Ruggard Navigator 65 DSLR Shoulder Bag Review

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.

Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag

1) Product Specifications

Material
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)
Carrying/Transport Options
– 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.

Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag
Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag
Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag

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.

Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag

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.

Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag
Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag

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.

Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag
Ruggard Navigtor DSLR Shoulder Bag

4) Summary

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.

Ruggard Navigator 65 DSLR Shoulder Bag
  • Features
  • Build Quality
  • Handling
  • Value
  • Size and Weight
  • Packaging and Manual

Photography Life Overall Rating

4.3

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Barbu
    June 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I have a LowePro Nova 4 AW ! It’s a very good small shoulder bag, and this one is a copy of LowePro !

  2. 2
    ) Jim
    June 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Same as Barbu, I have the now ancient Nova 4 (two actually). Don’t see where this bag breaks any new ground. On the other hand since the Nova isn’t made any more (I believe), this might be of interest to someone whose shoulders don’t mind the weight.

  3. 3
    ) Don K
    June 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    John,

    The problem with bag reviews is that it’s just such a personal decision. I, personally, like the Domke bags, particularly the dark brown canvas bags, since they look rugged and rough, and you wouldn’t expect anything valuable to be in one. The F3x is about the same size, weighs the same, and is $100. I use the F2 and F8 for large and small loads, respectively. I don’t want a camera bag that looks like a camera bag.

    • June 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Don,
      I completely agree. Everyone has specific needs and personal preferences for a camera bag. And this one definitely looks like a camera bag.

  4. 4
    ) Motti
    June 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Sorry, way over priced for me :-). I have the Lowepro Midtown 160 (second hand $20), not the best bag in the world but it does the job and it’s light.

    When choosing a shoulder bag, I want it to be the smallest and lightest possible. I have other bags (like the Classified 250 AW) if I want to carry more. So for me the advantage of the Midtown, believe it or not, is the lack of all these pockets. I tend to fill them up and at the end the bag weighs as much as I am . I carry a camera and a lens on me and a couple of lenses and a flash in the bag.

    A disadvantage is that it ill not fit D3 or equivalent if you want to carry a camera in it.

    If I was to purchase a bag it would be the Lowepro Nova 180 AW, it’s a great bag. At $48.00 it’s less than half of the one mention above. It is small enough and would be all I need.

    Don is right, it is a personal taste….

    • June 23, 2014 at 10:02 am

      So true. It’s very easy to load up all of the pockets on a “small” bag and have it weight so much it hurts your shoulders and back, but without the benefit of being able to fit larger cameras or lenses.

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