Wandirit…wanderierier…wanduriddd…yeah, that’s what it looks like. Apparently it’s said Wandered Provoke but for some obscure reason, the designers forgot to add vowels to their bag, maybe letters cost money. I assume it’s an artistic novelty but it does make it a little hard to recommend the bag to a mate when his spell check keeps screwing up the name.
Yeah, Wandered but without the e’s. No, you still keep the A. Yes, I know it makes no sense. And the model name is Provoke without the o’s. Yeah, they don’t seem to like o’s either, but A’s are okay. P . R . V . K . E…no, it still gets an e in the Prvke in the model name, they just don’t like e’s in the company name…ah screw it, buy a ONA bag.
Obviously it’s a light-hearted but when I first saw the name, I thought they were some Swedish company that hadn’t translated their bag names into english.
I picked up this bag for work as I use a motorbike to get around and I sometimes like having my camera, but I had a little bit of travel coming up to Europe (from Australia) which involved some work travel around Vienna, seeing family in Geneva and some time up in the mountain snowboarding.
I’ve tried to test this over an extended period of time to ensure that I can get some idea of what impact wear and tear has on the bag. It’s the advantage of buying a bag over having a demo model. I apologise for some of the photos. Bag photos aren’t my thing but I wanted to show the photo interior to help people gauge the size.
Pricing on the Wandrd isn’t cheap. You’ll need to sell a small portion of your liver or one of your kidneys to fund this acquisition. This particular version, called the photography package retails for just under the US$264 mark, not chump change for a bag with no leather or diamonds on it. The photography package includes:
- Photography capsule with dividers
- Straps to attach tripod to the bottom
- Waterproof cover (take note ONA – photographers actually go out when there is rain or a risk of it occurring)
Packaging and construction
It’s a bag so there is not a lot you can expect from a packaging perspective. In the case of the Prvke, it comes in a bag. Yeah, a bag in a real material bag, it sounds insane, but it isn’t. It’s what happens when they take the vowels out of a name. Except ONA do it as well, and they have vowels.
The construction is very good. Whilst it looks like it is made out something from a gimp outfit, I suspect the actual materials are something more expensive (and not called gimp outfit). It reminds me a little of Hyperlon which is used in inflatable boats. The back portion (which goes against your back) seems to be made out of a nylon type of material with hardened gaps so the back can breathe a bit and doesn’t stick to your back. It soft and comfortable but hard enough to ensure it maintains shape.
The interior camera unit is well constructed. The dividers are thin but still with very good padding.
Overall, it’s hard to find fault with the bag from a construction perspective.
It’s a good looking design, no doubt about it. When a bag is sold at the Leica store, then you know it’s a good looking bag.
I initially thought I’d go for the black but the green looks a lot better in person, and I’d recommend you look at both before making the call. There is a blue option as well, but my preference is still the green or black.
Design is a take it or like it kind of thing. When you see the design, you either like it or not so I’m not going to spend hours trying to convince you that you like it, you can make up your mind on your own.
So, we know it’s well constructed, but all of that is pointless if it’s not usable.
Let’s start with the laptop pocket. Nice size. Fits a 13″ Macbook pro easily. I also have a 15″ Macbook Pro which is more of a desktop for me and it doesn’t that. Not surprising given they only advertise it as fitting the 13″, but sometimes it’s worth a check to see if its borderline.
On the iPad front, the sleeve is a decent size fitting my 12.9″ iPad Pro (2018/2019 edition) with the keyboard cover.
As far as the photography section goes, it’s also very well designed. The dividers are thin, but surprisingly solid like the versions provided by Shimoda. I think we’ll start to see more of these around. It would be nice if they made the camera unit a separate removable bag, like my Shimoda.
The thing with the Prvke is that a lot of thought has gone into this bag, down to the little things.
- The grab handles at the top include magnets so they don’t flop around (stronger magnets would have been nicer)
- The camera unit has a zipped cover over it with a separate padded cover to protect the top of the gear and ensure that nothing falls out your bag if you open it to take your laptop out. It also has side access so you can get the camera out with the bag still partially on your back.
- The water bottle pocket is a nice size but zips up against the bag so it’s flush when not in use.
- There is a small wallet / passport pouch against your back, which prevents anyone one stealing out of your bag while it’s on your back.
- It has a glasses/phone pocket in the top with a lining that will prevent scratches occurring
- Magnetic strap for lens cap – I actually kept forgetting about this but once you get used to having it available, it’s really nice.
As you’ve probably gathered, there is a lot going on with this bag. A LOT! And yet they’ve managed to keep it clean and simple looking which is quite an achievement.
