Wandrd Hexad Backpack 45Lt Review
Have you ever tried to fit all your gear into a travel bag, only to find yourself ferociously stuffing it full chicken, hoping nothing gets damaged or jacked up and broken? Yeah, i have been there. For that reason and a few others i allways wanted to test out a monster gear hauler that is The HEXAD Access Duffel Backpack and see if we can get away of the nightmares every time we load up and more into a great, simple, and easy to load up and go bag. In every photographer’s ongoing search for the perfect bag, until recently it seemed there was a gaping hole: a 45-liter bag suitable as hand luggage on short-haul flights, offering the possibility to combine camera gear with a few days’ worth of clothes. The HEXAD Access Duffel from WANDRD fills that gap and does an incredibly good job of it.
For a few years, I’ve been seeking a bag that would squeeze through the onboard baggage restrictions but still give me enough space for some essential camera gear (a DSLR and a few lenses), my laptop and ebook. Ihave traveled with a Lowepro Protactic 450 AW and for me one of the best day camera backpack, but in a long trips, i start to realize that Lowepro it starts to be a small backpack.
Many of us want to travel with our cameras. We need a system that can carry our gear and our clothing too. The right bag will meet these requirements, without compromising on comfort or safety. We believe that the WANDRD Hexad Access Travel Duffel Bag is one of the best bags for traveling. Along with the right accessories, there isn’t a place where it won’t look after your stuff properly.
This is a duffel bag with a difference, designed specifically to offer flexibility, and combining camera-specific compartments with large, spacious cavities to be filled with clothing or anything else. Its three large sections are all accessible quickly through zippered openings on the exterior, but also through its ingenious clamshell design that allows you to lay the bag flat, a design that makes packing and organization very efficient. All of this is complemented by a series of small zippered pockets and mesh enclosures that are useful for tucking away smaller items, both inside and out.
It’s worth taking a moment to get your head around how this layout operates. The clamshell splits the bag into two halves. One half is a full-length cavity designed for non-camera gear, complete with padded pocket to house a laptop (up to 15 inch) or tablet. The other half is split into two further halves, each of which can house a camera cube depending on how much camera gear you need to carry. When packing, you open the clamshell so that the bag lays out flat and use the internal mesh zippered flaps to access each compartment. When the clamshell is closed, you have quick side-access to each compartment via zippered flaps on the bag’s exterior.
Who Are WANDRD?
WANDRD is a American company that was born by like many other companies, was built out of a need for something that didn’t exist. Two photography brothers that travel around the world photographing. They purchased a lot of bags and backpacks but no one functioned like they want, so they decided to make they own travel camera bag.
They didn’t just want to sell bags. They wanted to inspire people to get out there and see the world. Hence the company’s name – WANDRD.
After the website, they worked on the design. On October 6, 2015, they launched their first bag – the PRVKE through Kickstarter. They released a product that put them on the map. But it wasn’t until their other brother joined them that they released the Hexad line and started something big. This tight-knit group of 11 people now brings products to people in over 100 countries
That's the wandrd story.
PACKAGING AND UNBOXING
A Backpack it's a big thing and it's not easy to make a pretty package but they could have a prety box. For me and for many people says the eyes also like. After opening we can find this inside the package:
3 - Waist Strap
Tech specs for the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel were taken from the official product page.
- Materials: Waterproof Tarpaulin and 1680D Ballistic Nylon with WR Army Coating. Weather Resistant Zippers.
- Dimensions: 23 X 36 X 56 CM
- Volume: 45L
- Weight: 1.8 kg (3.9 lbs)
- Padded laptop sleeve
- Weatherproof zippers
- Removable backpack straps
- Side camera access
- Weather resistant materials
- RFID secure passport pocket
- Removable camera protection
Unzipping the zippers
Hexad Acess is very rich of zippers. At beginning it seems very confusing to navigate but with time we get used. Some of the zippers are small, with little nodules to hold and pull them with. it cames with 8 x orange zip ties which are replacements is the others disappear to easier time locating the area you needed. You can swap these for the black ones to make the zips easier to find. After a while, you’ll get used to what is where and how to find your items. All zips and zippers are made of high quality, and are water-resistant, meaning your items stay dry.
