You probably know Billingham from the high end premium shoulder bags and backpacks they make. What may not know is they also make the small Stowaway bags. Those are small bags that are perfect for keeping your tickets and other documents when travelling. You can also combine them with your bigger Billingham to create some extra room. Less well-known is that the Stowaways also work perfectly as camera bag for small cameras.
The Billingham Stowaway is available in three sizes, the Airline, Pola and the Compact I’m reviewing here. The Compact is the smallest bag of the series, but still offers 140 x 85 x 210 mm interior space. That is more than enough room for a compact camera. It even offers more than enough room for other stuff. Despite their small size the Stowaways do still offer thick padding and a though exterior to protect your camera from damage.
When you pick the Stowaway up you’ll notice it isn’t a lightweight bag. Billingham is known for their high-quality materials, high-end finish and smart designs. It’s good to see the same goes for their small Stowaway bags, they are made to the same high-end standards. The outside is made of the same material as the bigger bags (canvas), also lined with butyl to make it waterproof. The edges are protected by stitched leather. All these high-end materials make the bags durable but also a little heavy.
The bag has got a roomy main compartment. You open it using a big zipper that runs all the way from the left shoulder strap lug to the right one. Because of the long zipper the opening is big and you can access your camera with ease. The zipper itself is made of plastic making sure it doesn’t scratch your camera, but it isn’t protected like you see on dedicated camera bags. All zippers Billingham has used have a metal pull-tab with the Billingham logo on it. The bag has got two shoulder strap lugs made of metal, below them there is room to put your pen.
On the back the bag has got a roomy not zippered pocket to stow some less important documents, like a city plan. On the back, it also has two leather lugs you can use to attach you Stowaway to you bigger Billingham. On the front of the bag it has a flap that gives access to the front pocket. It is held close by the same leather lug you’ll find on the bigger Billingham’s. It doesn’t open to easy in the beginning, but it does get better after using it for some time when the leather gets a little suppler. The front pocket is a small but deep so you can put flat but longer stuff in it. The flap itself offers a small zippered pocket you can use to stow some small stuff like a battery. On the left side of the front of the bag you’ll also find a long zipper that gives you access to a large front pocket covering the whole front of the bag. That pocket does have room for thicker stuff.
A nice detail is that the Stowaway does have the same label with serial number and Mr. Billingham’s signature, just like the bigger Billingham’s
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My name is Rick Roeven, I live the Netherlands. I’m an amateur photographer, tech and gadget lover and I’ve started this blog to share my passion with others. If you have any questions, feel free to post a reply or send me an email at rick (at) ricksreviews.org