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Tenba Fulton V2 10L & 16L

Posted on May 17, 2022

Words Will Cheung

With their contemporary good looks and practical nature, these new arrivals are perfect for town life 

Tenba and I go back many years, to the P500, my first ‘proper’ camera bag. It cost a fortune in its day, lasted ages and was great to use – I was a huge fan. It’s good to see the brand still going strong. The Fulton range was recently updated, adding a larger model to the selection – the 16L – and offering an all-weather black camo version. This finish was on my test samples and it looks very nice. I thought the camo effect might be too obvious, but it’s not.

The exterior features water-repellent 600D canvas, with reinforced stitching and high-quality fixtures, such as YKK zips. A waterproof cover is provided.

Both backpacks on trial here have familial similarities – not just in construction and looks, but also in the way they behave. Inside the bag are two compartments separated by a removable divider, so you can quickly configure it to your needs. Kit access is through a zipped, rear back cover, while the bottom half camera compartment is fully lined to accept the supplied dividers. 

The top half is not lined, although you can stow camera kit. This means that protection is less thorough, unless you use separate pouches to hold kit. The top section has extra headroom with a roll-top cover, so there’s room for expansion when needed. This extending cover is partly sealed with a hook and loop fastener, and there’s a simple adjustable sliding clip on the webbing strap to hold it in place. Personally, I’d prefer a zipped cover and a buckle lock, but I guess that would increase the price. 

The expandable top is very useful, great for stowing food. Indeed, in one instance when I was out with the V2 16L, it was big enough for some grocery shopping! With both I managed to insert a rolled-up, thin padded jacket.

The 10L can take a body with a lens and a couple of extra optics, depending on their type. I got in a Canon EOS R5 with a 24-105mm f/4. I couldn’t squeeze any extra lenses into the camera compartment, so I used the top area for a spare. With the Fujifilm system, I managed an X-S10 with standard zoom and two/three extra lenses. 

In the roomier 16L, I fitted in a three-lens Canon EOS R5 outfit with no problem at all. There was enough space here for filters, cleaning stuff and a couple of batteries. 

There is a zipped laptop/tablet/accessory area in the rear, plus two small sleeves for cards and batteries, and a larger padded one for a laptop/tablet. The 10L’s sleeve was big enough for a ten-inch iPad, while the 16L accommodated a 16in laptop.

Finishing off the carrying features, there’s a stretchy mesh pocket on one side – perfect for a water bottle or gloves. There’s also a more durable, reinforced pocket on the other side. This can take a tripod leg or two, with an adjustable securing loop strap to keep the tripod in place. This strap is not quick-release with a buckle, which I would prefer, but again, it’s not a deal breaker.

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Pack it up: The V2 16L’s camera section lets you get in a full-frame mirrorless with a lens fitted, plus three or four extra optics and accessories.

Finally, there is a rear luggage strap for securing the bag onto a trolley handle.

Build quality is good, but the bags are not over-engineered, which might limit their ultimate longevity. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get many years of service out of the Fultons.

I enjoyed using both, taking them on urban and landscape shoots. Carrying comfort rated highly and nothing broke or gave way. The padded shoulder straps, sternum strap and – on the 16L – waistbelt are all adjustable.

I ended up using the 16L more, because I wanted to take  three lenses, a travel tripod and lunch. I got caught out in a couple of short, but heavy, showers and the bag did a great job of keeping my kit dry, even without needing to use the rain cover – I wanted to see how the bag handled the conditions on its own. I did manage to get the back a little dirty, but a wipe down with a damp cloth at home managed to sort that.

Originally published in Issue 99 of Photography News.

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