In Review: Vanguard Alta Rise 45 Backpack
by Natalie Field, VanguardPro
If you love travelling and photography as much as I do (who doesn’t), I’m sure you have come upon the dilemma of how much you can hike with. You want to travel light, so that your outing doesn’t become hard work, yet want to be prepared to bring your creativity to life. The Vanguard Alta Rise 45 might just be the bag for the occasion.
Whether you are hiking landscapes or urbanscapes, the avid photographer will require a few tools to manipulate the scene to tell their story. At the very least, you will require a camera, 1-2 lenses, flash (speedlight will suffice), tripod, water and a snack. And if, like me, you are hoping to capture some conceptual portraiture, an outfit or two.
A Vanguard Bag for every occasion
I’ve tried several different solutions in the last couple of years.
My first attempt was to simply remove items from my camera bag. Because I shoot assignment work both in studio and on location, I have opted for the Vanguard Heralder 51T as my primary bag. This bag offers both backpack and trolley functionality, and although very practical for 90% of the work I do, it is not designed for a full day of traversing landscapes.
Although I highly recommend both bags, there really is a bag for every occasion. So, I decided to do some research and find a bag that ticked all the right boxes… A small backpack with easy camera access that can carry a tripod and has rain cover.
Enters the Vanguard Alta Rise 45
Small, but expandable
As mentioned, a key factor for me is to travel light when exploring on foot. With exterior dimensions of 320x230x490 mm this backpack does not extend past the body, making it easy to fit through narrow spaces, thick foliage or maddening crowds. It also makes it airport friendly, as it falls within the ACSA restrictions of 360x230x560 mm.
But is it big enough? The first thing I decided to test was the amount of gear it promises to fit into its 260x190x250mm interior. The spec sheet suggests 2x Pro DSLR, 70-200mm lens, 3-4 small lenses, speedlight flash, tablet (up to 9.7”), cell phone, tripod, batteries, memory cards, cables, charger, passport, wallet and snacks! As a pro photographer shooting with the Nikon professional range, I was eager to see whether the gear would fit as advertised. This is indeed doable, although it becomes a bit of a tight squeeze.
Natalie Field is a creative image-maker inspired by fashion and fantasy. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Field works as a conceptual fine art and fashion photographer.