Finding the right camera bag can be challenging. There are so many options that at times it can be overwhelming. For me, I usually just use my backpack with an insert to keep my camera safe and protected. But I wanted something a bit more tailored to photographers, which would make it easier to access my equipment when on the go. This is when I discovered the Tog London camera bag.
For me, I like a camera bag to be quite understated without screaming ‘Come and rob me!’. Since I explore some areas solo when taking photographs, I wanted a bag that I felt safe to carry around without advertising what was inside. I find that some traditional camera bags can do at times with their obvious and easily recognisable silhouette.
What drew me into Tog London and their camera bags was the simple design that was carefully thought out by the founder Alisha Love, who is a photographer herself. You can tell time was taken into designing a bag that would be practical and functional to use whilst remaining stylish and simple.
I purchased the ‘Black Mini Tog Bag‘ as this was the perfect colour and it was the best size for the equipment that I have. They also have the same mini bag in grey as well as a larger version of both colours if you have more stuff to carry. When I purchased the bag last August they had a sale on, which I think was around 25% off which made the bag a lot more affordable for me.
I also picked up the Tog Purse which has been incredibly useful for me. It carries all of my spare SD Cards and my Compact Flash Cards in a protective case. In addition to a backup battery and spare cables. This small but mighty purse can hold plenty of stuff!
First Impressions and Bag Storage
When I first got the bag I didn’t know if I had chosen one big enough. After some experimenting with the velcro inserts, I was able to fit everything in. There was even enough room for my small nifty fifty and a whole host of other accessories. The Tog Purse also fits inside the bag as well as my filters. It holds a surprisingly large amount of things for its compact size.
This bag has a lot of additional storage spaces. With a zip at the front for small items such as a phone, passport or travel pass. I use this space for holding one or two of my filters. In the main compartment, I have the velcro dividers in an upside down ‘T’ shape. With my two lenses on either side at the top and the camera body at the base of the bag.
This main area also fits the Tog Purse perfectly but it can also go in the ‘hidden’ zip at the back of the bag. In that area, there is room for a few business cards, a note pad, pens, a large battery bank even cables and chargers. Or anything you can think of that would fit in the area. In the larger version of this bag, there is room for a laptop to fit into the back.
It is well padded with it covering the front and back of the bag, with a small amount lining the sides. For how I use the bag I feel like my equipment is well protected and I don’t have any concerns about my stuff getting damaged. Although I am careful not to drop the bag still.
My Impressions Now
After using the bag for nearly 10 months now I feel like I have a better understanding of the way it works as well as some of the things I love the most and the least about it. This bag has come with me on hikes through remote forests to waterfalls. As well as city breaks and short excursions. It has been put through its paces and I have found it to be incredibly versatile as a result.
I still revert back to my backpack at times with a camera bag insert inside if I have a few more things to carry that day.
The material of the bag and purse is made from ‘Vegan Leather’. They have a textured finish which is really hardwearing. They are also easy to clean if they get muddy or dirty. All you need is a wet cloth and some soap and it is as good as new. The padded back isn’t as easy to clean due to the material, so I’m more careful with that area. That area also takes a little longer to dry as a result.
One thing that I have noticed with the bag is the material on the outside overlaps the zips slightly which helps to keep the bag more waterproof and prevent water from getting inside through the zip area. This is the case for all of the zips, which is a nice little touch that I hadn’t noticed that at first.
Things I Would Change About The Bag
On the larger bag, it features a thick strap to help distribute the weight of the camera equipment inside. I would love to see the smaller bag feature thicker straps that are padded. They can dig in if you have been wearing the bag for a while with your camera body and lenses inside. Or even have the option to swap out the straps if you want to go from a more chic look to something more practical.
The velcro dividers inside the bag also help to separate out your lenses and camera body quite easily and these are padded to help protect your equipment. One area where I would love to see a bit more velcro is at the base of the bag. Sometimes I find myself needing another divider in the bottom section but there’s no velcro there to let me separate that part.
But other than those two points the bag has been so well planned out and it is an incredibly functional and practical bag to use. It is something that can blend in seamlessly with city life without being overstated or too obvious.
The Tog Purse compliments the backpacks perfectly with their small compact size. There are two options available for both in either grey or black. I went for the larger version as that was the only one available at the time of purchase. Since then they have released a smaller version which is just adorable. I have my eyes on that one next!
The larger Tog Purse holds 7 SD Cards, 4 Compact Flash Cards, Business Cards as well as batteries or card readers in the back section. In the smaller Purse, it holds 4 SD Cards and 2 Compact Flash Cards. These purses are not bulky in any way and they keep your cards nice and safe inside. I feel this would make a great gift for any photographer who has not got one of these yet as they are fairly affordable.
My overall review of Tog London is the fact they make a great camera bag that has truly got Photographers in mind. From the materials to the size and the accessories they work well as a whole and it means you can spend more time focusing on photography rather than worrying about your bag.
The small bag is a great universal size for most people if you have a small camera and lens collection or you just do photography as a hobby. If you have a few more pieces or needs to carry more as part of your work for photo shoots then the larger bag size would be perfect for you.
Tog London also donates a £1 from every bag sold which will either go to ‘The Gorilla Organisation’ or ‘Save The Elephants’ Charity depending on the bag colour selected. As well as a £1 from every purse sold that will also go to an Animal Welfare Charity. Which makes me so happy to see a brand helping to support the animals of the planet with a portion of the sales going to different charities.
I would love to know what your camera bag of choice is, or if you have a Tog bag yourself?
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