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Review: Tenba Roadie II Large Rolling Photo/Laptop Case

by Thursten Kent on 07/01/2012

The Tenba Roadie II is a large beast. It was designed to hold lots of gear for both photographers and videographers. Additionally, it comes with lots of bells and whistles built in that one wouldn’t normally think about.

And for the videographer that is supposed to carry loads of gear, this may actually be quite a help.

Tech Specs

Tech specs taken from the B&H Photo listing.

Material Exterior: Weatherproof ballistic nylon
Interior: EVA molded fabric
Interior: Heavy-duty tricot
Type of Closure YKK zippers
Exterior Dimensions 14 x 22 x 9.0” (36 x 56 x 23cm) (WxHxD)
Interior Dimensions 12.5 x 19.5 x 6.5-7.75” (32 x 50 x 17-19.5cm) (WxHxD)
Device Compatibility Laptop Compartment: 12.26 x 17 x 1.6” (31 x 43 x 4.0cm) (WxHxD)
Carrying/Transport Options Carry handle
Retractable handle
Built-in wheels
Weight 11.8 lbs (5.4kg)

Build

This is the biggest in Tenba’s newest line of the Roadie II series. The shape, design, fit, and finish, from what I can tell, are for people who truly are the traveler type. The entire bag on the outside is covered in ballistic nylon, which not only gives this bag its nice, clean look but it also makes it weatherproof. Even the zippers are the really nice YKK brand.

Starting out front below the Tenba logo is a laptop sleeve compartment. It’s big enough to fit most 17” inch laptops. Placing smaller notebooks should be a breeze. However, I would have loved a little more padding. One can never have too much padding for your notebook. In this case, I placed my shoulder mount in the front. The fitting, though a little snug, the zippers and material worked just fine on an object that it was not meant to accommodate.

At the bottom section of the front of the bag is a small pocket. You can use this to hold small things like a media wallet, keys, tickets, whatever you can fit. The front section where my index finger is pressed into, is the pocket where you can place your tripod legs using the harness provided. (A tiny bit more on that below.) The nice thing about this, from what I noticed, is that the pocket can be extended to accommodate bigger tripod legs. All you have to do is simply pull the zipper down in the front to increase the width of the pocket.

    

Heading up top in a concealed zipper-enclosure, is a 4 section telescoping handle. If you are like me, your back might not be up to the task of lifting heavy gear all day. Putting a bag on wheels and pulling it saves you from a sore neck and shoulders. A quick-connect tripod harness can be found in the handle as well. You also have the option to lift the bag with a medium-sized reinforced handle. This handle is also found on the left side of the bag.

In the back is a rear pocket that comes with an included steel braided cable. This is nice touch if you might want to latch your bag onto something solid so it does not decide to grow some feet and walk away. Just make sure to buy a lock . There is an included 4-pocket media wallet that holds SD and CF cards. This is detachable and can be placed wherever.

Interior

On the inside, you have EVA molded interior. All of the dividers can be adjusted to the gear you are using. Carry some longish glass up to 300mm (prime)? you can fit that in here. Medium zooms? Sure, why not. Perhaps you shoot weddings and own a canon XF-305 or similar camera. It’s safe to say if you configure it so that you could fit that in here too. For my setup, I don’t own any long lenses or zooms. I’m mostly a prime shooter, so my lenses were tiny and had no problem fitting in.

A nice touch is that the whole inner lining can be quickly and easily taken out with little effort.

The inner lid has some very nice, large mesh pockets to store little things you might have: batteries, filters, follow focus gears etc.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a bigger bag and might be a sports shooter with big long glass, or a wedding videographer who needs something to carry around your pro HD camera. Give this bag a look. You have the ability to configure as you want, the overall padding is very good. This bag can certainly can come with you to accumulate all those valuable frequent flier miles you’ll never get to use.

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