The most important part of something that sits on your back for several hours is comfort, and Wandrd nails it. The company updated the padding on the back and shoulders, so it’s very cushiony, as if someone is holding a pillow against your back. The straps are wide and don’t dig into your shoulders, and I like using the chest strap to reduce the pressure even further. I initially switched from messenger bags to backpacks to stop getting sore shoulders, and the Prvke really feels great to wear.
I like the attention to detail too. Every single strap comes with an elastic band, so you can neatly roll up any annoying, dangling cords. The two handles at the top are magnetized, so they stick together instead of flopping around. (These magnets are stronger in version 2.0 as well.) And there’s now a luggage pass-through, so you don’t need to tote it around at the airport!
The whole thing is made from tarpaulin and Robic 1680D ballistic nylon, with YKK weather-resistant zippers (and really great zipper pulls!) and a durable, polyurethane-coated fabric on the interior to repel water. It’s safe to say that you don’t have to worry about wear and tear. Seriously, my original Prvke looks as good as new despite constant use. I’ve also worn the new version in heavy rain, and my gear didn’t get the least bit wet.
Glorious, Glorious Pockets
Pockets can make or break a camera bag. Because every photographer is a unique shining star, and the cameras, lenses, and SD cards they choose are all different, the Prvke doesn’t come with a default camera cube. If you don’t want to buy a la carte, you can grab the appropriate Photo Bundle for whichever size you buy, which includes a removable cube and accessory straps.
You don’t have to have either. I don’t use the straps, but they can be helpful if you want to tie on bigger equipment, like a tripod, to the outside of the bag. The Essential Cube really is, though. In the 31L, I can fit in my camera, a shotgun mic, another lens, and a chunky external monitor, with space for more. In the 11L, I can squish in my camera, the shotgun mic, and another small lens. The adjustable velcro dividers keep everything snug.
I can access the camera through the side pocket without taking the bag off my back, but for everything else I need to take it off. The original Prvke had a flap that covered the cube on the inside, which was annoying. Happily, Wandrd removed it, so snagging gear is a more streamlined process now.