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the perfect bag for the photographer mom | Kelly Moore Classic vs. Libby

“OOh. That is a nice bag.”

“Thanks Babe! I love it. I am so so so happy with it. Not what I expected…but better…”

“How much did it cost?”

“Umm…well…came from my account sooooo…….”

“Jeeeeeeeez-us! You & your giant, expensive bags!”

:) Ah, the joys of having your own money. I am a HUGE fan of having my own bank account. I have a business account & a personal account that are all mine. THEREFORE, I can make no-questions-asked purchases that seem like excess to a certain someone who just doesn’t get it. My theory is this: the more expensive the camera, the better the bag ought to be…right? RIGHT!

So my Kelly Moore Libby arrived this week. I fell in love with her caramel color a couple of months ago. Seriously needing a space upgrade from my pretty pink Kelly Moore Classic (honestly, this was a need, not a nice to have), I decided to bite the bullet. She arrived & is SO MUCH BIGGER than I anticipated. In the most beautiful bigger-is-better way. These pictures do not do it justice, but I will try to help you understand just how much this bag can hold.

I ask my bags to do many things. I want them to multitask, just like I do. I want diapers. snacks. water. big expensive cameras. sippy cups. wipes. memory cards. iPad. an extra lens. & easy access to it all. But I want it all tucked away when I want it to be safe. The Classic was great for shooting, but failed at multitasking. So…I’m afraid she just got fired. :( Here’s the dirt:



really great for: shooting. especially shooting little people that move fast. you can strap it on & it’s coming effortlessly right along with you.

not so great for: being a diaper bag + camera bag, if you have a big camera. It might work if you shoot with a Rebel & a prime lens, but my 5DMKII + 24-70mm could not fit in it, with a diaper & toddler necessities.

what I love: the color. the pockets in front & back. the adjustable insides. the easy access open top for shooting. the adjustable cross body strap for shooting.

what I wished it had: more space. a zipper top for safety of my equipment. more space between a camera & a sippy cup because leaking scares me. a shorter strap for shoulder wearing.

[note: I am 5’3″ & I still love big bags]



really great for: being a mama with a big fancy camera and wanting to carry it ALL with you at once. Incredibly versatile, both for personal & professional use.

not so great for: people who like small bags.

what I love: ohhhh the inserts. This bag has FIVE removable inserts to vertically organize your gear along the velcro strips. There is ALSO a sixth strip that is the entire length of the bag.  It fits OVER the gear, keeping it safe & sound at the bottom & allowing personal items to stay on top of the gear, hiding your gear from anyone who can see in your bag. It also has a padded side, so you can slip your MacbookPro or iPad in right next to the organized gear. This bag also comes with an additional strap so you can wear it like a messenger bag while shooting. PLUS…it has a ZIPPER. I love bags that have zippers. & don’t forget all the exterior pockets. Endless space.

what I wished it had: I’ll have to get back to you. Right now, it so versatile, I can’t tell you anything I don’t like…it might be a little big to wear as a messenger bag, but that is probably my personal preference. It might also be a bit big to use daily as a diaper bag. But give me a week. I’ll be totally used to it.

This is worth noting–as I did not grasp how much bigger the Libby was just from looking at the image on the website. If you look at the image of the inside of the Libby up above, the sippy cup is actually on top of a snack trap–so that tells you how deep it is!

So this is my plan: I will use Libby if I ever take my camera & my daughter with me on an adventure. I will still use my Cake Cosmopolitan Carryall diaper bag on a daily basis…for now. I’ll let you know if that changes though. I’ll probably sell my Classic eventually.

I also have to add how wonderful the service is over at Kelly Moore Bags. Not only did they honor a coupon that I had misplaced (and later learned expired) but they also immediately (within 12 hours) shipped out a replacement bag for the one pictured above after I noticed a manufacturing defect. I love small businesses. I REALLY love small businesses that care. I will be a fan of Kelly Moore for a very long time!

Next up–diaper bags!! :) Stay tuned! I am bringing my favorite FOUR your way!

