Tenba Unveils the World’s First Packable, Self-Stowing Camera Bag

Tenba is announcing the world’s first packable, self-stowing camera bag. Packlite bags can be easily stored inside larger camera bags, backpacks and rolling cases, or utilized separately when a smaller bag if desired.

“Every photographer and filmmaker has been there; you’re carrying two cameras and six lenses in a large bag, and you wonder, ‘How can I dump most of this and just carry a camera with two lenses?'” says Peter Waisnor, Vice President of Tenba. “Packlite Travel Bags give you that option, without taking up any space or adding weight to your larger bag.”

The bag may also be used as a simple day bag for personal items such as food and clothing. A compact, collapsible, lightweight design, it self-stows in a built-in, mesh, side pocket, which closes with a cinch cord. The bag's primary function is portability. Easily packed, and requiring a minimal amount of space, the bag allows photographers to shift and reconfigure gear from a larger bag for occasions when they require less gear. Such occasions might include a simple photo shoot, short hike, or social event. A side mesh pocket holds a small water bottle or accessory. Your Packlite may be worn from the shoulder or cross-body with the wide, adjustable, shoulder strap.

Packlite bags are built with durable, water-repellent silicone-coated ripstop nylon, strong enough to withstand any outdoor adventure. The bags also feature a quick access zipper, reinforced stitching and a mesh side pocket for a water bottle. If not in use, the bag can be packed up entirely into the side pocket to be stowed away or clipped to the outside of a larger bag.


The Tenba Packlite bags are available on B&H from $19.95.

Tenba has been making innovative carrying case solutions for professional photographers and filmmakers since 1977. For more information about their products, visit http://www.tenba.com.

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Art Sanchez is a photographer based in Spain specialized in architectural photography for hotels, interior design projects and architects.

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This sounds good until you realise that to actually make it a camera bag it requires their insert that doesn't fold down into that little pouch.

Good idea, pretty shitty execution.

This bag is just an empty bag without the insert. With the insert, its just another shoulder bag, with the same bulk.

This is meant to be used with their BYOB insert system, which is great. I get to pack my camera gear into my Tumi book bag, and when I want to walk around without the bulk of the book bag, I insert the BYOB into the pack lite. It's actually a pretty neat set up. I like having the versatility of using my TUMI bag vs a dedicated camera bag. This system is good for those with only a couple of lenses a body, and a flash to carry around.

I really like the direction Tenba is taking with their latest bags. They look great. They're well built and well thought out. That said, I don't get this one. As others have pointed out, you need the BYOB insert which does not fold up into nothing. It seems to me that exact same thing could be accomplished by putting a couple D rings on each end of the BYOB and ditching the Packlite altogether in favor of a good strap.

This is a good idea, and we tried it. Here's what we found didn't work like we expected. The BYOB insert is made from really lightweight nylon so that it doesn't weigh a lot. Since it's designed to be used inside another bag, it doesn't need a heavier denier material for the exterior. But then when we attached D rings and filled it with camera gear, the BYOB insert just didn't hold it's shape the way we wanted it to. And if we add webbing around the side and bottom to give it more support, then we just added more weight to it. By combining the BYOB with Packlite, we get the best of all worlds. Nice water-repellent covering for the BYOB, better weatherproof coverage and equipment access with the quick access top zipper, plus a little extra space inside to carry other personal stuff.

Makes sense, Peter. Thanks for the explanation.

Doesn't make any sense to me since you still need the insert or BYOB thing...where i am supposed to keep that when i fold it down?

Lots of good comments here. I'll try to clarify, since I realize Packlite is a little confusing. If you take 3-4 dividers out of any larger backpack, rolling case or shoulder bag, then a BYOB insert will fit right in where those dividers came out. Then the Packlite bag fits in alongside the rest of the gear (or clipped to the outside of the bag). When you get to a location where you don't want to carry 2 bodies and 5 lenses in a large bag, but you need more than just a camera and one lens around the neck, then the Packlite bag pops out of the pouch, the BYOB drops in, and you have an instant small camera bag that weighs less than any lightweight camera bag you could buy. It's a little easier to understand if you picture a large trekking backpack stuffed for a camping vacation, and then the camera-filled BYOB insert is inside along with camping supplies. You might not be able to bring a camera bag because it's too big and heavy for hiking, so the Packlite gives you an option.

I should also note that Tenba Tools is all about designing solutions for photographers and filmmakers we work with who come to us with a problem, like "Hey Tenba, I want to pack my camera in a 65-liter Gregory backpack, but then leave my backpack behind and but still carry a body with three lenses...MAKE IT HAPPEN!" So Packlite was designed to do that. Under normal conditions, if the bag you have works well for your needs, then Packlite isn't necessary. It's just an easy, no-weight option for those who need it.


Would probably be nice to mention the insert in your marketing video... I mean you even got a sumo wrestler in there... :)

We tried to draw attention to it in the video, but now that I watch it again, I think you're right that we didn't really make it as clear as we could have. I'll see about getting that fixed. Thanks.

I agree with many of the comment here saying that the insert is a buzzkill for such a product. and i tend to agree.

I won't be looking at this bag as an independent bag, more like a product that completes a system. Obviously we need inserts to make use of the Packlite, And the only scenario i see is that you will need another bag to carry the insert in while you pack the Packlite somewhere else. I like the idea and i can see it could work very well with my travel style.

But what killed it for me completes is the HUGE Logo on the Packlite. Tenba should know that most photographers don't like to attract attention when they are carrying their camera bags. and since Tenba is becoming or became well known, I believe thieves will also know the brand in no time.

I would get this product if the Logo was smaller, i don't mind the insert. Till then i will stick to what i have been doing for awhile, Take my Think Tank Airport Security + Pack my Think Tank Retrospective without any inserts in it (either i fold it or stuff it with clothes, Then use the inserts from my Rolling Bag when i arrive to the destination.

Agreed. On my phone, I thought that was a watermark. Can't believe they put a logo that big on there.

Agree about the logo.

Thanks for the feedback on the logo. I'll forward to our design team for review. One possible solution is just to carry the bag with the logo facing the body, as the bag is identical front and back, but regardless, the logo comment is a good one, and I will definitely forward to the designers.

Thank you Peter. Hopefully they will like that :D

The insert for this defeats the purpose. I have one of these in my camera bag for mini-trips away from the main bag (like climbing ladders to tops of buildings). It rolls into a soda can sized tube, I put in velcro dividers that stay in and a shoulder strap. I can shove in 2 small lenses a body and a flash.

Thanks for the comment. It is true that the insert is required, but for the user for whom it was designed, they would be storing the insert in a larger backpack, shoulder bag or rolling case. Imagine a tall 60 liter trekking backpack, or a rolling camera case with a ton of gear in it; each requires some kind of interior dividers or padding to protect the camera, but neither provides a way to strip down to a smaller system once you arrive somewhere. That was what the Packlite was designed to solve for the photographers and filmmakers that we work with.

But you're correct that if you weren't already carrying a larger system, then Packlite isn't necessary. It works amazing for those that travel with a ton of gear.