Review: Case Logic Reflexion Messenger Bag
December 20, 2014
Got a camera? Got a laptop? Travel with them both frequently but you’re tired of carrying a huge backpack?
If your answers to the questions above are ‘yes’, then you’re likely in search of the perfect bag to carry all your stuff. Case Logic is on the case with their Reflexion Medium Messenger Bag for DSLR + Laptop/Tablet. They sent me one this fall and I immediately put my stuff into it and tried it out.
Well, once I got the kitten to let me into the box.
Starting outside the bag and moving in, Case Logic has created a bag that doesn’t shout “VALUABLES INSIDE”. It’s got style and looks more like a hip attache than a camera bag or a laptop case. It’s the type of bag you’d feel fine taking to Europe or any vacation, too, because it’s functional in a few different ways.
Multiple zippered pockets hold lots of office or leisure gear, the padded laptop sleeve fits a 13-inch Macbook Pro (that’s what I carry and it fits snugly inside), and the removable camera pod is large enough for a normal size DSLR with medium zoom attached.
Additionally, you can fit another lens, some filters, battery, charger, strap and other accessories in the pod and still have room in the guts of the bag for other gear. My standard bag is a Think Tank Airport Essentials, and by leaving a few non-essential items behind, I was able to completely move my gear to the Reflexion. This changed my entire profile from the guy lugging the photo backpack to the guy with the messenger bag on his hip.
*The Think Tank is $100 more expensive and is VERY photo-centric in its design. In an upcoming review, I’ll be putting another Case Logic bag – this one more photo-focused – through its paces and I’ll do a closer comparison between the Think Tank and that bag.
Speaking of which, the Case Logic Reflexion has been designed to hang ergonomically across your hip. The straps attach in an offset manner that makes the bag comfy to carry and easy to access…very important if you are actually using it to carry and use photo gear. I had no issues wearing it slung across my body messenger-style or more traditionally on one shoulder.
I didn’t count all the pockets, but suffice it to say I can carry cables, notebook, laptop, portable mouse, iPhone, headphones and a few connectors with me without a problem. And that’s leaving space in the middle of the bag for the camera pod with enough room left over for a few snacks and a light jacket.
Not to get too romantic about this, but I can imagine packing this bag in the morning and then using it as a portable office and photo shoppe. The only thing missing might be a place for my tripod, but my collapsible monopod fit fine as did an external flash and a paperback book.
If you’re looking for a solution to traditional backpack bags that can be a bit too large when you’re at a conference or commuting, then take a look at the Case Logic Reflexion Messenger Bag. It offers style and function in a size that won’t cause stares. It’s just right for when you need a little gear and you don’t want to stand out.
The bag retails for $89.99 and here’s the features list from the Case Logic site. My overall impression is that I’ve found my new go-to bag for day trips and conferences when I don’t need a bunch of camera lenses. It’s light, quality-built and looks better than most bags I’ve seen.