Vanguard Uprise II 48 Review

Finally, everything for our wildlife safari to Kenya was set. Just a good sturdy daypack camera bag to carry all the camera equipment and I was good to go. After a lot of online research and discussions with fellow photographers, I finally settled on the Vanguard Uprise II 48.

First things first:

Fitting the bag in the overhead locker of an airline was a primary concern. After carrying it on four different sized aircrafts, I concur with the claims on the Vanguard website. I had no issues at both check-in counters and on board.


The official specs of the UPRISE II claims that it can hold one DSLR with battery grip and lens attached, one extra DSLR body, 2-3 extra lenses, accessories, a 15” screen size laptop, tripod and accessories.

In the lower section of the bag dedicated for camera equipment, I could easily fit a Nikkor 70-300mm Lens mounted on Nikon D90, a Nikkor 18-105 Lens mounted on a Nikon D5000 and a Nikon SB 700 Flash. And there was still space in the bag for a couple of more lenses.

In the upper section, I had accessories like a lens cleaning kit, battery chargers, extra batteries, memory cards etc. I also managed to throw in a few packets of chips and small juice packs.

_DSC0441There is a dedicated laptop section in the back section which can hold a 15inch laptop. My 14inch notebook fitted easily and there was room for more.

A flexible stretchable pocket on one side of the bag can hold a water bottle or small accessories like memory cards, batteries without the worry of anything falling out.

There is another compartment in the front which can be used to store documents like your passport, magazines etc. while travelling. A zip at the side extends the capacity of this compartment to hold more stuff.

_DSC0437Look and feel:

The bag looks great and professional without attracting too much attention to itself. The exterior is Polyester while the interior is Polyester and Velvet. The stitching and zippers are of excellent quality – something which one has come to expect from Vanguard.

The quick access system on the side lets you get to your main camera quickly. To open, you have to unclip the locking mechanism, and then pull the handle which has Velcro on the top and two zippers on either side. Quite handy when you cannot leave your camera exposed to the elements for long.

_DSC0432Two small straps on either side of the bag ensure that the zipper of the main compartment comes down only half way and only the top half of the bag is opened. This is handy when you only need to reach for your batteries or cleaning equipment. To access the lower camera compartment, one would have to lay the bag down, unclip the two side straps to fully access the main compartment.

The bright orange interiors are thickly padded and let you locate anything in the bag easily since most camera equipment is black in colour. The interiors are customizable according to one’s needs and can be rearranged to hold different sized camera equipment.


The bag weighs around 2Kgs (4.4Lbs) and it gets quite heavy if you fill it up completely. But a sturdy handle on top makes light of this heavy load and the two shoulder straps are very well padded. The air-flow system features a breathable back panel fabric that keeps prevents excessive sweating when carrying the bag for a long time. The straps do not tend to slip off and there is a sternum strap to hold it in place.

_DSC0425Everything else:

The bag has a small concealed pouch and straps on one side which lets you carry a tripod easily.

The bag is weather resistant but a neatly folded rain cover helps keep it dry on a rainy day. It also doubles up as a dust cover on a dusty wildlife safari.

Keeping the bag upright on a dusty ground is not a problem since the base of the bag is reinforced and can be cleaned easily.


The inner flap of the main compartment has pockets for keeping small items like memory cards and batteries etc. but they lack zippers. Due to this, sometimes, items from these pockets have a tendency to fall out into the main compartment. Adding zippers and a few extra pockets will definitely be helpful.

aberdares 1Overall:

With good looks and a huge capacity, the Vanguard Uprise II 48 is an excellent complement to carry your camera gear. It is sturdy and comfortable to carry on both short and long journeys especially outdoor photography where one has to haul the bag for extended periods.

I bought the bag from  who are authorised dealers of Vanguard and other camera equipment.

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