Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review: Epiphanie Lola Bag

Action shot of me using the bag © Tommy Huynh

After the Kelly Moore Bag didn't quite pan out for me for what I was looking for in a camera bag, I continued the search and finally have found one that I really love! Yay!

Epiphanie Lola Bag Review

As with my past product reviews I have put the Epiphanie Lola through its paces for the past few months using it how I have intended to use it a few times over before I sat down to write this review. I have taken this bag to Mexico and again on a trip to Las Vegas with many trips around town and to parties in between. I chose the Lola style from their lineup because it had caught my eye early on. I think though that many of their bags look quite charming and I was very close to going with the Clover.

Use of the bag:

I think that it is important to know what I bought this bag FOR when reviewing the product. It helps you have an idea in mind of what I’m reviewing it on.

• Use for travel for non-professional trips when carrying a lighter kit. I don't always want to haul along my wheeled bags and would like the camera to be concealed when touring touristy areas unless I *choose* to bring it out.

• Use for family/friend events where I want to keep the camera closed up until I chose to use it.

• Use for portrait sessions when the gear I carry is lighter.


+ Stylish!!! I get compliments on it all the time and people were constantly asking where I got my purse.

+ The options for the bag are great - it now comes in three colors.

+ Ability to hold camera bodies.

+ Dividers come out and can be repositioned to configure to your needs.

+ Inside zippered pocket and two outside pockets to fit keys or other small personal items. I love that the inside is zippered so you can keep important objects very safe.

+ Two options for carrying: one via the handles or a cross-body strap that is adjustable and padded.

+ Allows you to covertly carry gear without screaming I have thousands of dollars of equipment in here!


- Due to the slanted style of the bag, the 70-200 sits a bit awkwardly.

- Lenses do fit but again, due to the curve often sit funny and make it a bit trickier to reach in and grab like the Shootsac.

- They are often out of stock and out of stock for months. Which is a great thing for them but makes buying frustrating.

Final Thoughts:

During my time with this bag I found that I really enjoyed it. When I carried it in Las Vegas I took it to a concert, shot a wedding with it and used it to transport my gear during flight. At the concert, I was constantly complimented on my purse and many were shocked to find out it was a camera bag. I do like stylish things and that pleased me a lot to find that people truly thought it was an expensive designer purse. I also used the bag to shoot a wedding that took place on the strip and discovered that while it wasn't as easy to work with as the Shootsac during a shoot, it still worked rather well and I was glad that I was able to put the camera away when I was done with the shoot. Finally when flying with the bag I was the most pleased. Carrying the bag was no issue at all and while the bag was heavy (I had a D700, 70-200, 85 1.4 and 24-70 plus video light, flash, batteries, chargers and my Canon G11 in the bag) it never became so heavy that I was itching to put it down. It also easily fit in the overhead bins and beneath the seat.

This bag was a win for me and I hope that my review helps anyone that is trying to decide :)


I have found the biggest flaw with this bag and it made me very, very sad. When flying with it over the summer I discovered that the red tint stained my white shirt whenever I got sweaty. As I was shooting in New Orleans in the summer - sweat was definitely happening. It didn't show up so much on darker attire but my white shirts were affected. It rubs off when it gets moist it seems so I think it'd also do this when it rains? I'm not sure. It definitely made me sad and disappointed. Epiphanie DID offer to replace my bag with a new one if I sent the bag back to them but they didn't have any other Lola's in stock and what was in stock I wasn't in love with. I've kept it and continued to use it since then but I may revisit the bag idea in the summer and consider purchasing something else.


In the comments I've had a few requests for pictures of the bag with a couple items so I am adding it to the blog rather than hiding it in the comments. One commenter wanted to see the bag with a 70-200 and another wanted to know if it could be adapted to fit an iPad. I apologize for the iPhone pics but I am not feeling 100% today and didn't feel like editing. I'm enjoying the off season!

This is how I have my bag configured: a divider in the middle with 4 compartments. On the one side are two split evenly, on the other side a skinny space and a large space.

As you can see, there is no way to make an iPad fit standing up.

However, if you lay the iPad lengthwise and detach the center divider, you can make it fit, albeit just barely. If you have a case, it may not work.

This is the Lola with a Nikon D700 with attached Rapid Strap and 60mm macro, Nikon 70-200 VRII and a Nikon 24-70 along with the iPad 2. It all fits, but I have to tell you, it's not light!

Here is the bag with the above configuration zipped up. It barely zips but it does close.

Corey Ann is a wedding & lifestyle photographer from North Canton, OH. She is a mix of everything - fashionista (runs Clothes for Pros, clothing suggestions for photographers), travel guru, deal hound and geek rolled into one. She's had a website online since 1997 and a blog since 1999. When not plotting world domination or her next trip, she can be found reading one of the 100+ books she reads a year. Follow her on Twitter.


  1. I am very interested in this bag. What about storing a camera body with a battery grip attached. Will it still fit?

  2. I imagine it would since I put mine in with the 85 attached and there was plenty of room. The magic is in the fact that you can make your own space as you need it with the dividers. :)

  3. Thanks for this review, I am looking for a more travel friendly camera bag solution.

  4. Hey Corey,
    Thanks for the review. I have the Classic Kelly Moore bag and I'm not thrilled with it. It has lost its shape pretty quickly and the pockets are hard to shut and the buckles look like they are falling apart. Is this the same problem you had with your previous bag?
    I use my current bag to carry my 80-200mm, 15mm fisheye (small lens), 105mm (with hood), and 17-35 wide angle. The hood does not fit on the 80-200 when it is in the bag. I use it during shooting and carry my camera with 50mm most of the time, and switch lenses as needed.
    Do you think the Lola bag would work out for my needs?
    Thanks so much for this thoughtful review!

