REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
DomkeJ-5XA Shoulder and Belt Bag
 
3.5

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

50%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (4)

Reviewed by 6 customers

Displaying reviews 1-6

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2.0

The poor design & number of design fails are staggering.

By RF

from LA / OC, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Pros

  • Shoulder Carrybelt Loop

Cons

  • Cumbersome
  • Hard To Access Equipment
  • Not Enough Pockets
  • Poor Design Execution
  • Poor Padding
  • Uncomfortable Fit

Best Uses

  • Transporting Gear

Comments about Domke J-5XA Shoulder and Belt Bag:

This bag comes so close to being the perfect mirrorless camera bag on paper but the team at Domke who put this bag together managed to take all of the important details and designed them in a way as to make them very dysfunctional. I've been using a larger Domke shoulder bag for almost a decade and expected the same quality & functionality for this little bag's high price tag, but I have been very disappointed. The only reason I have kept this bag is because it fulfills two main needs without requiring two separate bags:

1. A discrete mirrorless shoulder bag that I can carry in the city / the design doesn't scream "there's camera inside, steal me!"
2. Has a belt loop attachment point so that I can use it to carry and conveniently access 1 mirrorless camera body + 2 lenses on long scenic hikes. The bag itself is also fairly light, which is ideal for hiking.

*Here are all the major design fails, in no particular order:

1. The padding is NOT the high density foam found on virtually every padded camera bag / lens pouch. It is a cheaper, much thinner foam and when I pressed on it to feel how thick the padding is, I could hear the foam bubbles popping under moderate pressure. This foam is found only on the sides and bottom of the bag. There is also a layer of super-thin, very low density foam all around the main compartment that will NOT protect your equipment against a hard knock. I'm still shocked at this design decision.

2. The accessory pockets have no individual flaps to keep the contents from falling out. This is made worse with the large velcro closure on the front flap and because the bag is off-balance when carried. My spare batteries constantly fall out when I open the front flap, and even with the front flap closed my SD card has fallen out on one occasion. The other Domke bags have accessory pocket flaps so their ommission from this bag must have been a conscious decision.

3. Tiny accessory pockets don't provide enough space to hold my accessories. With all of the available space on the front of the bag, the designers decided to use only half of that space to create two sectioned off miniature pockets with use limited to only tiny accessories. I can't even fit 1 filter inside! One big pocket would've left more options for accessories of different sizes. A bag this small needs to make better use of its limited space and have more storage options. All I was able to fit in those pockets were 2 spare batteries, a remote, and lens wipe. I had to get to separate, external pouch just to hold 2 filters.

4. Instead of placing the Belt Loop near the top of the bag where it is traditionally located, the belt loop is located in the middle of the bag. What this means is the bag will slump forward when worn on the belt instead of sitting flat. If that wasn't bad enough, the design team decided to place a back pocket + velcro there and then sew the belt loop on the OUTSIDE of that pocket. The velcro doesn't hold that tight and the pocket opens up a bit, creating a sizable gap between the wall of the bag and the belt. This gap allows the bag to slump forward even more when worn on the belt.

5. The opening to the main compartment is again the opposite of what you'd expect. Instead of a flap that zips around the edges of the walls and opens upward for quick and easy access, there is a zipper in the middle with a small, constricted opening. This makes getting the camera in, out, and around the fabric flaps that much more of a hassle.

6. The back pocket is not ideal since accessories inside feel uncomfortable against the body when the bag is worn on the shoulder and especially when worn on the belt. More fragile accessories tend to get bent or crushed when placed there. It would have been better if there were pockets on the main flap, sides, or the front pockets made in a more usable size.

7. There are two attachment points at sides of the bag, one in the middle and one near the back. The designers decided to place the metal rings for the shoulder strap on the back, off-center attachment point, which results in the bag being off balance when worn on the shoulder - again it slumps / tips forward when carried.

8. This tiny bag only weighs 9.4oz, but it comes with a mismatching heavy duty, wide, canvas shoulder strap with bulky metal hardware that weighs in at 6oz. This is the same strap material found on my larger Domke bag that I've used to carry 24lbs with. This may not be a big deal to some users but since I also use this bag when hiking, I had to get a separate shoulder strap in order to lose the useless, extra weight.

9. The bag has a discrete design but instead of a clip for securing the front flap, it comes with a large section of velcro that draws attention when the bag is opened. And unlike other bags, there are no velcro cover tabs to prevent noise when opening the front flap.

Overall, the bag does work ok but doesn't provide enough protection and is a pain to use. If I had to do it over again I would spend the extra money to get two separate, better designed bags.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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4.0

Nice Fujifilm XT-1 holder

By MEP

from Miami, Fl

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not Enough Pockets

Best Uses

  • Daily Usage

Comments about Domke J-5XA Shoulder and Belt Bag:

It is small and using it on a belt, I don't have to worry about the bag.
I miss an additional zippered pocket.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Travel Bag

By GT

from New York

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Easily Accessible Equipment
  • Lightweight
  • Strong Construction
  • Well Padded

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Transporting Gear

    Comments about Domke J-5XA Shoulder and Belt Bag:

    I like to pack light when I'm traveling and this fits the bill perfectly.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great small camera bag

    By No Regrets

    from Dundas, Ontario

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easily Accessible Equipment
    • Great size
    • Lightweight
    • Strong Construction
    • Well Padded

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Daily Usage

      Comments about Domke J-5XA Shoulder and Belt Bag:

      I use this bag to hold my Fuji X100 and that leaves ample room for iPhone, keys, wallet etc. There is also a pocket in the back of the bag with a velcro closing that I did not find mentioned in any of the descriptions, but I find that quite handy as well. It is exactly what I was looking for. It is low key and does not scream camera bag. There were a few bags that I was interested in, but this one had a zipper closure and I find that very important to ensure that my camera does not fall out if the bag is tipped over and makes it more secure when travelling in tight quarters. My one complaint is that the strap is quite wide and stiff. It may get softer as the bag gets broken in - I will have to wait and see.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Very Disappointed

      By R H N

      from Orlando, FL

      About Me Business Owner

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Lacks Functionality
        • Poor Design
        • Poor Performance

        Best Uses

          Comments about Domke J-5XA Shoulder and Belt Bag:

          [...]. I have an old, canvas Domke from years back and thought I couldn't go wrong with this bag. I was wrong. it is cheaply made (the velcro doesn't even match up if you want to close the top flap all the way) and I am very sorry that I purchased it. Unfortunately, I needed some kind of bag right way and so since I had to use it, I couldn't even return it.

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          5.0

          Very Good

          By Calvin

          from CA

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Easy To Use
          • Highly Compatible
          • Improves Performance
          • Professional Quality

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Domke J-5XA Shoulder and Belt Bag:

              The product is wonderful.I like it very much.

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