Proud purveyors of blending first-class German design with the highest quality materials from around Europe, Oberwerth offer an impeccably crafted line-up of photography, business, and travel-orientated bags and accessories.
So, let’s take a deeper look and see what makes the Oberwerth Q bag so special.
Table of Contents
What is The Oberwerth Q Bag Casual?
- Beautiful European leather
- Strong durable build quality
- Perfect fit for Leica Q3
- Strong stylish hardware
- Small profile for light carry
- Lifelong warranty
- Depending on camera body, your zoom lens may not fit.
- Heavy price tag if you don’t appreciate the outstanding quality and materials.
- Front pocket can be easily overloaded with accessories.
Oberwerth designed and crafted the Q bag with the Leica “Q” cameras in mind, but ensured compatibility with most other small cameras with similarly small lenses attached.
It’s a companion for your camera, not just for yourself.
The slender profile for is ideal for light everyday usage, but it comes with enough capacity for stowing extra accessories that may come in handy throughout your day, such as batteries, filters, and cables.
Internal dimensions: 20 x 14.5 x 9.4 cm (7.87 x 5.71 x 37″)
Outer dimensions: 21 x 16.5 x 11.5 cm (8.27 x 6.5 x 4.53″)
Design and Build Quality
The Q Bag Casual is a beautifully crafted camera messenger bag and is available in 3 colour-ways.
Designed to be a small companion for a day of exploration or purposeful creativity, while being elegant enough to suit whatever the occasion.
Oberwerth has not held back when it comes to considering both aesthetic and functional design while combining it with the highest quality materials.
Built with a European-sourced soft leather that not only uniquely patinas over time but has been put through a special process.
The Q Bag is also fitted with durable metal hardware, tight stitching, two secure LOXX® Fasteners, a comfortable adjustable shoulder strap, and a rigid padded structure. The workmanship is second to none.
While still being able to appreciate the soft nature of leather, the body of The Q Bag maintains its shape regardless of what is placed inside.
This ensures comfort and reliability in the field without the worry of it sagging or becoming troublesome to access.
Storage Capacity and Compartments
The Q Bag is for shooters who don’t require much in the way of gear while out in the field. If you have a large array of gear sitting at home, you best strategise beforehand!
The main compartment is a tall and slender shape fitting the Leica Q3 perfectly, but will happily hold similarly sized Fuji, Sony, Canon, and more just fine.
Although my Tamron 17-55mm didn’t fit while attached, my Sony a7 III with a smaller lens fits. But that’s only with a lens that’s up to ~85mm in length (including lens hood), which would be most primes available.
Coming in at 3L of capacity, it’s certainly on the smaller end of messenger bags, but by all means that is intentional.
Not only that, but while other brands also offer 3L bags, they’re often designed to be very slim or of a sling bag design, or are purely just a holster bag.
But, whether you’re a discrete street photographer, a modern-day adventurer carrying a small zoom or prime, or a classic photographer with a vintage Fuji in hand, you’ll likely appreciate the lighter load that the Q Bag limits you to.
The boxy design of The Q Bag also means you’ll actually find it rather easy to maximise the limited storage capacity.
Oberwerth has included a simple front pocket and a couple of easy-access internal pockets within the main compartment.
Additionally, access is very easy and convenient. There are no tight spaces, fiddly zippers, or the need to stretch the opening just to access or place your gear.
Just simply unclasp the LOXX® Fasteners and flip the lid open; it’s all right there with absolute ease and no fuss.
Protection and Security Features
In order to add an additional layer of protection to your gear (and maintain that wonderful classic look and feel), the interior features a traditional soft-feel material to help prevent scratches.
On the smaller sides of the main compartment are a pair of additional soft leather tabs, which I assume are to help keep your gear inside the bag and water on the outside, while moving around.
With traditional leather properties, it is highly unlikely to encounter any rips or tears through tough usage.
However, for added confidence, it also features tight stitching, thick metal buckles, additional hardware, and LOXX® Fasteners for ease of use and additional security.
The LOXX® Fasteners require pulling to release, which should alert you to anybody trying to access the bag while on your person. However, over time they’re likely to slowly become a little loose.
So, Oberwerth has provided instructions on the tightening and maintenance of said fasteners and included a tool to assist you in doing so.
Accessibility and Ease of Use
The Q Bag is simplistic by nature, and as such, it’s rather simple to use.
Containing just one large lid that covers the entirety of the accessible part of the bag means you simply release the LOXX® Fasteners (just lightly pull on them) and lift the lid.
This exposes the front pocket and the main compartment, providing you with unrestricted access to all of your equipment in one go.
Plus, the rigidity of the body also limits the chances of the bag sagging and spilling its guts (i.e.: your gear) out onto the street when accessing it on the move, or just simply placing it down on a bench.
However, the lid does have some weight to it; so if there’s no weight inside the bag, the lid can tug the bag backwards on sloped or uneven surfaces!
Comfort and Portability
Due to its lightweight nature, the Q Bag is rather comfortable to use right from the get-go. The shoulder strap can be easily adjusted to suit your preferred length, and the shoulder pad easily slides into your ideal position.
Whether you wear it against your side or your bag, it’s light and simple to readjust and reposition without any unnecessary fuss.
Personally, even with equipment inside of it, I didn’t find it too uncomfortable to use for hours on end. Some bags are already bulky and weighty, but honestly, I didn’t really notice that with this.
The shoulder pad is long and wide enough to distribute the weight quite well. Not digging into my shoulders at any moment.
It’s also a small enough bag to double as a camera cube within a larger backpack or duffel while travelling longer distances with luggage (say, via the airport?).
