The Vanguard Heralder 38 is a rather large shoulder bag that allows you to pack a respectable camera kit and laptop without going for a full-on backpack or roller bag.
Vanguard sent me the Heralder 38 to try out and I’ve been using it as my daily bag for the past couple of months, which included a trip to Vegas for NAB 2012. In short, it’s an excellent shoulder bag that packs a lot of gear.
Vanguard gets a whole bunch of things right with the Heralder 38. As noted, it is big. But the overall size of the bag is not too cumbersome. It slides easily under seats on even the smaller commuter jets. Vanguard did a good job with making the space inside the bag very efficient.
The removable gear compartment gives you plenty of dividers for camera bodies, lenses, hard drives cables and tons of accessories. As someone who travels with a lot of camera a computer gear on a daily basis, the Vanguard Heralder 38 really delivers the goods.
The laptop compartment will carry up to a 15″ MacBook Pro. And, if you shimmy the dividers around, you can also safely insert an iPad. There’s also a front pouch with smaller compartments and slots for pens, notepads, business cards and other small accessories.
Vanguard did a great thing by putting four memory card pouches on the inside of the top panel. These secure with velcro latches and are ever-so-handy for quick access to memory cards without having to dig to the bottom of the bag.
The Heralder 38 also has a very smart top flap closure for a shoulder bag. First, there is a plastic snap to secure the top of the bag down.
However, if you want more security, the top flap will completely zip closed. This is useful when you’re stuffing the bag into an overhead bin on a plane and you don’t want small accessories working their way out through the edges of the top flap. When fully zipped, you can turn the bag completely upside down with no worries of losing any gear.
When fully zipped, it is still rather easy to access gear via a zipper that runs across the top flap.
The zipper is secured by a small magnetic flap on the “closed” end that prevents it from opening without a marginal amount of effort. However, it easily pops out of the way when you want to open it. I have found myself using this feature quite frequently – particularly when traveling.
On one side of the bag is a neoprene pouch that is useful for small accessories like Gorillapods, flashes or water bottles. On the other side is a pair of webbing loops for attaching other accessories.
The Heralder 38 also has a thick padded shoulder strap. This is probably the best shoulder strap padding that I’ve seen on a shoulder satchel. It is comfortable enough for all day usage. I absolutely love this feature.
One the back side, there is a loop for securing the bag to a suitcase handle, which is great for rolling through an airport. Just another one of the little things that makes this a great bag all-around.
The bag also includes a full rain cover with its own hideaway compartment, as well as an add-on strap for converting the bag into a backpack-style of carry.
I have used several camera bags over the past few years and the Vanguard Heralder 38 ranks among the best. If you’re a pack-rat who carries a lot of gear around on a regular basis, you’ll appreciate all that the Heralder 38 has to offer. Highly recommend for working photographers and other media professionals on the go.
You can see more details and features for the Heralder series of bags on Vanguard’s website.
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