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.
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
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
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.
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?
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!
- Sony A6500 mirrorless camera
- 16-50mm kit lens (Sony)
- 30mm macro lens (Sony)
- 50mm f/1.8 lens w/ OSS (Sony)
- 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 zoom lens (Sony)
- Sony W series battery charger + extra W series battery
- Flashpoint Zoom Mini Speedlite
- Rode Video Mic Go
- Pluto Trigger
- Google Pixel 2
- Moment 60mm telephoto lens
- Moment macro lens
- Samsung Notebook 7 Spin laptop (Windows 10)
Where to buy