Testing The Limits of Manfrotto Medium Messenger

It was a typical Pacific Northwest day. By that I mean there was a 100% chance of rain and 30 mph winds. So naturally my friends and I decided to head to Cape Disappointment. There was probably some little part of me that hoped the rain would hold off. Either way, I thought this would be the perfect time to test my Manfrotto Medium Messenger Bag.

This first picture I have of the bag, you should know in advance, is completely soaking wet. It’s pouring rain, the waves are crashing against the cove, and the wind is howling in my ears. I’m miserable. On a brighter note, I was able to snap some pretty sweet shots of the lighthouse using my Fuji XT1 while my canon 6D was tucked away in the bag. It’s kind of incredible that everything inside remained dry. Yes, I said it. Completely dry.




 The rain cleared up for a little bit and we thought the worst of it was gone. Then the hail came. Chunks of ice slammed around us while we sprinted back to our car. At this point we probably had shot photography/video for a little less than an hour. I guess you can say Cape Dissapointment lived up to its name. So we spent the rest of day driving from coast town to coast town trying to avoid the storm. We were unsuccessful.

Let’s break down the details of the bag. By far my favourite feature is the latch on the front side. It’s a solid built and quite easy to unlatch and get what I need out quickly or tuck away gear from the weather.


My second favourite feature of this bag would probably be the inside design. It’s clear the vibrant colours of the rain forest inspired the design team. The pouch also handled my 6D with a 35mm lens and a 100mm. Even with the pouch full, I was able to have a full change of clothes folded neatly beneath it. As condensed as my gear was I never felt like my gear was being squished. The padding created a nice protective layer around my valuables.




I mentioned earlier that the bag was completely soaked and everything I carried stayed dry. Being an adventure photographer, waterproof gear is quite important to me. I would like to personally vouch for the quality of water resistant material Manfrotto. It most likely saved my cameras and allowed me to keep a spare change of clothes dry.

The only true quarrel I have with this item is the strap.  It kind of feels like a seatbelt, which is sturdy, but not necessarily comfortable. This didn’t bother me while I was wearing a coat but when I was in a tank top I noticed the friction against my neck and shoulder was not pleasant. I think this could be easily fixed with an expedition pad.


Overall, I love the bag. National Geographic & Manfrotto did a fantastic job with this one! The internal mechanics make sense. It’s small but still spacious while maintaining a safe space for camera gear. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an affordable, lightweight, camera bag for daytime adventures.


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Tom Tran

Tommy Tran is a creative mind dedicated to pushing the boundaries of the human spirit. Tran began taking pictures in 2012 as a way to overcome writer's block and has fallen in love with the process of capturing images. He currently lives in Seattle, WA, with his wife, Emily.

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