Wednesday, September 23, 2015

REVIEW: Kelly Moore B-Hobo & Kelly Boy Bags

Kelly Moore Camera Bags - Kelly Boy Brown & B-Hobo Grassy

After spending the last couple months reviewing Kelly Moore bags, I can say with confidence that these are high quality artificial leather products that are perfect for the photographer looking to carry their gear with in style. In addition, since they look nothing like a camera bag, these bags offer another way to hide the fact that you are carrying your expensive camera gear around.

I hope you enjoy my in-depth review, and even more I hope you will support this blog by using my my links at the end (or making a donation if you don’t).

Kelly Boy (Brown)

Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Durable enough for toddlers

I’m starting my review with this bag because it’s the one that is gender neutral. I personally use this bag for formal occasions or when I just want a more stylish bag (i.e., this is the trendy coffee shop bag <g>).

The Kelly Boy bag looks better in real life than the pictures because it tends to look more shiny and cheap in photos. The quality and color of this bag is fabulous and it is really quite a cavernous sized bag in a manageable form factor.

During my testing I carried my Canon 5D Mark II camera (neither bag could accommodate my pro body 1D Mark IV when the lens was attached) along with my 24-105mm lens attached, the 16-35mm and/or 100mm macro as well as at least one – sometimes more – 580EX II flashes. As I demonstrate in the video, it can handle my 100-400mm as well, but I never had a legitimate reason to carry that one with me during my testing. My wife also liked to carry her 13” MacBook Pro in it and my Lenovo Thinkpad W510 fit in it without any problems too.

I felt the strap was lacking the comfort that I have become accustomed to with my Think Tank Photo bags, but it was still usable. I also found the magnetic clasps for the flap to be handy, but I worried that if I fell my gear might easily spill out which if you’ve read my camera insurance article you’ll know why I care about that so much!

I love this bag and am so happy the review is over now so I can give it more of a beating than I did for my review (needed to have it in good shape for photos). My wife is also looking forward to using it as a diaper bag sometimes when she wants to be more stylish (I kid you not – and yes I’m shaking my head)!

In the photo below my lovely wife who also reviewed these bags is demonstrating the size relative to her 5’4” size 0 frame:

Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Carrying View

It’s totally manageable even for someone as small as her, so we found it to be a great balance of holding a lot without being obnoxiously big. It’s also super easy access thanks to its double magnetic flap design.


Here’s a chance to see see inside the Kelly Boy bag in my video review. I stuff it full of more stuff than I ever carried with it during my testing, and there’s still plenty room for more:

More Images

Click the thumbnails below to get a close up view of the Kelly Boy bag:

Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Front View Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Front View Opened
Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Inside View Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Rear View

B-Hobo (Grassy)

The B-Hobo bag looks small on the web site, but it actually is a pretty descent size on the inside in real-life. I was easily able to accommodate my 5D Mark II with the 24-105mm lens attached as well as my 580EX II flash and my beloved 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. This is a complete kit that is good enough for most situations, so I was happy to see that my wife (who tested it for me) had no troubles carrying it around in this bag. Of course you can’t hide the weight, so she did complain that it was a bit heavy for her and that the shoulder strap didn’t help as she would like for a load this heavy.

Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Carrying

Truth be told, I tried this bag on myself when nobody was looking and found it to be a pretty good solution. The main compartment zipper was a big hit with my wife for added protection against theft or drops by toddlers. I was a little nervous when I put it under stress (as shown in the video), but it never failed during my testing. There was still room for accessories in addition to the gear, and we never found it to be too small when going out for travel photography or an occasional trip to the park with our toddler.

Overall, I think this is a good day bag for entry to mid-level cameras without the battery pack. The color offers something better than the black, gray, and tan colors we are used, so it is great for those looking for a nice fashionable bag for all of their gear. More colors and styles are available at


Here’s my video review where I show one example of how I packed the B-Hobo during testing by my wife:

More Images

Click the thumbnails below to get a close up view of the B-Hobo bag:

Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Front View Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Front View Opened
Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Inside Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Rear View


Overall these bags were a big hit with my wife, and honestly I liked them quite a bit as well. I’m very picky when it comes to leather and I hate crappy quality leather, and these are definitely not that. This is good quality leather and a great design that feels like a true designer bag without the designer designer price, so that’s even better!

UPDATE: I’ve been totally fooled – these are not natural leather but rather human-made artificial leather. I couldn’t believe it when Kelly told me this today as I was certain this was high quality leather. I couldn’t believe the value of these bags as good leather is usually super expensive. As a leather connoisseur I never expected this day would come where I’d be fooled, so kudos to the maker of this material as I was blown away when I found out it wasn’t genuine.

The only gripes I have about these bags are that the zippers aren’t as bulletproof as you’d find on ThinkTankPhoto bags, and that the inventory tends to be in short supply based on my observation of the web site for the past few months. For my primary bags I’m still using Think Tank Photo bags, but these make a nice complementary bag for special occasions (especially when I’m dressed up).  My wife on the other hand is all about design, so this is his her first choice when she needs to bring the DSLR.

In the end these bags are a great value and a an awesome product that I highly recommend for those who are looking for something more stylish than traditional camera bags (typically designed for men).

Plenty of other colors and styles are available at

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If you can’t find your favorite bag in stock on the Kelly Moore web site, then check to see if you can find it at Adorama’s Kelly Moore Bag Store. It will cost you a little more, but it’s better than back order!

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The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity


Carl Georgi-Samaran said...

Hi ron, first of all thanks for this kelly boy bag review, it's the only one I could find on the web. I'm really into this bag but I have only one question before I buy it. I have a 17" inch macbook pro and I would like to know if it would fit the laptop compartment inside (not the outer pocket) the bag with some lenses and my D90 with or without battery grip. I would like to carry my laptop and camera gear all at once. Thanks said...

Hi Carl,

Glad you like it.

So I just stuffed my 17 Macbook Pro (last generation) in the inside pocket of the brown Kelly Boy bag and it was a snug fit, but it went in and I had no trouble closing the flap.

I could stuff a couple of lenses and flash in with no problem, but my 5D Mark II (similar in size to your D90) was a little tight so it'd be better to have it in the bag without a lens attached. If you are shooting this isn't going to be a problem since the camera and one lens should be in your hands, not in your bag. For travel (i.e., airlines) it could be a minor issue.

The 17 won't fit in the outside pocket.

My wife's 13" MacBook Pro fits great in both and works well with gear in the bag.

I hope this helps! Thanks for supporting this blog by using my links when you order!

If this bag won't work for you, then I highly recommend Think Tank Photo bags (see the free bag link in the top right). The Streetwalker Harddrive or Shape Shifter

Carl Georgi-Samaran said...

Thanks so much for the answer Ron. I will see he bags you recommend me, but I must say I just love that kelly boy bag. Thanks again.