Leather ONA Astoria Bag Review

ONA Astoria
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Before I get into my review of the ONA Astoria, here’s a short history of my experience and feelings towards camera bags. Up until a month ago, a camera bag has always been just a tool to me. I have airport bags, backpacks, and a few heavy duty messenger style bags that I rotate in and out depending on the job.

My bags served a purpose, to carry my gear, and like a construction worker, durability had always been my main concern. While most of them are great bags, they certainly aren’t much to look at.

While I never really cared about what my camera bag looked like, I also didn’t want to look like I was all business. I wanted my clients to be comfortable with me, to feel relaxed.

My clients are dressing to the nines, and I am giving them advice on how to look their best, so I at least wanted to look like I knew a little about fashion. While a lot of you reading this are either agreeing with me, or think I’m losing it, it’s a simple fact that you as the photographer represent your business from the moment your client sets their eyes on you.

Big bulky bags serve a purpose, but it was time for me to buy a bag that not only did that, but looked good.

ONA Astoria review for Shotkit

I wanted a bag that I could wear during shoots instead of my spider belt system. I wanted a bag that was comfortable, but was also big enough to carry at least two camera/lens combos – be it a mirrorless camera bag or for DSLRs.

I wanted a bag that I could take out shooting with me on the weekends when shooting personal work that didn’t make me look like a businessman carrying a briefcase to the office.

The ONA Astoria Camera Bag

ONA delivered on that package with its new ONA Astoria. Their largest messenger bag to date is designed to hold two full-frame cameras, a 13” laptop, as well as a number of other pockets. Its handcrafted water-resistant waxed canvas and full-grain leather accents come together nicely to give the ONA Astoria that traditional ONA look that adds that subtle taste of style.

It’s a leather camera bag that looks a little worn right out of the box, a little broken in. It’s a bag that does exactly what I want it to do, safely and securely carry my gear while also giving off the impression that I actually have a slight sense of style.

ONA Astoria review for Shotkit

The ONA Astoria isn’t the first messenger style bag that I’ve owned, it’s just the first one that actually looks good. This is my first time reviewing a bag, but just like every review that I write, I wanted to spend some time with it and beat it up a little before giving my thoughts.

I’ve been shooting with the ONA Astoria at my side for a month now, and while I personally loved the look of it, I wasn’t really sure how well it would stack up against the durability and robustness of my other bags for me to keep it. Now a month later…I love it.


The new ONA Astoria messenger bag is made of waxed canvas that has a nicely broken in weathered look to it. I beat it up pretty good the first few shoots I brought it on, and while it held up perfectly, it also had enough padding and toughness to keep my gear safe.

It fits my 15″ Dell XPS laptop nicely without having it look like it’s holding a large laptop. It also fits two full-frame DSLR bodies each with a normal size lens on them. I also used it to carry my Mamiya RZ67 and packed all the extra pockets with film boxes and film backs.

It also has extra padded dividers that can be used to have it tightly hold individual lenses. Just like any other camera bags out there, you can set it up to hold the gear you need it to.


There’s only so much you can put in a bag review, but bottom line, I love the new ONA Astoria bag. For a photographer that has never shot with a bag at his side, I found it comfortable to shoot with, and it’s big enough to hold what I need to get through a full shoot, but extremely light weight to not weight me down.

If you liked this review, please support Shotkit by clicking one of the links to purchase the ONA Astoria from Amazon.

Guest Review by New Jersey Wedding Photographer Jay Cassario | www.jaycassariophoto.com





Design (form)10
Design (function)9

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  1. Yannick Derennes on September 9, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Nice review. Actually I own a Domke medium messenger which is pretty close to this design, but a bit more rugged I guess.
    As practical messenger bags can be, I’ve always found they put too much weight on your shoulder during a day of shooting and most of the time I’ve put mine on the ground.
    This one looks sexy and it can work well with a mirorless system but for other kind of assignments (run an gun situations, live events…) I prefer to use a modular belt-like system like the ones Think Tank or Lowepro have developped.

  2. Ryan walvoord on September 25, 2014 at 6:08 am

    This is the first review that someone FINALLY covered whether or not a 15 inch laptop would fit. Thank you for that , great review!

    • Mark on September 25, 2014 at 11:16 am

      haha really?! Glad it could be of use. Jay’s reviews are always thorough ;-)

  3. Marshall B on August 11, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I’ve been wanting one for so long but couldn’t find them anywhere in Australia, your post kept coming up when I searched for ONA bags in Sydney, Australia. Finally found a place that’s selling them http://paxtons.com.au/blog/ona-camera-bags-new-products/ hopefully get to check them out soon.

    • Mark on August 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I’m glad you finally found a Sydney stockist Marshall! Australia always seems the last to receive new gear :-(

  4. Fred on June 26, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Very nice review.
    I own the ONA Brixton. Great photo gear. Awesome quality.

  5. Greg R. on May 14, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Looks like a nice bag. Great review! I carry a similar messenger bag now and while it doesn’t carry as much as my backpack, i’ve found it a good thing so that I don’t always try and take everything with me. Carrying less gear has helped me focus more on my photography and the essentials.

  6. Barry on May 13, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Great write up and wonderful images, nice to see original, well written content :)

  7. Jay Cassario on May 12, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Thanks Ben!

  8. Ben Wurst on May 12, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Woah! That’s one slick looking camera bag! Great photos and review, Jay!

    I feel like I’ve already outgrown the LowePro bag I got a couple months ago…

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