Hey folks, Valkor here. The folks over at Tenba have returned to try and achieve a trifecta here at TOV. Sure the Shootout was a win and the Daypack was most impressive, but how will the Mini Photo/Laptop Messenger fare? Read on and find out.
The Mini Messenger is as the name implies – a mini messenger bag. Not super small like a purse, just a smaller messenger bag with a nifty urban design. The exterior is made of Denier nylon for strength and durability, plus it's easily one of the lightest bag in my messenger repertoire. At the front there are two smaller pouches used for quick access to business cards, flash or SD cards (whichever type of mini storage you prefer). The bag itself locks down with both an adjustable buckle and velcro. Inside, in front of the first pouch, you have two pockets, with a zippered pouch behind that. Which then leads to the main area which has customizable dividers (much like the Daypack) which can be adjusted to handle any need from storing camera and lenses, bottles, books, or maybe just a change of clothes; simply switch teh dividers to suit your need. Behind the main compartment is a padded pouch that'll hold a netbook, laptop (up to 13inches), or tablet. Finally, at the rear of the bag is another compartment with four individual pockets (two obviously for pens). To complete the tour, the mini messenger has an adjustable shoulder strap, plus a handle, giving you a more professional yet casual look about you.
As an added bonus the mini messenger features a "Quick Access" zipper, which will allow you access to the main compartment without having to open the main flap. Great if you need access to your equipment or simply in need of something (pen, usb thumb drive, or laptop) with the quickness.
So after treating the mini messenger to its just desserts in the Val-Cave, let's see how well it did in the TOV Breakdown.
Though small in size, Tenba's Mini Messenger is very versatile, very travelworthy, and a great messenger overall. Its light weight makes travelling a breeze and thanks to the mesh cushioning at the back, it makes the bag comfortable to hold on my lap and use the it as an armrest when I'm commuting; honestly, I can use the bag when doing simple task on my phone or gaming and be quite comfortable. The customizing dividers allow the bag to have more than one use than just holding stuff in one big area. Now you can separate the compartments to suit your needs on any given day. Or take out the dividers all together if you need teh space. Plus the dividers mean you won't scratch your equipment. Or let's say if you bought a bottle of something cold, it won't wet up anything else inside. Finally kudos to the Quick Access zipper; I never really thought about such a thing until I started using it and now I can't live without it. No more lifting the flap, holding it up and then getting what I need; now I just unzip it and grip it (no that's not as dirty as it sounds cause I said so).
The pouch just before the main compartment could use a few extra smaller pouches. That's more of a nitpick than anything else, but more pouches never hurt anyone.
So to Tenba and your Mini Photo/Laptop Messenger bag, I say kudos you've won another round in the Val-Cave. But don't think it's over… I'm watching you… and waiting. But to you guys and gals out there (photogs and non-photogs alike) shouldn't have to wait to consider this bad boy mini. It's versatile, durable, and an all-around handy travel bag that I highly recommend. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Tenba Mini Messenger a 4.5 and it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!