June 16, 2024
Testing water repellency of the Domke 5XA

Chapter 9: In the bag—a right-sized case for the Leica Q, Q2, Q2M, Q3.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom journal.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom doesn’t really require extras. With a full battery and empty card you can get in a day’s worth of casual shooting with just your camera. So a protective camera bag just needs to be able to carry the camera and little else.

But the problem with finding camera bags is it’s not easy to tell which one your Leica Q series will fit in. Many cases seem to have the right measurement specs but are actually a little too small to fit a Q series or require you to force the camera through an awkward opening. But if you get a bigger camera bag that will surely accommodate your Q, you may have to dig around for your camera and lug an awkward bag that gets in the way of your shooting. This entry gives you some tried-and-true bags that just hold the camera and are comfortably right there next to you, ready for shooting without getting in the way.

I’ve tried many camera bags, waists packs, packs, etc. with my Q2M. Some have no padding. Some are awkward to open and close with one hand. In some, the camera flops around inside. I’ve weeded through a lot and these are my recommendations with photos to show you a size comparison with the camera. Since all the Q models are basically the same size, these bags work with any of them.

Bags for just the camera.

The following bags just fit the camera and little else.

Leica Sofort Hip Bag $180

The Sofort is nice for hiking and the street. I wear it as a sling instead of a waist pack. On a recent trip to NY, I packed clothes and all else in a Kavu Paxton sling and had the camera slung to my side in the Sofort. It made shooting easy. The Sofort only fits the camera.

+ Bag is short enough that it can be comfortably worn front or back as a waist pack, almost forgetting you’re wearing it
+ Reasonable padding, except for the top
+ Easily fits in a large daypack for travel shooting

- Strap is a bit short for tall people to wear as a sling
- Has a pocket, but even with a spare battery in it, it makes putting the camera away awkward
- Camera will be a bit loose in the pack, but it won’t comfortably hold anything else

Tip: If you really want to carry a battery, I’d advise stitching the inner flap pocket at one end to make a battery compartment that won’t interfere with seating the camera in the bag.

Wotancraft Pilot 2L $99

Wotancraft bags are designed for serious protection and extreme ease-of use. If you’re just looking to just hold your Q series, the Pilot 2L bag is a perfect fit with the divider removed. Slide an extra card and filter in the zippered back pocket and an extra battery and cleaning cloth in the front. This is an excellent choice that feels like it was made just for the Q series.

+ Every side is seriously padded, except for the top
+ Really easy access to camera
+ The Fidlock magnetic clasp keeps your camera securely out of public view, but gives you quick and quiet access for street shooting
+ Weatherproof Cordura
+ Eight spots on the side for clipping on keys, carabiner, knife or Wotancraft’s extensive line of accessories
+ innovative one-handed strap adjust

- A bit boxy in shape
- Top flap is flat (not form-fitted) and sticks out a bit

Bags for camera and flash.

These are still substantially smaller than bags designed for cameras with interchangeable lenses, but give you a bit more storage. I use the Leica SF26 flash, which easily fits into these bags. Instead of a flash, you could carry a wallet, phone or sunglasses.

Domke 5XA $85

Domke has been the choice of the pros for almost 50 years. The 5XA comes with two removable dividers and holds a Q series, small flash, filters, cards and batteries. Just tall enough to fit an iPhone Pro Max instead of the flash.

+ Narrow for a snug fit at your side
+ Weatherproof canvas has a natural feel and won’t cause abrasions in clothing
+ Remove the shoulder strap and you can add a belt to wear it as a waist pack
+ Extra loop on each side is designed to grip and make opening the bag easier, but also useful for a carabiner, keys, knife, etc.

- Being picky: Removing camera is easy, but the zippered main compartment is a little more cumbersome than Pilot
- The sound of opening the velcro flap is loud enough to make it very obvious you’re about to take a photo, but you can leave the flap folded behind the bag and the zipper will still keep the camera secure
- Padding is a bit thin compared to the Pilot, but enough to protect against dings
- Could do with a zippered pocket so you don’t lose memory cards

Wotancraft Pilot 3.5L $115

This is a larger version of the Pilot 2L. With the divider left in, it easily accommodates camera, flash and a little extra.

+ Every side is seriously padded, except for the top
+ Really easy access to camera
+ The Fidlock magnetic clasp keeps your camera securely out of public view, but gives you quick access for street shooting
+ Weatherproof Cordura
+ Front and back pockets are roomy and can hold filters, battery, notebook, etc.
+ Eight spots on the side for clipping on keys, carabiner, knife or Wotancraft’s extensive line of accessories
+ Big enough to add another divider and hold sunglasses, or phone. + innovative one-handed strap adjust
+ Tuck a monopod like the Velbon Ultra Stick Super 8 under the flaps on top.

- A bit boxy, so not as slim as the Domke
- Flap is flat (not form-fitted) and sticks out a bit
- Without the extra divider, camera and flash are a bit loose in the bag


This last category is for those looking to take their Q series in an existing bag, pack or satchel.

PGYTech protective wrap $17

If you already have a day bag or day pack and are looking for a little protection when you toss your camera in, you can’t beat The PGYYech wrap for price. The 13.7” x 13.7” cloth fits the Q series.

+ Modestly-padded wrap that clings to itself for protection from minor dings, scratches, crumbs, sand etc.

- Not weatherproof

My take.

I really like a bag that’s just big enough to carry the necessities for shooting. Often I just carry the camera on a hike and the Sofort works well. Sometimes I take a spare battery and a filter and the Pilot 2L handles this. Sometimes I add a flash to that and the Domke or Pilot 3.5L do the job.

Side note: You’ll notice that none of these bags are glamorous leather. I’ve stuck with more practical weatherproof bags that are good value for the money.

Read the next entry: Never trust a histogram

More chapters

I’ve not rated bags by Ona, Oberwerth, Filson, Fogg, and Billingham because I’ve bought the reviewed bags and don’t get them in exchange for a positive review or make money through affilliate links. That way, you know you’re getting an honest review on value and not the company line or a sales pitch. If you want to support this series, consider buying me a coffee below.

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Photography Leica Q2 Monochrom

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