Belts and Straps
In this backpack we can find various straps, at the right side we can find 2 compression straps, there is another strap on the left which is used for compression, but it is removable. There is a sternum strap that follows the rail design. This allows you to move the connecting strap up or down, depending on where it is most comfortable on your body.
All connectors on the straps, are in plastic but well made. This helps to keep the weight down while providing a stable and durable system. There are some metal parts where they are needed, which helps with its longevity.
Features and Ergonomics
While you will find various WANDRD branding around the exterior of the bag, it’s very subtle and doesn’t detract from the overall minimalist design of the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel. On the front or bottom of the bag, depending on if you’ve got the bag configured as a duffel or backpack, is where you’ll find the most prominent (yet subtle) branding in the form of the WANDRD logo and logotype. Unless light is hitting logo and text from the right angle, you may not even notice that the branding is there.
Camera cubes seem to be in vogue with the latest breed of bags, allowing users to remove the camera fittings completely and create a bag that is no longer just for camera equipment. The two camera cubes offered by WANDRD come in medium size, both designed to fit other bags in their series. The medium cube accommodates a large DSLR and a couple of medium-sized lenses, along with a few other knickknacks such as chargers and straps. On receiving my package from WANDRD, my first step was to install the camera cube into the HEXAD itself, a simple process that involved setting up the zippered door and fixing the cube in place with a Velcro strap.
In this position, the plastic ID area should be at the top and the WANDRD rubber embossed label should be at the bottom.
1 - Main Features – Inside
The inside area has lots of areas to compartmentalize your gear, both travel and photography. There are quite a few, so I’ll try to make it as understandable as possible.
There are a few ways you can access everything inside, so let’s look at the main idea. The duffel bag opens as a clamshell suitcase does, so let’s start there. You’ll find the zipper for this right in the middle of the bag. You can’t miss the bigger zipper pulls.
By pulling the zips from the top, down the right-hand side and across the bottom will bring you to the best opening.
In this position, the plastic ID area should be at the top and the WANDRD rubber embossed label should be at the bottom.
2 - Main Compartment – Left
On the left side, will be the largest area. The right-hand side is split into two separate areas. The entire compartment is covered with a zippered mesh, allowing you to keep all your items stored away without them moving around too much.
By opening up the mesh, you’ll discover a padded laptop area on the bottom and two shiny bag areas at the top and bottom. The bottom bag is your shoe compartment, which is accessed by a curved zip from the outside.
The top bag is also accessed from the outside and is a laundry pocket. It’s a great place for those small items you don’t want to search around for. Inside you’ll find a hook carbine to house your keys.
This entire area is for your travel items. Any apparel and clothing items are best here, locked away behind the mesh separator. I would start with adding the shoes and then filling in the other items.
You might think ‘How Can I Access My Laptop If It Sits Under My Clothes?’ Well, WANDRD thought of that, and provided a solution. When the mesh separators are zipped, and the bag is back to being full, there is another way in.
The back panel is unzipped in the same manner as the clamshell. Opening this brings you to your clothing area and your laptop pocket, which is actually part of the back panel.
You’ll want to open this with the bag is fully closed and lying face down.
2.1 - Shoe Compartment
Wandrd had a awsome idea, takeing it is accessible from the outside, and it separates your shoes from your clothes. They can be dirty, wet or recently polished, and they will have no effect on your other items.
I love that it is accessed from the outside, allowing a quick change if need be, without taking everything out.
If you’re not taking extra shoes with you, it can serve as a toiletry area, as it is liquid proof. Place items you are unsure about here. Face creams and hand sanitizers.
2.2 - Laundry Pocket
Another great idea is the outside-accessible laundry pocket. This is the zipper at the top of the bag, closest to the padded back area. Many a time I had no idea how to separate my dirty laundry from the rest of my clothes.
Resorting to a plastic carrier bag just looks unsightly, and improper for wet or overly dirty items. The design team took this into account and created this pouch area.
It has many uses, so if you are taking only camera equipment, it will hold cables and devices easily.
