Bag Week: Venque DSLR CamPro Backpack

The bag industry has some heavyweights, but it’s also shown repeatedly that strong upstarts can make a splash and carve out a niche for themselves. Toronto’s Venque is a new company that is building bags using their experience in the fabric industry to create unique designs with quality materials. The bags have retro flair, but with a very modern aesthetic, and they’re built to last. Venque has taken to Kickstarter to generate interest, feedback and funds for new additions to its lineup, and the DSLR CamPro camera backpack is one of those, that is now shipping to its crowdfunding supporters.

The CamPro has the same signature look common to Venque’s line, which includes either black or heathered gray Quanta fabric (uniquely created for Venque’s products), and leather accents that contrast with the material for a bold, but neutrally toned design. Leather zipper pulls and satin finish metal buckles and loops complete the overall high-end look, and removable buckles and straps offer versatility in terms of where you put support for cinching the pack around front to better relieve weight from your back.

Venque’s CamPro can hold a lot of gear – and when you’re talking about photographic equipment, that translates to a lot of weight. My camera kit can easily tip the scales at 60 to 70 lbs, especially if I’m packing for event or conference coverage, which generally requires a variety of lenses to choose from for different shooting scenarios. That can put strain on bags, and they don’t often hold up to the pressure.

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The Venque has proven more than equal to the task over the month or so I’ve been testing it. It has dutifully lugged all my gear back and forth between events near and far, and hasn’t popped a seam or begun a fray yet. That Quanta material it’s made from also seems to be very dust and dirt resistant, as it still looks pretty much the same as the day I took it out of the bag, despite no special gentle treatment on my end.

As for carrying capacity, it matches or even slightly exceeds my Incase DSLR Pro camera backpack, at least for photographic gear. The laptop compartment in the back also handles my 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro without issue. The front pocket offers a bit of additional supplementary storage space, but that’s where it falls a little short – the incase can store a lot more extra gear in its main compartment, and includes a dedicated pouch for an iPad.

Venque’s offering is a better pure DSLR camera bag, however, and it includes a rain cover to keep your gear dry even if it starts to rain while you’re out on assignment. The bag’s anticipated retail price of $219, which is higher than the Incase at $149, but the Venque just oozes style, while the Incase is much less aesthetically interesting, and the Venque might edge the Incase slightly in terms of worn comfort, too. It should be available for order from Venque soon, as the final pre-order deliveries are on their way to backers now.