The Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home Bag

The Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home Camera Bag Review

Fun, fun, fun…It’s time for me to search for a new bag for my camera gear!  I just sold my Billingham Leica bag through the buy/sell section here on this site and as much as I loved that bag (I had it for 4 years) I just outgrew it. I needed a new bag and I had a few things on my checklist of what this bag MUST have. I wanted a bag that I could keep for 10 years without the need to go bigger or buy anything better.

This was my checklist:

  • It must hold more than the Billingham did which held my M9 and two lenses along with some SD cards, cables, charger. I needed something that would hold my M9 with up to 3-4 lenses as well as a compact camera and charger, cables, etc.
  • It must be somewhat small and not much bigger than my Billingham. If it’s too huge I will not want to lug it out.
  • It must offer good padding and protection for my gear.
  • A pocket is a must for an Ipod, Iphone, etc.
  • Finally, a nice strap so I can carry it around my body comfortably.
  • It must be made well and withstand years of use.
  • It can not be really ugly 🙂

While searching for a new bag I found some gorgeous bags from Billingham and Fogg but the prices were a bit high for my wallet at this time. I wanted to stay around the $100 mark and the one bag that kept popping up was the Crumpler “5 Million Dollar Home“. Crumpler makes a line of bags that range from tiny to large and these particular models (million dollar home line)  have everything that I was looking for in a camera bag. If my budget was bigger I would have went with THIS bag.

The 5 million dollar home seemed like the perfect fit with its ability to hold my M9, up to 4 lenses and a few other necessities. When it arrived my 1st impression was that it was not nearly as cool looking as my Billingham and it was also not any bigger! Looked like I was going to be in need of an RA#! BUT, after closer inspection I realized that the bag had more room that it seemed and I ended up really liking the design and looks.

Here is a video of the bag…

The Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home

I packed in my M9, a 35 Summilux in the case as well as a 50 cron case. I still had room for two more lenses or a compact such as an Oly E-P2 and lens. I also had two pockets for cables, chargers, Ipod or whatever I wanted to stuff inside. Still, I read that the 6 million dollar home was only a little bigger but gave quite a bit more room so I placed an order for the 6 million dollar home in Grey/Red and that is set to arrive tomorrow! I will compare both side by side with all of my gear and see which one I will decide to keep.

I love the color of the interior padding and the padding is nice and thick for extra protection. There is also a nice pocket in the front though it does not seem like it will hold that much without making the bag bulky and fat.

The 5 Million Dollar Home is a very nice bag and the great thing is that it is fairly small. It IS indeed the perfect size for a Leica M and two lenses. It’s pretty much like a messenger bag though a little fatter. Crumpler says the bag is weather resistant but I would not say that it is rain proof. If you were out in a light rain you would be ok. In a heavy rain I would not trust that my equipment would not get wet thought it may keep it dry. I have not been out in a storm with it yet 🙂

Here are the specs from Crumpler:

  • 900 denier, water-resistant nylon
  • Lined with 300 denier ripstop nylon
  • Padded and brushed nylon main compartment
  • Two moveable dividers to customize the bag
  • Plastic stiffening layer in base
  • Two strap and 2 buckle closure
• Touch fastener Silencer flap prevents the “hook and loop” closure from being used
  • External pocket with internal mesh pocket
  • Mesh zip pocket under flap
  • Two hidden internal side pockets
Carrying options
  • Padded carry handle
  • Attached, adjustable shoulder strap

The bag is nice and I may give this one to my son for his NIkon D5000 kit if I decide the 6 Million Dollar home fits my needs better. I could get by with the 5 million dollar home and honestly ,I feel it is one of the nicest bags I have ever owned. Its build is top notch, its padding is super protective and it’s small-ish size would make it an easy bag to carry for a long day of shooting.

Not much more I can say about it but here are some pros/cons:


  • Very well made bag
  • Padding inside is plentiful and will protect your gear nicely. Padding offers more protection that the Billingham but also bulks up the bag a bit.
  • Nice design which makes for a bag you either LOVE or HATE the looks of 🙂 I like it.
  • Small with lots of room
  • Comfortable to hold/wear
  • Perfect for a Leica M with 2-4 lenses
  • $90 is either a pro or con depending on what you want to pay for a bag. I think the price is right for what you get


  • You may need more room if you want to carry a DSLR with a 3 lenses so I recommend going up in the million dollar line
  • Obviously, the more you try to pack in, the more bulky the bag becomes.
  • Not as luxurious as the Billingham or Fogg bags but much cheaper
  • If you use the front Velcro for closing the bag it is very hard to open and it is LOUD. Luckily they added the “velcro silencer” which I used immediately.

