There are occasions (not many) when I don't need my large Tamrac Expedition camera bag, so when Yvonne showed my the new Wandrd PRVKE backpack I was intrigued. When Yvonne invited me to try the 31 Litre version I was happy to oblige. The version I tried included the Camera Cube, Accessory Straps and the Waist Strap. Wandrd also do a smaller 21 Litre backpack.
The bag is well made from Waterproof Tarpaulin and Ballistic Nylon, with weather resistant zips to the various pockets and compartments. There are two main compartments to the bag. The lower compartment takes the Camera Cube, the upper compartment can be used for a jumper, waterproof, lunch and other items you may need. It will take a 100-400mm lens if wanted. It also expandable so can carry quite a lot of peripheral equipment or a fleece. The Camera Cube has Velcro fitted divided that can be arranged in a variety of configurations to hold a camera with a lens attached and extra lens. I fitted my Canon 5D IV with the 17-40mm f/4 attached; Canon 100mm f/2.8 and Sigma 50mm f/2.8, extension tubes, filter pouch and a Canon 480 Speedlite, although it was a tight fit. To allow the camera cube to zip closed, it was necessary to remove the battery pack from the base of the camera. The lower compartment has a side access panel to make it easy to get at your camera and lens. The flap for this has a compartment in which you can keep spare batteries and SD / CF Cards.
Packed Camera Cube
The bag is packed with lot's of little features - A side pocket can be used for either a drink, or small tripod. Several lugs on the bag take the accessory straps which can be fixed to carry, say, a tripod or small seat (such as a Walk-stool). A smaller side pocket on the opposite side has a small clip, so presents an ideal place for your keys - how much time do you spend after a day out fumbling in your rucksack for the car and house keys? No need for that with the Wandrd. Undo the zip at the base of the Wandrd and inside you'll find a pull-out rain cover to go over the bag. On the rear panel of the Wandrd there is "secret" packet for valuables, as whilst the bag is on your back no-one an get at it. A great place for your passport and wallet, or even a mobile phone.
There is room for a small laptop and / or a tablet in the main front flap. I felt it was a bit to small for my 15.5inch laptop, but it will also hold a field guide or a note book.
The shoulder straps are expandable and a chest strap comes as standard, with a detachable waist strap also included. The bag was comfortable on the back when loaded and carried for a couple of hours and is suitable to use as carry on luggage for flights (although you may be over the weight limit!).
Whilst I was very impressed with this bag, it is probably not for me. I prefer to keep the battery pack on my camera (I find it balances better) and couldn't get everything in the camera cube that I would normally take with me, for example it was difficult to fit the Ring Flash in the cube for macro-photography. For anyone who wants a day-pack for landscape photography, or to use as a flight bag with a reduced camera gear then this bag ticks lots of boxes, with plenty of room for extras such as waterproofs and fleece, lunch box and drink. To find out more about the new Wandrd range, stocked at Focalpoint, check out the videos on their blog. Better still call in at FocalPoint and see for yourself.