Vanguard VEO Adaptor S46 at a glance:

  • £119.99
  • Holds camera and 4-5 lenses
  • Access from either side
  • Measures 46.5 x 27 x 22cm
  • Weighs 1.36kg

Vanguard makes a large array of high-quality camera bags to suit almost any need and budget. Its Adaptor backpacks, introduced toward the end of 2021, are named after a specific feature. They include a USB power pass-through system, which allows you to carry a powerbank inside and wire it up to a USB-A port hidden under a flap on one side of the bag. The idea is that this allows easy charging of your camera, smartphone, or other devices. Don’t get too hung up on this, though; it’s nice to have, but even without it, this would be an excellent camera backpack.

Vanguard VEO Adaptor S46: Key Features

  • USB port: This is designed to be connected to a powerbank inside, then used for charging devices outside the bag
  • Trolley strap: The backpack can be slid over the handle of a rolling suitcase for easy transport
  • Tripod holder: A ‘bucket and strap’ arrangement on the front allows a tripod to be carried without hindering access to your kit
  • Side pockets: Elasticated pockets on each side can be used to carry a water bottle or umbrella, etc.

Your kit is accessed via two large zip-opening flaps, one either side

Here we’re looking at the second-largest in the four-model range, with the Adaptor S46 giving easy access to your kit via two large panels, one on either side. It also has a zipped top opening for the upper part of the bag, which provides a small amount of space for personal items and accessories. This is also where you’ll find the USB cable for connecting a powerbank. On the back, there’s a generously padded pocket that’s a snug fit for a 15in laptop.

As backpacks go, this is a relatively narrow design. It won’t swallow the vast quantities of kit that larger models can, but in return, it shouldn’t ever get excessively heavy. Vanguard supplies a generous quantity of dividers to organise and protect your gear. For example, I was able to fit in a Sony Alpha 7 II with 24-105mm F4 lens attached, along with 100-400mm f/5-6.3 and 16-35mm f/4 zooms, and a 50mm f/1.4 prime.

One neat security feature is that the side openings can be ‘locked’ by feeding their zip pulls through fabric loops, which should hinder opportunist thieves from getting inside easily.

Several organiser pockets are arranged inside the various opening flaps, providing convenient space for spare batteries and memory cards, etc. There’s also a couple of small, flat outer pockets, including a hidden one at the front. The bag is constructed to an impressively high standard, with generous padding, a soft liner material, and waterproof outer fabric. A rain cover is also included to help keep everything dry in a downpour.

The generously padded back and shoulder straps make the bag comfortable to carry fully-laden

Where the Adapter S46 really shines, though, is with regards to comfort. Both the shoulder straps and the back are deeply padded and designed to facilitate airflow, which should stop you getting sweaty in hot weather. Along with a sternum strap to stabilise the load, there’s a waist belt that can be tucked away when you don’t need it.

The Vanguard VEO Adapter Adaptor Range

Vanguard’s VEO Adapter S41 (£100) is smaller than the S46 but employs the same side access design. Meanwhile the R44 and R48 models provide rear access, which is more secure but less convenient for shooting on the go, for £100 / £210. All four models come in a choice of grey or black

Vanguard VEO Adaptor S46: Our Verdict

This fine backpack is a typically impressive offering from Vanguard. It’s comfortable to carry even when fully-laden, and provides great protection for your kit.

Amateur Photographer Testbench Gold - 5 stars