Overall this is a great bag. If you want great protection and lots of room in a somewhat small package I can highly recommend the 5 Million Dollar Home. They also come in some great colors like Grey/Red, Black/Grey, Olive/Olive, Brown/Orange, Oatmeal/Red, Red/Red. If your budget is higher then a Billingham would be a gorgeous bag for your Leica kit.

B&H Sells this bag for $81.99 and they usually have most colors in stock. It is where I ordered mine and if you want to see all of the colors you can click here to go to the 5 Million Dollar Home page at B&H! Thanks for reading this overview of the Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home camera bag!

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  1. Hi Steve,

    This is a big bag, too big for your Leica. It’s designed for an SLR and a pair of extra lenses, or one extra lens and a flash unit. Do you really want to lug this beast around just to tote an M9?

    In the Crumpler line, I’d suggest the 2 million bag. It’s just about right for a Leica and one, maybe two extra lenses. and a few rolls of film. I’ve got the 2 million here, at $41 including shipping it’s a deal. It fits a rangefinder and some lenses, or a pair of compact cameras like a Contax T2 and an Olympus XA, or a Panasonic GF1 and a point-and-shoot, etc.

  2. Hi everyone,
    I ordered a 6 MDH and loved it so much. It has the best cushioning for anything in there. My only concern was the stiffness of the casing. I recently went to Singapore and found a dealer for Artisan & Artist camera bags (for Leica). These bags are quality supreme. Ordered the ACAM 1000 the first time I saw it. Its so wonderfully made and exudes hand-crafted quality. Ideal for 3 lenses, 2 bodies and your battery charger and a few Twix Bars. If anyone here would like to see some images I can post some images in a few hours.

    A few Pros:
    Very ‘Un-Camera-Like’ Bag
    Very small
    Folds and flexes nicely (like canvas should)
    Beautiful ‘Leica’ red interior partitions for customizing to your needs
    Very well built

    A few Cons:
    Very Expensive
    Not weather proof (so much)
    Zippers can be slightly noisy

    Again this is something you buy with your heart and not so much with logic.

    Only downside would be its Canvas and can easily weather and catch a lot of dust (which I dont mind).

  3. Great forum. I’m just about to buy a new camera bag but I’m struggling. Like the rest of you I want a bag that keeps my camera protected without having to drag a huge padded case with me like an advert for muggers to attack at anytime. I travel alot so it has to be protective but funky too, and big enough to take my Canon Rebel XT/ EOS 1000 and a 18-200 lens, spare cards and battery but need somewhere to store my camera, sunnies and phone too so I can travel light.

    Any suggestions? The MD is looking a fave at the moment.

  4. Hey wonderful Steve !

    I’ve noticed that there is NO camera-strap on your M7.

    Do you use a camera strap ? … wrist strap ? on your cameras ??…

    Just curious.

    Keep it up man !!

  5. Read your reveiw a few weeks back regarding the Crumpler bags prior to leaving on at trip. I had a gift card from REI and a recent customer dividend, went on line and they carried the line of bags. I put the two together and came out with a Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home Camera Bag. The bag carried my GF1, three lens, two batteries, battery charger, filters and a few other small items very nicely.

    Thanks for taking the time to review the bag!

  6. I have been looking at the Crumpler series and think they are worth trying for sure. I currently use a Domke F-6 little bit smaller bag (canvas). The nice thing about these canvas bags is they look better and perform better as they get older and worn in. The F-6 carries a surprising amount of gear and is flexible enough to bend into all kinds of shapes if you force equipment into it. Standard for me would be a Hasselblad 503cx with 2 lenses (80mm and 50mm), light meter, film, cable release, extension tubes (2). Or on a different day a Canon 1-D mk 3 with a 35, 50 and 70-200mm (it’s a tight squeeze in this situation but workable). The bag design gives you fast access to any lens and when it rains the bag gets soaked (eventually) but the gear is left untouched.
    Perhaps something to consider for another time.
    I am enjoying your site a lot (recently discovered) by the way.

  7. Steve

    The Crumpler looks interesting, but they don’t have that model in the UK. It looks like they sell different bags in Europe compared to the US.

    I bought the Leica Billingham bag, and can manage to get one M body and 5 lenses into it as well as the Frankenfinder, plus other bits and pieces,

    However, I am now trying a belt pack, the LowePro Inverse 100 AW, as I think I will have free’er hands. Sure, it won’t carry as much as the Billingham.

