When photographers travel, taking care of our gear is a major priority. One of our biggest fears is a TSA agent mishandling our gear, throwing it around, or it being crushed by tons of other luggage. Thousands of dollars in equipment understandably needs to be carefully protected when traveling. This rings true for both airline and road travel.
In order to get the most bang for your buck, I recommend looking for a bag that can double as both your carry on bag, road travel bag, and studio bag. This bag should probably roll, as having everything in one container can get really heavy for a backpack. It may or may not need to be a hard case, but it should definitely be sturdy enough to take a little hit, or have another small bag laid on top of it. If this bag is also going to be your all-in-one bag, it should also include room for your accessories, laptop, and tripod.
All of these features are included in the Tenba Roadie. I previously reviewed the DNA Messenger 15 bag from Tenba, and the quality and craftsmanship of the Roadie easily matches the DNA series. Here is my breakdown of this large, versatile roller bag.
Tenba Roadie: Design and Important Features
The Tenba travel kit I often use
I know what you’re thinking. How can a roller bag be designed very well? For me certain things can either make a bag “just a bag” or really make it a pleasure to work with. Most of the features that are difference makers for me are on the outer portion of the bag. The Tenba Roadie includes a must have more a bag like this, a padded handle on the bottom of the bag. There is nothing worse than packing your entire kit into your bag, and needing to pick it up with two hands without a handle. It just makes the difference when loading and unloading it into a car or storage space. I have not yet flown with this bag, but I’m sure it will be a breeze getting it into the overhead container because of the bottom handle. The top and side handle are also nice. They are soft and padded, yet feel durable and strong.
The Tenba Roadie has great outer pockets
Another nice design element of the Tenba Roadie is the outer pockets. The large pocket will fit a laptop up to 17 inches, as well as various documents. The front smaller pocket is perfect for a phone, plane ticket, and a few other items. The back of the Tenba Roadie large features a nice big pocket with an included memory card wallet, as well as a steel-braided security cable. If you’re using this bag on a location shoot, and don’t quite trust your surroundings, it is perfect for locking to a bench, table, or other stationary object. Don’t get me wrong, someone could cut it with bolt cutters, but it is a very nice touch.
The Tenba Roadie easily fits a 15″ MacBook Pro
Another really cool thing about this bag is that it integrates nicely with the DNA messenger bags. If you are on the road, and need one bag to carry your whole kit, and another to carry along to a photo shoot with less gear while on the road, these two bags can work really well together.
Tenba Roadie: What fits?
My personal kit in the bag includes:
- Canon 5D Mark III with 50L attached
- Canon 5DS
- Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
- Canon 135mm f/2L
- 24-105mm F 4.0 DG OS HSM ART
- Fuji X100S
- Batteries for Canon and Fuji
- HoldFast Gear Money Maker
- Various other accessories
- Room to spare
The Tenba Roadie easily fits this gear with room to spare
As you can see, this bag can hold a ton. If you own a lot of gear, the Tenba Roadie can easily carry 2 DSLR bodies, and at least 6 lenses. They also include a Velcro collar that can be mounted to the outside of the bag that makes it very easy to carry a tripod.
Tenba Roadie: Quality
This bag retails for around $335, which is less expensive than some competing models from other brands. If this is your first large camera bag purchase, that number may still seem high, but I promise you that it is not. For what you are getting with the Tenba Roadie, $335 is a bargain. You’ll buy this bag one time, and it will last your for years to come.
Tenba Roadie: Pros
There are lots of pros with this roller bag. The wheels themselves are super smooth, and can be replaced by the user if you just so happen to wear them out over time. The bag has been extremely durable. It is very easy to use. The zippers flow really well. It carries your whole kit. Carries a laptop. Includes a security cable. Integrates really well with the Tenba DNA Messenger bags.
Tenba Roadie: Cons
I have only a few minor complaints with this bag. While I really like the pull out handle on the Roadie, Tenba opted to mold the back of the bag (or bottom when laid down). This means that on the outside edges, the bottom of the bag isn’t flat. So when storing my 70-200, I find myself adding one more divider to it where there is a void, so that the lens is laid on an even surface. It’s not a big deal, but it is worth mentioning.
The Tenba Roadie is an excellent roller bag and I highly recommend it for a photographer or videographer looking to carry their whole kit on the road or through the air. If you’re a photographer who needs to get a lot of gear from one place to another, you should seriously give the Tenba Roadie a shot.
Check out the large Tenba Roadie below
If you don’t think you need a bag quite this large, or want your road bag to have slightly different features, check out the entire lineup of Tenba Roadie bags HERE.