A few months ago, with the intention of downsizing a bit and perhaps carrying a little less, I bought the Topo Designs Field Bag. It’s a great little bag, and I’ve essentially replaced the Topo Designs Mini Mountain Bag I was using before. I generally like the Topo Designs bags – they’re well designed and they’re made in the USA. I’ve even have the Topo Daypack, and use it often.
Here’s the video review:
As shoulder bags go, the Field Bag is on the smaller end of what I can get away with- I usually pack bags until they’re full and then stop. I wish I could take only what I’m certain I’ll need, but usually I just pack until the bag is full and I can’t fit any more gadgets in there.
The Topo Field Bag is about 12x7x6 and holds a DSLR on one side if you want it to – as long as your lens isn’t too large. If you had a medium length L-Series lens and a flash and some memory cards and notebook, you’d just about fill the bag to the brim. I generally carry my Ricoh GR, a Canon S100, a GoPro, a few notebooks and some pens, and my phone and tablet. It fits just about right.
With that much stuff the bag isn’t too heavy to carry around for a while and the stuff isn’t too crowded. If you’re into packing heavy, the Field Bag is probably a little too small.
The hook and loop closure on the front seems secure enough and I’ve never had a problem with it opening inadvertently. The hook and loop on the front is a little loud – so this may not be the best bag if you’ve got anything secret planned. They’ll hear you coming the minute you try to get anything out.
It has some minimal messenger bag style straps that attach to the body side of the bag and hold the bag securely to your waist. Thankfully they also come off quickly and painlessly. The shoulder strap is great. It’s got just enough padding to be comfortable and the pad slides easily on the strap, making swinging the bag around front to get into it pretty easy. The water bottle pouches on the sides are welcome after having the Mini Mountain bag with no good way to carry a water bottle.
You can fit a DSLR in the bag (even with a large lens provided you remove the center divider) but you may not fit much else. While Topo Designs kind of markets the bag as a potential fishing bag, I usually just use it as a half camera bag, half every day carry bag. I like that on roadtrips it sits easily on the front seat of my truck and I can get into it if I need to.
Topo X Howler did a version of this bag as well, offered in a slightly different colorway.
If, like me, you’ve got to have what amounts to a man’s purse, you could do far worse than the Topo Designs Field Bag.
- Good shoulder strap
- Holds a water bottle
- Loud to open
- Might not hold large cameras
- Water bottles eat up interior room
Who it’s for: Someone committed to carrying less, but not ready to ditch the cameras quite yet. Oh, and fishermen. Maybe.
If you’re interested in Topo Designs Bags, check out my reviews on the Mini Mountain Bag and the Topo Designs Daypack. I’ve also just added a review and video of the Topo Designs Mountain Briefcase as well.