I’ll admit I’m somewhat of a bag enthusiast. My wife and I often joke that I have more bags than she has purses, which is likely true. Undeniably, a well-crafted bag with a clear purpose can bring as much joy as any other finely made tool, such as a watch, pocket knife, or camera.

About a decade ago, while working as a salesman at Camera West, I was introduced to Billingham Bags. I quickly purchased my first Hadley Pro bag, which became my constant companion. This bag endured more use and wear than any other camera bag I’ve owned. Interestingly, this purpose-built camera bag typically only contained one camera, my Leica M or Fujifilm X camera. The remaining bag carried everything I needed for the office, weekend outings, hiking trips, and more. This bag got drug everywhere and through just about everything.

Fast forward to now, I’m a massive advocate for the Billingham brand. I’ve owned many of their bags over the years and am thrilled to see them expanding into the “leisure” category. These Leisure bags are designed not just for cameras and lenses but for everyday use, travel, and any adventure that beckons.

About Billingham

About a year ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Billingham Factory, located just outside of Birmingham, UK. Like many small independent watch brands we all appreciate, Billingham is a small, family-run business that has manufactured bags since its inception from the home of Ross and Martin Billingham in the early 1970s. Their success story is genuinely inspiring. Ross and Martin began making Billingham bags while still holding down full-time jobs. Initially, the bags were designed for fishing and shooting until they discovered that the bags they were shipping to New York City were being used by photographers. This led to a shift in the brand’s focus, and from then on, Billingham concentrated on the photographic market. At that time, camera bags were unremarkable, and I believe Billingham initiated the movement towards high-end camera bags from various brands that we see on that market today.

Harry Billingham’s well-loved and worn bag was built long before he learned how to help run the company.

During my factory visit last year, I experienced a buzz of innovation, the same spirit that initiated Billingham in the first place. From Martin Billingham’s office corner, cluttered with piles of prototypes, to Harry Billingham’s ingenious production techniques that have streamlined the manufacturing of these beautiful bags, the spirit of a small business dedicated to producing the best possible product using responsible and resourceful methods is more vibrant than ever in this at the Billingham factory.

Read More About the Billingham Story

Camera & Leisure Bags

As previously mentioned, it’s worth noting Billingham’s venture into the realm of leisure bags alongside their camera bags. Spotlighted here are the Billingham Mini Eventer and the Overnighter Duffle, two fine examples of the options available on both sides of their offerings. These bags exemplify Billingham’s approach to pairing camera and leisure bags. If you require more space, both bags have larger counterparts suitable for bigger adventures.

Photo by Take Kayo

The Billingham Eventer MKII & Mini Eventer

The Eventer MKII and Mini Eventer are ideal travel bags for those carrying a camera. They easily accommodate an 11-inch iPad, a smaller camera (or two) like a Leica M or any other mirrorless camera, along with daily accessories. If you’re traveling with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro or a 13-14 inch MacBook, consider the larger size (Eventer MKII), which maintains the same style as the Mini version., and by my own experience and hold a metric ton of gear.

Photo by Take Kayo

Billingham Mini Eventer & Eventer MKII Highlights

  • Full Grain Leather Bottom and accents
  • Weather Proof FibreNyte Material or Canvas
  • Brass or Nickel Metal Fittings (I love the brass because it will patina!)
  • Both bags feature a weatherproof zipper and flap over the main compartment, as well as flaps over each front dump pocket for enhanced security and weather resistance.
  • Front Dump Pockets for odds and ends
  • Removable padded divider for cameras and Laptop or Tablet sleeve for 11-inch iPad on the “Mini” and up to a 14in Macbook on the regular Eventer.

Learn More About The Mini Eventer and Eventer MKII

The Billingham Overnighter Duffel

I occasionally use a roller case, but for quick 1-2 day trips to places like San Francisco or New York City, I prefer using a duffle bag. It’s the perfect size to throw in my clothes and go. The Overnighter duffle is made from weatherproof FibreNyte material or canvas, which is also very durable. Its leather handles and metal fittings give it a luxurious yet rugged feel, qualities I appreciate in all my bags or any item I plan to use for a long time. The Overnighter is the perfect size for most trips, offering around 23L of space. But for longer trips, the Weekender, with a capacity of around 34L, is a fantastic option.

Photo by Take Kayo

Billingham Overnighter & Weekender Highlights

  • Weatherproof Zips
  • Full-grain Leather handles and Accents
  • Brass or Nickel Metal Fittings
  • Internal Mess compartment and Zipped main compartment
  • Rugged and Weatherproof FibreNyte or Canvas materials.
  • 23L for the Overnighter Duffel and 34L for the Weekender Duffel

Learn More About the Billingham Overnighter & Weekender Duffel bags.