Thursday 4 June 2020

Camera Bag Review: Hadley Small Pro

Over the years I amassed a collection of camera bags that I hardly ever used. None were very comfortable or practical, so I kept trying new ones. Many years ago I got rid of them all in part exchange for a lens. I never used them much because they were all quite big and bulky and didn't fit with hillwalking with a rucksack, let alone multi day walks. Pouches for a single camera are much more practical with spare lenses in the rucksack. Those old camera bags tended to be used for storing camera gear at home.

Recently though I have been using a camera bag again. Lockdown has meant shorter walks from home, sometimes without a rucksack at all. Having a selection of lenses to hand has been useful on these strolls and the Billingham Hadley Small Pro has been ideal for carrying them. I've had the bag over a year - it arrived when I was reviewing camera pouches for The Great Outdoors - but hadn't used it much until the last few months. Now I have I really like it. It's certainly better than any of my old bags.

The Hadley Small Pro is made from two layers of canvas with a layer of waterproof butyl rubber sandwiched between them. Inside is a removable padded insert with adjustable sections. On the front there are two roomy pockets for accessories. On the back there's a document pocket with a waterproof zip. Fittings are leather and brass and the bag is very tough. It weighs 980 grams with shoulder strap.

The insert is heavily padded, giving good protection to cameras and lenses. It's attached with a single stud and easily removed if not needed. The lid doesn't fasten shut though so it can't be safely used on its own. Without the insert the Hadley Small Pro makes a functional messenger bag.

My Sony a6000 camera plus Sony E 18-135, 55-210, 10-18 zoom lenses and 30mm macro lens all fit inside. There are dividers for separating lenses stacked on top of each other. Access is quick and easy. The straps on the pockets slip off brass studs on the lid and it's open. The straps have buckles but these only need adjusting to alter the fit of the lid. I've not needed to do this. Much of the time I only fasten one of the studs, which makes for even faster access. I wouldn't leave both of them undone though as items could fall out if the bag swings much. 

I've found the bag comfortable carried with the strap slung across my body and it doesn't interfere with a small daysack. The lid fits well over the contents and the hours in pouring rain have shown that the bag really is waterproof.

For long days out with bigger packs I'll stick to pouches but for short walks I've been impressed with the Hadley Small Pro.

I'll post my review of the camera pouches I now use on long walks soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment