From the tropical nirvana of the Amazons and the majestic dunes of Mojave to the vibrant and bustling streets of India, this pack has seen it all, and endured it, making its mark in the realm of film making and photography. Let’s welcome the front-runner made for these endeavours – the Wandrd Prvke. Forged from the coastline of New Zealand, Wandrd wouldn’t have been a reality if it wasn’t for the passion and strenuous efforts bared by its founders - Ryan, Spencer, and Austin Cope, the hiveminds behind the brand.
They were thoroughly unimpressed with the lack of options for quality bags catered for photographers and filmmakers like themselves. With this problem and their creativity in the back burner, and with all the gusto and ignorance of a couple of twenty-something-year-olds, they set off on a mission, one that would lead them to create the world's finest travel camera bag. Being wanderers themselves, they didn’t intend on just making and selling bags, they wanted to inspire others to see more of the world, like how they were inspired while they were growing up; they wanted to enable others to do the same — to explore, and to live life in the moment.
And with all their efforts in play and their passion driving them forward, they finally birth the star of the show today – the Wandrd Prvke 31.
WHO ITS FOR
- For photographers in search of an exceptional carry option, both for work and travelling alike.
- For the everyday haulers, needing a versatile bag to cater their ever changing needs.
- One who’s in search of a bag that’s able to fit into multiple environments, from the trails to the office, and for the occasional weekend adventures.
Distinct is the watchword for the Wandrd Prvke. There’s none like this on the market right now, one that’s made for photographers and filmmakers alike, yet transcends beautifully into a perfect everyday carry when required. The Prvke sports a squarish design with a tasteful metal G-hook out-front, making it instantaneously recognizable from miles away.
It’s a spin on the classical roll top design, fitted with 2 other commodious access, deeming it a worthy contender to other rolltop bags aloof the market right now. It’s sleek and unconventional design language may be peculiar to some, but it somehow fits exquisitely into the office environment, and fares equally well in weathered terrains. It’s a rather stealthy option when compared to other camera bags, such as a lowepro, or a peak design. It performs exceptionally without screaming attention to it when you’re out in the field. I’ve always been a fan of discrete and inconspicuous designs, so much so that I wouldn’t hesitate in bringing this bag along for walks, even to the more ‘chique’ part of town. It blends in perfectly well.
- Dimensions: 48 X 32 X 19 cm (19"H X 12.5"W X 7.5"D)
- Volume: 31 L to 36 L (roll top fully extended)
- Weight: 1.5 kg (3.4 lbs)
- Laptop Sleeve Dimensions: 34 X 25 X 2.5 cm
- Tablet Sleeve Dimensions: 33 X 25 X 1.25 cm
MATERIALSOuter Fabric Material: Waterproof Tarpaulin and Robic 1680D Ballistic Nylon
It’s not often you come across a bag made from the same rugged and waterproof fabric militaries deploy to cover their trucks or SUVs. And that’s how you know it would suffice under immense circumstances nature has to offer for you, especially when you’re out in unpredictable terrains whilst travelling.
It keeps its sheen and slightly matted appearance even after rough usage, with dirt and mud brushing right off with a wet towel. Due to the nature of Tarps, they are painstakingly durable. I’ve used this on multiple occasions - from photography related work outings to hikes on the hill side of Mount Tabur, and it has held up without breaking a sweat. No scratches or stains reported during my period of testing so that’s a check on its durability.
The blend of Tarpaulin with Robic’s 1680 denier Ballistic weave nylon is an unconventional mix, but it seemingly works. The ballistic nylon adds a nice touch to the overall look, adding functional upgrades to an already robust pack.
Inner Fabric Material
The inner lining fabric used is, in my opinion, a minor letdown. It feels rather thin in the hands and does not provide assurance that it would hold up against rougher usage, and the fact that it lacks a high-vis interior doesn’t help either. While the website does not specify the actual denier of the material, I would put it below the range of a 210 denier fabric. I feel like this is the one part the Prvke skimmed out on when it came to durability. But I might be wrong about it since it has held up without a problem for the past month of me using it. The matter of issue here is the price to quality ratio, with the hefty price tag that they’re asking for, I would come to expect higher quality fabrics being utilised. It’s just something about the feel of it that rubs me the wrong way.
Zippers: YKK Aquaguard and RC YKK
When it comes to zippers, the Prvke certainly didn’t skimmed out. It utilises zippers from renowned Japanese manufacturer, YKK, situated in the highlands of the Toyama Prefecture. They are trusted internationally for their impeccable production standards and thorough quality control processes for their industrial grade zippers.
The zippers used in the Prvke are of different sizes, with different intended use cases. A large #8RC YKK Aqauguard Zipper lines the main clamshell opening, befitting its purpose since it ought to be the most interacted piece of hardware on this pack, providing a relatively quick access to the main cavity.
