Billing­ham Weeken­der

Is this holdall the per­fect week­end bag? Michael Topham finds out

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench Accessories - www.billing­ham.co.uk ● £225

IF YOU like go­ing away for a few days with your cam­era, you’ll prob­a­bly need a sup­ple­men­tary bag to carry all those es­sen­tial but un­re­lated pho­tog­ra­phy items. Billing­ham’s lat­est travel and leisure bag col­lec­tion has been de­signed ex­actly with this in mind.

The largest of the new bags is the Weeken­der, which, as its name sug­gests, is in­tended for one or two nights away, or as com­ple­men­tary hand lug­gage for longer trips. It meets to­day’s strict air­line hand-bag­gage re­quire­ments and comes with a durable shoul­der strap made from shut­tle-wo­ven spun polyester with solid brass fit­tings. The main com­part­ment is ac­cessed via the cen­tral zip that can be un­zipped along the en­tire length of the bag, and its turnover-top de­sign al­lows the sides to be peeled back cre­at­ing an ex­tremely wide open­ing to make pack­ing a lit­tle eas­ier. On the inside you get a large open net pocket with leather edg­ing de­tail that’s great for par­ti­tion­ing valu­able items such as keys, pass­port, phone or a tablet from clothes or other items. Sup­plied for re­view with the op­tional high-strength foam base pad (£20), I found this helped give the bag ex­tra struc­ture along its length, while still al­low­ing the body to flex around its width.

Billing­ham bags have a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing su­perbly crafted with great at­ten­tion to de­tail and the Weeken­der is no ex­cep­tion. You get the lovely sig­na­ture Billing­ham logo em­bossed into leather on one side, the sat­is­fy­ing green la­bel on the other stat­ing it’s made in Eng­land and re­in­forced leather han­dles that are con­toured for com­fort when be­ing car­ried with one hand. The rest of the bag is made from hard­wear­ing, yet light­weight, wa­ter and heat-re­sis­tant Fi­breNyte can­vas. If the il­lus­trated black-and-tan fin­ish isn’t for you, the bag is also avail­able in sage and cho­co­late, khaki and cho­co­late, or all black.

Ver­dict

I used the weeken­der to carry clothes and day-to- day es­sen­tials for two pho­tog­ra­phy trips. It’s one of those bags that holds more than you think it will. When it’s thrown around like most travel bags are, you’re re­as­sured by the strength­en­ing leather on the bot­tom cor­ners, which takes the brunt of any wear and tear. This fine ex­am­ple of a week­end bag from Billing­ham is a great choice for any pho­tog­ra­pher who likes to travel light and in style.

Pock­ets The bag has no ex­te­rior pock­ets, but has a large net pocket on the inside.

Ac­ces­sories Fine-leather lug­gage tal­lies and shoul­der pads are avail­able as op­tional ex­tras.

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