review

Vanguard VEO Flex Rolltop Camera Backpack with Removable Dividers

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A simple and convenient pack, the Vanguard VEO Flex is also a very functional camera bag that can be used for different purposes other than photography.
The Vanguard VEO Flex comes with a deceptively large storage space, as well as an internal five-pocket dividing system that can hold a couple of camera lenses (50mm and 67mm), a flashgun and a 70-200mm zoom lens attached to the body of a DSLR camera.
As long as the zoom lens is no longer than 20cm in length, it will comfortably fit alongside the other camera gear., including the flashgun which should be no taller than 12cm in height.
There are three ways to access the main compartment of the VEO Flex via the top, the rear and the left side pocket. The right side pocket is elasticated and can fit a tall and thin water bottle and/or a small tripod securely attached via the top adjustable side strap.
The left side pocket consists of two zip pockets, one of which is designed as a quick-access opening for reaching into the main compartment.
What's neat about this pass-through opening is that it unzips all the way around and, it's perfectly aligned with the camera body divider, giving you the ability to pull out the camera on the go without having to stop to access the top or rear of the bag.
While the VEO Flex is designed to carry camera gear, the internal velcro padded dividers can be detached and removed, allowing you to convert the VEO Flex into a fully functional backpack that you can use as a commuter bag, gym bag, daypack and, even a drone backpack.
The VEO Flex is approximately 36cm wide and 17cm deep. The internal dimensions of the camera compartment are 43cm tall, 24cm wide and 11cm deep. Total weight of the VEO Flex is 970 grams.
The VEO Flex has a rated volume capacity of 12 litres but, thanks to the rolltop feature, the VEO Flex can easily store a few more litres (up to 15-16 litres of gear).
With the rolltop, the VEO Flex can be expanded upwards from 45cm to 65cm high, letting you fill up the bag right to the brim with extra gear.
The rolltop also integrates a zip closure so, any extra gear you keep in the rolltop space will be securely stored within the bag and not fall out.
When not in use, the rolltop is easily rolled and secured into place via two adjustable webbing straps, which are attached to the shoulder straps so, they double as load lifters for bringing the top section of the backpack a bit closer to your back.
The VEO Flex camera backpack is lined internally with light grey plush fabric material, which softly cushions and prevents any scratches to the gear.
Having light colored lining in a backpack massively helps finding the gear inside the bag much easier. The lining of the 9-inch tablet sleeve compartment is also light grey colored but, it's made of polyester.
Speaking of cushioning, the VEO Flex camera compartment is protected via front and back foam padding. The sides of the VEO Flex aren't padded but, the internal dividers are nicely padded, which proves all-around protection for the lenses and camera body.
The shoulder straps have a decent amount of padding and have breathable mesh fabric on the backside. The front of the shoulder straps feature a plastic D-ring and three daisy chain webbing loops for attaching and/or clipping things like a pair of sunglasses, keys or action camera.
The VEO Flex also comes with a rain cover that can be detached from the bag via a webbing buckle strap. The rain cover is easy to stow away and deploy at a moment's notice by simply sliding a hand under the backside panel and pulling out the rain cover.
The rain cover compartment is narrow but spans the entire length of the backside panel so it's very roomy and large enough for storing non-bulky items such as a pair of gloves, a thin A4 folder and even a tablet could easily fit. That said, the rain compartment only has a small velcro fastener to secure the compartment.
The VEO Flex rain cover provides the bag with partial waterproofing as it doesn't cover the entire bag. The rain cover is, essentially, an oversize shower cap designed to temporarily protect the front and sides of the VEO Flex backpack from rain. Another neat advantage of having a backpack with a rain cover is that you can use the rain cover to keep away prying eyes transiting a bus or public rapid transit system.
The backside of the rain cover compartment is thickly padded with foam and breathable mesh fabric. There are a couple of small air channels across the backside to help minimize a sweaty back. The backside panel also integrates a pass-through sleeve designed to attach the VEO Flex backpack to the handlebar of a rolling luggage.
Talking about handles, the VEO Flex has a rather unique grab handle setup, consisting of two long webbing grab handles on either side that effectively let you carry the VEO Flex like a carrier bag.
On the front of the VEO Flex, there is a Vanguard branded metal badge and two zips with reinforced teeth, which is somewhat unusual to find on a backpack but, it gives the VEO Flex a rather quirky look because of the teeth resemblance to bowling pins.
The other zips on the VEO Flex, including the side pocket zips and main compartment dual zips have a reverse coil design, which hides the teeth of the zip. All zips come with thick fabric pull tabs.
Neither of the VEO Flex zips are waterproof nor is the outer shell of the bag. That said, the bottom base of the VEO Flex is made of PU leather material, making the base of the bag waterproof.
The rolltop buckle clips are made of plastic with a metal-like alloy on top for reinforcement. The shoulder strap webbing buckles are also made of plastic. All the webbing straps come with elastic fabric bands to neatly manage the webbing excess of the straps so, they stay out of your way.
The VEO Flex rolltop camera backpack is available in two size models (VEO Flex 43M and VEO Flex 47M) and colors (black and blue) and, it comes with 2 years warranty, which can be extended to lifetime warranty when registering online.

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