WANDRD PRVKE Backpack Review (2018)
Are you looking for one of the best backpacks and travel bags for an urban adventure, look no further than the WANDRD PRVKE 31. This is my NEW goto traveling backpack and it has made it’s way all the way to Jamaica and back without a single issue.
WANDRD Company History
The WANDRD company was born out of the necessity to create travel bags that were designed for travel, adventure and photography. The bags had to be durable and able to withstand most of what mother nature could throw at them and also hold up to the riggers of air travel and baggage handlers throwing them around.
The company is run by 3 brothers Austin, Spencer and Ryan, who all bring there own unique talents to the table.
WANDRD PRVKE 31 Backpack Review 2018
Here is a quick overview of the WANDRD PRVKE I put together to showcase the PRVKE (Pronounced “Provoke”) backpack.
Beyond the Video, this article goes into a ton of detail about the backpack, so make sure you read on as well.
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This month I made an excursion out to Jamaica. My assignment was to video and photograph my brother Dr. Chauncey Crandall as he preached the WORD to believers and non-believers. It was a pretty amazing experience with lots to see and do.
My Jamaican Trip With The PRVKE Backpack
In gearing up for the trip, I wanted to be able to carry a lot of gear so I decided on 3 bags including the Peak Design Everyday Sling, the WANDRD PRVKE Backpack and a North Face Base Camp Duffel. The plan was to use the PRVKE to carry my main video/camera gear on the airplane and pack the Everyday Sling into the North Face Duffel along with other gear, clothes and misc stuff and check it in.
As always I overpacked, but even so, the combination of bags worked perfectly. To give you an idea of some of the gear I loaded in the PRVKE backpack included
- Camera: Sony A7iii – https://amzn.to/2qLMIdT
- Lens : Sony 24-70mm – https://amzn.to/2HL0Sny
- Lens : Sony 55mm –
- Microphone – Rode VideoMicro – https://amzn.to/2qKHhvO
- 4 Flash Cards – https://amzn.to/2J8t5US
- REMOVU K1 – https://amzn.to/2K2H4wE
- FeiyuTech G5 – https://amzn.to/2qLKtIm
- GoPro 6 – https://amzn.to/2Hijz10
- Zoom H4 – https://amzn.to/2qNTLUp
- 15″ Macbook Pro – https://amzn.to/2qNG6MO
Essentially I had 2 gimbal equipped video cameras, a mirrorless camera, a smaller hand held Canon camera + a bunch of Lithium spare batteries, Passport, Wallet, iPhone and to top it off a 15″ Macbook Pro + 2 jackets and a spare shirt. Try loading all that stuff in an organized fashion in a normal backpack, good luck.
When flying, at least in the US, you now have to store any spare lithium batteries in your carry-on. Beyond that they also required you to temporarily remove any electronic devices bigger than an iPhone from your carry-ons for scanning. Total pain, but as I found out, the PRVKE made the process much easier than I anticipated and allowed quick access to items I needed to remove for scanning.
WANDRD PRVKE 21 VS 31
The PRVKE comes in 2 flavors or sizes depending on your needs. The 21 liter version is a bit smaller and can’t quite fit everything you might want to bring on an extended vacation or photo shoot. Where the 21 liter has an advantage is quick day and commuting trips where the bigger bag might be overkill.
Since the PRVKE 21 is smaller, WANDRD designed a smaller Camera Cube to hold camera/video equipment. As you can see below, it does limit the the number and type of lenses you can bring.
Being a big fan of the PRVKE 31, I feel the PRVKE 21 would be a great edition to my bag collection.
WANDRD PRVKE Medium Camera Cube
When purchasing the PRVKE Backpack, you can purchase it as a base model ($204.00) or a fully loaded model ($ 264.00) with all the bells and whistles. I opted for the latter which WANDRD called the PRVKE Photography Bundle and it includes
- The Base PRVKE Backpack 31 Liter
- A Medium Camera Cube
- Waist Strap
- Accessory Straps
For photographers, the WANDRD Medium Camera Cube is an essential upgrade and it will house most of your camera gear. The PRVKE 31L was designed to hold 1 medium cube and it allow for easy access by unzipping the back of the backpack or by unzipping the side pocket.
Overall the design is just about perfect. Should you want to go lighter, the camera cube can be taken out by itself and worn as a fanny pack.
WANDRD PRVKE Waist Strap
Like most good backpacks these days, waist straps can really help distribute the load and again the PRVKE doesn’t disappoint.
What is neat about PRVKE waist strap design is how quickly they can be added or removed as necessary. Each strap has an easy to use clip that can be attached to loops on the PRVKE backpack or cubes.
WANDRD PRVKE Backpack Review
From my perspective the WANDRD PRVKE is almost perfection. It met just about everything I could ever ask for in a photography/travel backpack. From the comfortable straps to it’s ample space to it’s roll-top with the ability to expand on the fly. The only issue and this may or may not be a big deal for some, is how the backpack carries tripods.
The PRVKE has a side pouch that is designed to hold either a water bottle or tripod feet. There is also a cinch strap on the side allowing you to tighten a tripod or mono pod to the bag. My only complaint is the bottom part isn’t totally secure, so if you are walking fast or running, the tripod can move up and down a bit. What I would have liked to see is a secondary strap lower down on the bag to help keep the monopod or tripod more secure.
PRVKE Secret Pocket
One of the really neat features that isn’t photography specific is the PRVKE’s hidden security pocket. The zippered pocket is located on the back side of the backpack with plenty of room for passports, money and a wallet. The location keeps the items super secure and almost impossible for someone with bad intensions to access them while you’re wearing the backpack.
