Tenba DNA 15 Backpack & BYOB 9 backpack insert

UPDATE (Feb 2018):  I have sold the Tenda DNA 15 Backpack.  I’ve replaced it with the F-Stop Guru UL backpack.

I’m addicted to camera bags.  While I like dedicated camera bags, like the Think Tank Retro series or Streetwalker backpack series, the most practical type of bag for me right now are bags that can hold minimal camera gear plus some non-camera items. For this, I am still searching for that “perfect” everyday backpack that can hold my camera gear as well as some items that I  need to bring along for my 4 year old son.  And the bag will also need to not be too bulky.


A few weeks back, I did a quick overview of Mindshift Gear’s SidePath backpack.  I like that bag when I need a real minimal gear.  It is a very practical bag, very lightweight and small.  In terms of camera gear in the Mindshift, you can either fit:

  1. a standard dSLR with a 24-70mm on its own, or
  2. a standard dSLR with a 50mm prime and a small point n shoot camera (ie. Canon G7X).

And for this reason, I went out to look for a similarly sized bag but can hold slightly more camera gear for those occasions when I want to bring an extra lens and a flash with me as well.

I looked at a few options:

  1. MindShift Gear Trailscape 18L – love the size but there’s not enough space for personal items.  Would still want to own this bag when the time comes.
  2. MindShift Gear BackLight 26L – love the rear opening for the camera section but a bit too big to be an everyday backpack though.
  3. Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L – good size and design, but I can’t justify the price tag.
  4. Tenba DNA Backpack – decided on this as it is closest to what I was looking for (ie. approx. 50-50 split between camera gear and personal items, and not too big.

Comparing the external dimension between the Mindshift SidePath and Tenba DNA Backpack:

You can see that the Tenba is only slightly bigger compared to the MindShift but the top section can really expand if you need to fit in more things.  And there’s also a sleeve that can fit in a 15″ MacBook Pro.


The camera compartment on the Tenba is on the bottom half of the bag and is accessible from the front.  The camera insert can be removed if need be.  In the photo below, I only have my Canon G7X and a Canon 580EX speedlite in there but can easily fit in a Canon 7D with 24-105mm lens attached in the middle, a flash on one side, a 50mm prime on the other side with the Canon G7X on top of the 50mm prime (using a divider in between them).

img_9515There’s another large pocket in front of the camera section to hold various things like memory cards, pens, cleaning cloth, spare batt, etc.

Am quite happy with the quality of the Tenba bag… the magnetic latch, the zippers, the materials, the dividers, they all seem pretty good.  They also provide you with a rain cover.

…and if I need to bring more camera gear, I also bought the Tenba BYOB9 backpack insert. This fits in the top section perfectly and can fit 2-3 extra lens and accessories.

The backpack straps themselves are thicker than what’s on the MindShift SidePath… but is thinner than what’s on my Think Tank Photo Streetwalker Pro backpack.


This is my first Tenba bag and I’m liking it so far.

Categories: Photography, Reviews, Updates

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