The Prvke is very comfortable, I’d even go on record as saying that it is easily one of the most comfortable bags I’ve had. The first thing they got right is the width of the straps, a mistake many bags make. Wide padded straps = more comfortable, it’s not that hard to understand (unlike the bag name).
Good padding and the position combine well to produce a bag that will keep most users happy. It reminds me of the level of comfort on my Shimoda, which is a hiking style photography bag.
I spent 11 days travelling Vienna, Switzerland and France with a full set of gear, wanting to ensure that I didn’t find myself somewhere without the right lens. Most days I was carrying a body and 4 lenses, at the worst a little more. Yes, I had to put the extra lenses in the top section, you can’t fit too many in the Prvke 21.
When I travel, I like to walk everywhere, avoid taxi’s because you miss the little things, so to put that into perspective, I was averaging about 15km’s, 19500 steps and about 30 flights of stairs per day according to my Apple Watch.
This is a 21-litre bag designed for everyday carry including a laptop, not a camera bag designed to carry all your gear so it’s important to take into account these kinds of limitations when . As a result, the camera unit isn’t huge, nor should it have to be. If you look in. Wandrd’s lineup, they have better bag options if you need to carry.
On the carrying front, looks can be deceiving. It can carry a little more if you pack properly, but it’s not something I’d recommend for longer trips as it’s not what the bag is designed for. For example, so I didn’t have to pack lenses in my luggage, whilst flying with the bag, I was carrying:
- Sony A7Riii
- 3 Spare batteries (can’t put batteries in your luggage)
- 24mm f/1.4
- 16-35mm f/4
- 35mm f/2.8
- 85mm f/1.8
- Laowa 12mm
- Macbook Pro 13″
- iPad Pro 12.9
- Noise Cancelling headphones in case (Sony WH1000XM3)
- Sunglass case and prescription glass case
- Electronics cables and external drive
- Business class toiletry pack and pyjamas (I generally keep the toiletry pack for my kids so the ability to expand the bag to fit these in comes in handy)
Now, the above is what I would say is excessive, but it worked for 24 hours of travel where I could dump things out of my bag on the other end and walk around with a lighter load.
On occasion when I was out and wanted to load up an extra lens, I would take the 100-400mm in the top compartment. Surprisingly enough, the 100-400mm can fit in the bag with the battery grip but it’s a tight fit and you will battle to get it in and out of the side entry so it’s only really for travel, not day to day use.
Before getting into competitors, I should really qualify what I was looking for in my bag, as I have bags like the Shimoda As part of the process of looking at this, I considered some competitors. In the price range of the Prvke, you pretty much have the option of buying anything you want.
- ONA camps Bay – Like the bag but the construction didn’t blow me away.
- Peak Design – Not a fan of the design and the material is starting to look dated. I also don’t like the side opening on the Peak Design.
- Random ETSY Designs – I found some interesting designs on etsy.com. Some looked good, and from a business perspective, it would have been a good option, but from a backpack perspective, I had concerns about the strength of the straps and how well it would handle rain on the odd occasion I was on my motorcycle.
- Shimoda – Not really a competitor but I did look at the 30 litre bag because I have the 40L that I love. The Shimoda stuff is nice, but their bags are more hiking orientated and 30 litres was simply too big for what I was looking at. If they had a 20L I probably would have looked at it more seriously.
The bag is good, but like anything, it isn’t perfect. Here are my thoughts on the improvements:
- Stronger magnets – I’m sure I’m not the first to ask for this. There are times when the back handle flops down when you put the bag on and you can feel it against your back, having to take the bag off again or find a way to grab the handle and flip it away. Its a case of a great idea badly executed. I’m tempted to upgrade the magnets in the handles with some stronger magnets so I will see how it goes.
- Camera cubes zips are a little awkward when the bag is open it pulls the zip up at a weird angle making it hard to zip and unzip. I’m not sure if the solution but for the last little while I just haven’t bothered zipping up the bottom section as it’s an annoyance opening and closing it.
- Camera cube option for the top would be a nice edition for when you want to carry a little more.
- The top strap that closes the bag can loosen a bit over time and I find myself having to tighten it regularly.
It’s hard not to be impressed with the Prvke (other than their lack of english skills of course). It’s a great bag, and for the price range it should be. I don’t think there are any perfect bags, everyone has different requirements and as a result, there is no one size fits all, but for me, this is the perfect every day carry around bag. If they had a removable camera cube, that would probably complete it for me.
For now, it’s become my daily commute, a bag I can take out for any occasion where I don’t need to carry all my gear. For the days I need more, the 40L Shimoda comes along but they are completely different bags to match different requirements.