Every so often I am sent photography-related products to review for my readers (that would be YOU!). In most cases I refuse, since I, and most of my readers, would never have a need for such a product. But in those instances where I can see the need for a product that my readers would be interested in, I agree to a review. However, I always stipulate that I give 100% candid reviews based on my experience and opinions. Seller beware!
That is how I arranged with e/c/b/c to review their Trident Messenger Bag laptop case, along with their ultra-slim portable power pack. I was intrigued by the Trident’s design and possible utility for photographers on the move.
To set the stage, I used the Trident for an entire month, lugging it with me through airports, on boats, and on a photo assignment in Hawaii. So before sentencing you to reading this entire review, I’ll summarize here: this bag is fantastic and would be the perfect bag for many photographers IF e/c/b/c would add just one thing to the bag. And what is that one thing? Ha! You’ll have to serve your sentence to find out.
I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I like my laptop and camera bags to have lots of organizers; big pockets for file folders, little pockets for accessories, zippered pockets for meds, outer side pockets for a water bottle, pockets for pens and business cards and more. Trident has these in spades, making it easy for me to compartmentalize my travel gear.
But Trident is also well thought out and engineered. The bag is extremely rugged. Stitching and edges are smooth and trimmed. The inner surfaces are lined. One feature that I particularly like is that you can get to the main compartment in Trident without opening the Velcro tabs and flipping over the cover. Instead, if you’re in a rush, you just open a waterproof zipper on the top and you have instant access to your most important items.
TSA Time Saver
The Trident also includes a zippered side panel that safely holds your laptop allows you to open it flat on TSA conveyor belts. That means you will save time and fuss with this TSA-approved feature. The feature also includes an extra safety strap to protect your laptop from thieves.
The Trident also has a back slot that allows you to simply slide the bag onto your wheeled luggage handle, making it a cinch to slip through TSA and get to your plane.
The included strap is both comfortable and non-slip. The Trident is wider than many lap-top bags, so it holds even the largest laptops. The load is nicely balanced, reducing aching shoulders in the process.
A Must-Have for Photographers
So, what’s not to love about the bag? I typically use a ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 for traveling when I have to carry both a laptop and photo gear. Its many interior dividers allow me to store a camera body and a couple of lenses. My typical travel setup includes a ThinkTank wheeled luggage crammed full of cameras and lenses, plus my Urban Disguise for any overflow.
For the Trident to be useful for photographers, e/c/b/c needs to include removable, reposition-able dividers in the main interior compartment. That compartment is incredibly wide and deep anyway, so a camera body and 2-3 lenses (including long lenses) would easily fit, with room to spare. In fact, I borrowed some dividers from my other camera bags and made a jerry-rigged interior photo compartment. Even though the dividers were not affixed in any way, the temporary solution mostly worked.
If e/c/b/c would only add dividers, I would use this bag as my go-to in the field. As is, I plan to use it whenever I travel without photo gear, or if I just need one camera with lens attached, in addition to a laptop, file folders and accessories.
The Trident Messenger Bag comes in black and gray and sells for $120.