2.3 - Laptop Pocket
The laptop pocket is stored at the bottom of the bag when in its clamshell form. When you have the bag fully closed, you access it via the back panel. This is a great idea for safety, as you’ll find it difficult to damage if its at the straight part of the bag.
With other bags, the laptop area is at the front. I thought this was a great idea, until I damaged my portable monitor while it sat inside. It turns out, it wasn’t the flattest part of the bag.
This padded area will hold a 15″ laptop and closes with a Velcro tab.
3 - Main Compartment – Right
In the Right side there's where the magic appens, a pair of side-access openings can be found on one of the long sides of the WANDRD HEXAD Duffel, giving you quick access to the contents of the “bottom” compartments of the bag without having to open it up completely.You’ll first notice two separate compartments underneath two zippered mesh separators. One of these, or even both, is for your camera cubes.
If you only need/have/want one camera cube, then the other area is for toiletries and other devices that have no business next to your clothes. You could fit an iron in here. Judging by the size of the perfectly sized camera cube, the area of these compartments is 32 cm (L) x 25 cm (W) x14 cm (D). These two areas look independent with the two mesh separators, but they are modular. In between the two compartments is a wall that can stand up, making the bag fully pop out. It also adds rigidity to it, making the bag sturdier on this side.
This wall stays in place with a Velcro tab by placing it down, you have one large compartment, the same size as the large one on the left.
This means versatility, as you don’t have to use this duffel bag for camera gear. It is just one of the many possibilities.
4 - Outside
4.1 - Carrying the Bag
There has never been more versatility in carrying a bag than there is in the WANDRD Hexad Access Duffel bag. There are a total of four handles outside, one on each side.
The two side handles are attached to back of the pack, and the others on the front.
This makes grabbing your kit possible from every way. I was unsure why you would want to carry your bag from the bottom, but there really is no bottom. All your stuff is safely tucked away, so it wouldn’t matter. It isn’t easy knowing which way is up with this bag.
Next to the handles are a series of loops. The bottom and top have four each (two parallel on each side) and the sides have two each (one perpendicular on each side).
I’m not exactly sure what I would use them for, or even if they have a purpose. They could strengthen the handles.
4.2 - Attaching Stuff
A pair of side-access openings can be found on one of the long sides of the WANDRD HEXAD Duffel, giving you quick access to the contents of the “bottom” compartments of the bag without having to open it up completely. Our test unit came with one of WANDRD’s medium camera cubes, which we fitted into one of the “bottom” compartments of the bag. There’s a divider inside the “bottom” compartment that can be put up using velcro if you want to keep the contents of both compartments separate.
If the side access pockets aren’t big enough, or you need quick access to other items, you can use the compression straps. These are perfect for a jacket or jumper. They will also hold a tripod, even if it will shift the balance of your bag to the right side. These compression straps can tighten and loosen a great deal. There are even elastic bands to keep the straps in a tidy fashion. Pulling them tight will squash the bag in a compression fashion, but not enough to pack it away tightly.
Apart from the loops, the bag is rather sleek. It is the design that I like, and as I an not a mountaineering or adventure photographer, I don’t need extra straps.
4.3 - Side Pockets
- On the opposite side of the bag, you’ll find a fleece lined phone pocket, RFID protected passport pocket, and the tripod straps. For security reasons, I always keep my phone and passport on me while I’m traveling, but those pockets are there if you need them. The tripod straps are pretty standard, and my tripod never came loose while I was testing the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel.
- On one of the short sides, if you’ve got the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel configured as a backpack, the top is a windowed slip pocket for you to put your contact info or business card so that there’s a way for people to reach you in the event that you forget the bag somewhere by accident and a good Samaritan finds it. You can also attach carabiners or key chains to the webbing next to the padded handle, which are similar to MOLLE webbing commonly found on modern plate carriers used by the military.
- One of the downsides about this bag is there are no open or extendable pockets. One or two of these would have been great for water bottles. It might not have matched the sleek design of the bag though, as any extra pockets are all placed inside the bag.
- The bottom one is great for a wallet. It allows easy, quick access and stays hidden. Personally, the bottom segment is where I would keep a power-bank, allowing me to charge the phone while I use it.
