Kata DB-453 Camera Messenger Bag Review and Buying Guide

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Kata DB-453

Whenever I am looking for a new camera bag, I prefer ones that are more plain and do not resemble camera bags. I try to avoid bags with Canon or Nikon logos and ones that make it obvious that I am carrying around expensive equipment.

The DB-453 is part of the Digital Photo Series line from Kata that provides storage for a DSLR and up to two lenses. Perhaps my favorite thing about the Kata DB-453 is the fact that it looks more like a messenger bag than a camera bag. I also like that the camera compartment is removable allowing it to double as a simple day pack on days I choose to leave my camera equipment at home.


The thing that really drew me to the Kata DB-453 was the understated appearance of the messenger style bag. I was looking for something I could bring to a museum or a wedding that did not scream camera bag. I also liked the fact that contents of the bag could be accessed easily and quietly using the two sturdy front clips. This is a pleasant change from the velcro that holds many messenger bags closed which makes opening such bags harder in quiet surroundings.

Another nice feature of the Kata DB-453 is the removable camera compartment. The compartment has room for a DSLR with a lens mounted and an additional smaller lens. While this bag does not provide room for a lot of camera equipment, it does provide room for all the things I would carry on a normal day trip.

Pros and Cons


  • Compact and simple messenger bag that does not look like a camera bag
  • Removable camera compartment allows it to double as a messenger bag
  • No velcro straps that would make opening the bag loud
  • Front zippered pocket for storing memory cards and additional batteries


  • Strap that comes with the bag can become uncomfortable after a few hours of use
  • The camera compartment is shorter than the bag itself making it hard to get larger zoom lenses inside
  • The mesh side pockets only hold smaller water bottles

Conclusion (4 out of 5)

Since the Kata DB-453 only holds up to two lenses in the camera compartment, it may not be for all users. I tend to travel lighter than most so I find the setup ideal. This bag is perfect for those looking for a messenger style bag to carry their DSLR, kit lens, and a smaller primes lens. Once the camera insert is full, there is sufficient room on the side for a flash unit or a small sack lunch.

Overall, I think the Kata DB-453 is a great bag and I recommend it to anyone that needs a smaller pack for short photo outings. The bag is well made, water resistant, and very easy to clean. With the camera insert removed, it is even wide enough to accommodate a 10 or 11-inch netbook to double as a small computer bag.