Backpack Reviews Tech

Hex Brand Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack review – The Gadgeteer

Hex Brand Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack review – The Gadgeteer

REVIEW – Smartphone cameras might have overtaken point-and-shoot cameras as probably the most ubiquitous images gear in the present day, however the highly effective and feature-rich DSLR techniques can be round for a very long time to return.  With that in thoughts, many corporations are persevering with to supply well-designed and durably-built luggage and packs to hold a DSLR plus its equipment and different gadgets.  Our newest instance of that is the Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack.  This pack isn’t solely loaded with options, however features a excessive degree of customization, all with a low-profile look.  Let’s test it out.  Gadget on!

What’s it?

The Hex Brand Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack is a rugged backpack that’s loaded with options and customization for organizing and defending your DSLR digital camera and equipment.

Hardware specs

  • Out there colours: Black (reviewed right here) and Camo
  • YKK Zippers with metallic pulls
  • Padded laptop computer sleeve matches as much as a 15″ MacBook
  • Real 500D Cordura® nylon exterior
  • Dimensions: 18″L x 12″W x 6″H
  • Weight: three.5lbs
  • Capability: 21L
  • Patent Pending

What’s within the package deal?

  • Hex Brand Ranger Clamshell DSLR backpack

Design and options

Preliminary impression: The Hex Ranger Clamshell DLSR Backpack has a very nice feel and appear.  It has a low-key, delicate type, however its aspect webbing (which you will notice within the pics under) give it a little bit of a tactical look.  The Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack has primarily two compartments: the massive, foremost part and the smaller entrance pocket (there’s additionally a laptop computer compartment on the again).  Extra element on these under as nicely.

The Hex Ranger Clamshell DLSR Backpack additionally seems and feels prefer it has been very solidly constructed.  Extra on this under.

The decrease proper nook of the Hex Ranger Clamshell DLSR Backpack’s entrance pocket has a matte black rubber placard that exhibits the Hex Brand identify and emblem with another info.  Like the general design of the pack, this placard is subdued in order to not stand out and “scream” the model’s emblem.

The Ranger has large-gauge YKK zippers with buyer zipper pulls which have hex-shaped holes and the Hex identify on them.

The Hex Ranger Clamshell DLSR Backpack is created from real Cordura Nylon material, particularly 500D materials, which is a prime of the road material within the backpack and bag business.  It’s light-weight and abrasion- and water resistant.  Already, that is good indicator that Hex Brand has chosen high quality supplies for the development of this backpack.

First, let’s check out the Hex Ranger Clamshell DLSR Backpack’s outdoors pocket.  This pocket takes up simply shy of half of the entrance of the pack, and has a zipper that wraps round half of its perimeter, giving good entry inside.  Inside this pocket are a number of options to notice.  First, it has a large pocket that spans the complete width.  Under this can be a removable keyring (see picture under). Under this are three mesh pockets that can be utilized to safe and manage smaller gadgets.  General, this pocket has a little bit of depth to it, however might be greatest used to arrange and retailer smaller/flatter gadgets.  Giant gadgets can very comfortably be positioned into the primary compartment, as you will notice under.  Lastly, you’ll be able to see that the inside of this pocket’s important flap is lined with a cloth with “hex” shapes—Hex Brand calls this “Grey Heritage Hex Lining”.  This materials is meant to assist in defending the contents of this pocket from moisture, do you have to get caught in a rain bathe, however this won’t utterly hold your gadgets dry if uncovered to water for an prolonged interval—the Ranger has one other function for this (extra on this under).

The removable key ring has a single pushbutton quick-release that’s straightforward to function one-handed, each attaching and detaching.  You possibly can additionally connect USB sticks, a knife, a flashlight or different small gadgets to this that you simply need to entry shortly.

Let’s check out the suitable aspect of the pack.  On the prime is a compression strap with quick-release buckle in addition to a strip of MOLLE loop-type webbing that runs to the center of the aspect of the pack, and eventually a zippered pocket alongside the underside third of the sie of the pack.  Extra on every of those options under.

