Andy Westlake puts the Vanguard Havana 33 camera bag to the test

Vanguard Havana 33 at a glance:

Price: £79.95

Website: www.vanguardworld.co.uk

The trouble with camera bags is that not only do they all too often look like camera bags, betraying the presence of costly kit, but they also have little space for the other essentials you need to get through the day. Vanguard’s Havana series aims to address this, with a padded insert to hold the camera that can be removed to allow use as an everyday bag, and not an inch of black nylon in sight.

The Havana 33 is the smaller of two similar models. Its camera insert is capable of holding a medium-sized SLR or CSC and two or three lenses, up to the size of a 70-300mm zoom. There’s additional space in the bag for personal sundries and a lightly padded internal pocket for a slimline 13in laptop. There are also two end pockets for small items, a front pocket for notebook and pen, and a large rear pocket for A4 documents (or the latest AP). A zipped pocket on the lid’s front holds a 7in tablet.

The bag can be carried either by the padded shoulder strap or a grab handle, and a strap on the back allows it to be attached to a roller case. The lid is kept closed by plastic clips, and fits snugly over the tapered top of the bag to keep out the elements. An additional rain cover is included.

The Havana 33 is a versatile and well-featured bag, and with its lightweight, non-rigid design it’s comfortable to carry around. The construction is generally good, but the brown plastic used for the clips and strap fixings seems a little flimsy. With a 13in laptop inside, it feels a bit stretched, but as an everyday multi-purpose bag it does a good job.

SCORE: 4 out of 5

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