  8. But there is a perfect bag:

    Fogg B-Laiki…..


    Seriously, though. It has been my fav, and I have tried a bunch of others out. I love my Billingham Pola as well (camera and 2-3 lenses, housed in cases/socks) and Artisan & Artist Image Smith for larger kit. The Crumpler’s look nice, but to me, their logo makes them look like a camera bag. Maybe I spend too much time in camera stores. For those looking for a more modern looking bag, Crumpler bags seem nice, though.

    For a more classic look, there’s Billingham and Fogg

    For modern chique, there’s Artisan and Artist.

  9. Hi Steve if we in Melbourne can pick our own colour and design check this website

  10. @Elaine

    >Michael, what do you use for camera gear, if you don’t mind me asking? Do you use Leica at all?

    I don’t mind at all, after all, this is a gearhead site, although I am not sure why that matters vis-a-vis the content and satire of my post, or my other posts re. the S2 etc. on this site. Particularly your last question in respect to whether I have legit Leica ownership experience “…at all…” I cannot really grasp without being presumptions…

    As I said, I work cinematographically in all formats and variants. So my gear is mostly tied to 8, 16 and 35 (digi and 65 you rent). I won’t bore you names and products that might not tell you much. But I had the pleasure to shoot with a humble Leicina (not many know Leitz did consumer cine-cameras, incidentally using Schneider lenses on M-Mount and not their own Leica lenses because they didn’t have the necessary resolving power Schneider offered), as well as shooting with you, i.e. with an “Elaine” (the nickname for Panaflex 16 rentals).

    Photography-wise I currently shoot MF and LF. Linhof Technorama 617s III and a very old Kardan. I recently rediscovered the joy in shooting with a MF-converted Polaroid 110B Pathfinder with Rodenstock 127 up to f/90. The c’d view/rangefinder is on par with the Leitz experiences I had owning (and eventually selling) a Leitz F with original ‘rit 1.5/50, and an early “Buddha ear” M3. I worked but did not own an M5 and CL and find both underrated. I also owned Canon EF, AE, Nikon F-501, FM2n/T sets. I lost interest in 135 gear because the technology stagnated and ergonomics and quality decreased, but the prices remained high when compared to the purchasing power of people. And this I just don’t want to fuel with my money, and certainly not for non-upgradeable digital bodies. But Leica figured that out by now after the M8 blunder. They just can’t change that market anymore while remaining a going company. Personally, I think they should focus on optics alone, as Zeiss does in the pro-segment. Their Master and Ultra primes are exquisite and not comparable to the M-Mount consumer gear they offer.

    Any other questions to seek me out 🙂 ?

  11. I have the older Crumpler which doesn’t have the awesome velcro silencer.

    I use a North Face back pack and am careful with the camera. Sometimes I throw a sweater in there to buffer.

    Crumpler (KKkkKkkkkkkkk) LOL!

  12. Could someone please recommend a lightweight camera bagpack that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Thanks!

  13. Michael, what do you use for camera gear, if you don’t mind me asking? Do you use Leica at all?

    I agree with Michael about the M8 and how it depreciated. Digital depreciate. That’s what i hate about them. I hate the fact that you can lose all of your files in a heartbeat too. Sometimes all this storage stuff makes me want to shoot film again. I love the instant gratification and less waste using digital, but I like having a physical negative or slide to store. I’m happy not to waste chemicals and paper anymore. Still, I’d like to shoot film again.

    Okay, off the subject. Back to Crumpler. I liked the 6 Million dollar bag I bought years ago. I friggin’ HATE the velcro noise. Stupid design. The case is nice though. I don’t want a bag that looks like a camera bag. (A long time ago, I left my camera bag in my father’s van at some amusement park. Yeah, I know. Stupid. I was 16 years old. The van was broken into, and my father’s golf clubs and some other things were stolen out of it. My camera bag was untouched. The reason? It didn’t look like a camera bag. It looked like a diaper bag. It wasn’t the usual camera bag. It was some cheap bag I bought that I made into a camera bag. Lesson learned. Now I get the ugliest bag I can find. Crumpler fits that bill. LOL! Kidding.

    I’ve never been able to find the perfect bag. I’m still looking. I know I’ll never own a Billingham. Too fancy for me.

    Also, Emily is smart in buying her gear by saving for it first. I’m the dummy who goes into hawk. LOL! (Well, not so much later in life, but still a bit in hawk.)

