For YEARS I've been wanting a camera purse/bag. Now, I'm not a photographer by trade or as a side hobby, but sometimes a girl wants to take her beloved Nikon out to play and not carry on one of those icky black lunch bag looking things that screams, "Hey, I've got a fancy camera on me!!" So, this is a camera bag review from a blogger's perspective more than a photographer's perspective.
I looked at purses a few years ago, and I always put off the purchase because it was too expensive and frivolous, but now I am headed to New York City in October, and I want to take fabulous photos. I don't get to take vacays too often thanks to my job, so this mini-vacation is going to be chock full of picture taking and sight seeing.
Epiphanie bags are gorgeous, leather, and high quality, but for the price point I wanted to stick to ($100), I just couldn't make it happen. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to handbags, and I'll only plunk down good money on the luxe brands I love, sorry.
So, JoTotes was the front runner, and then came the torture of choosing a style. There's a lot of reviews and pics out there thanks to their relationships with bloggers, so I was able to quickly rule out most of the larger bags. I wanted small enough to fit the camera body with lens attached, extra lens, memory cards, phone, makeup bag, wallet.
The reviews about the Abby style were fairly positive, and I loved the scale of the bag. It looked like an average/medium sized purse. I was so torn between the black or marsala version, so I did a poll on my Facebook page, and marsala won. I still wish I would have ordered black, but maybe the color will grow on me...? It's just outside my norm, and I usually play it safe with purchases like this.
The Abby bag arrived to my home in a speedy THREE business days, and it comes with a cute blue dust bag. My order also came with a bonus little notebook, which was a nice surprise.
The gold hardware is my FAVE part of this bag. It is the most perfect shade of gold. While the bag isn't real leather, the quality feels like high quality leather. It is thick, luxurious and feels like it'll hold up well.
I tried wear it as a cross body on Saturday, and within an hour I was so annoyed...AND I didn't even have a camera in the purse, I was literally using it as just a purse. I don't think it's the bag's fault though; I am just so not used to wearing cross body style bags. Ever.
The interior is a light gray color and comes with plenty of velcro inserts to customize your bag, which is lovely. It's versatile. My one complaint is that there's no interior pocket for a cell phone to slip in, but there is a zippered compartment. I'm used to my Kate Spade bags that have non-zippered pockets for quick access to stuff.
On the backside of the bag is another a pocket section and more zippered compartments. The flap itself is also zippered, but it's super shallow, so nothing huge or bulky could fit in there. Might be good to put memory cards, business cards or lens wipes.
On a scale of 1-10 in terms of utility, function and quality, I'd give this a 9. Now, the color to me is just so hard to describe. It's like a wine/maroon/purple color. The best I can say is that it literally looks like the color you see on their website.
I would not hesitate to buy another JoTotes bag. I've got my eye on the Hanover bag (love the nylon...so Kate Spade-esque!) and the Gracie bag in butterscotch.
Have questions about the JoTotes Abby bag in marsala? Leave them in the comments, and I'll respond, or you can shoot me an email.