Photography News Issue 70

First test

PRICE: £119.95/£89.95


Skyline 13 Backpack and Messenger

Two bags for getting out and about without drawing too much attention to yourself

TENBA’S SKYLINE RANGE includes several small shoulder bags, pouches, and toploaders, as well as the Skyline 13 Backpack and Messenger. The latter are the largest bags in the range, come in a black or grey finish and have a tidy design, untroubled by lots of outer pockets, straps, loops or clips, making them almost indistinguishable from regular bags. Whether you find them stylish is subjective, but they’re fairly low profile. Both feature secure access to their camera compartments, and both are very light, so fit well into the travel bag mould. The backpack weighs only 0.8kg and the messenger 0.7kg, so they’re not going to tip into your luggage allowance much, or stop you hoofing around on a daytrip. Both also have luggage straps to secure them onto a roller case for transfers. The messenger and backpack have identical capacity. Both specify a CSC or DSLR body and three to five lenses. On a hike, in the backpack I fitted a Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E, though not attached, as well as a Nikon 85mm f/1.8G and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art. Along with that, I squeezed in an MD-18 grip and an

AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II. The same outfit fitted into the messenger, this time the D850 with the 70-200mm on fitted, thanks to the extra length. In that configuration I had to give up one of the other lenses though. On another hike, I fitted a Sony A6400 with 18-135mm lens attached, plus a DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone, controller and accessories. Space, therefore is decent, and if it forces you to be a bit selective, that’s not a bad thing. On the backpack, access is via a body-side flap. The bag therefore needs to be taken off, or at least swung out to the side to get to your kit. The camera compartment takes up approximately half the bag’s height and flips out from a hinge at the base, but it doesn’t open all the way, though, so access feels a bit tighter than usual. On our sample, the dividers at the base were angled slightly to aid with this, but I had to change this with the load I was testing. The top of the camera section can be removed to adapt for longer lenses, but it’s not ideal. Overall, in both bags kit was securely held and the thickness of padding is good. Access to the messenger is via the main flap or a zippered press top and

both worked well. The velcro-closing main flap has a quiet ‘WhisperHook’ opening option where you can pull down and outwards to release it. This makes far less noise than a regular upwards rip. The press top gave quick access, even one handed, and its zip, like the others, runs ran smoothly. The backpack’s top section is a decent spot for items like food or clothing, and has a secondary slip pocket, though the latter doesn’t zip, which is a shame. At the front there’s a 13in laptop or document sleeve; the padded part is cradled off the base for added protection. There’s also a smaller front pocket, but with just one zip, it can’t be secured. The messenger bag’s laptop sleeve is also padded, and it also has a front pocket with padding and some internal pockets, but again nothing that closes. Both bags have twin mesh pockets on the outer for drinks bottles, snacks or similar, which is handy, and both Verdict Both the Skyline 13 Backpack andMessenger offer reasonably good storage, a tidy design and good build quality.The Backpack is boxy and doesn’t have the ergonomics for a long trek, but it’s fine for an afternoon’s carry. TheMessenger’s quiet opening feature works well. Overall, two good bags, if they fit your eye as well as your camera.

also have a clip-like, metal Tenba badge attached to a heavily stitched strap – this looks like it could be useful, but it’s not really, though you could clip something to it at a push. Both bags are comfortable to carry. The messenger has a well padded shoulder strap which I found kept its position rather than slipping off the shoulder. Its grab handle has a nice cylindrical shape, too. The backpack’s shoulder straps are basic with little contouring and no sternum or waist straps or additional pockets. The lower part is padded against your back, but without air channels and there’s no padding above. All that said it was perfectly comfortable to carry for short periods. Both have a water-resistant outer; after a bit of a hose I could see water beading off the material with no ingress. There’s no proper all-weather cover, but you could buy one and keep it in the bag for emergencies. KS


›  Product Backpack/Messenger ›  Price £119.95/£89.95 ›  Material Water-repellent fabric, closed cell foam inner ›  Weight 0.8kg /0.7kg ›  Exterior dimensions (WxHxD) 30x42x19cm /43x29x15cm › Interior dimensions (WxHxD) 28x23x13cm/41x28x13cm › Laptop/tablet 13in

› Tripod holder No › Sternum strap No › Waist belt No › Zips YKK

“Bothbags are very light, so fit well into the travel bagmould”

PROS Tidy design and durable build CONS No all-weather covers, lack of internal zips

IMAGES Below: Both the backpack, (left) and messenger (right) have a neat, portable design

Issue 70 | Photography News 61

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