I am still on the hunt for my forever backpack. I gravitate towards messenger bags because they check off most items on my wishlist. Durable, functional, comfortable, and attractive are at the top of that list. The ability to comfortably carry a laptop is an added perk, and any added versatility is a bonus. Vanguard looks to extend the versatility of their backpack lineup with the Adaptor series. These backpacks offer plenty of storage with a USB-A port to charge on the go. They are also aesthetically pleasing. So, how does the Vanguard Veo Adaptor S46 stack up?
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The Big Picture
The Vanguard Veo Adaptor S46 is a mid-sized backpack designed with portability in mind. It features a top pocket with a USB-A charging port along with side pocket gear access. There is enough room for two mirrorless cameras with lenses, a drone, up to a 15″ laptop, two 16oz water bottles, a tripod, and plenty of personal items.
Like most of Vanguard’s lineup, the Veo Adaptor S46 does not have a waterproof zipper on the main compartment. However, the material does a great job in the rain without needing to use the rain cover And that material is reflective, which is a great feature.
The USB-A port is a thoughtful touch. It would be even better if were a USB-C port. Easy access to a portable battery option is always a great idea. Plus, the backpack is very comfortable. It is great for photographers on the go.
We are giving the Vanguard Veo Adaptor S46 four out of five stars. Want one? You can pick one up at Amazon for $149.
Pros and Cons
- It has plenty of storage.
- You can charge gear on the go.
- It offers plenty of protection in the rain, although it’s not fully waterproof.
- The adjustable sternum strap accommodates different builds.
- Its durable grab handle is excellent for commuting on my Vespa.
- The shoulder pads are comfortable.
- When is Vanguard going to add waterproof zippers?
- A USB-C port would be better for modern devices.
- I wish the sternum strep used stretchy material.
This unit was our to keep after testing. We tested the Veo Adaptor S46 with the following gear:
- Canon EOS R5 with a 24-105mm lens (loaner unit)
- Canon RF 100-500 f4 lens (loaner unit)
- Sony a7 IV with 85mm GM lens (loaner unit)
- Autel Nano Plus drone and controller (loaner unit)
- 15″ Apple Macbook (our own purchase)
- Kodak Ektachrome H35 camera and film (provided to us for keeps)
- Vanguard Veo 3+ 263-CB tripod (provided to us for keeps)
The design of Vanguard’s Veo Adaptor S46 is not innovative. But, the addition of a USB-A cord for charging on the go is a nice touch. It has standard side-access design and uses quality materials to withstand the elements.
Vanguard’s Veo Adaptor S46 is a mid-sized backpack that can haul a moderate amount of gear. It can accommodate up to a 15″ laptop, two mirrorless bodies with lenses, and a drone with its controller. In addition, there is room for personal items, batteries, and film.
The top of the backpack is home to a sturdy grab handle and two top pockets. The most petite pocket is meant for small items like a passport, film, or your keys. Store your iPod or 15″ laptop in the large pocket closest to the grab handle.
The larger top pocket is home to a USB-A port for a portable power supply to charge gear on the go. It will also fit more oversized items like a wallet or a point-and-shoot camera. And there is a mesh pocket underneath the top flap to store loose items.
Move to the front of the backpack and find a hidden flap. You can store small items like a tablet or notebook here. Unhook the clasps and reach underneath the front pocket towards the bottom for tripod storage.
Each side of the Veo Adaptor S46 backpack has a stretchy pocket to store water bottles.
Access your gear by unzipping the large pockets on either side. The padded velcro dividers can be customized to suit your needs. Each side also contains a mesh pocket and a small zippered pocket for small items.
One side is clearly marked for SD card storage.
Vanguard also added a trolley sleeve on the back of the Veo Adaptor backpack.
The breathable padded shoulder straps feature an adjustable sternum strap. There are two secret slits on the bottom to store them when they aren’t in use.
This is how the sternum strap fits.
And this is how the backpack fits an average-sized body.
Vanguard uses traditional zippers along with 600D polyester fabric with PU coating for this backpack. So, it is not waterproof, but it does an excellent job keeping moisture out during a late afternoon summer rainstorm. Also, Vanguard includes a rain cover for the heaviest rainstorms.
I wish Vanguard would add a waterproof zipper to the main compartment. That addition would make me feel more secure about my gear. Vanguard did add a loop to the primary side compartments. Photographers can thread the zipper through the loop for an added layer of protection.
The interior gray fabric has held up well to my cat’s claws as he makes biscuits. You would never guess this was happening on a daily occurrence by looking at it. He also rubs up on it, plays demolition derby with it, and uses it as his bed.
The grab handle is constructed well and feels sturdy. It fits perfectly around the baggage key holder on my Vespa during my commute.
Ease Of Use
The Vanguard Veo Adaptor S46 is easy to make your own. I tend to prefer bags with either front or back access, but the side access pockets were easy to adapt to. Its mesh pockets and designated SD card pockets are a nice touch.
I appreciate the larger top pocket access pocket. It will easily accommodate a small Leica or Fujifilm body and small lens when you are not utilizing it as a charging station. And the small pocket will be great for accessing my passport when flying through the airport.
It features cushioned shoulder pads for extra comfort. The straps did slip a bit when I was carrying lighter loads, and the backpack was not uncomfortable when transporting heavier loads. But, I did not have broken blood vessels on my shoulders. I also did not find the need to utilize the waist straps. The breathable material is also excellent on those hot summer days.
The sternum strap is adjustable and will accommodate a variety of physiques. I found adjusting the sternum strap to initially be rigid, but they get better with time. You can easily access the waist strap for the heaviest of loads. Stow them away when not in use.
The grab handle is robust and fits around the grocery bag access loop on my Vespa. It snugly fits in front of my seat, making commuting more comfortable. Although it is nice to be able to carry a tripod, I will not use it. I prefer the carrying case that shipped with my tripod.
Who Should Buy the Vanguard Veo Adaptor S46 Backpack?
Vanguard’s Veo Adaptor S46 is comfortalbe and packs a fair amount of gear. It will be great for the commuting photographer who is on the go. Real estate and wedding photographers come to mind as well.
I do wish the main zipper compartments were waterproof, although the bag does a great job at repelling rain. Even though I prefer front or back access, this will be a great little option for any photographer who appreciates side access bags. The USB port is a nice addition, even if it is not USB-C. Plus, it is only $149.
Technical specifications are from the Vanguard product listing.
- Extra-wide side access for either left/right-handed photographers
- USB-A port to allow gear to be charged on the go (power bank and cables not included)
- Fits a pro DSLR camera, 3-4 lenses, a flash, accessories and a 15″ laptop
- Daypack section and multiple pockets for cables, SD cards, and more
- Carries a tripod on the front for optimal balance
- Ergonomic harness system with waist strap that tucks away when not needed
- Reflective stitching for extra protection if travelling at night
- Improved waterproof material, with rain cover for wetter days
- Internal camera compartment dimensions: 9.5 × 6.3 × 12.2 inches
- External Dimensions: 10.6 × 8.7 × 18.3 inches
- Weight: 3.02 lbs.