Tamrac Evolution Messenger 2 Review – “Me and my camera bags, Sigh!”

Tamrac Evolution Messenger 2 Review – “Me and my camera bags, Sigh!”

It has been 2 years since I last wrote the article, “Me and my Camera Bags”. Since then my wife has accumulated 2 new handbags. One for the New Year she said. That gives me a legitimate reason to look around for another camera bag.

Over the past 2 years, things have changed since I started the PMPE program; I have gone for more than 12 photography trips of dedicated 24/7 shooting including the Crossing Bridges Events. New equipment such as the netbook, another spare camera body and a telephoto lens became part of the arsenal. Not to mention a variety of filters, lenspens, air blowers, torch light, SD cards, raincoat, cleaning cloth, spare batteries and what have you.

So now the problem is choosing a suitable camera bag to fit all those thingys and my style of shooting. I hate backpacks because it is not that cool; I prefer sling bags that suit my casual lifestyle. I have been researching the website and asking Uncle Google about it. Finally a friend let me test the Tamrac Evolution Messenger 2 (model 5782). I brought my entire arsenal (the ones that I would normally take out for a PhotoSafari trip).

So here goes:-

  1. The netbook goes into a padded pocket on the side compartment of the camera bag
  2. 1 camera with an attached wide to telephoto lens goes into the centre compartment
  3. 1 air blower goes into the bottom compartment of the right compartment
  4. 1 spare camera body goes to the right compartment
  5. 1 LED light goes to the bottom compartment of the left compartment
  6. 1 telephoto lens goes to the left compartment
  7. Front Pocket
    1. 1 torch light
    2. 1 Garmin GPS
    3. 1 Compass
    4. 1 lenspen
    5. 1 cleaning cloth
    6. CPL filter
    7. GND filter
    8. Note book
    9. Pens
    10. 4 spare AA batteries
    11. Spare SD cards
    12. Hand phone
    13. Quick release plate
  8. Back Pocket
    1. Raincoat
    2. Current itinerary
    3. Air tickets
    4. Passport
  9. Two left and right open pockets
    1. 2 bottles of 500ml mineral water.

Wow! It was a perfect fit. I was sold. I did a weigh-in. The whole package weighs about 4 kg which is doable for a young person like me. The wide padded shoulder straps did a good job of spreading the weight on the shoulders.

What I really like about this camera bag?

  1. The bag has an inner sleeve where the equipment and netbook are kept.
  2. This inner sleeve can be taken out in a jiffy and the camera bag is converted into a messenger bag for office work. The inner bag can be kept in the hotel.
  3. The construction of the bag is sturdy and well made. The padding gives confidence that the equipment is protected from hard knocks and accidental abuse. The material used is comparable with the best in the market. Though the camera bag is designed in USA and made in China (I believe) the quality control is up to the mark.
  4. There is a zipper at the top of the camera bag for easy access to the camera without opening the side flap. This is a cool feature. However, at times I was confused and opened the side flap with the top zipper opened. Though it does no harm but I find that it was not elegant. Perhaps it is just me.
  5. The bag can be fitted onto a roller luggage via the opening at the rear pocket. A nice feature to have especially at the airports and travelling.
  6. The size is compact and it doesn’t look very much larger than the last Tamrac bag I had.
  7. I have gone through a light rain and the weather proofing property of this bag was intact.
  8. What I don’t really like is the choice of colors. It seems that they have adopted Henry Ford’s philosophy, “you can have any color as long as it is black.”

Some size specification for those who wants to know the sizes:-

Internal Camera Compartment Dimensions: 11 w x 4⅝ d x 8¼ h”
(28 x 12 x 21cm)
External Dimensions: 14 w x 7¾ d x 10¼ h”
(36 x 20 x 26cm)
Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz. (1134g)


I have always concluded that there is no perfect camera bag, hence the vanity. However, a camera bag that can fulfill 80% of my needs would rank very high on my most wanted list and the Tamrac Evolution Messenger 2 is one of them.


Tamrac Evolution Messenger 2


A netbook or ipad can be fitted to the side compartment


The inner sleeve can be detached from the bag


The inner sleeve can be kept and the bag can double up as a messenger bag for office use


The top zipper provides access to the main camera without opening the side flap


Back view of the bag with its back zipped pocket

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