The Ruggard Lynkx 45 SlingPack … is it a backpack or a sling bag?
When I was asked if I wanted to review a camera bag, I said sure as long as it’s not a backpack. Backpacks are not my bag of choice when I’m out with my camera. I find them too bulky and cumbersome for the where and how I shoot. Many photographers swear by them and I get that.
The thing is, camera bags are very personal. As someone who mostly carries one camera and at most two lenses, a big backpack or large camera bag is overkill for me.
I’ve halfheartedly been looking for a new camera bag. My old one was getting holes in it after 10 years of use. I ordered the same bag because I love it, only it’s been ‘upgraded’ from the previous version. Personally, the upgrades were not anything I can/will use and they created other issues for me.
Enter the Ruggard Lynkx 45 SlingPack. Yes, it’s a backpack but … it can be converted to a sling.
The SlingPack is fairly compact as far as backpacks go. Sturdy, and for lack of a better term, stiff. I would feel my gear was pretty protected in it. When I picked it up out of the box, I noticed it was heavier (empty) than my current sling bag. It is similar in weight to comparable backpacks.
There’s plenty of padding and customizable, removable padded inserts so you can configure the backpack in a way that makes the most sense for you. There’s an easily accessible area for extras and external pockets for batteries and memory cards. There is plenty of padding on the straps for comfort when using as a backpack and the SlingPack features an adjustable, padded waist belt with a quick-release buckle.
Exterior dimensions: 11.5” x 8” x 17.75” (w x d x h)
- Upper: 10.5” x 6” x 7”
- Lower: 10.5” x 6” x 10.5”
- Laptop: 10.5” x 1” x 17”
- Weight: 3.6 lb. (1.65 kg)
What I liked about it
I liked that my 15” laptop fit with room for a book or notebook to spare. I currently carry a backpack for my laptop, books and other personal items and my camera bag when I travel. This Ruggard Lynkx 45 SlingPack would allow me to have one backpack/bag to carry on, depending on how much extra gear I need. To be able to switch this bag from backpack to sling is also a great feature.
The top storage area is roomy, has a mesh pocket with included rain cover. The flap also has a zippered compartment.
Storage and access
For someone who carries more gear with them, the size makes perfect sense. It would be great for those who like to carry 2–3 lenses with one camera body. I would suggest it for anyone who carries more than one or two lenses but not a second camera body and more than two extra lenses. It is the smallest version of the Ruggard Lynkx SlingPack line. As mentioned above, there are places for extras, small items, memory cards and batteries.
The bottom front of the pack has a pullout pouch for supporting the base of a compact tripod, which is complemented by an adjustable strap with a quick release buckle above for the tripod’s midsection.
For me, access to my camera and lens was a bit awkward and fidgety. It may be because I wasn’t used to the bag. With my current bag, I can switch lenses without looking and only have to unzip it and grab my lens.
What I wasn’t thrilled about
Before even loading anything into the bag, it weighs 3.6 pounds. I’m used to my starting point being just over one pound. I know two pounds doesn’t seem like much, but every little bit helps.
Putting my Canon 6D with a 17-40mm lens attached into the side compartment took a little finagling required further customization of the padded inserts. My second lens is almost always the Tamron 100-400mm lens. While it fit fine, putting it and the camera in the same accessible position to be able to use the bag as a sling, wasn’t very easily grabbed. Again, I’m used to a bag where I can easily unzip and grab my second lens.
The profile when carrying as a sling is too bulky and deep/wide for my tastes. I tend to only go out with one camera and one or two lenses at the most so this was more than I would normally need.
Would I buy it or recommend it?
As I said at the beginning of this article, camera bags are personal. What works for one will not work for another. Most photographers I know are picky about what they need and want in a camera bag. If only we could test drive them before buying!
I would not buy this for myself, as it’s too heavy and bulky for what I do. For someone starting with one or two lenses, I would recommend it as a very affordable solution to keep gear safe and hold just what they need. If you tend to carry more than two lenses, I would check out a larger version of the Ruggard line of bags.
Ruggard Lynx 45 SlingPack for DSLR and 13″ Laptop (Black, Small)
Explore the wonders of the world through the magic of photography with the black Small Lynx 45 SlingPack for DSLR and 13″ Laptop from Ruggard. The SlingPack is designed to store, protect, and transport a DSLR with an attached 200mm lens, extra lenses, a flash, and related accessories. Padded touch-fastening dividers make organizing gear fast and easy. Use the upper zippered compartment with interior pockets for personal items, or for additional equipment. By removing the touch-fastening base of this compartment, the SlingPack can be reconfigured for other uses. This is also a good place for storing the included rain cover.