  14. @ ChipL – “I hope that folks here did not mind the long response. Just working in a camera store I have bought many the “perfect” bag over the years. In the end I have found there is no perfect bag. Just one that you use time and again. Some I have retired… others that I still use – all depending on what kit I decide to carry. ”

    That just about say’s it all, the perfect job & situation for trying out different bags and still can’t be done. Hehe. As you indicated, Kata sure make some interesting bags/accessories – I plumped for the DB 455 in the end but still find it’s outer dimensions a bit too big for a day bag but the great thing about it is that you can take the zipped/padded camera compartment out and use it inside any old bag. Just wondering if you’ve come across the Kata Gecko bag strap at all as I find the standard strap a bit flimsy and not very ergonomic? (Links below)

  15. Not sure.. or do I want to be sure of what went on between the of you two. In the end we are talking about bags here!!!!

    The cat fight between you both is beyond what I thought I was bringing on…

    Up to now I am happy that avoided your cat fight… lets bring to the be best and worst of the bags out there…..

  16. Unfortunately, I think the digital will depreciate much more quickly than film models, but I considered the cost savings on darkroom, processing, film, etc. Sometimes I think the accounting tries to overtake the art. 😉

    On emotions transmitted for centuries – touche! 😉 Unfortunately, I hastily type comments and posts and do not put quite the analytical approach afforded to paper and pen.

    I guess the entire response shows that bags are a universal passion of both genders – women and their purses, men and their camera bags. Ha! 😀

  17. @Emily

    Nope, no assumptions, just rhethorical jaunting given the weird emotions that came to light in this thread – something also commented on by cidereye, just differently. Me in exaggerated satire, he in clear dislike. (“inflection and expression is lost online” indeed — i just wonder how these emotions were ever transmitted for centuries by literature printed on emoticon-less paper… maybe it’s the readers after all, and not the medium..?)

    So thanks Emily, very enlighening. But I didn’t have you in mind in any particular sense as aspects of my post were covered in the exchange between Steve and Richard, Borbarad, Larry… And also looking back at the photographic subject matters and the general discouse on brand, status, way of photography etc that exists in the Leica scene.

    Nevertheless – not to let your effort go in vain – I enjoyed reading your rationalisation why and how you bought your gear for you and in what context. And also putting it in quite informed economic local context in your first post. I think like you when it comes to personal purchasing, although I admit it never occured to me to look at, say, my purchase of a Cooke S4i lens against its 2x average UK income value. (My context: I do cinematography in UK & LA, and privately some MF and LF photography when I find the time; recently had an M9 of Caplan’s for a week to decide if to buy or not, and decided against as the execution did not convince me yet for its price).

    I sincerely hope your investment, particularly if you own digital bodies with integrated sensors, will increase at 10% p.a. I think that was one of the aspects Leica tried to sell the M8 on… hmm, maybe Leica ain’t Leitz after all anymore.

    Wishing you best, and thanks for the effort of your reply, I genuinely appreciated it and value your thinking,

    -Michael 🙂

  18. Did not wade through all the comments in the messages. Offering my thoughts as an owner of the 5 Million Dollar Home; and with some thoughts about the LowePro Fastpack series and the new Kata 3-N-1

    Yet I can say for myself the 5 Million Dollar home bag has been perfect for my EP-1 (now the EP-2 ) with the following gear: the m4/14-42 attached to the body, the Oly 4/3 9-18 with the MMF adaptor, the Oly 4/3 40-150, the Pani 20/1.9 m4/3 lens, the FL-14 flash, spare batteries, cable release (Promaster model – smaller and can go to over 6 feet), CPL’s for the zooms, memory cards, and if needed my FL-36R fits in there with all that gear! I also attach at times the Tamrac Zipshot tripod to the handle of the bag when I think I just might need a tripod; but not wanting to carrying even something as small and light as the Gitzo Traveller G1541T – my dream tripod.

    And guess what all that gear is under 6 pounds or so!

    As to Steve’s con – “Not as luxurious as the Billingham or Fogg bags but much cheaper” – I like the price and that it looks like a small messenger bag. Unobtrusive… nor luxurious… some things I look for in a bag.

    As much as I love the 5 Million Dollar Home, and use it a lot – I miss the LowePro Fastpack series for when I go out with a day trip in mind. Love the large daypack area for other things like a mid-hike nosh. And as much I like the Fastpack series – disliked that it was hard to get to some gear in “sling” mode at times with my Nikon kit that used the Fastpack for before.

