A while back WANDRD sent us the Duo Daypack to test out and review and while it made its way around the office for our team to look at and discuss, it ultimately found its way into the hands of a reviewer who ultimately “fell in love” with it. So much so to the point where they asked me to contact the manufacturer and buy the bag immediately! So, without giving away too many spoilers, it’s safe to assume our review here is going to be at least somewhat positive, despite any critical feedback that’s going to be included. So let’s dive right in and get to the good stuff!
Upon receiving the bag, we were pretty impressed with the packaging and build quality. The bag had the standard look and feel as the previous WANDRD generations of bags; slick, clean, sturdy, and stylish. The bag uses what the company calls an “infinity zipper system”, allowing users four different ways to get access to their gear (or general bag contents). Toted as a “dawn-to-dusk” bag capable of working with whatever function you can think of, and we agree with that statement pretty much completely.
The YKK zipper system allows access from either side of the bag, (rejoice left handers!), letting you put your camera in and out of the bag without having to completely remove the pack. You can also access from the top like a traditional backpack, and then, as a final kinda awesome note the bag can completely open up, almost like a pantry or clamshell allowing you complete and total access.
Inside of the bag you have stretch mesh pockets, zippered pouches, and elastic cord organizers to help keep your gear sitting where you want it. This includes a “pop up” camera cube that you can use when you need to put some extra protection when you carry your camera. There’s a dedicated slot for your tablet or small (15″ and under) laptop, and additionally, there’s a few pockets for your quick-need essentials like sunglasses, wallet/phone, keys, and a water bottle holder.
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WANDRD Duo Daypack Specs & Key Features
- Bag “Size”: 20 Liters
- Exterior Dimensions: 19″ H x 11.5″ W x 6.5 D (49.5cm H x 29cm W x 16.5cm D)
- Document / Tablet Sleeve Size: 9.5″ W x 12.5″ H
- Weather Resistance: Highly Water-resistant material, with PU Coated weather resistant zippers, plus optional use of WANDRD Rainfly rain cover
- Laptop Accommodation: Yes, up to 15”
- Weight: 2.6 lbs (1.2kg)
- Other Attachment Points For: water bottle, WANDRD Waist Straps & Accessory Straps compatible, 8 total anchor points making it possible to use up to 4 accessory straps at one time.
- Price: $175-$200
- Where to Buy (coming soon) – Amazon | B&H | Adorama | Wandrd
Who is the DUO Daypack Made For?
The Duo is the 4th crowdfunded bag, making it the latest advancements in all the lessons learned from each of the previous releases. This bag is designed to be a versatile everyday use system. Carry your camera gear in the morning, and your books/clothes in the evening. Letting you easily transition between work and play as it were.
Effectively, there’s something for everyone with this bag. Functional, and fashionable for the photographer, creator, commuter, student, and traveler alike. So, while this is a photography focused write up, this bag is one of the few i’ve gotten hands on with that is easily used for just about anything in my day to day needs.
“With this daily carry bag, we wanted to redefine how people think about work and play,” Cope said. “Often, they are thought of as quite separate – even opposites; but we believe that work and play are intertwined (whether you are passionate about your job, work hard at your hobbies, or enjoy physically pushing your boundaries).”
WANDRD DUO Daypack – Pros
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Collapsible Camera Compartment is Genius
This thing, is well, pretty incredible. The design is quick to pop out and slide your camera in, ensuring it stays in place in your bag and is protected on your journey. Don’t need your camera? Just flop it down and then you’ve got a bunch of extra space in your backpack for carrying around your clothes, groceries, or whatever you happen to drop in there. (side note, we should also let you know the pop up compartment can also fit a DJI Mavic sized drone!).
Very Logical Separation
Most bags when you get them come pretty “pre-formatted” and it’s up to you to lay things out as you need/want. Sometimes that can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you have a dozen small velcro based dividers that you’ve removed and now don’t know how to get back in all nice and neat. The DUO Daypack is pretty much ready to rock for anything as soon as you pull it out of the packaging. It’s ready to hold your camera, additional lenses, headphones, keys, cables, glasses, computer, papers, clothes and more immediately. There’s a place for everything in the multifunction bag. The Pop up also has an adjustable divider so you can customize what gets placed in where to fully maximize your space usage.
