VANGUARD Alta Rise Backpack, Black (Alta Rise 45)
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- +6 - expand or contract with one simple zipper and quick-action - side access in split seconds
- ‘Magic’ pocket - full length, padded internal pocket with easy and discreet external access and safe storage - concealed pocket on back panel to secure travel documents and wallet
- Comfortable carrying - ergonomic air system back and harness and ALTA LINK - Alta Action tripod bag connection for ultimate Vanguard ALTA Experience (Alta Action tripod bag sold separately)
- Well organized - dedicated pockets for all essentials and stay steady - optimal balance tripod carrying system
- No fumbling - bright colored interior makes finding things easy and keep dry - total coverage rain cover
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|Fabric Type||600D Polyester|
|Item Dimensions||10 x 19.25 x 12.63 inches|
|Item Weight||3.37 pounds|
|Shipping Weight||3.5 pounds|
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This item VANGUARD Alta Rise Backpack, Black (Alta Rise 45)
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The ALTA RISE 45 backpack with the +6 revolution offers you the possibility to supersize or downsize with one easy zipper motion, while still keeping gear protected. So when more gear or personal storage is called for, there is no need to switch bags. Designed for intuitive use, you will find that the quick-action side flap opening allows you grab-and-shoot in split seconds when releasing one shoulder strap and swinging the backpack around. In both size modes the ALTA RISE 45 ensures padded protection. Ideally, the capacity is designed to hold a Pro DSLR, 4-5 lenses (up to 24-70mm f/2.8), a flash, and accessories in the large dedicated camera compartment, and when the +6 width is expanded you can utilize the full length padded compartment to store personal essentials or carry along a laptop or tablet. Strategically placed internal and external pockets arrange all other essentials, such as memory cards, cables, batteries, charger, smartphone, and water bottle, exactly where one needs them; either secured in a zippered compartment, or on hand at any given moment in a slip-in pocket. A concealed rear pocket will secure valuables, such as a wallet and travel documents, close to your body where no prying hands can reach. Additional storage is made possible with the connection to a side strap loop. Enhancing performance, you will discover our second-to-none quality, materials, and bag construction, as well as our signature total coverage rain cover and optimal balance tripod carrying system. The ALTA RISE 45 carries comfortably and it features an ergonomic air system breathable back and harness, as well as a sturdy top handle which makes grab-and-run possible at any given moment and allows you to hang the bag from any hook. Enjoy the full ALTA EXPERIENCE with ALTA LINK which enables you to carry along your ALTA PRO TRIPOD in the advanced ALTA ACTION TRIPOD BAG connected to our ALTA RISE BACKPACK (ALTA ACTION TRIPOD BAG sold separately).
Top customer reviews
I'll start with the Pros, to get that out of the way
1. Ergonomics - This bag feels good when wearing it. The straps are well padded, as well as the back. The padding also holds the bag off you to allow air to circulate. Even with my giant tripod attached it still felt very comfortable. So high marks in this category.
2. Tripod Mount - This was the big selling point of this bag for me. Most bags I've looked at have a way to mount a tripod, but it usually involves putting the legs into a mesh pouch that doubles as a water bottle holder. This always looks to me like it will not hold up for very long. This bag instead uses a canvas sling, which is far sturdier. While carrying around my giant tripod, I put it through several test; I spun around, jumped up and down, took the bag off and on, crawled around on the ground, climbed up and down some stairs like I was climbing a steep hill, it passed every test. It held it in place quite well. On the other side of that, it does stick out pretty far, but as an option there is the VANGUARD Alta Action Tripod Bag, Black (Alta Action 70) that attaches to the bag with an interlocking system. I didn't have one to trial, but from the look of it, it is even more secure than the built in canvas sling. I would imagine if you have a fairly compact tripod you won't need this accessory, but I think I would have bought one for my tripod, if I were keeping this bag.
3. Appearance - While this doesn't add to the overall usefulness of the bag, it looks sharp. I for one like my gear to look good when I'm out on a shoot, as it does attract some attention. People see you with a camera they are going to look, so look good.