    Sort of mini-look at a newish bag from Kata that caught my attention. And that is the 3-N-1 series. What is unique about this bag is that it is a left or right handed sling bag (unlike others that are worn only over the left shoulder) , or can be worn as a “X-strap” backpack that gives easy access (left or right) sling bag style. The downer for me is the smaller daypack area compared to the LowePro Fastpack series. But I might try and see if if the left and right side access works out better for me.

    While some might not be shipping as of yet – too lazy to check LOL – is the the primary 3-N-1 series has three sizes : the 3-N-10, the 3-N-1 20, and the 3-N-1 30. These are without laptop areas. They do offer the the 3-N-11, the 3-N-1 22, and the 3-N-1 33 that accommodate laptops.

    The other benefit of of the 3-N-1 series is with the optional Kata 3-N-1 Tripod Holder. Perfect it seems for my dream tripod of the Gitzo Traveler 1541T!

    I hope that folks here did not mind the long response. Just working in a camera store I have bought many the “perfect” bag over the years. In the end I have found there is no perfect bag. Just one that you use time and again. Some I have retired… others that I still use – all depending on what kit I decide to carry.

    As I Olympus m4/3 user – I am getting closer to letting go of my Nikon kit – and going just m4/3’s. It just suits my needs and desires for size and weight. And the IQ as folks call it – is just what I like… 🙂

    For now the 5 Million Dollar Home fits the need when I go out for a short shoot out and about town with my Olympus EP-2. Small, and non-discript messenger bag style. I hang in the balance of using my Fastpack bags, and testing out a suitable 3-N-1 bag for my Oly m4/3 kit when I want a bit more from my bag. As I have said there is no perfect bag. Just one or two you will time and time again…

  19. Wow, Michael, that’s quite a few assumptions you make. I’m making an assumption of my own in inferring that you are referring to my comment about the rural area where I live as far as shockingly deprived parts of the US where people neverless get bank credit, etc. I’m not sure how the conclusion was drawn that my (or anyone else’s) camera equipment was purchased with financing when discreetness was being discussed. I had no need for bank credit when buying my camera because I make a practice of saving, then buying what I think is the best investment which leads to the “economically very odd.” Not at all! After doing thorough research, I settled on Leica not because of status but because of quality and its potential to hold its value. One of my lenses I purchased last year has already increased in value over 10%. Economically odd? I say economically smart.

    As to your question of how does this work? I work, I save, I invest, I spend my money on items I choose. Living in economically poor or enriched parts of the world does not prohibit sound business and financial practices. And who said we aren’t changing the world with stills?? Just because we have other means of fixed employment does not make a photographer a hobbyist or an enthusiast. Being a photographer is more than just having a string of photography related jobs and gallery openings – it is a frame of mind, a way of living, a sense of perception and interpretation.

    I hope this doesn’t sound angry or defensive (inflection and expression is lost online), I’m just attempting to answer some of your questions.

    And as for the bags – the review helped me incredibly since I was trying to decide on a bag and everyone’s comments gave me more options to peruse before making my choice.


  20. Can’t help but comment on some of the more stupid, negative comments posted here today that frankly show a clear lack of any insight on camera bags period! The best bag is the best bag for *you*, not the guy next door or the lady down the road …. *you*. Steve wrote up an excellent and insightful view on a Crumpler bag and all hell breaks lose – Sheesh! Get a grip people!

    Frankly, speaking as somebody who’s been around the block a bit (and tried countless bags), the best camera bag if you are going to use one is a camera bag that does not look like a camera bag and that is where Crumpler scores big time! Billingham bags look great sure, but practical? Yeah right, they weigh far too much to carry for extended periods and SCREAM I have loads of expensive gear inside hence so many people who actually unstitch the leather logo or even try to make their bags look worn before they use them?!?! (What’s all that about?? LMAO!)

    This Crumpler is a great bag Steve, I was looking for one recently myself but couldn’t find stock so bought a Kata instead – Now these guy’s really know how a camera bag should work if you’ve never tried one out! I keep most my main gear in my large Crumpler now and work from the Kata as my day bag but still find no bag and just wearing a photo vest the best option with a lens in each pocket by far the best option for *me*. I’d love to see some of these Billlingham worshippers shooting street photography on the shady side of town, they wouldn’t last five minutes! 😀 Each to their own though and live and let live – peace & love to all but give Steve a break and allow him to express *his* opinion at the very least huh?

