The Bag Man Reviews the Case Logic Reflexion DSLR Shoulder Bag

I found a lot to like in Case Logic's new Reflexion DSLR Shoulder Bag—and a few nits to pick, too. So which is it? Beauty or the Beast? Read on and form your own conclusion.

Last July I reviewed the Case Logic Kontrast Pro DSLR Backpack and gave it high marks, so I was particularly eager to see their newest lineup: the Reflexion collection. These are modestly priced bags and that made them all the more attractive.

The design of the Reflexion DSLR Medium Shoulder Bag is at once attractive and ambitious, and one look tells you that this new bag has tons of potential. That said, I found a few nagging flaws that I wish weren’t there. They wouldn’t prevent me from buying this bag, especially at the $69 price tag ($49 for the smaller size). In one sense they remind me of something I’ve often said: even the finest bag is a compromise.

It’s a square shaped bag with a permanently attached shoulder strap and a very narrow, relatively uncomfortable hand strap. The main compartment opens from the top like a doctor’s bag, or like large jaws ready to swallow your camera gear. The jaws are a great feature that I wish we’d see more often. The design makes it extremely easy to  access what’s inside.

And what’s inside is a removable padded bucket (they call it a pod) that has three fixed subdividers and its own hand straps. I like the bucket concept, but this one is too small. It could fit inside the shoulder bag along with a three-pound can of coffee, so from one point of view that’s a lot of wasted space. From another point of view, that’s a lot of vacant, unpadded space where you could stow unbreakable accessories, a rolled-up raincoat or a small puppy. I understand the desire to make this shoulder bag convertible and able to carry things other than camera gear. But I still argue that it would be a much better bag if it didn’t have such a puny pod.

There are two zippered pockets on the front, a large one that has a trio of small pockets inside, and one that’s diagonally cut and convenient for a phone, lens caps or such. On either end there are large mesh pockets—and I mean large, as in big enough to hold a full liter bottle of Evian.

And then there’s the shoulder strap. It’s acceptable that it’s not removable, particularly because they made it quite long and fully adjustable. But the shoulder pad is thin and slippery. It’s made from the same polyester material as the bag and easily slides right off the shoulder. It may not be a deal breaker for everyone, but I find it annoying.

The Case Logic Reflexion collection includes two DSLR + iPad cross-body bags, a photo backpack, one compact camera holster and two sizes of the Reflexion shoulder bag. Warranty is a very healthy 25 years and all can be ordered online directly from Case Logic or from your favorite camera retailer.

—Jon Sienkiewicz