Just The Right Amount of Compartments
What do we mean here? For an “everyday” bag, it’s designed in a way that you don’t need to carry additional electronic pouches/dividers to safely put all your gear, water bottle, headphones, and miscellaneous things like we’ve mentioned above. In a generalist sense this bag has you covered for most situations you can think of. The only time you’d need to start adding on additional mods is if you’re planning a VERY long trip or project and only taking this one bag.
On top of this bag being very functional and useful, like most of the other Wandrd bags, actually looks really good! When you’ve got it REALLY fully loaded, it can get a little or bumpy in the front, but with it’s black on black design, you’d really need to be intensely looking at it to notice. It’s got a clean and minimalistic design, which is also great for those worried about being targeted for wandering around with what is “clearly” a camera gear bag. This thing just looks good!
Fantastic Weather Sealing
This thing is legit. The material is already incredibly great for facing the elements. Waterproof material (that comes with a no questions asked lifetime guarantee), and the zippers are all YKK water resistant making it even more “secure” when you happen to get caught out in the elements. The development team even took an actual power washer to the bag to test it, and it passed!! We don’t recommend this, and neither do they, but it had to be done, you know, for science! In our “climate harsh” area of southern california, we didn’t’ get anything close to power-wash weather…but we had NO problems to report with this guy whatsoever in regards to its handling of the elements. At its worst, the exterior got a little dusty requiring us to clean it off a bit once we got home. Seriously, one of the better bags i’ve ever used in terms of protection from the elements!
If you’re still not convinced though, this bag is compatible with the Wandrd Rainfly Sleeve which will add your water/elements protection up another notch, if you ever find yourself stuck in a situation where you absolutely need it.
Zippers are Solid
As mentioned above, the zippers are VERY good. The weather sealing elements are great, and we’ve not yet encountered any situations (other than user error) with the zippers locking up or getting blocked or damaged, nor did they ever slip, slide, or drift on us. Seriously, this thing is a tank!
Thought & Attention to detail is VERY apparent
This is a bag that was designed with a place for everything, and everything in its place. The Wandrd team has clearly put a lot of effort into the R&D on this bag and it shows. It’s a wonderful mashup of fashion and function, and when you’ve got the bag crammed full of gear and accessories, it still looks good!!
WANDRD Duo Daypack | Cons
Cable Holders Are Challenging To Use.
Keeping in mind this is an “everyday use” backpack, and not solely a photography gear carrying bag, this is about the only negative or constructive feedback we could think of throughout the office. What do we mean? Well basically the cables get stuck when you use them as designed. We think these would be better off as small elastic pockets. Since the cables you’d store there are easy to roll up and bunch into net elastic pockets, that may be the better design choice, but still in the grand scheme of things, that’s just a personal preference, that happened to be the general consensus in the studio, but still.
After a lot of discussion in the office, we came up with some things we’d like to see added into future generations of the bag or accessories to come with it. First and foremost, the top pocket for sunglasses should be slightly larger to easily accommodate quick access items:
- Sunglasses with case
- Earbuds like AirPods
And finally, it’d be great if we could see some variations of the bag that came with handles on both sides of the bag. This would be much more convenient and utilitarian when on the go, but it would add cost and potentially weigh down the bag.
Wandrd Duo Daypack Review | Conclusion
Overall, the bag is absolutely solid! The straps are comfortable and it sits nicely on multiple body types and sizes, it breathes well, and feels agile even when it’s loaded to the gills with gear and accessories! The materials and interesting design were well thought out and they really do solve a lot of unique carry problems for those of us wanting to carry our cameras AND additional gear or clothes that are not photo related, or even if we’re doing nothing but loading it to the top with photo/video equipment. The bag truly does live up to it’s manufacturers claim of being an everyday carry system.
If you’re looking for something to grid-like fit and carry every piece of camera gear for the photographer on the go, this may not be the one for you. But if you’re looking for a bag that looks great, carries a bunch, is weather sealed, and has a veritable plethora of functionality for you to get through the day, week, and beyond, we cannot recommend the DUO Daypack enough!