A #5RC Aquaguard zipper lines the front vertical compartment on the exterior, providing storage for flatter items or pouches, or even flat organiser panels. Another #5RC Aquaguard YKK zipper safeguards the distinctive U-shaped quick access to the cameras. This has proved to be mighty useful when you’re on the go, having to access your camera at a moment’s notice. The last #5RC Aquaguard zipper guards the quick access pocket just behind the roll top closure, and it provides ample amount of space to place your personal belongings such as a wallet, your headphones and an iPhone. And the best thing about it is that its lined with fleece-like material, protecting your fragile items from scratches and such.
For those that are foreign to the term Aquaguard, they simply mean that the zippers are PU laminated, making it water repellent, safeguarding our belongings from the elements. A cue to identify them would be to notice the slight sheen that it gives off, compared to the matted, fabric appearance of the more commonly used RC zippers. This implementation is befitting of the philosophy behind the Prvke, that it is forged to challenge the elements of nature, wielding its water-resistant Tarp and its Aquaguard zippers at the spearhead.
The internal compartments are fitted with a total of 5 smaller Reverse Coil #5YKK zippers, appropriate with what its intended for, prioritising smoother access over durability.
And apart from these, there’s still one sneaky #8RC YKK zipper fitted at the bottom of the pack, concealed by Robic’s rugged ballistic fabric. A perfect place to store sensitive items such as a passport or some loose cash that one might need in a foreign country.
The experience of zipping and unzipping these zippers are beyond satisfactory, a joyful and frictionless experience overall throughout this trip.
Holding the roll-top in place is a beautiful and meticulously crafted metal anodized G-hook, with a subdued WANDRD wording etched onto the metal. Although some might argue that it’s not the most secure of closures, but in my period of testing, it has not come loose even once, so I have no complaints here. However, your mileage might vary depending on how full or loosely you pack the Prvke.
I personally would have preferred a magnetic closure, Fidlock’s V-Buckle to be precise. I wholeheartedly believe this would aid in a more frictionless experience overall.
Holding the signature tote style handles together are magnets sewn into the fabric, and it’s a tasteful addition for sure. These magnets snap together so the handles don't flap about when you're lugging the bag. However, I’ve ran into instances where the handles came undone. I personally would’ve opted for stronger magnets since the handles ought to be an area on the pack that gauges more bumps and pulls. Nothing major in terms of usage but just a nit-pick for future versions of this pack.
Let me be blunt and say that comfort is the Archilies’ heel of this bag, the single drawback that I was unable to overlook. There weren’t any issues with the back panel per say, as it was well cushioned and breathable, its mainly the straps that I would fault. Though the Prvke has lots of padding and additional straps for distributing weight, it lacks certain features that truly makes it a tool for carrying heavier loads. It’s narrow width of the shoulder straps certainly does not contribute well to the overall comfort.
The degree of padding used in the harness system here is enough to make some bus seats blush. The only drawback is that, due to the thickness of the foam panels, the baggage pass-through is a little difficult to use, especially when the backpack is completely loaded.
During my period of testing, it struggled while carrying heavier loadout of camera equipment. And the lack of load lifters made it fit less snugly against their bodies. The lifters would have helped to bring the top of the bag closer to the shoulders for proper weight distribution. The inability to synch the bag at the shoulders, though a minor concern, hampers the bag from performing well comfort-wise. And this was perhaps my biggest gripe with the bag. Should you intend to pack heavier loads, there are waist straps sold separately.
These waist straps have their own pockets which adds on to the Prvke 31’s already impressive capacity and organisational layout. The straps don’t tighten very much though and, as mentioned prior, hug your body like how it’s supposed to.
Aside from the few issues that arose when trying to adjust the Prvke 31’s straps, this backpack is overall still decent when it comes to comfortability. However, it’s definitely not up to par with the competition on the market. When one really starts packing out the Prvke to the brim, is when it starts falling apart.
The organisational layout on the Prvke 31 is truly a gem. The team behind Wandrd really outdid themselves. And because of the 31 litre capacity, the pockets are more functional and spacious when compared the the 21 litre version of this pack, making the Prvke 31 a better contender for being a travel bag. Let’s start with the exterior of the pack, and slowly fondle our way into the interiors.
The front vertical pocket is made to accommodate flatter documents or pouches, depending on your mode of carry. It would be near perfect if they fitted some organisational panels in this pocket, but that’s an easy fix, nonetheless, insert a flat organiser and voilà, you have yourself a well organised front panel. Behind the rolltop, is a quick stash pocket, with adequate depth and dimensions for more fragile items such as your Airpods, an iPhone, your wallet, a first aid pouch etc. It’s one of the more spacious quick access pockets I’ve seen in a while, so kudos to the team! The soft interior fabric is a nice addition to prevent scratches.
