When photography is a passion or a profession, the medium that is used to keep all the super expensive gear safely during travel, on shoots or on treks bears an equal if not higher consideration as is the exercise on what gear is to be selected for the shoot.
As one progresses on this pursuit, sooner or later those with an intent to go deep into this field branch out from general photography into a particular segment, this might be landscape, portfolio, sports, wildlife and few others. Each of this genre of photography has its own kind of specific gear and thereby its own niche of photography carrying equipment.
In this review I would be speaking about the Vanguard QUOVIO 66 model. If you have a large lens to pack and carry around; by this I mean if you are into the genre of wildlife/bird photography , this is what you should be investing your money into . The Vanguard Quivio 66 is ideally suited to carry one large lens attached to a camera body ( eg Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS attached to a full frame Canon body )
The QUOVIO 66 is basically designed for specific individuals who feel the need for a safe secure way of carrying large lenses while in transit or while shooting. Incorporating may unique feature which I would be elaborating below, this particular model has many advantages to its name.For those who have dealt with Vanguard gear before , will understand the typical quality construction that Vanguard brings to the table.
A built in, weather resistant cover and 1000D cordura base protects the gear from all kinds of rough weather elements. Adjustable ergonomic shoulder straps and a removable padded waist belt make for comfortable carrying. This model features the adjustable System torso harness, built for load shifting support which is adjustable and has a breathable mesh.
The USP of this system is that it allows the photographer to transfer more weight from the waist to the hips. There are sturdy Duraflex D- rings and Slip Lock loops which enable the option of accessory attachment. There is heavy padding provided all around, a thoughtful feature considering that this is used for carrying heavy lens. Thick padding cushions the pack against the back to provide a comfort feeling.
There are two side pockets and three central pockets provided. These are well meshed with the main body and can be used for carrying memory cards, lens cleaning equipment and so on. In fact, the central pocket contains a zipped compartment and two netting compartments to carry spare batteries, teleconvertor etc.
Finally, the built in All-weather AW Cover is located inside the sleeve in the base of the bag that has a Velcro closure. Also included is the optimal balance tripod carrying system, which is matched for carrying a heavy duty tripod that comes with such a heavy lens. There is also a carrying handle which can be transferred from top vertical position to side horizontal position for easy transportation when not mounted on the back of the individual, quiet a thoughtful feature I must say.
The first thing that one notices when the main compartment is opened is the amount of padding provided, it is everywhere. The main central flap opens to a very large extent to provide space and ease of movement in putting and removing the lens. Also the main flap features on the inner side three micro slots for stashing memory cards.
An adjustable thick sturdy well-padded cradle supports the camera body from below and secures the large lens in position, while making sure that it is well protected all around .The lens is held in place with a large U shaped pad that travels up and down. This pad is again Velcro based and height adjustable. Small Velcro tabs hook everything in place.
Considering the flexibility provided by way of
- the interior in adjustable dividers,
- flexibility in adjusting the bag as per the individual upper torso height
- flexibility of carrying a tripod
- all straps provided are flexible and adjustable
This is built like a fortress, with sufficient levels of padding and the straps etc are well integrated into the main structure to ensure that there is no wear n tear at the seams etc. The gear is safe while in transit or in rough usage, no doubts in that. Well protected against moisture, dust and shock.
It does fit into the hand baggage space of flights which is a major plus point considering the quality of lens that it would be carrying.
It is highly economical and stands on its own when compared to the Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW offering a fantastic option to those who are on a budget. The quantification of few critical fields are placed below .
Finally , My thoughts, I have used the Quovio extensively and i feel its a great piece of gear , thoughtful in its construction and design.