As a traveler, I'm often very aware of my surroundings. The people around me, what they're looking at, what they're doing and – especially- if they're paying attention to me. I usually try to look as local as possible, which works pretty well in southern European countries, but there are a lot of times when it's clear that I'm just another tourist. Most of those times, it's because I'm walking around with my camera in hand, ready to shoot anything in sight.
I know this is something I can't avoid, but what I can avoid is looking like a tourist when I have my camera tucked away. At least now I can, with my Jo Totes Abby Black camera bag for women.
The Jo Totes Abby Black, a camera bag that looks like a purse
You see, when I upgraded from a simple point-and-shoot to my Fujifilm XE1 in December, I immediately started looking for a camera bag that looks like a purse. Jo Totes seemed to have the most options and I was happy when they agreed to work together on a review of one of their bags.
I got the Abby Black, a classy black leather handbag on the outside, a camera bag with padding and organizer inserts on the inside. I completely fell in love with it because, honestly, it looks better than all of the normal handbags I have!
This camera bag and purse combo (you can easily use the bag as a regular purse as well) has enough room to put away a digital camera and one or two extra lenses, as well as some other stuff you'd take with you on a day trip.
It has two removable straps – a short one and an adjustable one – and comes with three organizer inserts to change the layout of your camera bag.
Curious to see what it actually looks like? I put together this little review video that describes all the bag's features:
You can also watch this video directly on YouTube
So yes, the Jo Totes Abby Black looks like a regular purse, it has ample pockets and compartments and it's easy to change the layout of the main compartment with the divider inserts.
But is it nice to carry around?
I think it is. When I walk around with it, I wear it cross-body in front of me or to the side of my body. It's very easy to access that way. When I'm taking photos I can leave the main compartment closed as I usually have my lip balm and smartphone (the essentials, in other words) in the open compartment in the back of the bag and I can just slip them out whenever I need them.
The only negative remark I can make is that, as it's a cross-body bag, it can get pretty heavy to carry around all day. The bag itself is a bit heavier than a normal handbag because of the all-around padding and I have to admit that I usually stuff it full as well. I think that's a “problem” you'll encounter with almost any bag though, except maybe a very ergonomic camera backpack that will surely also look like a camera bag.
I couldn't be happier with the Jo Totes Abby Black. It's exactly what I was looking for: a stylish handbag that offers the protection and features of a camera bag. This bag in combination with my PacSafe travel handbag for evenings on which I don't need to take a lot with me is the perfect camera bag and purse combo for me to travel with.
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I received an Abby Black camera bag from Jo Totes for review purposes. The choice to carry this bag everywhere with me now is entirely my own. The links to the Jo Totes Abby Black bag in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.