Andy Westlake tests out the Vanguard Havana 21 bag

Vanguard Havana 21 bag at a glance:

With its Havana range, Vanguard is aiming to provide all the protection of a proper camera bag in a more discreet, less attention-grabbing design. The Vanguard Havana 21 is the smallest of four shoulder bags in the line (there’s also a backpack), and is sized to take a compact system camera with two or three lenses, or perhaps a small DSLR with a couple of lenses. There’s also an inside pocket that will take a 7in tablet or e-reader, a zip pocket on the front that normally holds the supplied rain cover, a slip pocket on the back with a Velcro closure, and elasticated end pockets for small personal items such sunglasses or a phone.

Overall, the Havana 21 feels nicely made, with good-quality fabrics and webbing, and the khaki colour scheme and leather detailing are far removed from the identikit black nylon you’ll normally get on a camera bag at this price. The slightly cheap-feeling brown plastic strap fixings are a minor let-down, but redeemed by a grippy shoulder pad that makes the bag comfortable to carry even when packed full of gear. There’s a decent amount of padding around the sides to keep your camera protected from knocks.

It’s fair to say that the ‘safari’ styling won’t be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re after a small camera bag that can also accommodate a few everyday items, yet doesn’t scream out that it’s home to your expensive kit, the Vanguard Havana 21 is well worth a closer look.

SCORE: 4 out of 4

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