The other side external pocket is a water bottle holder cum tripod mount pocket, expandable by a vertical zipper, quite ingenious! At the top left side of the Prvke is a dedicated pocket for keys or smaller knick-knacks.
There’s a built-in key clip with a short leash, but there’s not a ton of space for much else once you have keys in this pocket. It’s a perfectly secure place to store keys when you’re out travelling, keeping it out of sight and out of mind.
For equally or more valuable items like travel documents or a wallet or some loose cash, there’s a security pocket located near the luggage pass-through and behind the bottom padding of the back panel. Although our wallet is bulky, the extra bulge is barely evident once the Prvke is on our back.
The interiors are what fascinates me the most. They are a splendid offering if you haul your camera gears around regularly. Let’s start with the main star of a show - the side quick-access hatch for cameras. When zipped open, the flap has a rather neat built-in compartment for SD cards or extra batteries. I am thoroughly impressed with this extra feature WANDRD has thrown in; it maximises every bit of available space where you can find it. It gives access to your on-the-go camera gear, accessible with a swing while the bag in still on-body.
Do note that the Prvke 31 was tested alongside Wandrd’s Essential + Camera Cube. There’s a designated spot to tuck the cube’s flap into the main backpack’s, making it one fluid motion to open the quick-access pocket rather than fumbling with two zippers.
The main compartment may be accessed in two ways: through the rolltop or through the clamshell opening. The Prvke's volume is expandable since it is a rolltop; hence, the hefty G-hook is length-adjustable too, and there are two sets of hook-side velcros on the front side to which the strips of loop-side velcros at the rear may attach. This is sufficient for fast, but limited, access to the main compartment. The clamshell access, on the other hand, provides a full, and comprehensive access to the main cavity of the pack.
Wandrd even has loops on the side for accessory straps, allowing you to unzip the bag at a 90-degree angle. This feature is a little gimmicky in my opinion, it is easily a 3-4 step process, making it a hassle to access via this method. So, it begins with taking it off your back, and wearing it across the front of your body, then unzipping the clamshell opening while the bag is on body, then retrieving your gear. But the hardest part is zipping it back up after retrieving your gear, as there’s a chance of them falling out, if not done precisely and carefully.
The main cavity of the pack is divided into 2 sections: the upper and the lower compartments. The upper, is accessible via the rolltop from the top, through the peel-away zippered flap from the back and through a Velcro divider from the bottom. The Velcro divider is a neat addition, it can either divide the compartments or join them and make it one huge main cavity, when one requires more space. The top portion is intended for items not necessarily photography-related, and it can hold several tech pouches without a problem, namely the CAP2L and CAP1L in my use-case. Packing cubes of clothes and Dopp kits can go in here too, and the expandable rolltop means you can pack a lot of them too. The 31L variant definitely has more leeway for clothes, which makes it ideal for one-bag-travel. The peel-away zippered flap is a nice inclusion as well since it’s handy to have the option to keep the compartment sealed too.
The lower section has been hollowed down to accommodate a camera cube. Wandrd created this specifically for their Essential line of camera cubes. It's worth mentioning that if this space is left unoccupied, the bag itself has the tendency of collapsing. And unless you already have a camera cube that fits this compartment, purchasing a cube is almost mandatory.
A panel of pockets attached to the back panel are designed to store all your tech accessories. There are two zippered pockets at the top and a large one below. They have enough depth for adapters and dongles that your cameras might require. And behind these pockets are 2 large compartments for your laptop and an iPad. These sections are secured by a Velcro strap.
PROS vs CONS
1. A photography-centred bag, but also functions as a modern-day chimaera, able to adapt to your ever changing ways of carry.
2. Equipped with plenty of photography-centric features with a myriad of pockets inside and out.
3. Bestowed with three functional ways to access the main compartment, each with its own purpose.
CONS1. The bag is devoid of a built-in camera cube, with a pricey addition to make full use of a camera bag with the photography bundle.
2. None of the pockets have litre-independency, most of them can be tricky to access when the bag is full.
3. The bag becomes uncomfortable after short periods of carrying it when its fully loaded, a fault mainly pertaining to the design of the shoulder straps.
The Prvke is a well-sought-after pack that manages to turn heads effortlessly, and this is not without reason. It caters for the needs of photographers, filmmakers, everyday haulers and then more. In my years of exploration on the grounds of carry, the Prvke still takes the crown for being the pack that most photographers gush over.
Made for the avid traveller, who wanders by day and roams the night, one who’s in need of a versatile companion, able to cater to their ever-changing and ever-evolving needs, a carefully crafted utilitarian machine of a backpack, the Prvke.
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Raised in the south of Malaysia, I was drawn to spending as much time as possible outdoors. While dwelling in the beauty of nature, it sparked my interest in photography as well as all things carry. My interest in bags have been solidified every since I’ve stumbled upon my first bag right here in our own backyard, Greenroom136. And I have been on the hunt for the perfect pack ever since.
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