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Discretion is advised: Lowepro messenger 250

Posted by in Product reviews on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

LowePro's Event Messenger 250 out on a promenade near Ottawa's historic Chateau Laurier hotel.

There are people in this country who have never locked their front door, and who leave their car keys in the ignition even when it's parked in their driveway. Not every Canadian is so trusting, but each of us is fortunate to live in a country where petty theft isn't too much of a concern. In Canada, it's easy to feel relatively secure that just because you took your eyes off of your gear for 30 seconds doesn't mean it's going to be gone by the time you go to look for it.

But a lot of us - myself included - travel abroad, and taking this sense of security on the road with you can have consequences. I've been burned a few times. Camera gear has been lifted from me on no less than three continents, with my own inattentiveness playing into the theft in at least one case. After I was robbed of a DSLR and lens by thugs in Peru, I swore I wouldn't ever let it happen again.

Since then, the most important thing I look for in a camera bag is that it doesn't look like a camera bag. Even when I'm photographing an event in an urban setting in Canada - in a crowd that I trust not to steal my gear - I'm uncomfortable advertising that my bag is loaded with thousands of dollars of camera equipment. After all, it's inevitable that you'll eventually have to set the bag down for a minute.

This is one thing I like about LowePro's Event Messenger 250 bag. Its subtle brown/beige colour scheme and urbane look give it the appearance of a fashion accessory rather than a camera bag. Whether you're in Montreal or Prince George, the messenger style bag isn’t going to draw much attention to itself. Sure, if you look closely at the bag's flap, the LowePro logo is visible, but it blends with the bag's colour scheme and is unlikely to be noticed. People will probably just assume that you're carrying a few bottles of wine in the bag - and maybe you will be - the bag fits three bottles perfectly.

Functionally, the Event Messenger 250 works well for photographers who prefer a fairly lightweight set-up. It can easily fit two DSLRs or a DSLR camera and large flash, with room to spare for a secondary lens or additional smaller flashes. Professional cameras with larger bodies are a fairly snug fit; it has to stretch a little bit to accommodate them. Similarly, the front of the bag stretches out a bit if the bag’s laptop storage pocket is used when it is loaded with a DSLR of any type. 

However, this stretching is a purely aesthetic consideration. The bag was designed to stretch this way. It functions just as well when heavily loaded, it just doesn’t look quite as stylish.   

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