Billingham 72 vs. 4 Other Billingham Bags

Billingham 72 vs. 4 Other Billingham Bags:

Today, I’m going to talk a bit more about the new Billingham 72 camera bag.  For those interested, I wrote a long review earlier, and it can be found here.  Anyway, a reader wanted to know how the new Billingham 72 compares to the M Combination, and the Hadley Small.  I was actually going to write up a comparison between the 72, Stowaway Compact, and Stowaway Pola but I figured I might as well just put it all together, and compare all five bags at once.

Before I get started, I just want all of you to know that this comparison is in no way a review, so if you’re looking for more information about any of these bags, I did review every single one of them, and you can find them on this page.  Also, I’m going to use mostly pics to compare these bags as I think this is the best way to get a feel of them.  Ok, let’s start.  First up, I’m going to show you a few photos of the 72 compared to the M Combination, and Hadley Small.

↑ Billingham M Combination vs. Hadley Small vs. 72.

↑ Here’s a top view of all three.

↑ Here’s now they would look like inside.  They do not have all their included padding in this photo.  Cameras setups are (from left to right): Fuji X Series with XF 23mm f2, Leica M3 with 50mm Summicron, and Leica M6 TTL Millennium with 50mm Summicron.

Let’s talk about the Billingham M Combination first.  It’s actually my most used bag when I’m carrying a small mirrorless or rangefinder kit.  I absolutely love it for several reasons.  In addition to the excellent quality (which is basically a trait of all Billingham bags), the M Combo is light, and easy to carry around all day whether it is packed full or carrying the basics.  It has a hard bottom (of course, there is thick padding to cover the hard bottom), so it can protect my gear from some pretty hard impacts.  I’ve actually dropped this bag by accident with a bunch of Leica M gear in it on a hard granite floor.  It landed on it’s bottom but my gear was completely unharmed.  I also really like the fact that it holds its shape better than the Hadley Small, which makes it easier to retrieve gear from it while walking.

Speaking of the Billingham Hadley Small, it actually carries the most out of these three.  I’ve had 5 lenses, one M body, charger, extra batteries, a bunch of memory cards, and an iPad Pro 9.7 in this bag.  The Hadley Small does not have a tablet sleeve but I slip my iPad in between the removable insert and the back of the bag.  It fits perfectly.  You would think that with the ability to fit so much gear, it would feel the biggest out of the three but the funny thing is, the Hadley Small actually feels more compact than the M Combo.  It’s probably because of its messenger styled design; it does hug the body a bit better than the M Combo.  I also like that there are two separate pockets as oppose to just one big pocket on the M Combo.  Let’s talk about the two Stowaway bags now.

↑ The Billingham Stowaway Compact vs. Stowaway Pola vs. 72.

↑ Here’s a top view of all three bags.

↑ Here are the insides of each bag.  The Billingham 72 does not have its included divider in this photo.  Cameras in these bags (from left to right) are: Fuji X Series camera with XF 23mm f2, Leica M6 with 50mm Summicron, and Leica M3 with 50mm Summicron.

So, the Stowaway bags are probably the most similar to the Billingham 72, at least in terms of what they can carry.  The Billingham Stowaway Compact is obviously the smallest of the three.  As you can see in the photos, it does fit my Leica M3 with a 50mm Summicron attached.  This is really for the bare essentials if you’re talking about carrying only camera gear.

As you can see in the photos, the Billingham Stowaway Pola actually has some decent room.  It’s carrying a Fuji X Series camera with XF 23mm f2 in the last photo above but you have enough room to put the camera in it with the bottom plate actually on the bottom of the bag.

Out of these three, I actually prefer the Billingham 72 for carrying a one camera and one lens system.  It has a lot more padding for one.  The zippered openings on both Stowaway bags actually make it more difficult to retrieve and put back gear versus the flap on the 72 as well.  This is especially so with the Stowaway Compact given its the smallest one.  If you’re carrying other things though besides camera gear, the Stowaway bags might fit your needs better.  They might be better for you if you’re carrying a small camera, and a bunch of non-photographic related things.

