Tenba BYOB Review (5 Years Later)

Updated 04/2023 after owning this bag for almost 5 years. This thing is a beast and still hasn’t given me ANY problems.

Over the years, I’ve tried dozens of different solutions for carrying my gear and could never find anything that was perfect. Normal bags simply didn’t have the padding or layout to support fragile camera gear. Typical camera bags were often big and cumbersome. As someone who is an avid hiker, I needed a bag that could support both photography equipment AND outdoor gear.

Then, a few years ago, I discovered the Tenba BYOB 10. At first, I ordered the 7, and found it to be too small. I then upgraded to the 10 and fell in love. I still use it to this day, as a matter of fact. Do note that for larger setups, they also sell a “13” size.

For those looking to find the happy medium between a normal bag and a camera backpack, the Tenba BYOB 10 may just be your answer. Despite not being a backpack, it may just be the best camera bag out there.

Looking for just a quick summary before jumping into the review?

Tenba BYOB 10

- Lightweight and durable

- Fits a body plus a couple lenses

- Side and top pockets for accessories

- Safe and padded

- Slides into any bag

The Tenba BYOB inside a hiking backpack.

Size & Weight

First off, let’s cover the basics. Completely empty, the Tenba BYOB 10 weighs a conservative 8oz (227g), so even light packers (like myself) won’t see a massive weight difference.

The exterior dimensions of the bag are 10.5 x 8.0 x 4.5 inches (27x20x11cm), allowing it to slip into even smaller daypacks. Inside, it measures a spacious 10 x 7.5 x 4 inches (25x1910cm).

Update as of 04/2023: I’ve thrown this thing in my (tiny) daypack for hiking and it fits snugly alongside my 48oz water bottle. It even fits my new a7iii so long as it has a small-ish lens attached!

The size and dimensions of the Tenba BYOB 10.

Front & Side Pockets

On the sides, the Tenba BYOB 10 has two mesh pockets. They are fairly tight, but are capable of holding spare batteries. Other accessories or even a very small water bottle would fit as well. On the front are two very thin but deep pockets.

I use these front pockets to store a spare cable, my USB SD card reader, and sometimes an extra battery. There is also a small metal ring that one could attach a carabiner to, allowing you to carry keys, a small flashlight, or even a sling strap.

A graphic highlighting some of the features of the Tenba BYOB 10.

Durability & Longevity

On the other side, the Tenba BYOB 10 sports a large pocket. This can be used for pretty much anything. Spare cables, batteries, or perhaps even a small notebook. As a bonus, the top lid can be tucked into this pocket, allowing continual easy access to the inside. On the top of the bag, there is a small carrying handle. The feel of the handle seems a bit weak, but it has held up in my years of use.

In fact, the entire bag has held up well. I’ve certainly mistreated mine, but the materials look brand new. After years of use, nothing is frayed, the side pockets are not coming loose, and visually it’s still in great condition. The outside is made up of water-resistant nylon and mine has definitely survived a few rainstorms.

Update as of 06/2022: Still no durability issues. This thing looks and functions exactly the same as the day I bought it. I’ve crushed it, tossed it, bent it in all sorts of weird ways and still, no issues. As for water resistance, I had a leak from a water bottle in my big bag and the Tenba kept my gear flawlessly safe.

A visual showing the back of the Tenba BYOB.

Inside Storage

The inside of the Tenba BYOB 10 is spacious, and has a few adjustable velcro inserts to accommodate a range of setups. Depending on what you want to put in there, it could hold anywhere from 2-4 small lenses and a camera body. I found that I could fit my Sony a6000 and a few small primes (lenses roughly the size of the Neewer 35mm F1.7, for example) with a little bit of room to spare.

For full frame users, the bag will accommodate the camera body and one average full frame lenses, depending on the size. Consider upgrading to the next size up (13) if you have a large amount of gear, as it is essentially identical, just bigger.

A graphic illustrating the inside of the Tenba BYOB.

Zippered Pockets & Safety

On the inside of the lid, there is a zippered pocket allowing for storage of flat or small objects. I like to use this spot for storing my phone’s SD adapter in addition to a few spare cards. Batteries can also fit up here, but it is awkward and I would not recommend it, just use the side pockets instead.

The padding on the inside of the Tenba BYOB 10 seems pretty secure. I’ve personally dropped mine (on accident) from standing height onto concrete, and all my gear survived. Perhaps I simply got lucky. It should be noted that this insert will usually be in a larger bag anyway, so it’s unlikely to get banged around too much as it is.

Update 04/2023: Padding is strong. I dropped my bag from about 7 feet (I foolishly hung it from one of those sticky adhesive hook things and the hook failed). One cheap lens took a bit of a hit, but everything else survived perfectly.

Tenba BYOB inside a larger bag.

My Final Thoughts

Overall, I’ve owned the Tenba BYOB 10 for about four years, and I can confidently say it was well worth the money. I don’t carry a lot of gear, usually just the body and a few small primes, so I don’t need the space of a dedicated camera bag.

For day hikes, I’ll slip this into my Osprey daypack along with a water bottle, some snacks, and I’m good to go. Everything fits well, and I’m confident my gear will stay safe inside its own seperate little bag.

The Tenba BYOB comes in a few sizes. The first being 7, which, as I stated earlier, was just a little small for my liking. The largest size is 13, which is huge, and would be well suited for those with large full frame setups. As I primarily shoot with APS-C and prime lenses, I chose the Tenba BYOB 10 and could not be happier.

I truly think that, if you don’t have a ton of gear, this is the best camera bag you can buy. If you’re interested in checking out yourself, check out the purchase links below. Thanks for reading.

A Great Camera Insert
Tenba BYOB 10
The Tenba BYOB offers an awesome camera bag solution for those who don't want to carry around a huge, bulky and dorky dedicated camera backpack.

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