Vanguard Up-Rise 45, review

There are many reviews regarding this equipment. You can find photo or video reviews of various sorts but hardly about a usage itself. So I thought I would say few words about this photo backpack after 2 week journey through Japan.

First of all I have an older version. It seems that Vanguard made some changes to design so I’m not reviewing the newest model. Keep that in mind.

Does it fit as stated: one DSLR camera with grip and attached lens and accessories like tripod, 3-4 extra lenses, flash, battery and charger. Well … no. I had the following set: Canon 30D with grip, 70-200L 4 IS, Canon 100L 2.8 Macro, Canon 17-40L 4, Canon Speedlite 550EX plus few accessories. First problem is that if you have lens like 70-200 not attached to body there is no space to fit it without reorganizing some compartments because you have to store it flat. Expanding in this case won’t work so this exercise is required each time you switch long lens. Fitting problem applies also to lowest compartment where I put my flash. I considered it a good choice because I do not use it very often. Even though taking it out requires some effort because back access does not open fully. All pictures you see on the web like this one showing easy access to all compartments is wrong. Please notice that this arrangement is only possible when middle area which suppose to hold the biggest lens is shrank considerably. Reality is shown here:


So as you see we have a set of body with lens attached, two additional lenses and a flash which is barely what this backpack fits … even though with problems.

Upper compartment for accessories it too small. It holds few small things but you can forget about fitting any rain jacket as an addition. For me that was the case because during most of the journey I had a really bad weather … mostly rain. Not big but constant. In this condition one more thing showed up. I used rain cover as an additional protection but during first day it appeared that it’s not water resistant. I’d like to point out that this was the first time I used it so there is no wearing problem of any sort, it was new. This was unexpected. Luckily backpack itself is fat enough to absorb some water so nothing leaked to equipment.

Last thing and positive :) … Up-Rise 45 is very comfortable. Shoulder straps supports weight evenly and are soft. I broke my collarbone last year so I was afraid that taking a backpack might feel uncomfortable. No problems whatsoever in this regard.

Would I recommend it? Yes if you do not have big lenses and do not need to carry much of additional accessories. I’t won’t work if you travel far and have to carry all your gear. In this case consider another solution.

Matterhorn Trail, Zermatt