Billingham Hadley Pro review
The Billingham Hadley Pro is one of Billingham’s best selling bags, and is considered to be one of the best casual camera bag on the market. Founded in 1973 in England, Billingham originally started making fishing bags and rucksacks and has now gone on to produce high quality camera and leisure bags. Though Billingham is mainly known for their camera bags they also make leisure bags such as the Weekender, Laptop bags like the Thomas Briefcase and Rucksacks.
Billingham’s most iconic series is the Hadley series of bag, which is a classic satchel bag design and comes in a number of different sizes and colours, to suit every photographers needs. The Billingham Hadley Pro is their middle sized bag having enough room for one large camera body and three lenses. In the past I have managed to fit a Hasselblad 501 with a 40mm, 80mm and 150mm in the bag with ease. The bag has two front pockets which can be use to store spare rolls of film, SD cards and spare batteries or even a small flashgun. On the back of the bag there is a zipped compartment. Though this is not big enough to put a laptop into I use it to store travel documents and any important paperwork. Billingham bags are built to a high standard utilizing leather and brass as well as having the option between a traditional waterproof canvas or FibreNyte. FibreNyte is a material Billingham has developed and is woven nylon and canvas. FibreNyte has three main advantaged over the traditional canvas, which is it around 10% lighter, it will not fade over time and is more resistant to wear. This makes it a very good option for a travel bag where it will be constantly used.
Before purchasing the Billingham Hadley Pro I had always used larger rucksacks, which though are great for packing large amounts of gear into. But I was never using all the equipment I packed and was looking to simplify my gear so would not need the added space. As well as this I mainly travel to densely populated cities and having a large backpack is not always ideal in these situations. I brought this bag at the beginning of 2017 and ever since i brought it i have not regretted it. This bag has been used on professional photoshoots where I was easily able to fit a full medium format system or full frame system with lenses into. In addition to this because of the quick access buckles it was always easy to get items from the bag. Its water proofing has also been tested by the tropical climate of South East Asia where even with Typhoon levels or rain upon arrival to Hong Kong in 2017, all the equipment inside was still dry. One of my favorite aspects of this bag is, though it is practical it is also stylish and dosnt look like a typical camera bag. This means you can feel comfortable taking it everywhere with you and not have to worry about looking out of place in certain situations .
For me I would not consider any other bag as having owned the Billingham Hadley Pro for over two and a half years it still looks as good as the day I brought it even though it has been well used and has seen some adverse weather. ONA also make camera bags in the same style as Billingham, however these bags do not have the durability of the Billingham and are more of a fashion piece being finished in Leather and suede. I have often thought about purchasing one of these bags for when I go out with less gear or am not going out necessarily to take photographs, maybe to dinner or such events. But currently I am happy with the Billingham so have no reason to do so. I hope you found this overview useful and has given you an insight on the Billingham Hadley Pro.