The camera bag world is truly fascinating. The camera world itself has shrunk. Fewer people are buying dedicated cameras, according to sales data of the past decade. But camera bags are ever more proliferated. With the addition of the brand new Morally Toxic company, the folks behind 3 Legged thing are getting into the game. Their Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L was designed and had input by a team of men and women. What’s more, the folks are all different sizes and shapes. And perhaps this is what helps to make the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L a genuinely fantastic bag.
Too Long, Didn’t Read
The Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L helped me comfortably bring a lot of gear around in cars, on the subway, and while doing a lot of walking. I’ve got a few qualms with the dividers, though, as does most of the staff on the Phoblographer. There are also a few issues with the zipper placement. But overall, it’s tough to complain about everything this bag does right.
Pros and Cons
- Comfortably held 22 lbs of gear
- Feels good on the back
- Lots of pockets
- Storage for everything as well as lots of separation.
- The dividers have pockets on them too!
- Great to hold a flash, cameras, and lenses.
- Sometimes grabbing the zippers can be confusing. Their placement is pretty close to one another.
- Dividers I wish came in more sizes and usefulness.
- I can’t figure out a way to rearrange the dividers to hold a Profoto B10 or an Elinchrom One light.
The Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L is a camera bag. And quite honestly, it’s hard to innovate. But this is the only brand I’ve seen that puts extra pockets on the dividers. I’ve tested bags from pretty much every company out there too. It’s incredibly comfortable and fits a variety of shapes and sizes. They also put a lot of emphasis on the frog pocket.
We tested the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L with the
- Canon EOS R5
- Canon EOS R
- Apple MacBook Pro 2015
- Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L USM
- Canon RF 24-105mm f4 L IS USM
- A Tripod
Tech specs are taken from the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L press info:
- Premium fabrics
- Frog pocket to keep certain things dry and separate from other electronics in the bag
- Storage in the dividers themselves
- Laptop storage
- iPad storage
- Three colors
Here’s the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L. This is what you’re going to see on the outside and the front. It’s a nylon bag. And on the front, there are zippers and straps. The two straps you see here are adjustable and designed to hold a tripod.
There are pockets on either side of the bag to hold things like a water bottle and other random things. I’d probably stuff a hard drive in here or something.
Take a look at the back here. You’ll find various straps. There are the shoulder straps, which are contoured for your body. Then there’s the sternum strap which you’ll see lower down. And then there are the adjustable waist straps. These are super well-made and very comfortable. I can’t hate on this bag’s ergonomics at all–especially the lumbar support. In yoga, we’re always told to gently tuck the pelvis in for better posture. But this hugs the C-curve just perfects.
The lumbar support also doubles as the Frog pocket to store wet things. Personally, I avoid it. The rain cover storage is below the bag and not the same slot.
On the sides are areas to hold even more things, as you can see here. They’re very convenient. But they could indeed cause unbalance as one side is for a proper water bottle and the other is just for little things. Lots of little things.
However, it all stays super well-organized. The design team said that they’re all about organization and pockets to us, after all.
Now let’s starts exploring the front pockets. You can store a bunch of stuff in here. But I ended up really just keeping my Kindle here.
Underneath that pocket is another layer. You store your laptop here on the front of the bag. Thankfully, there’s enough padding to keep it well protected though not over swollen.
And finally, we look at the interior. As you can see, configuring the bag can be difficult. You’re not given much in the way of dividers.
The Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L is said to be weather resistant. And even if you take it out into the rain, it should resist the elements. But if you’re in heavy rainfall, Morally Toxic says you should use the rain cover. Besides durability, the bag is honestly well made. The waist straps and the sternum straps are adjustable. Specifically, the sternum straps can move up or down. Then there are things like the lumbar support and the overall feeling on your bag. I comfortably loaded 22lbs of gear in here; I think I could’ve added more for sure.
There’s a lot to like about the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L. When you’ve got a tripod attached to the front, it still feels balanced and comfortable. That’s honestly where tripods should be. Then there’s the padding on shoulder pads, which is really nice on your shoulders. During my time using the bag during labor day weekend, it didn’t seem all too heavy on my back. And I didn’t break out in much of a sweat because of it. I seriously can’t complain much. For the record, I’m 5″6′ and 175 lbs. I do yoga and pilates pretty much every day, and I take extended photo walks for miles. I’m fit, but not the fittest. And it was okay for me.
A few things that annoy me, though, are the frog pocket and the zipper placements. The frog pocket, I honestly thought, was just pretty useless. I wouldn’t store my wet jacket in my camera bag, to begin with. I’d hang it outside or somewhere else to dry. But you’ve got to pack stuff in there just right.
The zippers are also stacked on top of one another towards the front. Sometimes when I think I’m accessing the main door, I’m not. Color coding the zippers would’ve made this easier for folks like me who are legally blind.
The other weird thing is that I wish this bag had side access to your gear. But it isn’t designed that way. However, the design would’ve been perfect for it. This is a deep bag, and a deep pocket could accommodate pretty much any camera.
Ease of Use
Overall, the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L is very easy to use in the field. If you’re used to various other camera bags, it’s going to be straightforward. But packing the bag is a bit of a perplexing game. It comes configured for you. And honestly, it’s best to just leave it that way. I genuinely wish that the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L had more dividers and dividers of different sizes. I couldn’t find a way to reconfigure the bag to put in a studio light while not compromising the divider rigidity. This is why I typically reach for roll-top bags. They can do that with ease. But the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L can’t do that. It’s annoying, to be honest.
With all this said, I’ve run into a string of bags that just fail through and through. Compared to the Sunny 16 Voyager backpack I reviewed that had various problems, the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L is a breeze to use and a steal.
Also, be sure that when you’re affixing a tripod to the front of the bag that it’s on very solid. Sometimes it feels like it may fall off, but that’s not the case at all in practical, real-world use.
- Lots of storage
- Good dividers, though slightly flawed.
- Lots of organization, which is awesome.
- You can put the tripod on the front, and not the sides to throw things off.
- Pretty much everything is adjutable
- Not at bad price!
- Zippered could use colored tabs.
- Dividers need more sizes.
- The frog pocket is kind of useless.
- I wish it came in canvas and leather
- A roll-top could’ve easily let us carry even more gear.
I know that Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis had a more challenging time with the messenger bag. But the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L is a far superior use of the company’s designs. First, it’s designed to accommodate various body types. Then there’s lots of organization. With all that organization, you can effectively balance out how comfortable the bag is. And perhaps that’s the biggest strength: the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L truly rivals the comfort of WANDRD and Tenba alike. Then consider that they’re using all sustainable materials.
Typically, we don’t award Editor’s Choice awards to bags with a few flaws. But in this case, I’m willing to accept that these are personal quibbles. We all indeed wish that the dividers were further refined. But I can personally see the average photographer being perfectly fine with this bag.
And for just over $300, it’s hard to beat. Check Amazon for the latest prices. But the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L receives five out of five stars and the Editor’s Choice award.