So, I hope this little comparison helps any of you who are considering these bags.  They are all nice, so you really can’t go wrong.  Again, if you want more info, check out my reviews on each of these bags.  You can always ask me a question below, and I will try my best to answer it :).

Thanks for taking the time to read my comparison!  If you’re considering purchasing one of these bags, and my comparison helped, please help support this site by purchasing from any of the links in this review.  It will not cost you anything extra.  Thank you for your support!

Billingham Hadley Small: Amazon/B&H Photo

Billingham M Combination: Amazon/B&H Photo

Billingham Stowaway Pola: Amazon/B&H Photo

Billingham Stowaway Compact: Amazon/B&H Photo

The 72 can be found on Billingham’s site.  It is currently only available in the UK until December 31st 2017.

10 comments… add one
  • Dane

    Very cool Patrick! Great job showcasing the difference. I think the 72 is perfect with the Rolleiflex, film and meter. I might it for my Christmas gift request hehe.

    • Patrick

      Thanks Dane!

      Another person was actually wondering if he could fit his Rollei in this bag as well. I just want one thing for Christmas…although it’s a little greedy of me haha. I want my 90 APO SL lens but according to Leica, not till Spring :(.



  • Sam

    Patrick, thank you so much for this! This is amazingly helpful for me!

    It’s interesting to see that the 72 is exactly half the size of the Hadley small.

    • Patrick

      Hi Sam,

      I’m glad it is helpful and anytime! The Hadley is a nice size. It really doesn’t feel that big, and there are times when I use it to carry a small kit with me. The thing is, it is surprisingly roomy when it needs to be.



  • Mahesh

    Hi Patrick, I haven’t bought it yet. But I’ve been dreaming about S2 in Burgundy. I’ve checked a few bags and to me in billingham that looks good for a mirrorless with an extra lens.

    • Patrick

      Hi Mahesh,

      You mean this bag :)?

      It’s not in red but one of the other S series bags I reviewed was in red. It’s a great little bag…perfect for what you described.



      • Mahesh

        Hi yes Patrick, that’s the one… Now with the A7RIII I’m collecting tomorrow, not sure if I should spend more money this year 🙂

      • Patrick

        Hi Mahesh,

        I know the feeling haha. In Spring, I’m hoping to pick up a 90mm APO for my SL when it is released but I’m torn because half of me is excited but the other half is wondering if I’m crazy for spending more money on gear lol. Have fun with the A7RIII though!



  • mohamed alfaris

    How does it compare to Hadley Digital ? I can’t make up my mind , I feel I am buying almost the same size . Same thing with Hadley One I have pro and I don’t feel am not getting much but ppl seem to like it a lot

    • Patrick

      Hi Mohamed!

      I can sympathize, as it can often times be difficult to gauge a bag’s true size in photos. The Billingham 72 is smaller than the Hadley Digital. If you have something like a mirrorless or rangefinder camera, you can store three lenses, and one camera body in the Hadley Digital whereas you’ll only be able to carry one mirrorless camera with lens mounted in the Billingham 72. The lens will also have to be either a fixed focal length or a compact zoom. A lot of these bags are sent out to me as loaners to review, so I did not have the Hadley Digital at the time I did this comparison but I did do a separate review of the Hadley Digital with plenty of pictures, especially with gear inside it. If you would like to see the review, it is here:

      I also reviewed the Billingham 72, which can be found here:

      As for the Hadley One, it is noticeably larger than the Hadley Pro. It has a laptop slot, and it’s unique in the Hadley line because it has two separate inserts. The Hadley One is so much larger that just one of these inserts will fit my entire SL with the 24-90mm Vario Elmarit. If you want to see photos of the bags, here are my Hadley One and Hadley Pro reviews:

      In fact, I reviewed almost the entire line of Billingham bags, so if you would like to see them, here is the link:

      Please let me know if you have any other questions! I appreciate you stopping by and thanks for leaving a comment!



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