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  • sunny - Cute bag, but is it man made materials? I am a leather snob!ReplyCancel

  • Drea - beautiful bag, i def think the libby looks much nicer for photographer and mom. the classic seemed to small IMO..ReplyCancel

  • Shannon McAvoy - FANTASTIC write up! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Wonderful review-great comparisons!!!! I just got my libby in the mail ;) I am in love. It is my first Kelly Moore bag and I had the Epiphanie Lola [which I want to sell too]! I am now a convert!!!! It is so perfect for travel as well…..I have been searching for something to carry my laptop AND camera AND IPAD…… That is what sold me! I hated traveling with three seperate bags and now it’s all in one. DONE and DONE!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Ooooo….I love the Kelly Moore Bag so much. And although I love the Libby, it might be a bit big for me. Let me know if you ever want to sell your original, ok : )ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - I really love the rich brown color of the Libby bag. Nate bought be an Emera camera bag for Christmas this year but it would be useful to have a bigger bag, as well, for travel and longer outings. The libby would be perfect.ReplyCancel

  • molly flanagan - so BIG and beautiful! love it! i do love my ketti bag though. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Maricel - OMG! I’ve been looking for a diaper/camera bag, and I deleted an old email with a link to a bag I liked…BUT now I’m thinking about the Libby bag! I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Maricel - Sorry, I have no clue why it came out like that. (Please delete my last comment–I would except I don’t see a delete button.) I am so glad that you posted this, though, since I’ve been looking for a new diaper/camera bag. I had an email with a link to a great one, but I accidentally deleted it. BUT, I’m now thinking about the Libby bag! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Kerra - Love the Classic! If you are interested in selling it please let me know. :)ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - Thanks for the side by side comparison! I have the classic and b-hobo (love Kelly as a person and as a bag designer), but find that it not all that great for day-to-day use with a toddler. I was looking for something that will consolidate my DSLR and Mac for travel. I was sold before I read your post but now I’m going to order one! Now to decide on a color…ReplyCancel

  • Di - Thanks so much for posting the side by side photos of you with the bags over your shoulder. I’ve posted a link to this on my sidebar to share with other bloggers as I think this is a great comparison and truly shows the size of these bags.


  • Marylin - Thanks for this post. I just took the plunge and ordered the Libby. Can’t wait for it to arrive!ReplyCancel

  • Marylin - Just got mine in yesterday. LOVE it! It’s so pretty. I was a little worried it might be too big but nope, it’s perfect! I’ve been carrying a coach diaper bag which will remain my primary diaper bag but now I feel good about taking my camera with me. Finally in one bag! The Libby really isn’t any bigger than what I’m already using but it just holds it all together so nicely. I’m very impressed with the padding and compartments. Wears comfortably too. Now I can’t wait for school to be out so me and my sweet baby can go, go, go looking for great places to take some photos. Thanks again for the recommendation.ReplyCancel

  • Esther - Thanks SO much for the side by side comparison. I love large bags also. I just got the Mimi, and sadly will have to return it. The straps are just too short and the bag too small. I think the Libby will be perfect, and I also love that color!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Thanks so much for your post on the Libby! I’ve been debating purchasing one as a carry-on camera bag, but I need it to be comfortable enough to carry around during the day. Have you started using yours as a carry-around yet, and, if so, has it been working out? I need to fit a 100-400mm lens, my T1i, a couple more lenses, various accessories, and carry-on stuff (book, sweater, etc), and I really don’t want a backpack! Libby seems to be the right one, but, again, I’m not sure it isn’t TOO big to cart around during the day…..ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - it’s too big for me to use daily! But I don’t carry my camera most of the time. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Jerry Fortner - Have you had any problems with scuffing or marking either of them? I am so hard on bags that I have to get leather, and that is the only thing holding me back.. I would Love a sapphire libby!ReplyCancel

  • Brandi - Thank you for your review – I read this before ordering the Libby bag myself! One question – does the material loosen up after use? I am disappointed in how stiff it is, but I love the compartments and space. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • What’s in your Diaper Bag? Kelly Moore Libby Bag | Little Brim - […] is an awesome review of the Kelly Moore Classic vs Libby Bag, and gorgeous photography reviewing this Libby Bag in […]ReplyCancel

  • lindsey - is there a way you can share with me on exactly how you create the photo collages & combine pics & words for a blog?? I’d love to be able to do that. thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Tierney - I’m a photographer looking for a new bag but also a mama who is OBSESSED with cloth diapering and just gotta say that I think I spy some Softbums diapers in that Kelly Moore? The best of both worlds ;)ReplyCancel

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