This offering from Vanguard, the VEO Select 43 Roll Top, adds to the brand’s growing line of thinner and more subtle lifestyle bags for photographers. Well suited to a growing population of camera owners with a smaller amount of equipment, VEO Select bags have recently been updated with the ‘roll top’ design.
Weight: 2.6 lbs
Interior / exterior dimensions: Internal – 230 × 125 × 420 mm, External – 310 × 205 × 470 mm
Laptop compartment dimensions: 10.5 “laptop / tablet
Number of lenses that can be stored: 4 to 6 lenses
Compatibility: DSLR / Mirrorless Cameras
Based in Dorset, UK, Vanguard is a relatively small company but has an excellent global presence and has won numerous design awards for its smart cases that range from small body bags to full wheeled bags suitable for flight. With the needs of photographers changing frequently, these trolley bags are meant to add versatility to Vanguard’s lineup, functioning as everyday lifestyle bags, but with the ability, security and flexibility to function as bags as well. Photo.
Below is our full review of the bag. There are a lot of things we really note about this model – its versatility, its portability – but we thought it was short on space. For this reason, you won’t find it at the top of our list of the best camera backpacks, although it is still there.
Looking for more tips on choosing the best camera gear? Take a look at our list of the best tripods and cameras for astrophotography – or read on to see what we’ve done with the Vanguard Veo Select 43 RB.
Vanguard VEO Select 43RB review: Design
- Attractive compact design
- Sturdy material
- Well-designed zippers and closures
The first impression of the Vanguard VEO Select 43RB is that it has been well thought out, with an attractive design available in a pleasant green color or a more standard black. We especially liked the compact feel of the bag in the hand – it looks quite small and with nothing in it, it’s also surprisingly light.
On the front of the bag, below the metal “Vanguard” badge, is a soft touch waterproof fabric that matches the tough material on the outside of the bag. There is also a well-thought-out base for the bag, with thicker, heavier fabric that not only protects the contents of the bag but also allows it to stand on its own, which is a nice touch. There are two side pockets and a smaller zippered front pocket, which we found perfect for wallets, keys and phones.
The strap at the top of the bag hides the coiled top element, which then unfolds once the strap is unfolded to reveal another internal pocket. We were slightly disappointed with the relatively small size of this top unit and thought a deeper pocket here would be more useful, but it’s both easy to access and well placed if you put the things you have in it. need in a hurry. All of the straps, ties, buckles and zippers are of very good quality, and the elasticated side pockets are a good feature, which means you can put smaller items in them without worrying about them falling out.
Overall a useful bag but not one that offers the versatility and size of something like the LowePro Photosport 24L. But this model is (arguably) much more beautiful.
Vanguard VEO Select 43RB review: Features
- Easy-access front camera compartment
- Velcro tablet pocket and mesh memory card pockets
- Top roll element looks slightly fancy
When testing the bag, our first port of call was the front-opening camera compartment, which is the main area of the bag and the nicest space to use for carrying gear. Inside you are faced with fabric dividers, which are easy to remove if you want to transform the bag into a day or travel bag. There’s room here for a mid-size DSLR, a few lenses, a flash, and even your best drone and its controller. Each fabric divider is also independent of itself, so if you need more space, just free up one of the walls and move it higher.
There’s room on the compartment flap to stow a tablet-sized device such as an iPad, but owners of larger laptops might be disappointed because there’s little room to put a laptop. full-size computer. That being said, we really enjoyed using this element and the little touches sometimes are what make a bag like this fun to use. Zipped pockets for memory cards are especially useful!
At the top of the bag, the roll-up element hides a small compartment which is useful for hard drives, camera accessories, lens caps and other miscellaneous items on the go. We thought this was a pretty small area though – the bottom of the pocket can be pulled out to expand space in the main bag area – but keeping things divided can sometimes mean compromising on bulk here. The roll top element adds expansion, so it’s not bad news, but we wondered if there are any significant advantages to using the roll top over a normal clasp. There is nothing wrong with that, but questions can be asked as to whether Vanguard is just following the fashion here.
Vanguard VEO Select 43RB review: Performance
- Daily performance one of the bag’s strengths
- Robust and resistant materials
- Suspenders can be a bit tricky
Day-to-day quality performance is one of the areas Vanguard has focused on when it comes to the VEO Select 43RB, and in this area the bag impresses. We would have no qualms about tying the bag up every day when shooting or commuting, and the levels of comfort Vanguard have achieved with the strong, padded mesh back are impressive.
We managed to configure the main compartment to accommodate 6 lenses, which is ideal for a bag of this size, and we love that the bag itself can be configured to be configured for top loading and access to the camera as well. It’s comfortable enough to be worn longer, and the soft, breathable shoulder straps do their best to avoid sinking too deep into the shoulders. Like many of the smaller bags we see, we might have liked to see larger waist straps for extra support.
In terms of material performance, it provides excellent equipment protection and the fabric is weather resistant. Even the snags on wires, trees and brambles are easy to navigate as the bag does a really good job of not tearing or tearing.
Should you buy the Vanguard VEO Select 43RB?
We really recommend the VEO Select 43RB if you need a good, sturdy everyday bag that has the versatility to turn into a good camera without breaking the bank. If you have modern mirrorless or compact gear, great, as this bag isn’t really suitable for larger camera setups or those who want to expand their gear considerably. That said, this is a cleverly designed bag that uses Vanguard’s vast prowess in creating award-winning backpacks. If you are looking for a discreet bag that doesn’t scream “professional photographer” then this would be a great choice.
If this product is not for you
If you are looking for a bigger option or have more equipment, we recommend the Alta Sky range from Vanguard. The Avant-garde Alta Sky 51D the backpack comes with great reviews. If you are looking more for the lifestyle, we also recommend that you take a close look Cutting edge design, or for more traditional professional equipment, Manfrotto offers a wide range of high-end and well-built equipment such as the PRO Light Flexloader Backpack.