To date, I’ve already own a few Billingham bags already. I remember my first bag was a Khaki/Tan Hadley Large, then I sold it for a lens. Then after a few camera sling bags from other brands, I got a used Black Hadley Large and was happy with it for a while.. Till I sold it for yet another lens. Then a year later I was looking at Hadley Pro, but got another black Hadley Large again… Sold it for another bag… And fast forward to current time.. I finally got myself a Hadley Pro (used)…
I guess Billingham Hadleys just have this draw.. In terms of sling/messenger bags, I’ll have to give it to them, I feel they are the best camera messenger bag ever made. Not too heavy, but gives really good protection to your gears, waterproof fabrics and leather and brass/chrome styling. Comes in a classic look and if you don’t wanna use the padding you can always just remove them and get a nice messenger bag. Its pricey but worth every cent. I always wanted the Hadley Pro because of its handle, do not underestimate that little strip of cloth, it gives me so much more control of my bag wherever I go, especially in Singapore where everywhere is crowded, its always good that you control your bag so it won’t end up in somebody’s face. Its also quite amazing that a simple design like this can fit in so much gear. I can bring my dry cabinet worth of gear in this slightly-bigger-than-A4-size bag. Crazy. The waterproofing will wear off over time, thats only natural due to the fabric material, but you can always spray on some more treatment like 3M Scotchgard Protector. I’ve used it to a certain amount of success on my sneakers. But I will probably spend more on another brand soon… Being me, I always over pack, so no matter how well designed is a bag, it will be too heavy for me.. So unfortunately I over-packed my new (used) Billingham and its weighing down on my weak shoulders. I’d love to buy a proper side pouch and the nice shoulder pad they make but its quite pricey and I am poor. So I’ll have to make do with it now and see if I will get any richer soon.
Despite this con, which is always the case no matter which bag I carry, I still love the bag. If I am rich, I’ll throw all my other bags out and replace them all with a Billingham equivalent. Check out their line-up, any kind of bag you need, they made them.
Check out my chrome messenger bag review here too!