Crumpler Dreadful Embarrassment and Tenba photo insert will hold your laptop, camera, and the kitchen sink

For years I used the Lowepro SlingShot 100 as my camera bag. My requirements were:
1. Wear it over my shoulder
2. Be able to access the camera without taking it off

The SlingShot held my camera and 3 lenses, and served me very well. However, now that Garry and I are running Posterous, we have a laptop with us 24/7. So I needed a new camera bag that also holds a laptop. Surprisingly, not many companies make this.

With Garry’s recommendation, I bought the Crumpler Dreadful Embarrassment. It’s designed to be a great laptop messenger bag. It has a built in laptop sleeve for a 15″ MBP, lots of pockets for various accessories, it’s high quality, and costs only $60! I also like the simple, clean design. No weird logos, straps, stripes, or other standout features. I can carry this to a nice restaurant and it looks fine.


But what about the camera? You can’t have a camera and lenses just floating around the main body of a bag. Crumpler makes a camera insert for this bag, but it’s a piece of crap. It’s big and bulky, and costs more than the bag itself. After doing a lot of research, I discovered the Tenba photo insert.


It’s a perfect match. It fits inside the Crumpler *like a glove* and holds a camera with 3 lenses. It costs only $20 and does a great job organizing and protecting your camera gear.


I can get to everything in the bag in seconds. While it’s still on my shoulder, I can open the main flap which is secured simply with velcro. I can remove my camera and start shooting. When I’m done, put it right back in the same way. It’s actually easier than my SlingShot.


This is definitely a “kitchen sink” messenger bag. It will hold anything you can throw at it. When I go out in the day and want to carry it all, this bag nails it. When I go out at night, I leave behind the extra lenses, carrying just my laptop, 5DM2 + 35mm f1.4. It even fits under the seat in an airplane.


  1. Oh, also: does not look like a laptop bag. Great plus for walking around — nothing says mug me like an obvious laptop bag.

  2. Go to a nice restaurant w/ a bright green bag? Back to the drawing board on that one buddy…maybe we can spray paint it black?? LOL

  3. @jchao i’m pretty sure it will. when i was researching this, people had been using it with a t2 bag already

  4. I’ll second the Crumpler laptop bags – I have 2 and they are fantastic. Always evoke comments from clients and airline staff!

  5. If you like camera gear, check out for some cool stuff. Amit runs a nice site and it has a great ecommerce UI.

  6. Cool bag. I have one remark though. Wouldn’t a backpack be better. For your back I mean, all that weight (computer+camera gear) on your shoulder might be too much.

  7. @alpha the bag is $60 at (some colors only)@Ola i have a backpack i use for when i travel. But the whole point of this bag is to be able to get to the camera quickly, so i can actually shoot with it

  8. @evan I’d say Canon or Nikon. Stay away from the second tier cameras. They are good, but this is too big of an investment to bet on them.Between Canon and Nikon: see which one works for you more ergonomically. Also remember lenses matter way more than the body in your photos.I picked Canon way back in the day because:1. I knew I wanted the 35mm 1.4. Nikon has no equivalent2. I knew I would eventually go full frame (5D). At the time, NIkon had none. Now they do, but it costs way moreThe new Canon TSi looks pretty sweet. It might be the one to get

  9. Great review! Crumpler have discontinued the Bucket inserts mentioned in the review (though we’re pushing for a redesign ๐Ÿ™‚ As mentioned they were a little pricey due to being somewhat over built and well padded (as is the Crumpler way), on the positive side, the Buckets were and are durable and protective insert solution. Feed back is always appreciated!The USA url for the "Western Lawn" Bucket is: sold out but I believe they are still available on some other sites. At any rate the code for that product is BU-02A. The nice thing about the Bucket is that in can be used by itself when a shoulder strap isn’t required, e.g. when I’m doing a formal engagement and wearing a fine suit I often just carry a bucket by its top handle. BBB)))

  10. Beautiful laptop sleeve, itโ€™s looking nice as well as laptop will also be secure. I was expecting such a sleeve from very long time now my search completed. I am using IBM ThinkPad T42 14-inch Laptop.

  11. I have been using the Considerable Embarrasssment 15" Laptop Bag in place of the 7 Million Dollar Bag, as it has more space. I have been using protective wraps, but the Tenba Insert looks the way to go. Today I just wondered if anyone else was using the Laptop bag as a camera bag. Great minds think alike ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll get the insert now. Thanks.

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