Versatility and Travel-Friendliness
I dare say, that The Q Bag is probably better suited to street or urban settings, but it is perfectly capable of venturing through the wilds somewhere. The Q Bag will always fit in well!
I took it out on a bush adventure and it looked just at home by the water, than it did around town. It’s a beautiful and capable piece.
The leather will endure brushes against trees, rocks, and wildlife. Plus, the dirt wipes right off of it! Not only that, the patina that will form will continue to tell the stories of your adventures for time to come.
Street photographers and travellers will appreciate the smaller light-weight profile, looking the part and helping the user to blend in with their environment, without being a burden on their shoulders.
It’s also small enough to easily drop into a larger camera backpack or luggage bag for the trips to and from your destination, then simply grab The Q Bag when you head out the door with your camera once you’ve arrived.
Organization and Accessibility of Accessories
All of the storage compartments within The Q Bag are very easily accessible once you lift open the main lid. There are only two main pockets; the main compartment and a front pocket.
Within the main compartment, you’ll find a soft full-width pouch suitable for small tablets, large smartphones, or an A6 Field Notes pad.
Additionally, there is an internal side pocket for holding taller items such as mini tripods (i.e.: phone or tabletop tripods), pens, or simply for stowing camera batteries (I dropped in 2).
Oberwerth has also included a cute little leather memory card pocket that fits SD cards within plastic cases! So nice.
For the additional necessities in life, the front pocket should come in handy for most other smaller and slender items you may require. There’s a simple sleeve for separating it into two, but that’s about it. No additional pockets or pouches are located within it.
I put in a slim battery pack, a lens filter in a bulky case, and a USB cable for example. If I packed neatly I could squeeze in a few more slim items.
But, bear in mind that the lid and the buckles of the Q Bag are not length adjustable. If you fill that front pocket too much, you won’t be able to lock down the fasteners!
Alternatives to The Q Bag
Oberwerth has a huge range of different camera bags available. From the small Q Bag to full-size backpacks such as the Everest for heavily kitted out adventurers.
But if you’re interested in a messenger bag and love the Q Bag’s aesthetic, but feel it may be slightly too small, take a look at the Harry & Sally. It is slightly larger so your zoom lens or larger camera body should fit well.
For those with larger kits, the Richard will do right by you by providing further capacity for multiple lenses, full frame bodies, a laptop/table, and even more accessories.
Leica M11 users are looked after by having a bag of their very own, known as “Louis”. It’s a bag developed for Leica M11 users in the same way The Q Bag was developed for Leica Q users.
Lastly, for those of you who prefer a multi-use bag, take a look at the William. It follows the Q Bag aesthetic but is slightly larger and comes with a removable camera insert.
Easily use it as a photography bag on weekends and an office bag during the week. Just simply remove the insert with all your camera gear still packed inside, and drop in your other items.
Price and Value for Money
Leather goods are not cheap to begin with. Hand-crafted leather goods are even more valuable. Then if you go and add higher grade materials that include further protective processes to the mix. Well, now your base cost is already at a rather strong starting point!
The Oberwerth Q Bag comes in at around €460, which isn’t the cheapest when you can buy a generic small boxy messenger bag from other brands for 1/10 the cost.
But, is it worth the investment?
What you are buying is a stunning handcrafted and purposefully designed camera bag befitting your impeccably constructed Leica camera. It’s built to last. It’s not a product that’ll degrade through use, after which you’ll need to replace it after a year. There is no planned obsolescence at play here either.
Oberwerth designed The Q Bag to last a lifetime while being a “second skin” for Leica “Q” cameras. That is why the pairing is perfect; the bag has been designed around the camera.
Leica cameras feature a classic aesthetic, have been impeccably crafted and constructed from high-quality materials, and perform exceptionally in the field. Now, if you replace “Leica cameras” with “Oberwerth products”, the statement is still accurate.
Oh, and don’t forget, Oberwerth also offers a lifetime warranty on their bags!
Does Oberwerth provide a lifetime warranty?
Yes, Oberwerth offers a lifetime warranty that covers manufacturing and material defects.
You just need to register the bag within 8 weeks of purchase.
However, bear in mind, as with most other products, it does not apply to cosmetic wear and tear, improper use or misuse of the product, or damage caused by negligence or oversight of third parties.
What cameras can fit inside the Oberwerth Q Bag?
It’s been specifically designed to suit Leica Q1/Q2/Q3 cameras. However, similarly sized camera bodies will fit, but that is also dependent on what lens is attached.
Some may fit the lens down, some may placed on their side, and some (with a pancake lens attached) may fit the base down.
For an idea of sizing so that you can do your own comparison for: The Fuji X-E4 and Fuji X100V fit without worry. The Sony a7 III/A7R body or a Canon R100 body fits the lens down (with a lens up to 85mm long attached), but a Canon R6 would not likely fit.
Does the leather mark or patina over time?
Yes, as is the nature of most quality leather products, they will patina over time with use. This develops a unique style and aesthetic that will essentially tell the story of your life with the bag.
Oberwerth also has products you can purchase to help treat and care for your leather bag as well, should you wish to go that extra mile.
Oberwerth The Q Bag Review | Conclusion
The Q Bag is definitely something special, there is no denying that. Oberwerth has proven time and time again that they produce products that blur the line between form and function.
It’s beautiful, intentional, and very well-considered. It’s a no-fuss and purposefully built piece of art that is functional through day-to-day adventures and commuting. As I said before, it’s a companion for your camera, not just for yourself.
Now I just need one that fits my longer lenses too! Perhaps the Freiburg will be next on the list.
A dream would be to have multiple Oberwerth bags to fit every single need of mine, allowing me to use the exact right amount of capacity for each purpose, that would be a wonderful life.