The above photograph exhibits the highest portion of the appropriate aspect of the pack.  Beginning on the prime, there’s a compression strap that has a quick-release buckle.  These are tremendous useful for when you might not have your pack utterly full and also you simply need to cinch it down a bit so it doesn’t flop round, otherwise you simply need to have the ability to entry one aspect or the opposite.  The quick-release buckles are additionally very useful as a result of they can help you simply unbuckle them to realize entry to the complete clamshell most important compartment.  The compression straps even have a small retaining strap that lets you coil up any additional webbing and hold it from flailing round.  A pleasant function.  Additionally within the photograph above, you possibly can see the strip of MOLLE loop-type webbing materials which runs alongside both aspect of the pack.  This webbing materials is stitched and bar-tacked at intervals that type brief loops within the webbing, so you’ll be able to connect gadgets to the surface of the pack with carabiners and so forth.  Tremendous useful for one thing chances are you’ll need to seize shortly.

Subsequent, let’s transfer right down to the decrease half of the correct aspect of the pack, as seen within the above photograph.  There’s a compartment right here with a zipper that opens on two sides which provides a superb quantity of entry to the inside.  Inside, the pocket is lined with a smooth, fake fur, fleece-type materials which makes this compartment nice for holding gadgets that you simply don’t need to scratch however that you could be need to have fast entry to from the surface of the pack, gadgets resembling a transportable battery, headphones, and so forth.

Subsequent, let’s check out the left aspect of the pack, as see within the photograph above.

Just like the left aspect of the pack, the suitable aspect additionally has a quick-release compression buckle strap close to the highest, in addition to a segmented strip of MOLLE loop-type webbing operating down the aspect.  Additionally, notice the zipper for the laptop computer compartment (extra on this under).

Like the appropriate aspect of the Ranger pack, the underside third of the left aspect additionally has an exterior pocket, however Hex Brand calls this a “flush pocket” and this one is totally different from the fleece-lined zipper pocket on the other aspect.  This one has an open prime opening and tucked down inside it’s a plastic hook on a brief strip of elastic that would serve two functions.  The apparent use of this hook is to safe keys, a knife, a flashlight or absolutely anything you want, and tuck it into the pocket.

The much less apparent use of this hook, however one which the intelligent Hex Brand people have considered, is to safe the zipper pulls of the primary compartment as a theft deterrent.  In fact, the hook just isn’t an precise lock, neither is it manufactured from metallic, however unhooking each and even one of many zipper pulls from the hook takes a number of seconds (0r a number of seconds in my case), which might very properly be sufficient to discourage a would-be thief.  Moreover, the hex-shaped holes within the customized zipper pulls are definitely beefy sufficient to have an precise lock hooked up to them for a fair greater degree of safety, if you want.

Along with the plastic hook inside, this pocket additionally expands by way of using a cleverly-concealed strip of elastic, as seen within the picture above.  This enables the pocket to develop to carry bigger gadgets as seen under.

I positioned my Contigo journey espresso mug on this expanded pocket and it match completely, and the elastic helped safe it into the pocket, as seen within the pictures above and under.  This pocket could possibly be used to carry all forms of liquid containers.

The above photograph exhibits one other view of my Contigo mug nestled into the Rangers’ aspect elastic pocket.

The again of the Ranger has a customized molded and padded EVA foam panel that has the Hex Brand emblem molded into it, as seen within the picture above.  This molded EVA foam could be very snug towards the wearer’s again, and the 4 channels and the brand permit airflow to assist hold your again dry and minimize down on sweat.  Moreover, the padded again supplies some further safety for the laptop computer compartment which is slightly below it (extra on this under).

