The Benro Ranger 200 is an interesting new camera bag aimed at sports and nature photographers – or any photographer on the go who needs to carry equipment for quite some time.
Features include a rain cover and tripod holder, along with a ventilated, padded harness system that’s meant to distribute the weight of your gear evenly across your back to enable you to walk for long distances, even run, without feeling weighed down.
The Benro Ranger 200 offers a traditional front opening, but also boasts side and rear access points for reaching key items in a hurry.
Inside the new Benro bag is a soft-lined main compartment with a slew of dividers which you can rearrange to customise the shape of your gear.
Other features include a padded front pocket for your tablet or laptop, interior zip-close storage compartments for batteries, cables and memory cards. And the bottom of the Ranger 200 is water resistant and sits upright on rubber feet.
Its interior size is 22 x 12 x 38cm, and on the exterior it measures 27 x 23 x 46cm.
Benro Ranger 200 In Use
My first experience with the Benro Ranger 200 was a five-mile hike to the Jurassic Coast in southwest England, and I was quite impressed with everything I could pack in. I managed to fit my Fuji X-Pro1 with a lens attached, a Panasonic TZ90, the Insta360 Air and Ricoh Theta 360 cameras, as well as my GoPro Hero5 mounted to my Karma Grip in its carrying case.
I really didn’t think the GoPro and Karma would fit, but by removing some of the customisable dividers I was able to create a bespoke shape that neatly fit around my odd assortment of gear. I felt quite confident that I could shoot any eventuality.
The dividers come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different interior designs, and attach via Velcro to the walls of the interior. They secure nicely and are quite rigid to provide stability when moving quickly with the Ranger 200.
The base and back and walls of the Ranger 200 also feel sturdy and secure. There’s no limpness to the shape like you sometimes see in travel bags of this size. There’s a real sense of quality in the design, as well as the weatherproof material.
The bag itself, even loaded with gear, is remarkably light and you hardly notice its there. However, something that proved a bit of a nuisance is the shape of the straps that go over your back.
They kind of curve outwards like crescent moons, and when you’re wearing the Ranger 200 unbuckled the straps slide off your shoulders as you walk. If you wear the bag with the full harness and buckle it across your chest, the straps are fine and stay in place.
But I didn’t always want to wear it buckled across my sternum. So at times I found myself holding it via its top grip.
In terms of accessing gear, it’s very easy on the Benro Ranger 200. Whilst walking I figured the Panasonic TZ90 would be my go-to camera, so I kept this within reach of the side compartment. I was easily able to reach across my body and unzip the compartment to access the TZ90 and never missed a shot as a result.
Since that hike I’ve been using the Benro Ranger 200 for local outings and it’s become my go-to bag the past few weeks.
Benro Ranger 200 Review: Verdict
The Benro Ranger 200 is a versatile bag and can accommodate a surprising amount of gear. Never once did I feel like I had to leave something at home on my long walks.
The Ranger 200 is also quite comfortable to wear, and I hardly noticed it was on my back apart from those times when the harness was unbuckled and the straps slipped off my shoulders.
The quality and attention to detail is apparent when you load up your gear and customise the dividers. At £129, it’s not cheap, but it’s not exorbitantly expensive either. The versatility and build quality of the Benro Ranger 200 makes it a bag that you can quite easily use for the next 10 years or more.