Up until recently, I had three bags that I regularly used. First, a backpack, which was my usual go-to bag when photographing events. Two, a shoulder bag for those more corporate-type events. And third, a roller bag, for when I needed access to a ton more gear.

I had never actually found a sling that would work for me. That is until I met the Hex Ranger Sling V2, a sling bag with loads of storage, comfort and a stylish, water-resistant exterior.

Since I’ve started using the Ranger Sling, it’s become one of my most used bags. When I’m photographing outdoors — whether it be an event, landscape or anything else — the Hex Ranger is light as a feather, but still holds the gear I need.

Pros

  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Plenty of Velcro separators to customize the interior
  • Lots of pockets to hold other gear, like a flash, tablet, batteries, memory cards and more
  • Weather-resistant exterior is great for minor weather, while the included rain cover is a nice addition
  • Adjustable straps make for a great monopod or tripod holder

Cons

  • Larger cameras can fit awkwardly, including those with a battery grip
  • Zippers are easily accessible when worn on a sling on the back, making it a potential target for theft

Technical specifications — Hex Ranger DSLR Sling Bag V2

Photo by Drew Links

All technical specifications have been taken from the B&H website:

  • Type of closure: Zipper
  • Interior type: Adjustable hook & loop dividers
  • Monopod/tripod holder: Yes
  • Weather resistance: Yes
  • Materials: Condura, Nylon (exterior)
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 7.25 x 4.75 inches
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Capacity: 8L

Ergonomics and build quality — Hex Ranger DSLR Sling Bag V2

The Hex Ranger Sling comes in a few different colors; I received the Blackout version. It’s also available in a Glacier Camo, Camo and plain Black. The Blackout version features a Camo pattern that’s fully black and dark gray. It’s sleek, and it doesn’t look like a camera bag at all.

The bag is sturdy — it was able to stand on its own with or without gear inside. The fact that it’s weather-resistant and comes with a rain cover is a huge plus for anyone who lives in a multi-season environment. Rest assured, this bag will make it through rain, hail, snow … you name it.

Zippers are well built and relatively easy to move. However, there’s no security system in place when wearing the sling on your back, making it a potential target for theft. I’d wear this sling around my hometown, but I might not feel completely comfortable with it in an unknown or larger area because of this. It’d be nice if there was a sort of flap present to hide the zippers from showing.

Packing it up — Hex Ranger DSLR Sling Bag V2

Over the past few years, I’ve found that I’ve needed fewer and fewer lenses (and other gear) to get the job done. I’m able to take a Tamron 28-70mm f/2.8 with me, along with two small prime lenses, with ease. I can also easily fit the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6, along with the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 Art lens.

The Hex Ranger fits two or three smaller lenses wonderfully. Depending on your setup, you might be able to fit more. The bag comes with several separators (more than I needed), which help you really pack well.

It’s a tight squeeze when you have a battery grip on your camera.

If you use a battery grip, it should fit, but it’ll be somewhat of a tight squeeze, depending on your camera. With my Sony a7 IV and a battery grip attached, it was a bit awkward to fit inside. You might want a larger sling if this is the case, but it still was comfortable and held what I needed.

Outside of the main pocket, there’s a larger back pocket, which is great for a small tablet, phone or other accessories. It even held my flash. The two smaller front compartments are great for things like filters, batteries and memory cards.

In the field — Hex Ranger DSLR Sling Bag V2

One of the initial worries I had about the Ranger Sling is the fact that I use the sling-style Peak Design Slide strap with my camera often. Having two straps across my body instead of one meant that it could be a bit awkward, create friction and add added pressure to my shoulder and neck area.

I was surprised that the Ranger Sling was still comfortable with this setup. I put the sling on first, and then my camera with strap, and it worked rather well. It looks a bit awkward, but it’s still better than wearing a neck strap.

Using the Ranger Sling with a wrist strap on my camera was the ultimate combo for me, as it really provided a nice way to access my gear quickly, without anything extra in the way.

No matter the setup I had, the Hex Ranger Sling really worked well for multi-hour shooting days, no matter the conditions. I used the sling during several events and other photoshoots with ease, and it lets me carry my essentials just as I had hoped for.