To help outdoor photographers to spread the equipment load Vanguard has announced its new, four-strong range of VEO Active backpacks.

The VEO Active Series includes four sizes – the 17-litre Active 42M (which is designed for mirrorless or smaller DSLRs), the 25-litre capacity Active 46, the 35-litre Active 46 and the top-of-the range, 45-litre Active 53. All of the backpacks come in a colour choice of either grey or green and will be available from 1 March 2022.

The Active 42M can carry a small (non-pro) DLSR body or mirrorless camera, four lenses, a maximum lens size of 70-200mm, a 13” laptop and a 10” tablet. It retails at £149.99.

The Active 46’s capacity can include a DLSR or mirrorless camera, six lenses, a maximum lens of 300mm, a 14” laptop and a 10” tablet. It sells for £199.99.

The 35-litre capacity of the Active 46 will cater for pro DSLR with a grip, six lenses (up to a 300mm f/2.8 or a 150-600mm zoom), camera supports, a 15” laptop and a 10” tablet. It costs £229.99.

Vanguard VEO Active 53 shown on the back of photographer Dave Brightwell

Vanguard VEO Active 53 shown on the back of photographer Dave Brightwell

The large VEO Active 53 can carry a pro DSLR with a grip, six to seven lenses (up to a 400mm f/2.8 or a 200-600mm zoom), a full-sized tripod in the centre using the straps provided (and potentially a second tripod on the side), a 16” laptop and a 10” tablet. It is priced at £249.99.

The Active 53 also has a day-pack section on top for some personal kit (or more camera kit), a zip-up accessories pouch (to keep memory cards and cables) and a detachable lens pouch for lenses up to 70-200mm (to keep an extra lens to hand on the waist strap). On the back there is a hidden pocket for a wallet or passport, and the shoulder and waist straps also include pockets, many of which are expandable if needed.

It can be configured for a combination of camera and personal kit, or any other kit, such as a spotting scope for longer birdwatching trips. The camera compartment consists of a removable inner bag with a zipped front and Vanguard’s next generation slimline, smart dividers.

When used in the backpack, the front zipped flap of the camera bag can be closed (adding another level of security and protection), or it can be opened and tucked behind the insert bag inside the backpack, to allow you to have it open for easy rear access to your complete kit.

The outside of the Vanguard VEO Active 42M backpack

The outside of the Vanguard VEO Active 42M backpack

Aluminium alloy frame

The VEO Active Series incorporates an aluminium alloy frame to increase the level of protection to your kit and stiffen the rear of the backpack. The backpacks have a well-padded back panel that includes padding for the lower back and the shoulders, and an air-flow system to help you stay cool.

On all models, except the VEO Active 42M, the waist belt is well padded to spread the pressure comfortably around the waist, and for those who prefer not to use a waist strap, it is removable. On the VEO Active 42M the padded waist belt is replaced with a lighter, simpler belt which can tuck away when not in use.

The VEO Active Series incorporates a waterproof pouch for a hydration pouch on the side. In addition, there are multiple, easy access, expandable pockets on the shoulder and waist straps if you need to carry snacks or water bottles.

Built-in USB interface port

The Active Series incorporates a built-in USB interface port that allows you to place the power bank of your choice safely in the backpack and connect it to your device with the appropriate cables (not included), so that it’s close to hand while it charges. This is potentially useful if you’re using something like OS Maps on a smartphone to navigate or if you need to keep a torch powered up.

Stages showing how to use the VEO Active 42M backpack

Stages showing how to use the VEO Active 42M backpack

Each backpack in the VEO Active Series is constructed of tough nylon 840D Cordura, which is highly weather and tear resistant, with waterproof zips and quality herringbone and double reverse stitching. For wetter days, the VEO Active backpacks include a rain cover.

To find out more just go to the Vanguard World website. For an expert opinion you can also check out Vanguard Ambassador Dave Brightwell’s thoughts on the VEO Active 53.

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