Zkin Getaway Cetus Shoulder Bag
The Getaway Cetus bags are made for people who don’t carry a lot of gear and will be best suited to those who favour fixed-lens cameras or smaller mirrorless kits. If you want a bag that looks elegant and suggests quality, they certainly fill the bill.
The review bag was generously padded and would provide excellent protection against impact shocks, although the main compartment was quite poorly sealed against dust and moisture. We wouldn’t take equipment in this bag anywhere dusty or to places where there was blown spray or lots of moisture in the air.
These bags will appeal to people who like to travel light but want a nice-looking and well-put-together carrier.
Zkin’s Getaway Cetus shoulder bag comes in two fabrics: canvas and nylon. The Moss Green canvas version we received for our review has a higher price tag than the nylon versions of the bag, which are available in Burgundy & Beige, Grey & Black or Orange & Brown. The basic design of all the bags in the series is identical and all are configured to accommodate one compact camera (fixed- or interchangeable-lens), an extra lens or flashgun, an 8-inch tablet computer and a few personal items.
The Zkin Getaway Cetus Canvas Moss Green bag. (Source: Zkin.)
The three colour options available in Nylon, from left: Burgundy & Beige, Grey & Black and Orange & Brown. (Source: Zkin.)
Who are they for?
The target market for these bags is everyday photographers with a compact camera and one or two lenses. These bags will appeal to people who like to travel light but want a nice-looking and well-put-together carrier.
The Zkin Getaway Cetus Canvas bag in use. (Source: Zkin.)
Weighing only 500 grams, Getaway Cetus bags are easy to carry. Both the canvas and nylon fabrics are splash proof and have enough padding to provide some protection against impact shocks.
The canvas fabric is water-resistant. (Source: Zkin.)
Design and Construction
Getaway Cetus bags are made in typical shoulder bag fashion, with front and rear panels linked by a wide band that makes up the base and sides of the bag. The shoulder strap is attached to each side panel, while an extension of the top panel forms the protective cover.
There are some subtle differences between the Cetus bags and a normal shoulder bag. The base and side band is about 10 cm wide and considerably thicker than most handbags, having a double layer for most of its length. This allows the tethered ends of the shoulder strap to be concealed.
The top panel is slightly larger than average with stitched corners that provide a hood-like cover to keep out dust and moisture. But it’s not completely sealed and there’s no pouch inside the lid for items like memory cards – a missed opportunity in our opinion.
The top attaches to the front panel with leather straps that have large brass and zinc alloy press-studs at their upper ends that allow quick access to the contents of the bag. A flap on the back of the hood covers the zippered sleeve that can hold an 8-inch tablet computer. A neat leather tag on the zipper makes it easy to open and the internal padding, though relatively thin, is adequate.
The sleeve on the back of the back panel that accommodates an 8-inch tablet computer. (Source: Zkin.)
The shoulder strap is long enough to hang from the shoulder or pass across the chest for greater security. It’s almost 4 cm wide and made from heavy-duty webbing but has no padding. A black strap with Velcro closure can be moved to hold the doubled strap together when the bag is carried as a handbag.
Internally the Cetus is lined with a knit fabric, which also covers the padded dividers. There are two dividers, each measuring roughly 15 x 10 cm, with fold-over Velcro clad edges that are roughly 2 cm wide and a fold-over top panel measuring 6 x 8.5 cm.
The Getaway Cetus bag showing a typical load: a small mirrorless camera with two lenses and a flash, a smart-phone and a slim guidebook. (Source: Zkin.)
The outer side of each divider has a shallow pocket that could be used for memory cards or filters but isn’t easy to reach when a camera is packed in the bag. At a pinch you could slip a spare battery into one of these pockets but that would depend on the other items the bag contained.
Behind the main compartment is a slim pocket with a full-length zipper closure that can be used for holding items like a passport, a phone and/or a slim wallet. It has two elastic loops for securing smaller items.
The front panel of the main compartment has another pocket with an open top and two mesh pockets, each of which is large enough to hold a passport or a phone. You could slip a spare battery or small tube of sunscreen into one of them. A hat or scarf might fit into this pocket, depending on how crammed the main compartment is.
With the dividers in their original position we were able to fit an Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera with 14-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens attached into the main compartment and tuck an M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II lens under the divider flap beside it. It was a fairly tight fit that left little room in the compartment for anything else ““ unless the second divider was removed.
Our smaller OM-D E-M5 camera slipped more easily into the main compartment with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 R lens attached and there was room for a couple of additional lenses like the very compact 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens and 12mm f/2.0 prime lens under one flap and the 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens under the other.
If both dividers were removed you could probably cram in one of the larger mirrorless cameras with a short zoom lens attached or, alternatively, a small DSLR camera. But there wouldn’t be much space left for other items. No provisions are made for stowing a water bottle or compact tripod (even a small Gorillapod).
The Getaway Cetus bags are made for people who don’t carry a lot of gear and will be best suited to those who favour fixed-lens cameras or smaller mirrorless kits. They are very stylish to look at and nicely put together, which goes some way towards justifying their relatively high price tags. If you want a bag that looks elegant and suggests quality, they certainly fill the bill.
The review bag was generously padded and would provide excellent protection against impact shocks. But the main compartment was quite poorly sealed against dust and moisture. We wouldn’t take equipment in this bag anywhere dusty or to places where there was blown spray or lots of moisture in the air.
And while it can be easy to take a camera out of the bag and replace it when you’ve finished shooting, there aren’t many places for storing memory cards where they’re as easy to reach. There’s no place for even a small tripod and limited space for other accessories.
These bags offer limited protection for electronic equipment against potentially hazardous environments. The addition of some way of sealing off the main compartment, either by enlarging the covering hood or adding tuck-in flaps could go at least part of the way towards solving this problem and making the bag usable in inclement weather. Travellers would doubtless welcome such changes.
However, you can take out the padded dividers and turn the bag into a normal handbag with larger than average capacity, adding to its versatility.
Local pricing is also very competitive, making it cheaper to buy this bag in Australia than importing it from a US-based re-seller. It can be ordered directly from the local website and is also carried by a number of nation-wide photographic specialist retailers.
Construction: Water/splash-proof nylon or canvas with thick nylon inner layer, leather straps, brass and zinc alloy fastenings
Designed for: One mid-size prosumer or M4/3 camera with lens attached, one extra lens or flash, 8-inch tablet computer, personal gear (smart-phone, sunglasses, wallet, keys. etc.)
External dimensions (wxdxh): 330 x 130 x 220 mm
Internal dimensions (wxdxh): 280 x 120 x 195 mm
Weight: 0.5 kg
Colour options: Canvas Moss Green or Burgundy & Beige, Grey & Black and, Orange & Brown
Features: Adjustable shoulder straps, inner compartment for tablet, gadgets and personal gear, leather straps with quick-release buckles.
RRP: AU$199, US$159 (canvas); AU$179, US$145 (nylon)
- Construction: 8.6
- Design: 8.2
- Versatility: 8.3
- Value for money: 8.4