Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack

The Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack ($199.95) landed on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been using the bag exclusively since then. Now that it has a few miles on it, it’s time to share my thoughts.

Just looking for the short and sweet verdict here? If you’re in need of a new camera bag, look no further than this option. But, if you want all the details, keep on reading for my full review.

As usual, let’s get the features out of the way first. Then, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty and you can decide for yourself.

Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack

Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack Design 2

Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack features

  • Configurable, multi-zone access system
  • Ergonomic shoulder straps with air-mesh
  • Padded laptop sleeve fits up to a 15″ MacBook
  • Full customizable interior dividers
  • Genuine 500D Cordura® nylon exterior
  • Custom molded & foam padded back panel
  • Hidden rain cover
  • YKK Zippers with metal pulls
  • Hidden Anti-theft zipper clasp
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Bottom tripod/jacket straps
  • Molle loop side straps
  • Luggage handle pass-through
  • Water bottle pocket
  • Padded and faux-fur lined phone pocket
  • Front accessory pocket with organizer
  • Dimensions: 18″L x 12″W x 6″H
  • Weight: 3.5lbs
  • Capacity: 21L
  • Patent Pending

Feature details

Clamshell Design
The Patent-Pending clamshell design with integrated compression buckles allows you can control how the bag is opened for easy camera access.  Based on your preferences, it can be used as a top-open, left-side open, or right-side open.  The compression straps serve to segregate these three “zones” and protect again over-opening in any one zone.

Exterior Construction
The Ranger DSLR Backpack is constructed in premium, water-resistant 500D Cordura® nylon. Genuine large gauge YKK zippers with custom metal pulls for strength and dependability. Durable non-skid bottom.

Comfort
The design of the straps has been thoughtfully designed to provide the most comfortable experience while carrying your camera gear on a full day excursion. The one-piece strap is designed to be ergonomic while the padding and air-mesh provide comfort and breathability.

Camera Storage
The Ranger Backpack features a padded and fleece-lined multi-use main compartment with configurable and removable EVA foam partitions to store all of your camera gear. Zippered mesh accessory pockets throughout the internal portion of the bag help organize smaller accessories and cables.

Laptop/Tablet/Phone Storage
The side entry zippered laptop sleeve will hold up to a 15″ MacBook Pro. This compartment is padded soft faux-fur lined. The side of the bag has a faux-fur lined zippered phone pocket.

*Feature details shamelessly borrowed from the manufacturer’s website.

Design

I can’t speak highly enough about the design and build quality of the Hex Ranger Clamshell. The amount of thought and detail that went into producing this bag is impressive and clearly shows in the final product. In fact, I’d be shocked if you told me that this bag wasn’t designed by actual photographers, because every base I can think of is covered.

It’s just that good.

On the inside

Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack (Inside)

The bag’s adjustable interior dividers allow you to customize the setup to your specific needs. It can easily fit 1-2 professional cameras with several additional lenses and an external flash. A drone can be stored comfortably inside as well if that’s your thing, although that would likely limit you to just one camera.

Everything is well padded and guarded against zippers and other abrasive materials. This means you can store your gear safely without worrying about scratches, dings, or dents. Considering how expensive camera equipment can be, this is an absolute must, and the Hex Ranger Clamshell does a wonderful job of keeping your gear safe.

And aside from just storing your camera, there are a plethora of pockets available to store everything else – all sorts of accessories like lens caps and extra batteries. Essentially, if you need to carry it, it will have its own separate compartment.

And I love that about this bag!

On the outside

Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack

The exterior of the bag is made of a durable and water-resistant nylon material. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a waterproof rain cover that tucks neatly up into a pocket of its own at the bottom of the bag when not in use. I don’t know that I’d want to be out in a downpour with this bag, but if I get caught in an unexpected storm, it will be awesome to have this extra layer of protection.

And just like on the inside, there are also several storage pockets on the outside of the bag. It can fit laptops up to 15-inches – perfect for my Samsung Notebook 7 Spin. There’s also a padded pocket for a phone and a pouch for a water bottle.

If I have to come up with one complaint about this bag, it’d be about the water bottle pocket which isn’t big enough to fit a 1-liter bottle. Kind of a bummer if you’re taking a longer hike and need more than 20 ounces of water, but it’s better than nothing, I suppose.

And if I have to be really nitpicky and come up with a second complaint – the bag doesn’t sit upright very well. It will if you lean the bag against something, but otherwise you’re better off laying it on its back. And since it’s a taller bag, that means it takes up a bit more space.

But again, that’s just me being nitpicky for the sake of this review. I don’t mind either of the two aforementioned complaints enough to make me look elsewhere. This is the only bag I need for (likely) years to come.

Comfort factor

Another important thing to think about when shopping for a new camera bag is comfort. If you think about it, this thing is going to be strapped to your back while you’re out and about, so it needs to feel as good as it functions.

I have no qualms with the comfort level the Hex Ranger Clamshell offers. The adjustable straps sit nicely on my shoulders, and the padded material on the rear side of the bag feels great against my back.

Of course, mileage will vary depending on the weight of your gear (which can get heavy), but the bag itself does a great job of making long voyages as pain-free as possible.

What’s in my bag?

Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack (Inside)

We’ve touched on design and comfort, now let’s take a look at what I’m working with in my Hex Ranger Clamshell. This is my entire gear lineup, by the way. I love that everything fits inside of this backpack!

THE GOOD
  • Made of durable materials
  • The hideaway waterproof rain cover is great
  • Completely customizable inside layout
  • Plenty of room for camera bodies and lenses
  • Padded laptop and phone pouch to keep all your devices in one place
  • Easy-to-pull zippers
  • The list goes on – seriously, there’s just so much to love here!
THE NOT SO GOOD
  • The water bottle pouch could be a little bit larger
  • The bag doesn’t sit upright very well
THE BOTTOM LINE

$199.95 is a small price to pay for a bag of this quality. Think about all the money you spent on your gear… Now, do yourself and pick up the Hex Ranger Clamshell and carry that gear in style and with peace of mind.

Where to buy

You can pick up the Hex Ranger Clamshell directly from the manufacturer for $199.95 with free standard shipping. It’s on Amazon for the same price, as well.



REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build Quality
Design
Comfort
Functionality
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Tony is an avid tech enthusiast with a love for all things Android. He has an award-winning sense of snark and sarcasm, spends too much time at his desk, and can usually be found avoiding the general public. He's also a firm believer in the 5-second rule.