The photograph above exhibits the bags pass-through getting used atop a rolling carry-on bag. The pass-through is principally an open slot that passes utterly by means of from the left to the suitable aspect of the pack.  A suitcase’s deal with could be slid via this slot as proven above.  This can be a useful function in case you get uninterested in sporting your backpack and would quite your piece of rolling baggage grasp onto it for you.

Within the photograph above, I’ve flipped the shoulder straps inside out to point out their development beneath.  A portion of the shoulder straps have a mesh-type “Airmesh” materials that additionally aids in air flow to assist minimize down on sweat build-up.

Within the close-up photograph above, I additionally needed to spotlight the sew factors the place the shoulder straps are hooked up to the primary physique of the pack.  The stitching right here seems to be very safe, and if you will have heavier stitching anyplace in your pack, that is one place the place you undoubtedly need it.

Above, a closeup of how the decrease finish of the shoulder strap webbing is hooked up to the primary physique of the Ranger.  There’s a triangular-shaped piece of Cordura material that captures the webbing and it’s all stitched collectively very solidly.    This can be a good development method and helps with the general integrity of the pack.

The shoulder straps have metallic hardware which makes then much more sturdy and longer-lasting in than the plastic hardware on most backpacks. A particular plus.

The above photograph exhibits the entrance of the left shoulder strap, which features a matte black rubber emblem placard just like the one on the entrance pocket of the pack.  Additionally proven is among the adjustable attachment factors of the sternum strap.  Extra on this under.

Simply behind this rubber emblem placard on the left shoulder strap is a small hidden pocket.  HThe Hex Brand website signifies that that is to offer storage and fast entry for reminiscence playing cards, which is definitely one merchandise that may be positioned right here, however nearly any small merchandise would match.  Nevertheless, remember that this pocket has an open prime and no technique to shut it.

The photograph above exhibits the Ranger’s sternum strap that may be secured throughout the wearer’s chest, that may assist modify the load distribution of the pack, particularly whether it is loaded closely.  This strap might be adjusted for the consolation of the wearer’s choice by each sliding both aspect vertically alongside strips of webbing, and it may be tightened horizontally.  The sternum strap includes a quick-release buckle just like the cinch straps on the aspect of the pack.

The Ranger’s prime seize deal with is constructed round a strip of webbing with padding for added consolation.

Subsequent, let’s have a look inside the primary compartment.  Within the above photograph, I’ve absolutely unzipped the clamshell important compartment.  I’m an enormous fan of clamshell-style, fully-opening backpacks as a result of they provide the most entry to the contents of the pack for loading and unloading, however should you don’t need to open all the compartment, the double-zipper permits you to solely open a portion of it if desired.

Each the left and proper inside partitions of the primary compartment every have a prime and backside mesh pocket with zipper closure, each of that are tremendous useful for the group of small gadgets.  Above, the left aspect.

And above, the suitable aspect.  Each the left and proper sides mirror one another.

The inside the flap of the primary compartment has two lengthy, mesh, zipper pockets that may also be used to carry and arrange gadgets.  Additionally notice that the within of the flap can also be lined with the identical materials as that discovered within the inside the entrance pocket.

Now let’s take a look on the coronary heart of the Ranger pack, the customizable compartmentalization in the primary compartment.  That is completed by way of a mixture of a felt-like material inside upon which a collection of divider partitions may be hooked up in a mess of various configurations.

Within the above photograph, I’ve executed only a minor quantity of re-configuring of the dividers to raised match my DSLR and a few equipment.

Because the pic above exhibits,  ranging from the highest, I’ve positioned my giant telephoto zoom lens within the prime compartment, A charging cable, my DSLR battery charger and a shoulder strap with lens cap holder within the subsequent set of compartments, and my waterproof point-and-shoot digital camera and my DSLR digital camera physique with a small lens within the compartments close to the underside of the pack.  As you’ll be able to see, I truly nonetheless have much more capability to customise issues if I needed, and a few of these smaller gadgets could possibly be moved to different places within the Ranger, permitting the dividers to be additional re-configured.