1. Camera fit is too tight - Take a look at the pictures below. You can see several of them are related to how the camera fits in the bag. I think it is just too tight for comfort. This is for 2 reasons. First, the rain cover. It's stored in the flap that gives access to the camera, and it protrudes too far into the space the camera sits. WIth the cover in it's pouch, I can't even zip the flap up if my camera is in the bag. Second, the "modular Inserts". The 2 long inserts that house the camera and its lens are too long. Even when I adjusted them as far forward as I could, they didn't create a lot of additional space for my camera. Combined with the problem of the rain cover, and I can't get my camera in the bag. This is without question the most important function of a camera bag. There are things I can do to work around this (take the rain cover out,cut the inserts down or replace them, put the camera somewhere else and not use the access flap), but these are design flaws, and the end user shouldn't have to deal with this level of non-sense from a product with the Vangaurd name. 2 stars off, for failing at the most important aspect of a camera bag (storing the camera).
2. No good way to store additional gear - My current bag has all kinds of ways to secure all my additional gear (filters, cleaning tools, lens hoods, batteries, straps, triggers); It has mesh pockets with zippers, side pouches, elastic straps, canvas pockets, etc. This bag is missing all that. There is a compartment on the top (see pictures), that is fairly large. I have my flash in there, along with an off-camera trigger, and a diffuser for the flash. There are pair of small mesh pockets, good enough for some memory cards and maybe a battery. The trouble is, that there is no good way to secure all the gear in this area. Since you have to open the entire front of the bag to get to main compartment, you run the risk of all your other gear falling out everytime you want to change lenses. Everything would need to have its own case, and probably some other way to secure it, like adding your own mesh to the compartment to hold it in while you get to your lenses. In addition to this, there is not really any place on this bag that gives you a storage solution that isn't jsut tossing everything in loosely, and hoping it doesn't shift around too much, or fall out when you open the bag. More of a design oversight, 1 star off for basically being a normal backpack trying to be a camera bag.
A note on the "revolutionary +6" design. Might as well call it the esoteric +6 design. I don't know that it is without purpose, but all it does is expand the storage out a bit on the front of the bag (see picture of bag being held open by a rear lens cap). As this has the same flawed design I have already mentioned (no way to secure gear), I think this is kind of a waste, but someone will probably find a use for it. I think it would have been better served making the bag wider from the sides, so as to be able to fit bigger cameras, or create more overall space in the main compartment. As it is, it only expands a compartment that otherwise does nothing to improve the ability to store your camera gear.
So in conclusion...
I have a T3i, which is by no means a large camera. I could barely get this camera to fit in this bag, and that was only after removing one of the features (the rain cover). If I had a 5D or some other full frame camera, I doubt it would fit. Combine this with no good way to keep your other gear secure, and I just can't recommend this bag. It's a shame, as the Alta Action tripod mount system has some real promise (I hope Vanguard continues to support that with future releases), but as I already said, it feels like this is just a normal backpack trying to be a camera bag. If Vangaurd were to improve on the flaws I mentioned, and kept the tripod mount system, I would come back to this. But until then, I will be returning this and looking for something else.
I noticed that this review shows up on both the 45 and the 48. This is a review for the 45. I don't know if all the same things apply to the 48. In fact, I would have to guess the 48 is a larger overall bag, and likely doesn't have the issue with the camera fitting so tightly. I would bet that it has the same lack of ways to secure your additional gear though, with no zippered pockets, or mesh overlays or what not.
I finally found what I think is the perfect camera backpack, the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW. It has all the features I wanted the Alta Rise 45 to have, but has better overall storage for gear. It also has dual side access, and a top access, and the bag opens up from the back instead of the front, which makes it more secure, and less likely to transfer dirt from the ground to your back. The Alta Rise 45, however, has better storage for non-camera gear, and can use the Alta Action tripod bags, which was a big part of the reason I wanted the AR 45. I think the AR 45 is more for people that just need a minimal amount of camera gear, but have other stuff to schlep, like extra clothes, or extra water and some food, for all-day hikes and what-not. The 450 AW is more for people that are do-it-all types, like me, that need a variety of setups and other gear all in one bag. At any given time, I might switch from ultra wide 10-18mm, to 70-200mm zoom, to 60mm prime macro, and I need my full complement of filters, hoods, flash (w/ diffuser, and/or reflector), batteries, and not to mention tripod! The AR 45 didn't fit this, or the camera for that matter (but I think the 48 would), but that doesn't make it a bad bag. In fact, as I said in the review, it is very well made, with just a few drawbacks that need improved. One thing it had over the 450 AW is the straps were much better padded, and also the tripod system was better too (the 450 AW is still acceptable, but the Action bags and the interlocking system are jsut so good).
When it comes to finding a bag, just know what you need, and understand that finding the perfect bag is every photographer's challenge once they decide on a system and lens package.
Enjoy whatever you choose!