I found while traveling, the secret pocket was super useful for quickly gaining access to my passport, boarding pass and money. It also was extremely helpful, since I knew exactly where my id’s were stored. With other backpacks I would often fumble around trying to remember what pocket I put them in.
PRVKE Rolltop and Buckle Fastening
Another feature that became quite evident how cool it was to have relates to the rolltop. The PRVKE is the first photography backpack I have owned that actually had a rolltop. Most rolltop bags are geared towards cyclists and messengers. Backpacks like the TimBuk2 Especial Tres and the Mission Workshop Vandal use the rolltop design and have been very effective when the need arises to carry extra gear.
To give you an example of what a rolltop style backpack allows you to do, check out this video on the Mission Workshop Vandal. Great video by the way.
WANDRD’s rolltop design allows you to expand or condense the PRVKE as needed. What it allowed me to do was to carry 2 jackets on board the airplane and quickly gain access to them and take them out. Once out, I could then condense the bag down to a smaller size and place it under the seat or in the overhead bin.
Obviously WANDRD did their home work when it comes to air travel and backpacks.
I found the rolltop buckle to be so easy to use (Simply feed it through one of the rolltop hoops) and worked like a charm when expanding or collapsing the backpack.
PRVKE Laptop Sleeve
The PRVKE comes with both a laptop sleeve and an iPad sleeve. The 31L PRVKE can carry a 15″ Macbook Pro and an iPad. Bringing my Laptop did add significant weight to the bag (4.5lbs). On my next trip, the plan is just to bring camera gear and an iPad rather than the computer to reduce weight.
PRVKE Side Access Pocket
Gaining access to you photography gear can be done in one of 2 ways. There is a zippered side access pocket that opens up allowing access to the main backpack compartment where the camera cube is housed. It’s super convenient and typically you would be accessing your DLSR or Mirrorless camera.
In my case I had quick access to my Sony A7iii.
If you needed access to other lenses you might have brought, you would unzip the back main compartment to gain access to the entire camera cube. This does require an extra step or two compared to most camera backpacks that usually open without having to unzip and remove padding.
That said, for travel, the PRVKE layout makes a tons of sense. If I purely just wanted to use the PRVKE for photography ONLY and had no need to carry anything else, there are better, more photography specific backpacks on the market. Even so, I always found photography specific backpacks to be limiting because of their overall design. I also found most to be uncomfortable and are better suited for sitting on the ground and certainly not something you would want to take on a trip or travel with.
PRVKE Backpack Other Pockets
Beyond all the pockets mentioned above, the PRVKE has several other pockets and access points including
- A large front zippered pocket for magazines and books
- A top zippered pocket for holding eyewear and phones
- A side zippered pocket for holding keys and other small misc items
- An internal mesh pocket for accessing things in the main compartment
- A internal side pocket for holding flash cards and batteries
Traveling With The PRVKE Backpack
When traveling with the PRVKE backpack you can carry it in one of two ways. Either as a traditional backpack or as a bag carrying it by the magnetic handles.
I found the magnets to work, but I would have liked them to have been a bit more powerful. I also found that sometimes a handle would be dangling down when I put the backpack on. Not a big deal, but sometimes it did require an extra step to move it out of the way.
PRVKE VS PEAK DESIGN Everyday Sling
Owning both the PRVKE and the Peak Design Everyday Sling, I have to say I love them both. If you plan on a traveling trip the PRVKE is a must have. On quick outings with limited gear I will often grab the Everyday sling, since it is smaller and a bit easier to manage.
WANDRD PRVKE BACKPACK Q&A
Does the Backpack come standard with the Camera Cube?
NO. The camera cube is an extra purchase, but you can purchase a bundled deal that includes the Cube and Backpack.
Is the PRVKE good for Business Travel?
YES. Took it on a trip to the Jamaica and absolutely loved it. It made traveling really easy. On the plane I placed it under the seat in front of me. Currently the PRVKE is my favorite travel backpack.
Can the Backpack carry a long camera lens?
It can certainly carry something like a Canon 70-200mm without a problem. I haven’t tested it with longer lenses.
Can the PRVKE 31L Backpack Fit under Airline Seats?
It certainly can for international flights and bigger domestic flights. So far I haven’t had any issues.
What are must haves for the PRVKE 31L Backpack?
If you’re using the backpack as a camera bag then definitely purchase the camera cube & the waist straps. If you want to use it as a regular backpack, I would still purchase the waist straps.
Bottom Line | WANDRD PRVKE Review
I absolutely love this backpack. The key walk aways for me are comfort, ease of use and the ability carry a lot of stuff and the PRVKE does it all.
I have tried many backpacks and WANDRD did a fantastic job with the PRVKE to not only look good, but also making it super functional and comfortable at the same time. Something other back packs often fall short of.
What cinched the deal for me were the backpack straps. They are not overly padded, but since they are wide and flexible, they distribute the load really well.
I would certainly advise going for the bundle deal and if not definitely getting both the camera cube and waist belts.
If you are not a photographer, you can certainly go without the cube, but I still think it would be useful for carrying other items.
Check out the WANDRD PRVKE (https://www.wandrd.com/) and WANDRD’s other great products.
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Gear I used to shoot this video
● Camera: Sony A7iii – https://amzn.to/2qLMIdT
● Lens : Sony 24-70 – https://amzn.to/2HL0Sny
● Tripod – Sirui P-324s Carbon Fiber – https://amzn.to/2Hfgpex
● Microphone – Rode VideoMicro – https://amzn.to/2qKHhvO
● Flash Card – https://amzn.to/2J8t5US