Sometimes when I travel or just have a portrait session in town, I don’t want to bring all of my camera gear with me. At times like this, I’ve always thought it would be really nice to have a smaller bag I could bring along and leave my big bag at home. Enter this shoulder bag from Ruggard… big enough to hold a body and a few lenses but not so big that it becomes just as heavy as my normal camera bag.
1) Product Specifications
Exterior – Water-resistant polyester, ballistic nylon, neoprene
Lining – Polyester
Type of Closure – Two YKK zippers
Front flap – Quick-release buckle
Exterior Dimensions ( L x D x W) – 13.0 x 7.5 x 8.25″ (33.0 x 19.1 x 21.0 cm)
Front Pocket – 12.5 x 8.75″ (31.8 x 22.2 cm)
Rear Pocket – 12.0 x 8.0″ (30.5 x 20.3 cm)
Interior Dimensions (L x D x W) – 12.5 x 7.0 x 8.0″ (31.8 x 17.8 x 20.3 cm)
Laptop Sleeve – 12.75 x 8.5″ (32.4 x 21.6 cm)
- Adjustable, removable shoulder strap
- Top grab handle
- Trolley sleeve
Weight - 38.0 oz (1077.3 g)
2) First Impressions and Field Use
My first impressions of this bag were very good. Although it’s a little boxy, with it’s clean design and subtle yellow highlights it’s still an attractive bag. It appeared to be very well made, although the front clip seemed to be quite flimsy. I liked the size because it had a lot of storage space and could hold a lot of gear. Overall, it seemed like a quality bag with lots of great features.
When it came time to use it, I found it easy to load. The adjustable dividers give it enough flexibility to hold a variety of different cameras, lenses and accessories. I took it on a trip with me and was able to fit my D7000, 50mm f/1.4 lens, F100, Diana, 2 Holgas, Polaroid SX-70 and film for all of my film cameras. I was also able to slip a few magazines into the back pocket that holds the rain cover (I had to remove the rain cover to do so) and could have easily fit an iPad or small laptop (up to 13″) inside if I had brought one.
Here you can see it with my D800 with attached 85mm f/1.4G (beneath Pocket Wizards), 3 Pocket Wizards, 35mm f/1.4G, 135mm f/2, and two SB-800 flashes, along with memory cards, batteries and cables.
All of that gear definitely starts to add up and get heavy, so I was thankful that the strap had a nice pad and was easy to adjust. I ended up carrying it through the airport because I completely forgot about the trolley sleeve, but it was still quite comfortable to carry on my shoulder. To be honest though, I wouldn’t want to carry it around for too long. If you’re planning on walking around a city with your camera gear, plan on getting a backpack that more evenly distributes the weight of your gear.
I found the bag had more than enough storage for everything I brought. Film, memory cards, snacks, lens caps and batteries all had a home and were easy to access. There’s even a pocket on the outside of the bag for a water bottle.
The material of this bag is like that of most camera bags. It’s quite scuff, dirt and water resistant. If it happens to get a little dirty, it’s easy to wipe off and get looking good again. Drops of water shouldn’t be a problem and if you get caught in the rain, the included rain cover doesn’t take long to put on and almost completely wraps around the entire bag to protect it from the elements.
The Ruggard Navigator 65 Shoulder Bag is quite a versatile bag. While it’s not something I would want to carry around for the entire day, it’s a great bag to use if you need to carry some gear from point A to point B or, like I did, to bring some gear with you on a short trip and then leave the bag behind in your room while you’re out and about. I personally wouldn’t bring it with me to photograph a wedding, as it wouldn’t hold all of my gear. I would however use it for a portrait session if I only needed a camera body, a few lenses and maybe a flash. Other than the seemingly flimsy front clip (which didn’t prove to be a problem), this bag is very well made and should last you for quite a while.
5) Pricing and Where to Buy
The Ruggard Navigator 65 Shoulder Bag is priced at $119.95 (as of 06/21/2014) and is available at B&H Photo Video.