There seems to be this notion that camera bags are dull and boring. Traditionally, when camera bags were made out of synthetic materials and came just in the colour black, I would’ve agreed with you. However, over the last few years there has been a huge push to make camera bags much more modern and stylish, now none more so than the new Manfrotto Windsor collection.
This new collection is another fantastic addition to Manfrotto’s Lifestyle range and includes four items: the Windsor camera and laptop backpack for DSLRs, the Windsor camera reporter bag for DSLRs, the Windsor camera messengers for compact system cameras in a small size and a medium size, so there really is a bag for whatever your needs.
As a travel blogger and photographer always on the road, I’ll mainly be focusing on the Windsor camera and laptop backpack for DSLRs. Personally, I think this is the best one for travelling and it’s got the most space of the four bags, but also I prefer a two-strap backpack for carrying all my gear as opposed to a one-strap messenger bag.
The first thing that I really like about the Windsor backpack is its two-tone style – the top compartment is a light grey colour with a grey tartan lining, and the bottom compartment is a darker gunmetal grey. All of this is complimented by brown leather straps and buckles for that quintessential vintage look, while the shoulder straps are thickly padded for extra comfort. Also, all bags are water repellent, something that’s an absolute must when out and about.
The Windsor bag is not only extremely fashionable, but it is extremely functional too. With enough room for a DSLR camera with a 70-200mm lens attached, there’s also enough space for two more lenses, a flashgun, filters, batteries, and a couple of other extras like memory cards and a bottle of water. There’s even room for your 15” laptop in there too!
Like with all Manfrotto bags, all the internal dividers are detachable so you can customise your backpack so it suits your needs. Another thing that’s really handy with the Windsor backpack is the removable pouch – this is great if you want to leave most of your photography equipment in your hotel room and turn it into a traditional backpack. Finally, there are two adjustable leather straps on the front of the pack to keep a tripod secured, though any 4-section tripod might stick out a little bit too much.
With a main compartment at the top with a drawstring to close it, there’s also a zip on the side that opens into the bottom compartment. Keeping your camera here in the pouch gives you exceedingly quick access to your gear. Also, having all the weight at the bottom of your backpack is much better for your back. Ideally, you want all of that heavy weight on your lower back which is what this bag does.
The fact that this backpack is quite slender means all weight is evenly distributed across your back which is another good thing.
One of the best things about the Windsor collection is people would never know it’s a camera bag (unless you’re carrying a tripod that is). I find this really convenient for travelling to countries where you’re naturally more conscious of your gear, and the fact that it’s a subtle camera bag should ease your mind when you’re out and about a lot.
Being the Brit from A Brit and a Broad, I have to admit there’s something romantic to this British Windsor bag. Using it I almost feel like I’m flying the flag, and I just love how practical and stylish it is too.
What’s in my bag:
|Lenses||Tokina 11-16mm, Tamron 24-70mm, Canon 85mm|
|Laptop||Acer Aspire 15”6|
|Tripod||Manfrotto BeFree Live|
|Camera Accessories||Batteries, filters, memory cards, waterproof cover|
|Personal Accessories||Diary, Kindle, sunblock, sweets|
Bag summary – Even though the Windsor camera and laptop backpack for DSLRs is a lot smaller than other Manfrotto backpacks on the market, it is without a doubt one of the most fashionable and sophisticated, absolutely perfect for any city break, weekend away or to be used every day.
RRP – £149.95