Vanguard VEO RANGE T 45M Review

Vanguard VEO RANGE T 45M
Review
Website: Vanguard World

Price when reviewed

£129

$149 /
Check current price

Our Verdict

The Vanguard VEO Range T 45M's style is distinctly military with exterior webbing showing that this backpack means business. The bag's design keeps it reassuringly slim, making our medium-sized sample ideal for compact systems cameras and DSLRs alike, alongside a few lenses and accessories of course. The bag looks on the small side of medium, but that's just a visual illusion as there's plenty of space inside for your kit. Its material quality is the real winner here, the webbing is tough, and matched by a quality choice of fabrics and finish. This bag is a phenomenal all-rounder, ideal for professional and everyday use and one to be left by the door ready for action.

For

  • High quality materials
  • Plenty of space
  • Exterior webbing

Against

  • No bottle pocket
What is the VEO Range T 45M

The Vanguard VEO Range T 45M is the middle backpack in the range, with the larger T48 for pros and T37 as a smaller yet equally robust offering.

It’s designed as an everyday bag, the one you should keep by the door ready to go.

It’s also one of the few bags available that’s equally suited to both professionals and enthusiasts alike.

This is the bag for anyone seriously into their photography, there’s plenty on offer as standard, but with the webbing, there’s also plenty of scope to customise it to suit you and your photography needs.

Over recent months there’s been a gradual slow down of new camera backpacks coming through, and of course, there are obvious reasons for that. Those packs that have appeared have stood out and have tended to be big multiday sacks and stylish urban offerings.

The VEO Range is neither of these things it’s a military-style backpack of the likes that we’ve seen before, but it works, it doesn’t need explaining and its comfortable to wear while protecting your kit, I mean what more do you need?

Specification

  • Product: Camera backpack
  • Suitable for: DSLR/larger mirrorless camera, 4-5 lenses (up to 200mm f/2.8), a flash unit, and accessories
  • Laptop: 13-inch laptop
  • Camer access: Rear and side but can also be set up for top access
  • External dimensions: 30 x 19 x 49cm
  • Internal dimensions: 28 x 13 x 45cm
  • Weight: 1880g
Features

As the medium backpack in the range, it’s ideally suited for use as a day bag, the one you reach for when you’re headed out for a hike, off on holiday equally or shooting an event and need something that’s low profile with easy access.

Access is readily available through the rear or side, and there’s an option with a little reconfiguration to gain access through the top.

The interior features the usual divides with enough room for a mirrorless or DSLR with 4-5 lenses, up to 200mm, a flash and some accessories.

On the interior of the rear flap, there’s a sleeve which will comfortably fit a 13-inch laptop. The space will actually fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro, but that’s not from the official specifications of the bag.

A tripod can be attached to the front or side using the supplied removable pocket.

The top section of the bag is reserved as a daypack section, and there’s room enough for food and a rain jacket.

As the bag itself can get pretty weighty with all the kit inside, Vanguard has made sure that the back section and shoulder straps are well-padded and it’s good to see a proper waist strap with a good level of padding is in place as well.

Finally, in case of rain, a seam-sealed rain cover is included.

Build quality and handling

The overall layout of the bag is well thought out with a large slip pocket on the front and day bag section above.

When loading the bag, kit can be placed through the back and then the side access is used for quick access to your kit.

Material choices have been high in vanguards design criteria and looking over the bag you can see the attention to detail that has gone into the finish, from the stitching through to the strap adjustment and decent quality zips.

Setting out your kit in the bag it’s easy to get a good weight distribution. The internal divides offer plenty of options, and it doesn’t take long to arrange equipment neatly.

In goes a Sony A7 III, 12-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm, along with some filters, a tripod on the exterior, rain jacket and of course food and dog treats.

While the bag feels heavy, once on my back and with the waist straps clipped around, the bag feels exceptionally comfortable.

The bag itself is a little smaller than I would usually carry, but here with the strap adjustment at the top, you can easily fine-tune the comfort of the bag.

Performance

The first venture out with the bag was for a warm summers afternoon hike through the New Forest. Kit weighing the bag down, this was a perfect test for comfort, and just to make sure the bag was fully packed I popped a small VEO 2 GO 235CB on the side for good measure.

From the outset, the bag was surprisingly comfortable, and with the webbing and pocket holding the tripod firmly in place on the back, I couldn’t foresee any issues.

Sure enough, despite the usual sweat from walking in the midafternoon sun, the bag stayed comfortable. Access to the camera was easily made by swinging the bag round on the left shoulder.

When it came to changing lenses having the rear access meant that the bag could be laid on the grass, unzipped and lenses swapped. I prefer rear bag access like this as this help to avoid getting the back of the bag wet or dirty when accessing kit, it something that seems obvious but is so often overlooked.

Vanguard as a manufacturer are always very good at this point, and including enough pockets throughout the bag. Here there are plenty, and I’m especially grateful for the large front pocket that comfortably fits an OS Map.

This may seem a little old school, but in the New Forest, Dartmoor and parts of Wales you’ll inevitably find yourself reverting to a paper map and compass.

As with previous military-style bags I’ve used, it’s the webbing that makes the bag, need to attach something then hook it on, need to hang it up, use the webbing, add weight to a tripod, just easy, webbing is almost a camera bag essential.

Verdict

There’s a huge amount of detail about this bag that I like, from the large front pocket to the structurally supported daypack section, this bag works.

It firstly offers plenty of room for kit and the protection you need to keep it safe through a good amount of padding.

The comfort when on your back is also surprisingly good due to all the additional adjustment and the decent waist strap, on warmer days when the bag is fully laden there might be an argument for better airflow, but really that airflow is as good as any.

There’s little overall to a fault, especially at this price.

If there was one thing to pick a hole in, that would be to make the pocket on the side adjustable so that I could fit in a water bottle without the need to use an additional pocket, but that would be about it.

The Vanguard Veo Range T 45M is a well designed and functional bag.

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