Vinta Type 2 — Test Drive, Thailand
let me start by saying i'm probably a little too into bags. it's borderline obsessive. backpacks, duffles, totes, ALL. also i'm the shirt-folder + packing cube type (yes, that guy).
we were packing really light for this trip, doing carry-on only for every flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo, Tokyo to Bangkok, Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai to Krabi, Krabi to Kuala Lumpur (crazy, i know) and all the way back home.
the bag itself looks so compact & tidy, with pretty minimal design throughout. (although i would prefer even a little more minimalism in regards to some of the small leather accents).
vinta's design with this type 2 bag is a modular approach (if you have the camera pack edition) which is essentially broken down into 3 parts:
- main shell (the bag itself acts more as a container for the inner modules)
- the 'standard camera pack'
- the 'standard field pack'
after traveling with this guy for closing in on two months at the time of this post, i have some thoughts.
- i actually love the compact size, you can fit this thing just about anywhere. especially under the seat in front of you on a flight with plenty of room for your feet, unlike pretty much every other backpack i've traveled with previously.
- it rained a good bit in thailand and i was never worried about the thousands of dollars worth of gear in there getting wet. big plus.
- the straps are super comfortable! we did a 1200 step (straight up) hike to a temple in krabi, and my back was kind of okay! surprisingly.
- the camera pack fit my 5D Mark iii with a 35mm lens, my Contax G1 with 35mm lens, a 24-70 L series lens, batteries, cards, etc. etc.
- it stands perfectly upright on it's own, which is just kind of cool.
- i have an older macbook pro (2011) with a thicker body style and it does NOT fit well in the laptop sleeve of this bag. now, i'm sure this pack was not designed with such an ancient computer in mind, but this is what i'm working with.. and it was a burden. i literally had to bring a second backpack (here) just to house my computer. all this to say if you have anything thinner than a 2011 MBP then you'll be just fine.
- it's hard to get to your camera in a pinch. a lot of unzipping and re-zipping has to occur to get your camera out on-the-move. a quick side access sleeve would be clutch.
- the 'expandable side pockets for standard water bottles' on the side would barely fit my collapsible vapur bottle when empty. thank god i didn't bring my hydroflask.
there was a weird period of love-hate with this bag for me. at first i saw it and was wowed by the thought of all the compartmentalized efficiency. that turned to frustration with the computer, water bottle, and lacie hardrive (only fits in the field pack at a diagonal) not fitting in as well as i would have liked. then, i cut some things out and worked with it's limitations and i'm kind of loving it all over again.
as a daily commuter this thing looks great, lets you carry what you need to a coffee shop/coworking space, and really makes you think 'do i actually need a journal AND a weekly planner?'.
i will definitely keep using it around town, i would possibly bring it with me on a short domestic flight again, but i doubt it will get much use on international trips just due to size constraints.