Tenba DNA 15 Camera Bag

In my quest to find the perfect camera bag, I decided to check out the DNA 15 from Tenba. While there is no one bag that can do everything, I’m always looking for one that can carry all the gear I need for a portrait session and family outings, and still be used as a daily bag for my office essentials. Being able to switch from a load of camera gear to a single body and lens combo, plus lunch and snacks, is really all I want. Sleeves for a laptop, iPad, or tablet are a plus as well. So I checked out Tenba’s Messenger collection. This includes many fine bags, and though their Large Messenger Bag has a bit more capacity, the DNA 15 is better suited for outdoor use, thanks to the added all-weather features.

Tenba DNA 15

Tenba says their DNA 15 will hold up to a pro size DSLR with grip, and 2-3 lenses (even an attached 70-200 f2.8), plus a flash or two, and accessories. My kit depends on what I am shooting, so it varies a bit. For any shoot that involves children, I will bring a Canon 6D body with a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8, a pair of 600 EX RT speedlites, and controller. When I can shoot at a more relaxed pace, I use the same body and speedlites, but swap out the glass for my 50 f1.4, 85 f1.8, and 200 f2.8 primes. Wildlife shoots mean a switch to a 7D body, and I add the 100-400 f4-5.6 lens. Either way, this is not a light setup, and I’m asking my bag to protect some pricey gear. The DNA 15 does that well.

Tenba DNA 15 w/Canon 6D, prime lenses, and speedlites

Full specs are at the end of the article, so I’m going to go over the features of the DNA 15. On top is a thick, padded handle. Open the DNA 15 to reveal an insert with velcro dividers, so you can configure it to your liking, or remove the insert and use it as a messenger bag only. The lid has side flaps for extra protection, and a full length YKK self-healing zipper so you can access your gear without opening the bag. Two pockets on the flap open with zippers that have nice big pulls on them too. Under the flap at the front are some pockets for small items, like batteries, filters, or a memory card wallet.  At the back, there is a small sleeve for a tablet, and a larger one for up to a 15″ laptop. Elastic pockets on either side hold a water bottle, or a small lens if you’re careful. On the back, there is long pocket, big enough for magazines or file folders, plus tall pockets for your pen, stylus, or similar items.

Tenba DNA 15 w/Canon 6D, 7D, and 100-400, 24-70 lenses

The Fidlock® magnetic clips that hold the DNA 15 shut are a joy to use. No fumbling, ever. A magnet pops them in place, a slide to one side opens them. I could do this with gloves on, and the bag behind my back. And then I am let down by the two large velcro patches. They help keep the bag secure, but I can’t stand the noise. While the DNA 15 may not be for weddings or wildlife, this is the one feature I think they missed the mark on. I like stealth, so I just slapped some more velcro over the main strips, and solved that problem. Of course, that full length zipper on the top of the bag gives me access without worrying about the veclro, so we’ll call this one a wash. The strap is nice and sturdy seatbelt webbing, with a pad that has non-slip dots. Not as sticky as I like, but it works okay. A removable security strap is a nice touch when riding a bike, and I tested it on a motorcycle at freeway speeds too. This is the first bag that has not shifted on me, which is a huge plus. For extra weather protection, a reversible cover is included, and the bottom resists water and abrasion.

After living with the DNA 15 for more than two months, it has become my new favorite. Not only does it carry just about all I need it to, but the subtle styling makes it suitable for work and being out and about, without it screaming “camera bag”. It’s big enough to hold what I need, and the zip through lid makes access quick and easy when shooting. When not using it for cameras, I can pull out the insert, throw in lunch, a laptop, tablet, and other office essentials, and it’s my daily carry for the office. Find it and plenty of other great camera bags at Tenba.com.

Get yours now with free shipping on Amazon.com

Weight: 3 lbs(1.4 kg)
Exterior Dimensions: 16W X 11.5H X 8/9/2015 (41 X 29 X 20-23 cm)
Interior Dimensions: 15W X 10.5H X 7-8D in. (38 X 27 X 18-20 cm)
Laptop Compartment: 14.75W X 10.5H X 1D in. (37W X 27H X 3D cm)

Main sleeve fits a laptop up to 15 inches, second sleeve fits an iPad or similar sized tablet

– Brian

A special thanks to Tenba for providing their DNA 15 for this review.

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OOooooOOOO! This looks real nice!

Peter Waisnor

Thanks for the great review.


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