Aug. 17, 2016 - Austin Grandt
We have a special treat for everyone who loves taking and sharing their photos as they travel around the world. The team at WANDRD has launched a Kickstarter to create a bag that wants to be the go to bag for all travel photographers. The PRVKE 21 seeks to be a smaller version of the original successful Kickstarter project, The PRVKE. The innovative features that are built into this bag seem to put it ahead of other photography bags in terms of ease of use. Check out the video below to get an idea of what they are offering.
When I watched the video for this bag, I was immediately impressed by all of the useful features that the team at WANDRD had built into a relatively tiny package. In terms of size, 21L is a mid-sized bag that could feasibly be used on a daily basis and should comply with nearly all carry on regulations (yes, even Ryanair). Many bags on Kickstarter seem to pack features in solely for features sake where the PRVKE is striving to be as useful as possible. So you won't see an external battery or GPS location built into this bag, but I think that's OK because it allows the team to focus on what's important, making it easy for you to have access to your camera to grab those amazing shots.
I do have to say that the video also gives a feeling that the team is actually actively using their own bags and listening to the users of their existing models. Companies that "dog food" (ie actually use) their own products on a daily basis tend to bring out the best features in their product and it looks to me as if the owners are really passionate about what their doing.
Most bags are like cargo shorts, surprisingly functional even, but you lost all dignity wearing them- Ryan, founder of WANDRD
When a bag touts itself as the best bag for camera gear, their core features better be photography focused. The PRVKE 21 delivers on this aspect as I found one of the best features to be the ability to quickly access your camera and other gear without having to take off the bag. Most existing solutions require you to either carry a separate bag or unpack most of your bag to get at the camera compartment. With the PRVKE 21, you simply have to pull your bag to the side, unzip the compartment and pull your camera out. They even added a door within the camera compartment in case you want to pull out an extra lens.
Another nice feature was that the team added to the camera pouch weather resistant zippers to keep out rain and moisture in case you ever get caught in a rainstorm. This is key as you never know when weather will come up and it's the worst when you are worried about soaking your gear from a little rainstorm.
Even though many of the features are focused on photography, the WANDRD team made sure to keep all of us non-photographers happy as well. The modular system within the bag doesn't require you to have the camera module installed. You could keep the bag open for everyday use or utilize the separate compartments for an overnight or weekend trip. If you add their accessory straps onto the bag, it can add another level of utility as you can now carry things like blankets, yoga mats, or a tripod with ease as you travel across the globe.
Keeping your gear separate is important, especially when your carrying multiple thousands of photography gear. Having a sturdy and simple way to divide your gear is a cruicial component that many bags are missing. The PRVKE 21 has a nice system in place that allows you to keep things in separate compartments with ease. They have separate modules that can be inserted into parts of the backpack so you can protect your camera gear or use a pouch to keep clothes separate from one another. Two use cases I immediately think of is separating clean / dirty clothes and keeping sandy clothes and towels in it's own compartment so the sand doesn't get all over the bag.
Keeping your valuables safe is key no matter where you are in the world. The placement of the pouch meant to protect your valuables definitely had me wondering to myself "why doesn't every bag come with this"? The pouch is located at the bottom of the bag on the side that goes against your back. It would take a seriously cunning thief to be able to get your valuables out without you noticing. The placement is genius as you are likely always going to be wearing the bag and it eliminates the need for clunky travel waist bands or pouches.
If you are in the market for a new bag and are an avid photographer, the PRVKE 21 is something definitely worth checking out. Their attention to detail and ability to pack a lot into a relatively small package is really impressive and their past backers seem to love the bags that they already have. Make sure to watch their video and support the campaign if this catches your interest.