The above photograph exhibits a close-up of one of many dividers partitions.  Every has a mushy, felt-like exterior, just like the material that almost all the inside of the Ranger’s primary compartment is lined with.  Moreover, the underside and sides of every divider wall have a Velcro-like “sticky” portion that may connect both to the within of the Ranger’s foremost compartment or to different divider partitions.  This enables all the dividers to “lock” collectively, serving to to make sure the safety of things inside them.

The Ranger’s laptop computer compartment is accessed by way of the zipper alongside the left aspect of the pack.  (You can even see one aspect of the bags pass-through which was described above.)

The laptop computer compartment is lined with the identical delicate, fake fur, fleece-type materials because the smaller zip pocket on the aspect of the pack, which helps forestall your laptop computer from being scratched and offers a little bit of further bump safety. The laptop computer compartment will maintain as much as a 15″ MacBook Professional, and that’s precisely what I’ve positioned inside it within the above photograph.

The backside of the Ranger has two options to notice.  First, the underside panel is made out of a unique materials than the remainder of the outside; extra on this under.  As well as, there are two adjustable straps on the underside that can be utilized to lash bigger gadgets to the underside of the pack, as you will notice under.

The above close-up of the Ranger packs’ backside exhibits one of many two webbing straps in addition to a greater view of the feel of the underside panel materials.  Hex Brand calls this a “durable non-skid bottom.”  Its a kind of rubbery materials with a tough texture that’s meant to assist maintain the Ranger from falling over whereas additionally offering a extra sturdy materials on the a part of the pack that might be extra regularly subjected to abrasion.  The two webbing straps have metallic hardware, one other plus contemplating they’re on the underside of the pack.

Above, I’ve used the underside webbing straps to lash my admittedly giant and pretty clunky tripod to the underside of the Ranger, however this pack and its backside straps deal with it fairly nicely.  You possibly can additionally use these straps to carry a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, blanket, jacket, or any variety of different giant, cumbersome gadgets.

The last function I’dliketo describe is the Ranger’s hidden waterproof rain cowl.  The cowl sometimes resides in a pocket between the molded EVA again panel and the primary inside compartment.  The opening of this pocket is on the underside of the pack and it’s secured with a strip of Velcro.  Within the photograph above, I’ve pulled open the pocket and you may simply see the rain cowl peeking out.

Pulling the out the rain cowl, you’ll be able to see that it has the Hex Brand emblem prominently screen-printed on it.

The waterproof rain cowl could be positioned across the complete Ranger pack and absolutely covers it.  It has elastic round its edge that helps hold it in place.

The Hex Brand Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack could be very snug to put on.  The shoulder straps a pleasant and vast and pretty thickly padded, that are the important options for shoulder strap pack consolation.  (Sure, I had not fairly correctly adjusted the sternum strap within the pic above.)

I personally just like the look of the Ranger pack; low-key primary black in order to not appeal to undue consideration to anybody who may who could be interested in its probably costly contents.

The perspective of the photograph above makes the Ranger look big on me, however it isn’t actually that enormous (examine with the pics above).

What I like

  • Low-key however engaging type
  • Strong development and high quality supplies
  • Loaded with options
  • Major compartment dividers are nice for customizing the pack on your wants

What must be improved

  • Can’t actually consider a lot; Hex Brand has completed an amazing job with this pack

Last ideas

The Hex Brand Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack is loaded with options and could be very well-built.  If in case you have a DSLR digital camera and a laptop computer, plus a lot of different equipment, this is perhaps a fantastic backpack for you and price a glance.

Worth: $199.99
The place to purchase: hexbrand.com or Amazon
Supply: The product pattern for this review was offered by Hex Brand.

Help The Gadgeteer:
The Gadgeteer’s important sources of income are promoting and affiliate hyperlinks in articles like this one. Meaning we might obtain a small fee on purchases for free of charge to you.