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Review: Lowepro Event Messenger 250 Bag

by Felix Esser on 06/23/2012

The Lowepro Event Messenger 250 is a medium-sized messenger bag with a highly customizable interior, padded strap, side pockets, and an integrated pouch for Laptops up to 13″. Made from durable materials, this bag is especially suited for photographers who are working outdoors a lot. I already previewed the bag a couple weeks ago, and now that I’ve used for a little longer and even took it with me on my latest vacation, I will now give you my final assessment. Read on to learn what I think about this bag, how it fares in everyday use and if it’s any good for travelling.

Lowepro Event Messenger 250 Specs

These are taken directly from the B&H product page.

The Lowepro Event Messenger 250 is a lightweight yet durable messenger-style bag that holds a DSLR or mirrorless system camera with a lens, a laptop, and accessories. The bag features an easily accessible main compartment, adjustable dividers, a front flap, as well as an additional zippered closure for the main compartment.

  • Modern messenger-style bag offers grab-and-go access to your complete camera kit, plus extras
  • Wide access to main compartment
  • Dedicated padded pocket for laptop with up to a 13.0″ screen
  • Padded divider system
  • Dual-Mode Flap design can switch from maximum security mode to quiet working mode
Carrying/Transport Options  Shoulder strap, grab handle
Type of Closure  Flap, touch fasteners, zipper, clip
External Pockets  Back slash pocket, 2 stretch side pockets
Internal Pockets  Padded tablet compartment, adjustable padded dividers
Color  Mica
Dimensions (WxDxH)  Camera Compartment: 11.6 x 3.9 x 8.6″ (29.5 x 10.0 x 21.8 cm)
Exterior: 13.5 x 6.2 x 10.5″ (34.3 x 15.8 x 26.6 cm)

A Closer Look At The Event Messenger 250

Now that we’ve established the Event Messenger 250’s theoretical qualities, it’s time to take a closer look at it and assess its qualities in practical use.

The first thing you notice when you open the 250’s flap is its clever locking mechanism that is a combination of large plastic locking clip in the center and two large velcro pads to either side of it. The safest way to close the bag without having to worry about accidentally opening it is of course to use the clip, which is very secure. There are times, however, when you want to be able to just quickly open the bag up and close it again. This is where the velcro pads come in handy. They keep the bag shut pretty tight, but are still easy to release. I found this dual-locking concept particularly clever and made frequent use of both the clip and the velcro pads.

On the inside, the Event Messenger 250 is pretty spacious. The main compartment can be customized using the five velcro-padded dividers supplied, two of which are larger than the other three. In the picture above, you see the setup I used for my recent trip to NYC. With this arrangement, I transformed one large compartment into six smaller compartments so I could stow away the following things:

  • My Leica M8 (with one lens attached) plus charger and spare battery
  • Voigtländer 15/4.5 Heliar + viewfinder and Zeiss 50/2 Planar
  • My Contax T plus approx. ten rolls of film
  • A microfibre cleaning cloth
  • A rocketblower
  • A cellphone charger
  • An iPad charger
  • An M.I.C. Gadget all-in-one card reader for the iPad
  • A power plug adapter (Germany->US)
  • On occasion: sunglasses, cigarettes, lighter

Yes, I actually managed to get all these things inside the main compartment at the same time! With the help of the dividers, I had a number of small compartments that would help arrange all these things in a useful way, so the more delicate equipment was well protected and everything was easily accessible.

At the rear end of the main compartment, the Event Messenger 250 has an extra padded pouch that takes Laptops up to 13″ or, as in my case, an iPad.

The smaller front compartment, which has an extra zipper to lock it, offers two larger pouches and two smaller pouches, which I used to store my cellphone, passport, wallet, lens pen and spare SD cards.

Since I wanted all my valuables and electronics with me at all times during the flight, it was especially convenient that I could actually get all my stuff to fit in the bag. This way, I could take the bag on the plane as my hand luggage.

On the rear, there’s another pouch, but this one cannot be closed — it remains open all the time. This one is useful to stow away documents, but only as long as it’s not raining. I kept my travel documents in there. The little handle you see in the picture is actually attached to the pouch and not the bag itself, which I found a bit peculiar as it doesn’t really work well for holding the bag, especially when it’s full of gear and rather heavy. When held with the handle, the bag would always tilt forward and get in the way of my legs. Next time, please attach the handle to the bag, not the pouch.

Finally, the 250 has two more side pockets (one on either side) which can hold a bottle of water (as pictured), another small camera (my Contax T spent a lot of time there), an umbrella or anything of a similar size (or smaller). All in all, the Event Messenger 250 offers a lot of space in a conveniently-sized package. Now the question is of course: how comfortable is it to carry when it’s fully loaded with gear?

The Event Messenger 250 In Daily Use

I mentioned earlier that I took the Event Messenger 250 along on my trip to New York. I visited the city for two weeks, and as anybody who’s ever been there will surely know, it’s a place where you walk a lot. And I mean a lot. So you don’t just need good shoes, you also need a comfortable bag if you plan on taking anything with you. I did have some experience with the bag before I left, but it was only during my trip that I realized how good it really is. This is, in large part, due to the great padding on the shoulder strap.

As you can see in the picture above, the pad on the shoulder strap is pretty large, and it is also very well-padded. Thus, the weight of the bag is evenly distributed over your shoulder. During my walks through the city, I sometimes had the bag over my shoulder for three or four hours straight. Granted, after carrying several pounds for a couple of hours your shoulder will be strained. This is not a rucksack, mind you, so you’re always carrying the full weight on one shoulder. But for a shoulder bag, this one seems to be as good as it gets. It also didn’t strain my back more than necessary, and I also had no headaches (which can be caused from strained muscles in the back and shoulders) after my walks. I was really happy with this bag, and I regularly take it along on trips where I need to carry more than just one camera and one lens.

Conclusion

So, what’s my verdict on this bag? Simply put: for me, this is the perfect shoulder bag. If you’re a shoulder bag type at all, it doesn’t really get much better than this. Bigger, yes. Made from fancy ostrich leather, probably. But doing it all right at once? Probably not. It has a great size, being neither too large nor too small. It’s made from durable materials. It has a clever design with a customizable interior and lots of extra pockets, and it’s also pretty comfortable for a shoulder bag. And also, it comes in at a reasonable price. My only point of contention is how the small handle on the back side of the bag is attached, but I already mentioned that.

If I’ve teased your appetite, you can purchase the Lowepro Event Messenger 250 bag or any other Lowepro product from B&H Photo. Using our links will help us keep this site running. Thanks!

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