ONA Camps Bay Review - The Dainty Squid

ONA Camps Bay Review

Monday, October 05, 2015

I've been a big fan of ONA for a while now. If you haven't heard of them before, ONA makes insanely beautiful, high quality camera bags. This whole love affair of mine started back in 2012 when I first spotted their bag, Brooklyn. I eventually got my hands on one which I subsequently blogged about often. here, here + here. That bag and I have been through thick and thin together, and it's still holding up beautifully. I know their bags are of great quality so I was more than excited when they reached out to see if I'd like to give one of their newest bags a spin.

A few weeks back, ONA released their new Black Collection, three beautiful designs featuring premium nylon, Italian leather accents, and gunmetal hardware. I chose the Camps Bay backpack. I actually really liked Brixton but I have a tendency to carry way more equipment than I need and my shoulders can't handle that anymore. Anyway now that I've had a little while to tote this backpack around I wanted to share a little review.

First things first, this is a solid bag. Not so much in terms of weight, I'm talking about how safe I feel my equipment is inside. When I think backpack I think something soft, malleable, made from a light fabric, etc. This bag, on the other hand, essentially has a shell. The material is stiff but still manages to be comfortable to wear. I'm sure given some more time it will begin to break-in and not be so stiff but I rather enjoy the feel of the bag now.

ONA claims this bag will hold your camera with lens attached as well as seven (!!!) extra lenses. I unfortunately don't own seven lenses to test that  but I'm sure it would. This baby can hold A LOT. I've found that by rearranging the dividers I am very comfortably able to hold everything I use regularly, including a polaroid camera which is something I'm never quite sure how to bring along. I love that anything I could want to bring along I can most likely find a way to safely pack it in this bag since all of the interior dividers are removable and adjustable.

Under the flap, and above the main camera area, there is another zipper compartment that I've found to be the perfect size for a light lunch or snacks. Along the backside of that compartment is an area for your laptop. The camera bag also has two side pockets. They are a little bit tight but I'm still able fit a water bottle inside. They're a great size for my shutter release! Basically just about anything you could want to bring along this bag has room for it.

One main downfall I find with this bag is that to get anything out you need to take the bag off, set it down, unbuckle it, and unzip. It's a bit of a process and there are certain situations where that just doesn't cut it for me. I might need to get my camera out or switch lenses quickly sometimes and this bag would hinder that. There are other times though when I feel like that this bag is exactly what I want, specifically when I'm on my bike. I don't need my camera right away and I enjoy the added security this bag provides. 

A second setback is the price, currently $409. The bag is obviously beautiful. ONA's craftsmanship is impeccable. It's certainly an investment. Out of all the camera bags I own I feel that my equipment is the most safe in this bag. Is it necessary to spend that much to get an awesome camera bag? No but I'm doubting you'll find something as nice as this one. Ultimately it's up to you to decide if it's worth it.

All in all, color me impressed by the Camps Bay. It's beautiful, it's comfortable, and it can hold a heck of a lot of equipment, which for an over-packer extraordinaire is the best!

Thanks to ONA for providing me with the camera bag! All opinions are my own.

PS. I own a handful of other camera bags. If you'd like to see reviews on some of the others in my collection let me know! 

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12 thoughts

  1. That's such a great camera bag! I agree that it has downfalls as a backpack (I prefer over the shoulder bags) but it would be especially nice for bike riding or long hikes.

    1. I prefer cross body bags too but I really can't wear them for long or I get headaches. It has to be a backpack if I'm wearing it all day!

    2. Headaches? I wouldn't have guessed that! For me I get pretty back neck pains/tight muscles in my neck, so if it's all day I need a backpack as well.

    3. Yeah, it kind of took me forever to figure it out but the pressure from the weight puts strain on the the right muscles!

  2. I love Ona. I just recently got their tote. I was eyeing the Brooklyn, but I carry more crap than I think would fit in there because my camera bag is also my daily bag (I bring my camera with me ALL the time). But, it's definitely high quality! I love it!

    1. Oh awesome! Yeah, Brooklyn doesn't hold too much but it really is beautiful.

      I love their bags so much!!

  3. What a lovely bag! You can get so much in there x

    1. It's really pretty crazy how much this thing holds!

  4. That backpack is dreamy! I'm quite a recent convert to the world of the backpack but the wonderful practicality of a rucksack and a bike won me over totally!
    You both wear it beautifully, so it's a shame it just isn't quite practical enough to be handy ... let us know if you find a better one, especially for carrying camera equipment. Am very much on the hunt at the moment.
    Abel x

    1. Oh no, it's absolutely still a great bag! It's not like getting things out is like having to pick a lock or anything, it's just that if you need your camera super quick it's a pain.

  5. If I ever need a camera bag, that might be the one.




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