I’ve always wanted a small camera backpack that gave me easy, quick access to my camera gear. I’ve owned camera backpacks in the past, but they were bigger (and heavier) and I had to take them off of my back in order to get my gear out. When I got a chance to review the Ruggard Triumph 45 Sling Bag, I took it, hoping I could find a nice bag that I could carry around town with me for more casual photography.
1) Product Specifications
External – 600D Oxford Nylon with water-repellent coating
Top Pocket – 1680D Ballistic Nylon
Internal – 150D Polyester
Type of Closure
- Yellow zipper pulls
- Quick-release buckles
Exterior Dimensions – 16.9 x 11.4 x 7.9″ / 43.0 x 29.0 x 20.0 cm
Interior Dimensions – 15.7 x 10.6 x 7.1″ / 40.0 x 27.0 x 18.0 cm
Main Camera Compartment – 11.0 x 10.5 x 7.0″ / 27.9 x 26.7 x 17.8 cm
Front Pouch – 9.5 x 10.0″ / 24.1 x 25.4 cm
Zippered Expansion – 2.5″ / 6.4 cm
Tripod Holder – Yes
Waist Belt – Yes
- Adjustable sling strap
- Top carry handle
- Side-flap carry handle
Weight – 3.0 lb / 1.4 kg
600D Oxford Nylon exterior with water-repellent coating
Rain cover can be hidden in back padding or detached for drying
Zippered expansion creates extra 2.5″ in main compartment
Waist strap tucks away into back padding
Foam-padded back for cushioning
Zippered main camera compartment includes two large and three small adjustable foam-padded dividers and is accessible from the back
Top compartment has two mesh pockets and is accessible from the front
Large front pouch has two mesh slip pockets on inside flap for filters or batteries
Large organizer in front pouch with two pen slots and two touch-fastened memory card pockets
For quick-access to your DSLR the side flap provides an additional opening to the main compartment
Dual zipper Fast-Action Handle
Secured with quick-release buckle and touch-fastener
Inside the flap is a memory card pocket with touch-fastened closure
Compact Tripod Holder
Elastic cinch-strap with quick-release buckle made to fasten over two of the three tripod legs for extra security
Nylon-webbed touch-fastener strap fastens over all three legs
Half-mesh pocket acts as tripod cup or can be used to hold accessories like a water bottle, MP3 player, or cell phone
Bottom side pocket unzips down the middle to create cover over half-mesh pocket
Adjustable quick-release buckle opens mid-strap
Mesh zippered pocket for keys and ID
Foam padding for added comfort
Nylon webbing to attach optional pouches and other accessories
Top padded carry handle
Side-flap padded carry handle
2) First Impressions
The first thing I thought when I got this bag was, “wow, it’s bigger than I thought it would be”. Ruggard makes four different sizes of sling bag… the 15, 35, 45 and 55. For what I intended to use it for, a smaller bag probably would have been just fine. It’s not just the size of the bag, but also the form. Because it has some structure to it from the internal compartments, it’s not very collapsable. My big hope was to have a bag that I could collapse and store in my suitcase to take with me on trips, allowing me to walk around a city with some camera gear as well as personal items. That won’t be happening with this bag.
The bag appears to be very well made. The material is a sturdy nylon that you’d expect to find on most camera bags. Surprisingly, the bottom does not have any type of coating or bumpers for protection, so be careful if you set it on surfaces that are wet or dirty. The padding on the back looks sufficient for the amount of gear this bag can hold.
There are three main compartments and each one has quite a few smaller compartments for storage of items like memory cards and batteries. There is one compartment on top of the bag that I would use for personal items like snacks, a small compressible jacket or even a book or two. There’s a compartment on the front that would be great for memory cards, batteries, pens, film, filters and other miscellaneous small items. The inner compartment that’s made for camera gear is accessible from the back of the bag and also the side of the bag. This is where your lenses, flashes and camera body will go.
A few other notable features are the tripod holder and the expansion zipper. The expansion zipper should allow for storage of larger flashes and a professional body or body+grip, although using the side flap might prove to be difficult with a grip. The tripod holder should be great for smaller tripods, but if you’re like me and don’t carry a tripod around with you, it also doubles as a water bottle holder!
There is also a rain cover! It tucks away into the back of the bag and is easily accessible in case you should need it.
3) Field Use
In using this bag, you have two options as to how to carry it. You can carry it like a sling bag with the strap across your chest or you can carry it over one shoulder like a backpack. If you choose to carry it like a backpack, there is a clip on the strap that effectively shortens the strap so that it easily fits over your shoulder. If you’re wearing it as a sling bag, the clip allows you to strap it to your waist as well, preventing the bag from sliding. I found this to be very useful when riding a bike.
Actual use of the bag was very easy. Getting my camera out of the quick access side flap was fast. I did find, however, that if you’re frequently using it, there are quite a few steps to take. There’s a buckle, velcro and a zipper that all have to be undone before you get your camera. Of course, it’s a very secure system, but it’s a pain if you want to put your camera away after every use.
While walking around with the bag slung across my chest and back, I had easy access to my camera and water bottle. I was only shooting with one lens and never had to take the bag off. Still, I found that the bag didn’t sit well on my body and the strap rubbed my neck above my shirt. It also felt heavy even though it was empty. My shoulder got tired after walking around with it for a few hours. I also noticed that the strap is thick and bulky and goes across your right shoulder, right where you might hang your camera when you’re not using it. Unfortunately, my camera strap kept sliding off of my shoulder because of the bag strap. I started carrying my camera on my left shoulder just so it wouldn’t slip off of my right shoulder, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed having to do.
It might just be personal preference, but I’m not a fan of this bag. If I were heading out for a walk around the town, I think I would actually take less gear so that I didn’t have to take this bag with me. It’s not that it doesn’t work. It works pretty well and carries a good amount of gear. I just don’t find it to be comfortable. It has a good amount of padding in the back and shoulder strap, but it doesn’t fit my body well. Looks like I’ll keep looking for a casual city bag.
5) Pricing and Where to Buy
The Ruggard Triumph 45 Sling Bag is priced at $69.95 (as of 6/20/14) and is available at B&H Photo Video.