Jo-Totes Camera Bag

I have been looking, and looking, and looking for a camera bag that fits my needs as a photographer, but also as a mom on the go.  I need a bag that is somewhat stylish NOT ugly canvas and utilitarian.  A bag that holds the gear I use safely NOT in the external pockets where it can fall out and get banged around.  I want a bag that was light weight enough that when it is loaded with my equipment it’s not too heavy to pack around.  I wanted a bag that would also hold my wallet, keys, and cell phone so I don’t have to pack around extra bags.

I have tried many different styles and sizes of camera bags.  I’ve had the small backpack, the shoulder bag, the large backpack (way way way too heavy), and various others.  Currently, I’ve been using the Adorama Slinger, and, while I really like it, it’s just not big enough to hold all the gear I like to keep with me.  It also doesn’t provide very easy access to extra lenses because of the flap you have to open.  I am also not able to take any extras (wallet, lip gloss, etc.) because of it’s lack of space. 

After reading many reviews online – reviews by the MWC crowd (moms with cameras) and fellow photographers, I finally settled on trying Jo Totes.  I have the Missy in Black.  I loved the packaging when it arrived – it has it’s own little bag inside the box.  It reminds me of a VERY wide laptop bag, but it is really stylish.  My favorite part of the bag initially was the fabric lining.  It is ADORABLE!!!  It came with four dividers that can be moved and rearranged to fits anyone’s needs.  The materials it is made out of are high quality, and the little details included just make the bag even better.

This is what the bag looked like when it arrived at my house:

See what I mean about the fabric?  It is gorgeous!

It took me a while to get all the dividers organized in a way that made me happy, and even then I still have on extra, so I may be rearranging again until it is just perfect.  The bag has a zipper pocket and two flapped magnetic-close pockets on the outside.  On the inside there are two open-top pockets and one zipper pocket.  I did not put anything in the external zipper pocket yet.  In one of the magnetic pockets, I have my battery charger and extra batteries.  In the other, I put my cell phone and it is also where I will put lip gloss, my keys, and anything extra I need.  I couldn’t immediately find a place to put my extra CF Cards, so for now, I just used split rings and attached them to the shoulder strap ring so they can either hang on the outside of the bag or be zipped safely inside the bag.  The one thing I love immediately about this bag loaded is the zipper opening.  I can have it slung across my body with the zipper open and all my gear is at my fingertips, but when I want more security for my gear/wallet/phone, etc, I can just zip it up and go.

My bag loaded:

The pink case next to this lens is my P&S camera, which I also like to keep with me because of it’s video capabilities.  I also like to use it for quickie shots of my girls, family, and animals, so I like to have it handy.

My CF Cards inside the bag and hanging on the outside.

The external pockets loaded.

And, finally, the completely loaded bag, zipped closed with everything secure.

I plan on using this bag heavily for a few weeks and then re-reviewing it.  I am interested in seeing how well it works for me.

I have high hopes and see good times in store for this bag and me.

0 thoughts on “Jo-Totes Camera Bag

  1. I’m curious as to how the camera bag has worked for you and if you’re still happy with it. Is it practical size wise? I’m looking for a bag mostly for kids activities, sporting events, vacation, etc.

    1. I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you about the bag.

      I do still love it, and I have almost my entire stash of camera gear stored in it. I love how “pretty” it looks, and it doesn’t look like a typical “industrial” camera bag. I carry it with me all the time, and if I don’t need the entire bag, I just lock it in my trunk.

      I only have two issues with the bag – one is my issue and one is a flaw in the bag (rather the strap) design.

      The first issue I have is that it is HUGE. For my every-day, follow the kids around activities, it is simply too big. I keep my camera body and two lenses (85mm and 70-300mm) in a smaller bag for the every-day activities.

      The second issue I have with the bag is that the clasps on the straps don’t seem to be strong enough for the amount of weight the bag holds. Both ends stretched out and became unusable. Luckily I have a very resourceful father, and he fixed the problem for me, and the strap is as good as new.

      So, overall, for the price I paid, I absolutely love the bag, and the one issue that is part of manufacturing is easy to resolve.


      PS – I never did try to resolve the issue with the strap through Jo-Totes, but I am sure that their customer service would have handled the problem in a timely manner.

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