    Cheryl Joy

  5. Hi Cheryl!

    I never used my Kelly Moore bag long enough to get to the wear and tear part of it. However I did have issues with the pockets closing.

    I believe that you should be able to fit all of that gear in the Lola quite nicely but I can't tell you definites since I am a Nikon gal ;) I easily can carry 3 lenses + my camera with a lens attached and other goodies if need be.

    See if someone local to you has the bag that you can test out!

  6. This is great to read because I've had the same issues with my Kelly Moore not being big enough and I've been debating on Epiphanie!

  7. Hi Corey! What a good review - very helpful. I just bought the Epiphanie Paris, but it seems pretty huge. I'm considering exchanging it for the Lola. Do you think Lola would hold a Nikon D90, the 18-105 kit lens, the 80-200 f2/8 zoom lens, a 50mm lens and a Tokina 11-18mm lens - along with an iphone and a few personal items? I really appreciate your feedback:)

    Thanks so much!

  8. Hi Corey,

    I'd like to get some advise. Would Lola be big enough to fit a 15" laptop? PLUS the camera and one or two lenses... I was actually thinking of getting the Jill-e large rolling bag but it's so bulky and I don't always have to use the roller (not to mention it's much more expensive) so the ergonomics ended up becoming the eliminating factor. Appreciate your reply.

  9. Carla - I think they would all fit but it may be a bit of a squeeze. I regularly have my D700 w/ 24-70 attached, 70-200 + another roaming lens and flash inside so that shouldn't be an issue so long as the Tokina isn't a HUGE lens (I am not familiar with it). The pockets on the outside are perfectly sized for iPhones and the like :)

    Sandy - Since the bag is curved it wouldn't hold the 15" laptop. If you are looking for that, look at the Clover or Paris. Those are both made for a laptop + camera and lenses. If my laptop was 15" I would have bought the Clover, it's so darn cute!

    Hope that helps you ladies!

  10. Hi Corey B,

    I've had the 'Ginger' for nearly 3 months now. And I LOVE it. I'm a published ameteur photographer (my son's football league - about 200 players, families, etc.; my daughter's tennis antics - about 50 people at any one time); and travel photography). I've put it to the test and it's performed perfectly - mud, rain, airports...

    My Ginger bag goes everywhere with me. And it easily holds my D50, an extra lens and all of my essentials (make up bag, journal, e reader, cell phone, etc.) It's gorgeous, stylish, and practical.

    Still, I think that I need a larger camera purse. A few weeks(?) ago, Maile introduced 'Lyric' to her collection - gorgeous. I'm going to order it this weekend. If you'd like I can tell you how Lyric wears. I must admit, I'm eager for Lyric to arrive!

    Thank you for your great review...



    This camera bag/purse is not only a sturdy reliable trooper, it's a great traveler as well: Scottsdale (Az), all over the midwest, and most recently to Paris

  11. Hi Corey, I'm trying to decide which camera bag to go for (Epiphane, Kelly Moore, Jo Totes) and I love the look of the Lola but my head must rule my head... From your review I can see that the 70-200 fits with a bit of a slant, with a 5DMK2 and a 50mm attached and a flash do you think I would be able to zip the bag up?
    Thanks so much, I realise this article is not recent but I'll be buying from the UK so with the shipping costs it could be an expensive mistake.

  12. Loved your review and will be quoting you in my upcoming blog! Thanks for all the great info!

  13. @ Anon:

    You would DEFINITELY be able to fit those three things in it easily without any issues at all. Not sure if you want the 70-200 too but that should be fine. In the pic above I had the D700, 70-200, 24-70 and a flash in that bag. I think I also had more? I can take a picture of mine fully packed if you'd like

    @ Jennifer:


  14. Can you configure the Lola to carry an iPad when traveling? I have a Belle, but the strap drop is pretty short, and while it says it is 8" deep, with the outside pockets it's really 12" - so like carrying a toaster under your arm. Since I use it the most for traveling, I still end up with another bag to carry my iPad. I should try the lyric, but wonder if it will e too small.

  15. Hi Corey, thank you for the reply, that would be so helpful to see it fully packed inc the 70-200.
    Thank you.

  16. Jenn, I updated the post with pictures of the Lola with an iPad. You can make it work but just barely. It definitely would fit using the case I have on mine but bare it fit. I guess it all depends on which iPad you are using and your case. I was able to make it fit with a Nikon D700 + 60mm lens, 70-200 and a 24-70. I could probably have fit a speedlight in if need be.

    Anon - I added pics w/ the 70-200 :)

  17. Hi Corey
    thank you so much for adding the pics, much appreciated.
    I hope you feel better soon.

  18. Hi Corey!
    Are you still having issues with the dye staining your shirt? I am thinking of getting the black lola, but I am concerned about it ruining my clothes. I live where it rains a lot. Do you think that would be an issue?
    Thanks in advance!


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