One Personal Item – A DIY

I’m really excited about today’s post!  What I thought would be a pretty easy DIY, turned out to take a little more time and thought than I ever anticipated, but I am so happy with the end result.  For you fellas out there, this post may seem geared a little more towards the ladies, but I assure you the same could be applied to anyone who wants to protect their gear but not break the bank… 

This all came about because of an upcoming trip and those stiffer airline restrictions, but also something I have been wanting to do for a very long time.  I confess, when I first started out in photography, I purchased one of those pricey “women’s” camera bags.  The problem: All it held was the camera and a couple of lenses (which I quickly outgrew), little to no room for anything else… even a wallet… and, oh yeah, ridiculously expensive!  I’ll also admit to one more thing, I tend to over pack, whether for a week-long vacation, a weekend get-a-way, or just a local outing… what can I say, I like to be prepared.  So I’m not anticipating this upcoming trip will be any different and I have to get everything to fit in my carry-on and that ONE personal item which is the catalyst for today’s DIY.

One Personal Item

I started with the size restrictions and went from there.

Love that it comes in purple, but it also comes in black and camo.

Now knowing what I had to work with I made a list of what I wanted/needed: First and foremost to securely/safely hold my gear.  After scouring the web and reading countless reviews, etc… I chose the TENBA 10 (As a side note: When getting the link, I noticed it’s already gone up $10 since I purchased mine, so be sure to shop around.)

The 50 mm fits perfectly under the flash.  That’s right I even got my flash in there 🙂

It comes with lots of dividers so you can personalize to all your needs.  I actually removed a couple.  This TENBA is deep enough to hold my camera with a 24-70 attached, a 70-300 lens on one side and a 50 mm and SB800 flash on the other.  A wee-bit snug, but remember I tend to over pack.  For traveling/airline purposes… perfect.

The Bag

Next, finding the bag and an impossible checklist:  Must meet personal item size restrictions but big enough to hold the TENBA and then some (clutch/wallet, personal items, water bottle…  have carry handles AND a cross strap (preferably adjustable)  have a secure closure (surprisingly most women’s tote-size bags do not have a zipper) be durable (ideally waxed canvas or leather)  be practical and, yes, fashionable enough to use solely has a handbag  and fit the budget $$$.  The search was on….

The TENBA and I went shopping.  In order to increase the chances of success, our first stop was Philadelphia Premium Outlets.  And just like Goldilocks, I had to try out a lot of bags… too big, too small, too hard, too soft, before coming up with one that was just right.  Just about to run out of stores, I finally found it:  Size ♥  roomy and with lots of pockets to spare ♥, handles & strap ♥♥, secure with zipper ♥, durable ♥, practical & fashionable ♥♥, and budget friendly !♥!  Whoo-hoo… a home run!
fully loaded, zipped and ready to go!

Now I have TWO bags for the price of one, coming in at…wait for it… less than $80!

And now the real test… can I carry it?   Weighing in at 12.5 lbs, I realized an extra plus of those carry handles, I can now attach it to the rolling carrying on handle and breeze through the airport.

I can’t wait for this trip!  A long overdue visit to see a very dear friend ~ Val, if your reading this, can’t wait to see you!  While putting together this DIY, I did ask myself why not just travel light and leave the camera gear at home?  Heck, all the photos you see in this DIY were taken with my Samsung Note 5.  Answer:  Because, the photographer in me would regret it the minute I stepped out the door and headed to the airport… Like I said, I like to be prepared and even more so…  I love having options!

Happy travels & until next time,
Maria

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