We’ve been testing the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel for a few months, and are amazed at how incredibly comfortable this bag is.
I’ll be the first to admit that the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel isn’t winning any awards when it comes to stylishness, but this thing is super comfortable. One of the biggest problems for many photographers has always been the issue of comfort when it comes to messenger bags. They allow quick access, protection, and versatility, but after lots of time, they’re not comfortable. The ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel does a few things to ensure that that doesn’t happen. It puts a big emphasis on shooting. There are quick-access ports, ample dividers, and lots of padding to hug your shoulder. And most importantly, you’re bound to come home at the end of a day of shooting and not feel like your back hurts. Even better; it’s under $120!
Pros and Cons
- Solid padding
- Well placed pockets and solid use of magnets
- The black version doesn’t look like a camera bag at all
- Super affordable
- Quick access zipper on top
- Amazon has it for under $120
- Needs a waist strap and lumbar support
- I don’t like these strap hooks
- The briefcase strap is in a super odd position
Specs taken from the official product page
- Exterior Dimensions: 14 1/2″ W x 9″ H x 6 1/2″ D (36.8 cm x 22.9 cm x 16.5 cm)
- Interior Dimensions (main compartment): 12″ W x 7 1/2″ H x 4″ D (30.5 cm x 19.1 cm x 10.2 cm)
- Weight: 1 lb 15 oz (0.88 kg)
The ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel is reasonably small. One could say it doesn’t look like a camera bag and that it instead has this very Canal St. appeal to it. And indeed it does. But most people these days are smart enough to know that if someone has a bag like this on them, that it’s probably a camera bag. Here’s the front flap of the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel. There’s a zippered pocket up top. But otherwise, this stays closed using the little hooks and latches.
Here’s a closer look at those hooks. Luckily, these have never accidentally opened up on me. And these straps are also not adjustable. So, because it’s a fixed size, you’re only going to fit so much in there. That means that you’re not going to over-stuff it–which is typical for many photographers.
Here’s the back flap. It’s held closed via a strong magnet. I wouldn’t stuff an iPad in here: I’d probably do that inside. This flap instead is great for something like passports, documents, books, etc.
Coming back very quickly to the top pocket on the front, I’ve shoved chapstick, eye drops, hand sanitizer, keys, and other things in here. It’s small yet big enough to hold a lot if you need it to. And it does so while making it easy to reach. Most other bags may put two pockets on the front. But the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel is a bit smarter about the approach.
The side of the bag has pockets that are held closed via elastic bands. It’s basically tension. Throw a water bottle in there, and it will hug it.
When you undo the top section, you can see inside. There is ample space for a Leica M6 with a lens attached, an X100V, film, lenses, and more. You can put an iPad in here.
The ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel has a lot going for it. It’s a nylon bag, first and foremost, so it’s not going to win style points right off the bat, but if you’re going for something more low profile, then the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel is one of your best bets. The problem still, though, is that it looks like a camera bag. But because of this, it also affords itself some fantastic comfort. The zippers feel good and don’t seem to snag or feel awkward. This is essential for when you’re trying to access your gear quickly via the top zipper section: it can be done one-handed. When you want to pack your bag a little more carefully, though, you can open it up using the small hook system. Even though I don’t like the strap hooks aesthetically, I’ll admit that they’re built well. The bag also stood up to a bit of rain, which we’re proud to see.
We tested the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel during COVID-19 time. And though we didn’t run it through the subway, it took some tumbling around in a car. The ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel, and the contents inside, survived. This is thanks in part of the adequate padding around your gear. I can’t really complain at all.
Ease of Use
I’m currently writing this review with the bag literally in my lap. So let me go over the bad before I pour into all the good. First off, the top strap on the bag that’s supposed to function as a briefcase handle is pretty bad. It’s awkward, hard to grab, and it’s sometimes even easy to miss when you try to grab it because it blends right in. To me, that’s a bad design issue. Instead, it’s sometimes better to just grab the shoulder strap or the strap on the back of the bag. Besides this, I’m not a fan of the strap hooks that keep the bag shut, probably because I’ve had very similarly designed hooks fail on me. So I’m a tad paranoid. Lastly, it could majorly benefit from some other strap that goes around your waist. Even though it encourages you to pack light, I’d prefer to find a way to not really feel my camera bags at all.
And now for all the great things. This is a bag that lets you just keep shooting. The only other brand that I’ve used that puts such an emphasis on this is Tenba. But the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel uses similar design cues like the top zipper for quick access. What I absolutely adore is the pocket on the top flap that lets you stuff small things in there. I ended up packing eyedrops, chapstick, hand sanitizer, and more in there. There are also pockets to put stuff like notebooks, iPad, phones, and more. If you’re a photographer who doesn’t need to edit right then and there or who uses an iPad to handle editing, then the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel is seriously a bag to look at.
What’s a bit odd: the side pockets. I say odd, partially because I never would expect any bag of this size to have them. But not only are the pockets there, but they’re very effective at holding water bottles. Again, I can’t complain about these: they’re a pleasant surprise.
- Build quality
- Not stylish enough for me
I tend to say this about a lot of camera bags. And with the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel, I really mean it. It would be an absolutely perfect bag in leather and canvas. While I understand why someone would want to use nylon, a leather and canvas bag is ideal for so many reasons. Personally, they tear less easy. But one could argue that the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel is so affordable you could just buy a new one. And considering how versatile and useful this bag is, I understand the logic completely. If you want a super comfortable and convenient messenger bag, then consider the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel.
The ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel is available on Amazon, and we give it four out of five stars.