to take out a lot of stuff temporarily while switching. It's all about being able to take that photo before the opportunity is lost. But if you don't switch lenses very often and only want to carry them with you just in case, you could definitely pack the bag differently and fit even more. As an example, fitting a Kindle Paperwhite in the bag was possible without really sacrificing any of the space, and a thin divider between the Kindle and the lenses (or just a snug case for it) would ensure no nasty scratches.
For the casual "I'm out and about but not sure if I'll take any photos" kind of days, this is a perfect bag. It's lightweight, stylish, and masculine looking with its boxy shape and thick shoulder strap (and women will look awesome with it, too). However, for more dedicated days of photography, this bag won't cut it for me because of its small size. On those days I typically want to have things a bit more organized and, more importantly, carry much more stuff with me.
I'm considering the Small Round Satchel for the dedicated photography days (yes, consider me a true SBL fan!). It looks like it would be the perfect fit for my needs: I could fit a Kindle and a thin wallet in the inside pigskin flap, small things like a spare battery, the clip-on flash and the car or bike keys in the two inside side pockets, the camera and all my lenses in the main compartment area, my phone in the outer back pocket for easy access, and finally a water bottle in one of the outer side pockets and maybe the sunglasses case in the other one. Based on the measurements on the website, the satchel would probably still have plenty of room to spare in the main compartment for other things, and I could easily clip on a Pouch if I needed even more space. The only downside is that it wouldn't protect the gear against rain as efficiently as the Gadget Bag since the closing flap doesn't securely cover the sides. So it wouldn't be the ideal protection against an unexpected water splash like when sitting on a boat, but protecting against the occasional rain would still be easy: just tuck a plastic grocery bag in one of the pockets and wrap it around the entire satchel when the rain starts. Anyway, I guess I'm trying to justify another SBL purchase here. ;) Back to the Small Gadget Bag. A few minor suggestions/areas of improvement in case it ever makes a reentrance at SBL -- and most of this applies to the Medium and Large versions too:
* The bag has a top cover/flap that folds over to protect the sides of the bag from leaking when it's raining. This is a great protective feature, but unfortunately these side flaps often get in the way of the clasps for the shoulder strap, so you have to be careful so the strap doesn't get locked in under them. Just very slightly shorter/angled side flaps on the side where it hinges would have avoided this problem.
* Because of the placement of the strap lugs/D-rings right in the middle of the total height of the bag, the bag is not sufficiently weight balanced and this can potentially be catastrophic if you haven't closed the bag properly and you lean forward. When evaluating the bag, I hadn't closed the bag and when I quickly grabbed it by lifting the strap up, the strap got stuck under the cover flap (see above) and because of the center of gravity being right in the middle of the bag where the strap attaches to the bag, the bag quickly tipped over and one of my lenses fell out. Luckily this happened when I was just testing the bag indoors on a soft hotel room carpet, but the lesson here is that you need to make sure the bag is always closed when you're walking around with it. If the strap lugs had been sitting a little higher up on the side of the bags, I would feel more comfortable walking around with the bag open (with my previous camera bag, I often walked around with it open so I could quickly swap lenses without having to open and close the bag all the time).
* There are no easy access pockets on this bag -- everything is stored in one single compartment secured by the front buckle. It would have been nice to still have the back pocket that you see on other Saddleback Leather products like the satchels and briefcases. I'm guessing the decision to not include it was to cut down the total weight, but personally I'd definitely prefer to have that pocket on this bag too for things like storing the lens cap when you're shooting. As it stands, I have to use one of my jeans pockets for that and try to remember which one I put the cap in. ;) With its one-compartment design, the gadget bags are in a way more optimized for gadget storage than for gadget usage, but it's not a hard problem to work your way around if you have a pocket or two on your clothes.
* It would have been nice with a couple of D-rings if for no other reason than to be able to clip on a SBL Pouch address the lack of quick access pockets, or, more importantly for photography, to attach a tripod. The beautify of the gadget bag is in its simplicity, but it's also once of its limitations. Again, the Round Satchel seems like a better option for the more dedicated photography adventures because of its versatility, but you'd lose the extra water protection, and you'd add to the total weight.
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with this bag and the quality of the leather is unbelievable. And the smell -- I just can't seem to get used to it, despite having bought more than a handful of SBL products by now! I highly recommend this bag and I can't wait to put it to good use!
Really nice bag
I purchased a large chestnut gadget bag, it is gorgeous. I think I may have to buy more stuff to fill it though, thanks saddleback. Definitely check this bag out, it could be far more than just a gadget bag if you get creative.