Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thule Perspektiv Messenger Bag Review [with Detailed Photos]

I'm a bag person and sometimes, it can be difficult to find a bag that looks good and is functional at the same time. Unlike majority of the female population, they buy bags as their accessories to match their outfit. Me, I don't care if I use the same bag over and over as long as it serves me well and looks good.

(L-R) Pacsafe Metrosafe 300, Crumpler 6 million dollar home, Lowerpro Classified Sling 180aw, Thule Perspektiv Messenger Bag
For my camera bag, I've been using the following bags for specific purposes:
A "Lowepro Classified Sling 180aw" for long travels that requires me to bring an extensive range of equipment.
A "Crumpler 6 million dollar home" bag for covering daily events.
And a "Pacsafe Metrosafe 300 GII" if I want to be a little discreet or if safety is of concern.

I was recently introduced to the Thule brand. First impression of most of us would know that they are the makers of car accessories related to outdoor sports (like bike racks). Even without the need to explain, i know that Thule is a good brand and they wouldn't make something that isn't functional.

Thule Signature Buckle
The distributor of Thule in the Philippines was kind enough to lend me a "Thule Perspektiv™ Messenger Bag Black" so I can road test the bag and share with you my actual experience. The Thule Perspektiv™ is a line of camera bags and cases from Thule. They have backpacks, daypacks, slings and toploaders to fit your active lifestyle. A week after I got the review unit, I went to Boracay to see if this bag can serve me well on a five day trip out of the city.

The contents of the bag:
2 battery packs
Lens filter
FOBO tag
Mili USB adaptor
3 mobile phones
Nikon D90 with battery grip and 18-105 lens
Nikon flash
Pen and some documents
2 LTE pocket wifi
Memory card and card reader
Wallet and calling card holder

Unlike my other bags where my shoulders are sometimes strained, the Thule Perspektiv messenger did great carrying 5-6 kilograms with the stress point evenly distributed. I didn't encounter any problems even until storing it under the seat in front of me during take-off and landing.

Light blue interior of the Thule Perpektiv Messenger bag
The light blue interior lining did look good and worked to my advantage as finding small things was a breeze even during low light conditions. The zipper on top of the bag which provides easy access to the contents is something I find useful as well. I usually use that more when I'm out and open the flip when organizing the contents.
1) Open the flap
2) Unzip the outer flap with pockets
3) You'll see the inner pockets with two more zippered pockets
4) Completely remove the inner bag
This is how the inner bag looks like when removed and closed
The pockets in front of the inner bag (You can see these same pockets in image #3 above)
Another way to organize it is by removing the interior compartment completely. This way, you can easily organize your stuff as it is out of any obstruction. Another thing I appreciate much about this feature is how I can turn this bag from a camera bag to an ordinary messenger bag without dividers. The Thule Perspektiv messenger bag is a flexible 2 in 1 bag. I just put my camera stuff away still inside that interior bag and lock it away safely inside my luggage. The so-called interior bag is the safe zone. Every Thule bag has one to provide extra protection for your gadgets and valuables.

As for the other pockets and dividers available, check out this photo so you can visualize what you can put in them: (Contents inside the bag are enumerated on the initial part of this post)
FOBO tag, memory cards and card readers
Interior dividers (Inner bag)
Left pocket... (Cables, phones, mifis, battery packs, filter, USB adapter, wallet)
Middle pocket...(D90 with lens and battery grip + tripod connector)
Left pocket... (Shades, calling card holder, Flash)
Rear padded compartment... (iPad, documents, pen)
Cloudburst™ construction with welded and taped critical seams, DWR treated fabric and YKK RCPU zippers
While I was there in Boracay, it rained. Good thing, this bag has Cloudburst™ construction with welded and taped critical seams, DWR treated fabric and YKK RCPU zippers provides a first line of weather defense to make sure that the contents are safe and dry inside.

If you're bringing a laptop with you, this can also fit a 15" Macbook pro and it has its own padded compartment. You might have a hard time pulling out your laptop via the easy access zipper so you have to open the flap to get it.

For the style, this is one of the critical part for me as well. Thule makes and designs world-class products and this is one of them. The details are great even up to the buckles as they are all color coordinated. The Thule brand is printed proudly and boldly when you carry it with you. It's one of the brands I can say that you can carry proudly.

Even with contents, the side profile is still slim
Additional features include a detachable waist strap (check out the lower left portion of the bag in the photo above. That's where you attached the detachable waist strap. There are one of it in each side.) so the bag won't sway from side to side when you're carrying it. The famous buckle is where you can attach additional Thule accessories or anything that can be attached to your carbiner provided it's still comfortable for you.

When commuting in the Philippines, be extra careful as the easy access zipper might work against you because when you carry the bag over your shoulders, the bag will somewhat be at the back middle to back part of your body. Straps are fixed and sewn on the back of the bag similar to how they sewed the patch like stitching holding the squeeze-clip locks in front.

Overall, given how good it looks, the water repellent texture, flexible storage options and a detachable inner bag, this bag is something I would highly recommend and use for a long time in different scenarios. I even removed the interior bag and made it an overnight bag complete with my gadgets and clothes! If you're in search for a multipurpose messenger bag, I recommend that you don't think about it anymore and go get yourself one!

That's the Thule Perspectiv Messenger Bag in action. It's comfortable enough to do a photo shoot with it on my shoulders.

More info? Check out:
Thule Philippines Facebook Page

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