I have been asked to test and review a couple of camera bags from Vanguard photo UK. I have been given the Alta Rise 45 rucksack and the Alta Rise 33 messenger bag.
This will be my first review of a camera bag and I usually use a different brand so I was very excited to receive these bags to test.
I’m going to start with the Alta Rise 45 backpack. I use a backpack for day to day shooting so naturally this is the first bag that I wanted to test.
When I first laid eyes on the this bag, instantly I liked what I saw, it isn’t completely covered in toggles and unnecessary bits and pieces like some camera rucksacks are.
The first thing I noticed was that it has a very strong carry handle right on the top and the shoulder straps are very strong and well padded. It has various pockets on the front, two small ones at the top which I found very handy for batteries and small accessories, and a larger one right on the front with an almost hidden zip. It also has a large zip that runs from the bottom at the front on one side all the way around the side of the bag across the top of the bag and right down the opposite side as well. When this is fully open the entire front face of the bag falls open to reveal a fully customisable inside compartment.
It has a small shelf type compartment inside that is also fully customisable which I had located at the top of the bag for my filter pouch and remote controls and other filter accessories. The larger compartments I customised into a part for my camera to sit with lens attached, and three slots for three different lenses, plus a slot for a Flash. Like I say the inside is fully customisable or indeed you can take the entire inside compartment out if you need to use it for anything other than camera equipment. On one side of the outside of the bag the entire outer wall is designed for carrying a folded tripod attached to the side of the bag.
There is a couple of buckles and straps included to attach a tripod in an Alta carrying bag or there is a specific flap that folds out to cradle the leg of a folder tripod which is then strapped to the side of the bag. This is how I attached my tripod to the bag and I found that it was extremely comfortable to carry. There is also a small zip pocket on this side of the bag which houses the aforementioned flap for attaching a tripod.
The opposite side of the bag features a zipped flap for fast easy access to the lower part of the inside of the bag. Also integrated into this flap is a rain cover that sits inside its own small pocket. A very unique design feature of this bag and indeed what gives it it’s Rise name is there is a zip around the front / bottom of the bag that, when opened, gives you an extra six cm of storage space should you need it.
Now I am 99% of the time a landscape photographer so I like my bag to be comfortable and easy to use. I can find no fault with this bag, my full frame body with wide angle lens attached fits nicely into a compartment that I created myself because of the fully customisable interior. I also have on hand a mid-range zoom a 50mm prime and a long zoom and a flash and they all fit into the sections I have made very easily. If you were ruthless with your space and you wanted everything to fit perfectly snuggly then you can easily fit more in. Also I use filters a lot of the time when shooting and I have a fairly large pouch and a few accessories and I was hoping to find somewhere in this bag that I could keep them with easy access. So I was delighted to open the bag and find the top compartment inside set up as a kind of shelf that my filter pouch fits into perfectly, along with my shutter release and some spare batteries for my flash and some cleaning cloths amongst other small various items such as step up rings for my filters etc.
All in all I really really like this Bag, I would recommend it as a mid sized bag for all sorts of conditions, it sits very comfortably on my back, which is great considering I am a big guy and I find it hard to find Rucksacks that sit comfortably with me. Also it isn’t an enormous bag, so it doesn’t take up all sorts of room in the car.