  21. Gosh, the Leica vs Canonikon debate goes on with Billingham vs The Rest? Luckily there is no conflict on this planet anymore Leica photoreporter need to document. They can entirely focus on blind brand loyalty in gear debates on websites built on solicitation 🙂

    Steve’s right, Crumpler makes not-too-bad bags, and with their urban funky I-was-a-bike-messenger-and-now-freelance-in-IT-and-put-peace-symbol-stickers-on-my-MacBook look, they found a distinct niche. They are a bit overpriced for what they are, bidding on their brand image lifestyle. In Germany, photo retailers and electronics chains sell Own-Name bags of the same quality for less (not easy to find those in Southwestern Kentucky, I guess). Flicking through sites like, a leading European expedition outfitter with a solid photo department shows plenty of other alternatives, though, which might be of interest.

    Not sure I would put myself through looking into a lime-coloured photobag every day. That really defies any claims for aesthetics Leica Men seem to inherently own. And I cannot see any functional benefit (unless: nightsight fluorescent inlay?)

    What really intrigues me, though, reading through this thread, is that there seems to be a sizeable share of Leica owners who are not fixed-employed yet shoot like hobbyists, life in shockingly deprived parts of the US rivalling better parts of Africa in terms of job prospects and infrastucture development; but where people nevertheless get bank credit to buy the most expensive consumer camera available right now… great for the pursuit of happiness, but economically very odd… how does this work, and what’s the motivation if its not status, job req’d, changing the world with stills, or just keeping up with the Joneses (who could never be reasoned into buying an M9 after seeing what happened with the M8)?

    Funny that…

  22. Hi Robert (Muller),

    I checked out the Crumpler Company Gigolo 5500 and it looks neat and indeed small.
    However for the 5500 (which is bigger than the one you have), it looks as if that you hold it on your shoulder and if you want to open it all the lenses (placed horizontally) can risk being dropped.

    What do you think?

  23. Hey RIchard, wake up on the wrong side of the bed today? The Crumpler bag is a FANTASTIC bag at a not so bad price. Your points:

    Way too stiff? Hmm, the 4, 5 and 6 MDH bags I have here are not stiff at all. No, they are not “floppy” but floppy bags do not protect your gear and is that not the main goal of a bag? To carry and protect your gear?

    Ludicrous shoulder straps? How so? The strap on these Crumplers are not much different than my older Billingham bag as far as size and width goes.

    Looking Cool: So looking “cool” is the main priority with a camera bag? I could care less how “cool” I look with a bag. As long as it does what it is supposed to do that I am fine with it. I happen to think they look nice and much better than 75% of the bags I have seen recently.

    I will choose a bag on the following criteria from most important to least:

    Ease of use

    See, I am not your typical “Leica Man”, meaning I did not buy a Leica for the status or the looks. I am also not rich or even close to it so any bag that does the job for me is the one I will use. The Crumpler 5MDH is a GREAT bag for a Leica M9 and 1-4 lenses. Does it look as “cool” as a Fogg or Billingham? HELL NO, but its in a price range well below those bags and not everyone can spend several hundred on a bag.

    So yea, I like the Crumpler bags. Not so much so the 6MDH as its too big but the 5 is great. I do not plan on using the velcro and I have already used the built in velcro covers for it. I also have a Billingham Hadley (small) here and yea, its a nicer bag but honestly, the Crumpler will offer more protection for my gear.

    I decided to keep both the 5MDH and Hadley even though it pushed my bag budget past where I wanted it to be. Thanks for reading!


  24. Hi Steve,
    As much as I enjoy 95% your site (almost daily) I’m amazed that you actually like this Crumpler crap… 🙂

    I’ve tried a few too. They are way too stiff, unwilling, designed by people who only know what a camera looks like ‘cos the guys from the marketing agency always bring ‘these things’ along. Ludicrous shoulder straps as if you’re gonna carry 400 pounds of cast iron in it. Insanely loud velcro. Way too much of this sh*tty stuff on these stupid bags. Gosh, I could go on an on. But I won’t…

    BTW, who told yer looking cool – or even remotely good – with a Crumpler bag?

