By Aaron Lee
Tenba's Messenger DNA bags are great for road warriors. They’re made of weatherproof materials and durable hardware, and lightweight yet protective padding.
According to the folks at Tenba, Messenger DNA bags were inspired by life in New York City and other big cities, where a photographer or filmmaker needs to potentially carry the same bag to a meeting with clients, then to a professional photo or video shoot, and finally to hanging out with friends in the evening. They bags include a security strap to anchor the bag behind the user while riding a bicycle or scooter, and the photo insert is removable to quickly convert it from a camera bag to a general-purpose carryall.
The Messenger's exterior is made from a graphite-colored 600 denier Helix fabric with a water repellent coating. To enhance its wet-weather protection, the front flap extends over the top of the bag and includes a sewn hinge to provide excellent coverage at the corners. The bottom of the bag is made with an abrasion- and moisture-resistant tarpaulin that protects the bag on any wet or dirty surface, and can be easily wiped clean.
Additionally, the Messenger DNA bags include Tenba's exclusive WeatherWrap removable rain cover for an extra layer of protection in bad weather. The WeatherWrap is silver on one side to reflect heat on sunny days, and to provide better visibility when riding a bicycle, and the other side is black for more stealth and subtlety.
Messenger DNA bags are built for speed, and the main closure uses Fidlock patented magnetic clips. They enable quick slide release and blind, drop-on reattachment that works when the bag is behind the user, or when wearing gloves.
A top zipper in the flap allows camera gear to be quickly retrieved without opening the front flap. This is an important security feature as well, since it keeps the bag interior covered while swapping out cameras or lenses, which is critical when traveling in dangerous or unfamiliar locations.
The interior of the Messenger DNA is made from equipment-friendly, smooth ripstop nylon and soft, brushed tricot. There are pockets to organize camera accessories and personal items, and the padded camera insert can be quickly removed to convert the bag to a general-purpose, yet world-class messenger bag. A rear trolley strap slides over the extending handle of a rolling suitcase or equipment case for secure and convenient piggyback travel when moving through an airport.
Messenger DNA bags come in a variety of sizes; let's look at two of them. The DNA 11 ($129.95) accommodates either a mirrorless camera with 3-5 lenses, or a digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera with 2-3 lenses, plus accessories, and the rear-padded sleeve will hold an iPad or an 11-inch MacBook Air. The DNA 15 ($159.95) fits a professional DSLR with 2-3 lenses (up to an attached 70-200mm f/2.8), flash and audio gear, and has two padded interior sleeves: one for a laptop up to 15 inches, and another for an iPad.