Bag & Case Reviews

ONA Bond Street Bag

ONA are a brand I have been aware of for years and often admired the luxurious finish of their products. But for some reason (probably cost related) I had never considered adding one to my ever expanding collection of camera bags for every occasion. Things changed recently when I received a Leica CL with custom deep blue leather finish, for a birthday present. This is a seriously beautiful camera that begged to be showcased in something equally individual. The original plan was to get a ubiquitous semi-hard case, something I tend to purchase with every new camera. But the CL was too nicely finished to be covered by something as functional as this. It was at this point I considered a small bag that was also suitable to be used as a permanent camera case.

ona bond street 1Casting around on the internet gave me more hits that I was interesting in looking at. So I changed my search method and identified a few brands that offered something original, personal and well made. ONA Bags soon filtered to the top of the pile and a bit more research revealed their Bond Street model as a suitable candidate. There are several canvas finishes, the Oxford Blue version being an excellent match for the camera. But it was the Antique Cognac Leather finish that really polarised my thoughts, and without much more thought, my order was placed.

It is fair to write that attention to detail and use of excellent quality material are two of ONA’s strengths. The leather Bond Street oozes these two points, from the high grade leather to the solid brass hardware. Combined, these properties reassure the owner that the bag will be around for years and years, taking on a more classic look with age. This reassurance comes at the price of some additional weight, but this is in no way a criticism and does not spoil the experience of using it as a daily walk-around bag. Other bags I have of this size (none of which offer the same robustness) do make it feel something of a heavyweight.

ona bond street 2In terms of storage the main compartment holds my CL with a TL 35mm f1.4 Summilux lens with the overly-large hood extended. If the hood was collapsed there would be room for a second lens, but I never intended it to carry additional lenses - it’s purpose serves as an alternative to a semi-hard case, not system bag. A couple of spare batteries also fit in the main compartment, which is all I need. Externally, there are small pockets on either end of the bag, which I have not found a use for yet (maybe good for pens?). On the rear is a larger pocket that is perfect for storing a phone or wallet in. I used this almost exclusively to keep my iPhone Max Pro thingy in, which is kept in a Nomad wallet-type case. The pocket almost feels like it is exclusively made for this combination. If you are nervous about keeping a phone in a pocket that does not have a zip, fear not as there is a very similar one on the front of the bag that is secured with the main buckle that is attached to the top flap.

One niggle I have about the bag is that the top does not provide a comfortable seal over the main compartment. When fastened down, there is a point at each end that falls short, giving it questionable protection in inclement weather. If the bag is ever updated, this would be a good point to address. Apart from this, I find the bag perfect for my needs. I see it as a permanent companion for my CL that enhances its beauty as well as providing superb protection. ONA bags will remain at the top of my list when searching for future camera bags.