    OK, I’ll shut up now and skip this silly page. 😀

  25. Hey Steve,

    🙂 … yes, really good news! My Hadley is now about 10 years old and still protects my M9 with 4 lenses, the GF1 with 20mm and the 45mm, a Gorilla-tripod, some bars of chocolate, always some magazines and some odds and ends …
    As a scout (DPSG) I often take part in big scout-meetings, national and international ones, and it is really reassuring that after a long and rainy day the Hadley will be dry again next day, although only standing in an unheated tent over the night.
    … and … “she” is so quiet 🙂
    Yes I know, Billingham is very expensive, but simply the Best and easy to wear, as they nestle to your body.
    Steve, you will love them …

  26. Franz, you will be happy to hear that UPS just delivered a Billingham Hadley Small. I am comparing it to the Crumplers now…beautiful bag no doubt 🙂 I now have FOUR bags here and only one can stay. Problem is, all of them have their strengths but I think the 6 million dollar home is a bit large for what I wanted and the 4 million is a bit small.

    Looks like its between the 5 million and the Hadley Small. $80 vs $200. Update to come soon….

  27. people who like a really SMALL camera with zip, should consider the new Crumpler “Company Gigolo 3500”-… Its about €80,-

    Also greetings from Austria 😉

  28. Franz, I have disabled the velcro on my bag. It is silent, makes zero noise. The new models comes with the “velcro silencer” and it works great. If it did not have this the bag would have been returned as the velcro is LOUD.

  29. Hello folks,
    most of the Leica-users are using their equipment without attracting attention. But have you ever tried to get out a lens or something else out of a bag with a hook and loop fastener quietly?! … taking images of a wedding, your camera have the quietest shutter in the world and then: you have to open a hook and loop fastener 🙁 “chrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt”
    If we ever meet each other the photographer making the most noise will pay the first beer 🙂


  30. Good choice Steve! And Alexander, I have been using the 2 Million Dollar Home for the M9 with a single lens mounted on. It can even take the M9 with the gigantic Voigtlander 50 1.1. The best part about the Crumpler is it does not look like a camera bag.

    I can also fit in my GF1, 20 f/1.7, 45 f/2.8 and 7-14 f/4 all in the 2 Million Dollar Home

  31. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for this great review, once again. You published it just on time as I am considering buying a bag (hesitating between the Crumpler 6mdh , the 7 mdh and the A&A Image Smith or Evans Walker).

    Using your Huffomatic weighng machine, how heavy is the bag? (B&H does not mention this information in the specs).
    Have you noticed that rain or dust/sand could penetrate from the upper sides of the bag, as it is not zippered.


  32. I’m very fond of Artisan&Artist bags myself. I use currently an Oscar One Day bag but wouldn’t mind getting the bigger ACAM 1000 BLK #10 Canvas/Nylon Camera Bag as well.
    Check out they have a huge selection of A&A products.
    Btw, I’m also using an A&A camera strap. Love it.

  33. Steve thanks for the review. I’ve been using the 4millon dollar bag for a couple of months now and love the quality of it. Im a ep2 user (and leica wanna be) with a couple of lens, and the 4 mill. bags does nicely. Thanks again.


  34. I think i might have to get one of these, ive been throwing my gear in a standard backpack. My sb900 has its pouch atleast but my camera and lens or sometimes lenses could eventually pay for it. these bags look like they could fit all my stuff for pretty cheap and protect it.

  35. Great choice on the Crumpler bag! I’ve been using the 4 Million Dollar Bag on my round the world trip. It’s held up to everything – heat and humidity of Central & South America and all the way to the bottom of the world, Antarctica. Just picked up The Pretty Boy, in Madrid, for my LX3.

    Not sure if they have it in North America, but traveling through Europe the past couple of weeks, I’ve found a few Crumpler retail stores, stocking quite a few products I haven’t seen back home or on their website. Some higher end stuff, such as leather messenger bags and large camera backpacks constructed with different materials and colours.

    I think they’re the best un-camera-ish, camera bag for traveling, currently available and doesn’t scream, hey look at me, i’m tourist with a fancy camera, come steal it. And they have great names too.

  36. My wife got me this nice french leather bag from a London Fashion show (sample)

    For me, if I’m going to use a bag, it’s got to have at least as much character as the camera itself.

    I know my camera, the MP might get bashed up, but I’m fine with that. The leather feels and smells French… reminds me of holidays in Bretagne.


  37. in the late eighties there was a Leica jacket, not a blazer but something chic black and classic, well just like a m4-p without the red dot…. of course it had lots of pockets and can carry as much as your bag.

  38. Great review, Steve! I have been looking for a bag for my M9 and was about to buy a Billingham, but they look a little “old” for me. I wanted something a bit more modern, young, and like another commenter said, less obvious. I live in a rural area where the cost of the M9 + lens is half of the average per capita income of the county I live in. When I’m out shooting, I like a discrete look that doesn’t scream expensive.