Either compression straps got in the way, or the design team saw them as unnecessary. I’m not sure. The right-hand side would hold the tripod, leaving only the left for such a pocket. But, the left-hand side is where the side-access areas are.
As i told you before Wandrd Hexad Access Duffel is a modular backpack.
If there’s been a trend in the past few years, it’s been modular design in carry. But what exactly does ‘modular’ mean? In essence, a ‘modular’ backpack features a range of smaller parts or modules (such as pouches) that can be used in tandem with the primary bag. The key benefit of a modular backpack is adaptability. Add modules you need and remove ones you don’t, allowing you to tailor different carry setups to different loads and environments.
In addition to the separate modules, modular design also encompasses the means by which those modules (or other gear) are secured onto or inside the bag. Think webbing, magnetic buckles, O-rings, Velcro panels and more. The possibilities are kinda endless.
The WANDRD camera cubes are what you need to turn your travel bag into a photography travel bag. Without them, your gear will just jump around inside.
There are two sizes; small and medium. If you have a compact camera or mirrorless, you can get away with the smaller version.
If you are using a DSLR, or a smaller camera with a lot of lenses, you really need the medium-sized cube.
The perfect thing about these is that if you own other bags by WANDRD, such as the PRVKE 21 and 31L versions, these camera cubes will fit. This means you might already have them if you own the other models.
Small Camera Cube – Dimensions: 9″H X 11″W X 5″D (22.9 cm H x 27.9 cm W x 12.7 cm D)
Medium Camera Cube – Dimensions: 10″H X 12.5″W X 5.5″D (25.4 cm H x 31.8 cm W x 14 cm D)
- Waist Belt
The Waist Belt is another accessory that you can add to your Hexad Access Duffel bag. This allows you to transfer some of the weight to your waist, and off your back.
These straps are easily unclipped and slotted into two rings, located on the back panel. They will allow a maximum length of 127 cm and a minimum length of 71 cm.
They connect with a large clip that makes tightening and loosening the strap easily. On each side there are large pads, keeping your hips comfortable, and stopping any strap chafing.
On the right side strap, there is a small pocket, which will hold a few memory cards or some loose change.
What is great about this, is it can attach to your camera cube. The two loops located on the camera cubes let you attach the waist belt straps.
The Hexad Access Duffel is made with Waterproof Tarpaulin Weather Resistant Zippers, but Wandrd have a Rainfly as add on, i don´t have it right now, but in next trip, i gone ask to Wandrd, in very bad rain conditions, i thnk it's better to have the rainfly, the photographer have a lot of money in material, that we have to care about.
The Rainfly is a custom fitting waterproof cover, designed to protect your bag throughout torrential rain, sleet and snow.
It comes inside a small pocket, which is easily pulled over your entire duffel bag. It connects to your bag in three different places, ensuring it doesn’t come off.
LOW COST CABIN BAG
The photographer usaly have a big problem with the planes, we don't have usally problem with the space, the problem is that the photography backpack it can't go in the aircraft's storage compartment.
Low-cost airplanes are constantly reviewing their restrictions on cabin luggage. So it is the main concern for those who travel with their camera equipment.
The dimensions of the bag are 56 x 36 x 23 cm. These squeak past the 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm restrictions for the larger, international airlines.
When it comes to Ryanair, EasyJet or Wizzair, they tend to be smaller.
Ryanair – 40cm x 20cm x 25cm and the bag needs to fit under the seat in front of you
EasyJet – 56 x 45 x 25 cm
Wizzair – 55 x 40 x 23 cm
Unless you pack it to the max, attach extra items on the sides and push it to its limits, you should be fine. If for any reason it isn’t allowed in the cabin. Or your card doesn’t work, there is a possibility that will keep your camera gear safe and protected.
Remove your camera cube, and use the waist strap to turn it into a carry on waist pack. Then you can rest in peace that you know where your camera gear is.
Price vs Performance
The Wandrd Hexad Duffell is currently available at 230.00€ at MICROGAMMA.
