A must-have for any videographer or photographer the Vanguard Veo Select 35 offers something that few other bags do.
It’s not a backpack or messenger, it’s a nifty square, one size fits all hold all, of a type.
It’s an area of bags that Vanguard has always excelled in the past, and the Select 35 is a bag that in size and dimensions is pretty much perfect.
It’s by no means large with room for a Sony Alpha 7MK3 video kit and not a lot else. If you want more space then buy another, they’re only £70 after all.
The size keeps things neat, fill them up, stack them in your car and off you go to the next job.
Zipped pockets on the front and back fit passports, receipts and anything else flat. A zipped slip pocket fits an iPad or Kindle and inside there are two zipped pockets for memory cards and batteries.
Back to the outside and at either end, there are two expandable pockets that fit a can or bottle of Coke, maybe a snack or two, then there’s a shoulder strap and trolly loop for easy transportation.
I understand that this type of bag will only appeal to a certain type of photographer, one who moves from location to location rather than your average enthusiast, but still, off on holiday and want a bag to transport the kit?
The Vanguard Veo Select is close to perfect, our review samples black, but it’s also available in green. So what are you waiting for? four of these will do perfectly.
Do you need a bag? Well, there’s plenty out there to choose from, but before you buy it’s worth really thinking about how you’re going to use it.
Ask any photographer about bags and they’ll probably list off a selection that they have, you probably have a selection clogging up your wardrobe or hidden under the stairs.
That’s because no bag will ever be 100% right for every occasion, if you’re out for a hike then you need a backpack, off into town or short walks then a messenger and if you have to work then a holdall or case is usually the option.
The Vanguard Veo Select 35 is a small holdall, designed for any photographer who needs a neatly organised bag to hold their kit from point A to point B.
It’s refined, well thought out and packs in small features that make it stand out against other bags, it’s also well priced.
In essence, it’s a fabric box, put your kit in, sling it in the back of your car and off you go. When you get to your destination there’s a shoulder strap or handle to carry it short distances or a trolly loop if you’re jetting off.
It doesn’t try to be a jack of all trades, it’s an honest camera bag that’s designed to do a job and it does it, no fuss, no frills.
Measuring 38cm x 25cm x 25cm the small black fabric box looks plain and simple. There’s no flare or fuss.
On the exterior are two strap loops on either side for a shoulder strap, a handle on top and a couple of buckles that add extra security to the flip open zipped lid.
Then there are two large zipped pockets on the front and back along with an additional large zipped section that will fit a 13-inch MacBook Pro. A 15-inch MacBook Pro can be forced into the slot but the top sticks out about an inch.
In the back pocket, there’s a waterproof cover that covers the top and side. The bottom of the bag features a tough rubberised material that will stop moisture from creeping in.
On either side are two pockets with elastic straps that enable you to expand the size. Perfect for holding a flashgun while shooting, or more likely a bottle of coke or beer and an emergency Ginsters or two in the other.
Flip open the lid and the inner is revealed. There’s a selection of divides that are arranged, as the bag arrives, into nine. These are held in place by velcro and can be moved as needed.
Build quality and handling
Vanguard’s use of materials has always been good, using tough fabric that can withstand years of use. The Veo Select 35 again features this tough material and will be available in black or green.
The styling is simple, it doesn’t shout out at you and at first, the size may seem a little on the small side. Actually, when you consider the reduction in size that the advent of the average mirrorless camera has bought to the interchangeable camera market, it’s about right.
Looking over the bag at the stitching, materials and general make-up and there’s little to fault. I’d probably lose the rain cover and the zips are of a relatively lightweight but no matter they seem of a decent quality nevertheless
In the test, I reconfigured the inner for my video kit. It fitted a Sony Alpha 7 MK3, Sony 28-135mm, Sony 24-70mm f/4, Sony 90mm, Sony 14-24mm and Sony Wireless Mics (All a bit Sony Heavy but there you go), kindle, memory cards and filters.
Basic, but enough to head out. The size shape and weight of the bag fully loaded was ideal, not too heavy and with the shoulder strap and handle easy to handle, carry and stack neatly in the car.
Sometimes you get a feeling for a bag, and this one I have warmed too quickly. It’s a bag I didn’t think I needed, but now I’m considering how many I need.
In the test, I only have one of these bags, but I can see how a few would take the place of my heavy hard cases (Peli). Hard cases are after all often overkill when just treking down the road to photograph some headshots or film an interview.
The Veo Select 35 stacked in the back of the car, and didn’t roll around. Grabbing it out and the top handle was conveniently there with the shoulder strap making it easy to transport with the rest of the gear.
Starting the shoot and with the lip open, kit could be popped in and out and rested on top easily when needed. It was just neat, no straps sticking out to trip on as is often the case with backpacks.
It just sat there and didn’t fall over, another issue with backpacks, when I needed something from it the full flip back lid didn’t try to close of its own accord, it flips open and stays open. Anyone in the room could lift it without issue, there’s not enough room to load it with too many heavy items.
The Veo Select 35 is close to perfection, it does what it does exceptionally well. There are as ever a few things that I would like to see, but really they’re personal wants rather than anything that would improve the bag for the buying public.
What are those things? I’m glad you asked… First and foremost a transparent label pocket. This may seem a small thing, but if your out on a job and you have several of these bags then it would be good to have somewhere you could mark the contents.
Next, colour, there are two colours already, black and green, but a bright colour such as orange would be ideal. Something that would make it stand out when shooting in confined and often darkish places that would help stop people from tripping over my kit if I decided not to put it somewhere safe.
Finally, just a touch bigger for those of us who use 15-inch MacBooks. Although with a bit of wiggling I can make the laptop fit, well almost.
The Vanguard Veo Select 35 is as close to perfection that you can get. My only essential addition would be a luggage label pocket on the exterior so I could see the contents of the bag.
A luggage label slot might seem like a little niggle but it’s not if you have a few of these bags and I’m sure that if you buy one then you’ll end up with a few more very quickly. In the same way that you do with Peli cases and maybe they’ll even get their own well travelled look.
But, there’s a bigger problem for the Veo Select 35. This style and shape of bag isn’t in fashion. It’s designed with a purpose and these days we’re more used to the Swiss army knife approach.
However, Vanguard isn’t the only ones to start to reintroduce bags of this style, so a need has very obviously been spotted. Time will tell if this style of camera bag takes grip, but for me, it’s an absolute winner.