Not everyone is a world-class photographer, but many of us have pretty awesome cameras. Therefore a heavy-duty camera bag isn't always going to be needed, so what about a bag that can safely stow your expensive DSLR or just act like a good messenger bag the rest of the time? You get that with the Case Logic Reflexion DSLR Bag.
This tidy offering from Case Logic is a small cross-body messenger bag which sells itself as perfect for a “DSLR + iPad”, meaning once you have your camera and lenses in there, there isn't going to much space left over. That said, Case Logic have played it very clever with this bag with the inclusion of a removable cushioned camera pod.
Unzip the main compartment and, while on your shoulder, the whole bag opens away from your body, just as a proper camera bag should. The pod features a draw string closure, but with your camera, a spare lens, and few bits and bobs like SD cards, or a flash in there, it won't fully close. That's okay though as the bag's zipper itself encloses that whole section really well, keeping everything nicely tucked away. The pod feels nice and spongy, and once inside the bag as well, it seems it will offering great protection against bumps and drops.
With the pod in there and full of photographic goodness the rest of the Case Logic Reflexion DSLR Bag gave us room for a tablet in the separate mesh pocket and something the size of a large pair of headphones. You'll also find a highly useful water bottle pocket to the exterior side, and also a flap-covered array of pockets at the front, good for your keys, change, wallet, and other essentials. Also, if you're one of those weird people who don't carry your phone in your pockets, there is one final zipped compartment on the front of the flap. Oh, and there is a shoulder pad too. Nice.
But if you've no need for your camera that day, you simply pull out the cushioned pod and more than double the amount of space in the main hold. With it out you can carry books, notepads, pencil cases, food, and anything else you might need for your busy commute or a day out somewhere. So one bag, two uses.
The bag itself is very well assembled, with tough polyester and over-sized, easy-to-grab zippers. There is no mention of weather-proofing though, and as the camera pod is left open from the top when occupied, and because there is no flap over the zip to that compartment, we couldn't recommend use in a heavy downpour of rain. We've been using it for about a week now, and on one occasion when we had to walk through some rain, we simply flipped over the main flap to cover the camera compartment zip. This seemed to work fine, although we don't recommend it if you have precious gadgets like your phone in the pockets which are normally covered by the flap.
Apart from our slight weather concerns, this is great bag; both for urban photography and for general use. Good looks, useful pockets, and a handy removable pod. Nice work, Case Logic.