The Wandrad Cubes are currently available at 64.34€ (each) 128.68€ (the two) at MICROGAMMA
The Waist Belts currently available at 20.32€ at MICROGAMMA
The Rainfly is corrently available at 19.44€ at MICROGAMMA
The Total of the backpack and the addons is about 400.00€
In my opinion the price is not expensive for combination, of the Top quality products.
IN THE FIELD ACTION
The Wandrd Hexad Duffell is a substantial, high-end, large-capacity backpack that looks like it will stand up to just about anything and protect your equipment, even under the most challenging conditions. Despite its impressive size and rugged construction, it’s beautifully balanced and it will let you transport a complete pro photo outfit into the wilds in surprising comfort—a perfect solution for adventure photographers on expedition.
After using this bag on multiple times including a weekend trip into the city, I can honestly say that this backpack can easily handle one bag travel and digital nomad life with ease, and it’s one of my favorite travel backpacks to date.
It was a difficult birth, but in the end it was successful with the tireless help and determination of Microgamma, I confess I was quite excited until the decision, but we got this cooperation . when i recibe it, i open it the box, i could saw It, was flat packed and housed in a branded, protection bag. This is thought was a really nice touch.
Taking the bag out revealed how nicely designed the duffel bag is. It’s completely black, and the style was very sleek. I was excited. I tried a few zippers, not knowing where they went or what they did. I felt confussied, i took a few minutes to understand. The material felt strong, and water/weatherproof. It felt rigid enough to stay in shape, but not overbearing that it didn’t have some play.
Wandrd Hexad Access is black modular travel backpack with quick access to the equipment. Spacious travel bag with quick access to content and great organizational capacity.
Is a travel bag with a capacity of 45 liters, which has been developed to provide fast access and the possibility to perfectly organize the contents of the bag. In addition to the classic access through the lid, the bag can also be fully opened as a suitcase. Ideal for photographers: the two lower compartments can accommodate up to two CamCube Wandrd. it have a laptop compartment, smartphone case with soft lining and separate compartments for small accessories. Particularly useful is a special interior compartment for shoes or dirty clothes to transport them separately from the rest of the contents of the bag.
The Wandrd HEXAD Access 45 L Duffel can be used as a classic travel bag or as a backpack thanks to the ergonomic transport system. Featured Features:
- The materials used are water repellent and extremely robust.
- If the travel bag is fully deployed as a suitcase, it offers a perfect view of the entire contents of the bag
- An internal compartment separated from the main compartment (access through the side opening) separates the dirty shoes or clothing from the remaining contents of the bag. The internal compartment is extremely flexible. The required volume of the main compartment is not lost.
- The four handles and the removable backpack carrying system make the canvas bag versatile. - Below the lid opening (behind the back padding when used as a backpack) there is a padded laptop compartment, for example, for a MacBook Pro up to 15 inches.
- Can contain up to two Wandrd camera cubes.
In the two lower compartments there is the possibility of installing two Wandrd CamCube (available separately). This solution is ideal for photographers who have to transport enough equipment, but who need quick access to the camera. If a CamCube is not inserted or only a CamCube is inserted in the travel bag, the remaining storage space can be used for additional luggage. The Wandrd HEXAD Access 45-liter Duffel travel bag is therefore extremely versatile, either as a pure travel bag or as a sturdy carrying bag to protect the camera.
Overall, it have a well thought out design, and the materials to boot. Even the branded logos on the bag were inconspicuous, and not over the top.
The HEXAD Access Duffel Backpack is a carry-on sized backpack/duffel hybrid that features a clamshell opening and is the perfect travel bag, whether you're a photographer or not. Built for 3-5 day trips (and even more depending on how light you pack), this bag is weather resistant, durable, and extremely functional
Overall, the WANDRD HEXAD is an excellent bag, perfect for travelers and perhaps event shooters who need to pack a mixture of clothing.
What I Liked
- Isolates camera equipment from other items
- Very comfortable given the form factor
- Bonus pockets are well-thought out pocket design
What I Feel Could Be Improved
- Some zipper-pulls do not seem as sturdy or refined when compared to other bag manufacturers
- Could have an external pocket for bottles