    After reading all the comments, the Billingham seems like a classic, and I’ll probably get one later for trips, but the Crumpler seems like a good day-to-day bag. Plus, that front pocket looks as if it could hold an iPad. (I hope!)

  39. I went for a Domke F6 in green.. the Billingham bags are just too dorky looking for my taste (I’m sure I’ll get flamed for that but who cares). I don’t need a waterproof bag, but comfort is very important and these things are great. Enough protection but nice and soft and flexible. Plus they look like something a war photojournalist would wear, especially when they start to show some wear, which is in a way pretty cool 🙂

  40. The Crumpler 5MDH is a great and versatile bag. Not only will it fit an M9 with space for more lenses than most Leica shooters will ever use on a regular basis, it will fit large DSLRs too! I’ve had one of these bags for about 2 years now and it has been my favorite carry-anywhere bag during trips. Small, holds a ton, and doesn’t advertise that you have expensive stuff. Perhaps this is one of the other reasons why this is a good alternative to Billingham. While Billingham is nice (I have a Hadley), I seldom use it because it advertises too much that you have expensive gear in an expensive-looking bag. Many in the know will already assume it’s a Leica kit of some sort. On the other hand, the Crumpler is more discreet in that in doesn’t scream expensive. Choosing the Crumpler instead of the Billingham may just spare you from being mistaken as a snob poser Leica-shooting prick 🙂

    During a recent trip, the 5MDH fit: a D700, a 14-24 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, and a 50mm f/1,4 Nikkor with batteries, charger, and a filter pouch to go. Holds a ton for a small bag. These days my Nikon rests in a larger Lowepro bag, and the M9 has found new residence in the Crumpler. The Hadley is collecting dust in the closet.

  41. Hey Franz, well I just might be back but honestly, the M and lenses fit perfectly, it is easy to load/unload, has awesome protection and is easy to carry. Again, all I am losing out on is the looks and the leather trim and saving $200. With that said, I probably will get a Fogg or Billingham bag eventually 🙂 Artist & Artisan is also nice but never have seen one in person and dealers are limited.


  42. My prognosis: You will be unhappy soon. After 40 years of taking photos and dozens of different camera bags (for instance, I have used already three different Crumpler’s), for M-Leicas fits best: Artisan&Artist from Japan and Billingham. “Come backs” are always more expensive. Good luck!

  43. Hi Steve,

    Great site and great reviews ! (Love your style and perspective on products)

    It’s really interesting to have your opinion on camera bags, as I’m also in the difficult process of finding the perfect everyday bag for my Olympus EP1 and a few lenses (Konica Hexanons) as a replacement for my STM messenger laptop bag (great size, but not really thought for photo stuff), that can also carry the everyday stuff of a manpurse (hate the term, but love the functionnality).

    The Crumpler 5-mdh is really interresting (perfect size for me to carry every day). But would it be able to carry some papers (notepad, letters, and up to A4 format stuff) ?

    I’m also considering the Domke F-5XC (about the same size, and really love the design), it would really rock if you could give your impressions on other camera bags, especially regarding different situations (big DSLR bags for the big events, everyday bags just for photo stuff, or for more, and so on) ?

    Anyway, congrats for your awesome site and great reviews!

  44. Borbarad, who said I could afford my M9? 🙂

    My bag budget was $100, and I went $12 over by ordering the 6 million bag. Anyway, these Crumplers offer much more protection that the Billingham bags but they are not as nice looking of course. Also, sometimes you do not want a bag that screams “I have an expensive Leica inside”. If I had the funds right now to buy a nice bag I would but the Crumpler pleasantly surprised me with its quality, size and protection. Thx for looking!

    Alexander, the 2 million bag should be good for a body with lens attached, and it would be SMALL!

  45. Hey steve,
    great idea to show us your new bag.
    I am looking for a bag, where only my m9 and my summicron 35 should fit in.
    I have seen on the crumpler page the 2 million dollar bag, do you think this would be a good deal?

    Greets from Austria

  46. Well… someone who is able to afford Leica M9 and all those nice Leica Lenses that go with a M9 can’t afford a Billingham. Should I believe this? Hardly….

    I only have the Pro E-System and I’m able to afford a Billingham…


  47. What? Selling Billingham is just blasphemy! tztzzz…..
    Billingham bags are simply the Best you can buy and as for size, well you could go for the 5 or 7 series, the Hadley or if size matters then there is the 550.

    I had a few bags, esp a few Crumplers but since I’ve got my 325… well… Billingham for Lifetime!


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