I know when I posted the Belstaff 554 Large Colonial Shoulder Bag I said that was the last bag I would ever buy. Well, I lied.
The Belstaff 554 is a fantastic bag and I have no regrets. But I found myself often faced with the comment, “Wow. Nice bag… it’s big.” And people were right. It IS big. Big enough to carry my 15″ Macbook Pro. I was hoping the bag would be able to be an everyday carry as well as my work bag. But using it as an everyday carry was just a bit bigger than I’d like. Put it this way, fully loaded, it wouldn’t fit under some of the smaller seats on a plane. And fully loaded… it was HEAVY.
So I started looking and thinking about another bag. It was hard. I had been spoiled by the Belstaff bag. So when I came upon an ad for a Belstaff 556 Colonial Shoulder Bag (regular size)… I jumped on it. Mountain brown just like my larger bag.
I have had it for about a month now and through a trip to Orlando and a trip to New Zealand. It is GREAT! This is the perfect size for everyday carry and travel. Big enough to throw a good amount of stuff in, books magazines, a netbook etc. Not too heavy to carry around all day. Same great construction as the 554.
It also has one really nice feature. It fits a Tenba Messenger Photo Insert perfectly. I saw this insert on Flickr and it is actually better than all the Domke ones that I swore by. It is PERFECT for a messenger shaped bag… none of the Domke’s really are. With it, I can actually fit a Canon 1DmkIII and 3 lenses. Or even the 70-200L f/2.8 IS and another lens mounted. In a bind, I can load the 1DmkIII holster style (lens pointed down). The top closes… barely and is not that comfortable to carry but it fits… in a bind.
So if I had a choice, I’d go with the 556 over the 554. It’s just more universally usable. But I like having two and don’t feel it is duplicating. In a time where Belstaff seems to be stopping the manufacturing of these bags (STUPID STUPID STUPID)… I am glad I have another in case something were to happen to the other. Both mine also don’t have the magnets and the seams match the color of the bag. The newer ones have magnets under the latches and a different color seam. Now why would they do that!
The dimensions measured at the seams* are: 10.25 in tall x 12 in wide x 3 in deep at the top and 4 in deep at the bottom.
Front pockets are 6.5 in tall x 4.5 in wide x 1 in deep.
Side pockets are 5 in tall by 4 in wide… tight rounded depth.
Inside zippered pocket is 7 in long.
* inside might be a bit smaller.
Of course, pictures are worth a thousand words: More Pictures of Belstaff Colonial 556.