This review is for the Outrigger 65 DSLR Backpack by Ruggard. I have used this camera bag for about 4 years as my small, light, “go” bag (as a landscape photographer I have a few). The Outrigger bag was more of a camera and lens, second lens and a flash kind of backpack. I use this one if I know I don’t want to drag a ton of gear. It has plenty of pockets for filters, cards, extra batteries, a few granola bars, car keys, wallet and remote. The dividers in the bag help protect your gear and organize your equipment. One of the most important features I look for in a camera bag is the tripod strap/pocket; this is a must! When I first started I had a bag with no spot for my tripod and having to hold that for an entire hike is a total pain, so if you plan to bring your camera along for the hike definitely get a tripod friendly bag.
Now that we covered some of the basics of this bag I wanted to discuss my dislikes. First this bag is very affordable, which is great especially if you are just starting out, BUT it’s not very durable. As my practice has grown, this bag has not grown with me. The very limited space becomes a problem if you have more than 2 medium sized lenses in the bag with your camera. The compartments bend and give way to the weight of the glass. Because this was my “go” bag for short walks or quick hikes I never really put my tripod on the bag. I would just carry it as I went. I would say in total I actually used the tripod straps on the bottom of the bag around 5 times. On our tip to Ricketts Glen we did not know what to expect so we strung up my tripod and not even 5 minutes into the hike the strap pulls away from the bottom of the backpack. It turns out that the trail difficulty at Ricketts Glen wasn’t that bad for us and the distance between waterfalls was amazingly short so it was not a huge problem. This would have been much more of an issue if we were in the smokies on a much longer and more rigorous hike. Even worse, the seam on one of the backpacks shoulder straps started to fray exposing the foam padding practically from my first use and over time unravelled more and more. This, although something I lived with, was very annoying. If you are easy on your camera bag this backpack would be great for a beginner or someone who just shoots every so often. As a pro-photographer I would not recommend this bag. Below I have included a few images of my bag to show some of the problems I described above. If you have one large-ish lens and a few small ones like the 50mm in the lower left I can see this bag working space wise. The durability is still questionable at best. I have a new backpack that I will be testing out and doing a review on soon so check back in to see if it passes the test!