As we all know, camera bags come in all shapes and sizes. WANDRD has shown this with its eclectic collection of camera bags. Each of them offers something unique and different. The WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel is no different.
The WANDRD HEXAD Access duffel is both a duffel bag and a backpack in one. It sports a rather unique design that should appeal to photographers who like to travel, or working photographers who take everything with them from shoot to shoot. So how good (or bad) is it? Let’s talk about that.
Editor’s note: WANDRD sent us the HEXAD Access Duffel to review and keep. However, this is an independent review. All thoughts and feelings about this product are our own. We have not been influenced in any way. We tell you this as we always want to be transparent with you.
- Generously padded straps
- Clamshell design
- Versatile interior
- Lots of space for gear and clothes
- Tough and durable
- A lot of bag for the price
- So. Many. Zips.
- Straps everywhere
- Becomes a monster when fully loaded
- No dedicated water bottle pocket
WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel — Tech specs
The technical specifications have been taken from the official WANDRD website:
- Materials: Waterproof Tarpaulin and 1680D Ballistic Nylon with WR Army Coating. YKK High-Quality Zippers
- Dimensions: 9″ H x 14″ W x 22″ L (carry-on size)
- Volume: 45L
- Weight: 1.8kg (3.9 lbs.)
- Dedicated sleeve that holds a 16-inch MacBook Pro
- Can hold two Essential+ Camera Cubes
WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel — Ergonomics and build quality
The WANDRD Hexad Access Duffel looks like a utilitarian bag because, well, that’s what it is. For what this bag is, though, I think WANDRD has done a good job designing it. The bag looks fine with its minimalist design. It has dimensions of 9″ H x 14″ W x 22″ L and has a capacity of 45L. When empty, it weighs 3.9lbs/1.8kg. It’s a big bag, but the HEXAD Access is carry-on friendly.
The clamshell bag opens up down the center into two large sides. One side is a large compartment that can carry clothes. It seals with a mesh zip panel. You’ll also find a padded laptop sleeve on this side. You can access this side of the bag by either opening the clamshell, or by accessing it via the rear panel. The other side of the clamshell is split into two sections, again both with their own mesh zip panels.
It’s complicated but you can make it work for you
Both independent sections can hold an Essential+ Camera Cube. You can, of course, just use one cube for camera gear and have the other section hold whatever you want. Both of these sections can also be accessed via outside panels. Versatility is the name of the game here. Inside these compartments, you’ll find a few small mesh pockets that can hold small items like SD cards as well.
On the outside, other than the access panels, you’ll find an RFID passport pocket, a small top pocket with a key holder, and a zippered pocket on the bottom. The generously padded shoulder/duffel bag straps are contoured to both fit well and so they can be used as duffel handles. You’ll also find a confusing amount of cinch straps, zips and straps for securing a tripod. The WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel isn’t an elegant bag, but it is versatile.
WANDRD has used very durable materials. Most of the bag is made from waterproof tarpaulin and 1680D Ballistic Nylon. The bag is also coated with a WR Army coating. All of the zippers are weather-resistant YKK zippers. It has stood up well during everything I have put it through (more on that later).
WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel — In the field
Despite its large size, the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel has proved to be a comfortable bag. Fully loaded, the bag is a beast. There’s no getting around this. However, the back and sternum straps provide plenty of support. The nicely padded back panel is comfortable. Still, it’s not a mesh back, which means you will sweat.
Being able to wear this bag as a backpack and then quickly being able to carry it as a duffel bag is nice. Being able to carry just clothes, camera gear and clothes, and any other combo you can think of is also great. However, this versatility comes at a cost. I found the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel complicated to use.
Learning where all the zippers lead you takes an age. In fact, there are so many zippers that WANDRD supplies different colored zipper pulls to help you get organized. Then there’s the myriad of straps, handles, cinch straps and clasps you have to use to set the bag up to your liking. All of which get in the way when using the zippers. I will add that you can completely remove the shoulder straps and stow them if you wish. Still, then you lose some versatility until you reattach them.
Take the time to set it up
At first, this bag will frustrate you. However, after configuring the bag to my liking, I found it nice to use. I used the bag with one Essential+ Camera Cube. I was able to pack my Lumix s5, a 24-70mm f/2.8, an 85mm f/1.8 and a 100-400mm. There was still space for a 70-200mm f/4 or a couple of small primes. The straps on the side of the bag held my tripod securely as well.
I took the bag with me on a shoot and packed some lighting gear (Two Godox AD200s, a Godox V1 and a trigger). in the bag too. I could have fit my Godox AD400 Pro instead of those if I wanted to. If you want to use the extra space for reflectors, cloth backdrops, or small light modifiers instead of clothes, you could do this as well.
It’s versatile and tough
Another time I took the bag with the above-listed camera gear and enough clothes for a few days, There’s even a dedicated space for a spare pair of shoes. All of this is great. Still, this bag can become incredibly heavy when it is stuffed. Just keep this in mind, especially as there’s no dedicated water bottle pouch. Very odd for a bag that’s aimed at adventurous photographers.
This is a tough bag that will withstand a lot when in use. I’ve not been easy on the HEXAD Access. I have bumped, dropped, scraped, left the bag on the floor, soaked it in the rain and so on. The WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel has stood up to the test well. I do not doubt that it will survive a lot of abuse. On top of this, I have found that the HEXAD Access is comfortable to use both as a backpack and as a duffel bag thanks to all of the well-padded handles.
In all the WANDRD HEXAD Access is an incredibly versatile bag that can serve a lot of purposes. You can use it as a standard duffel bag with no camera cubes, or you can turn it into a solid travel bag for photographers/creators by purchasing an Essential+ camera cube or two to go with it.
The WANDRD Hexad Access Duffel — Who’s it for?
This is for three types of people. Photographers who want a travel bag that can do it all. Working photographers who want to take all of their gear between shoot locations, and as a regular travel bag for non-photographers.
Overall the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel is a versatile camera bag that’s surprisingly comfortable to lug around. You can use it to haul a ton of photography gear thanks to the space for two camera cubes, and you can carry a fair amount of clothing when you travel. The HEXAD Access Duffel is very spacious, it’s durable, and the straps and handles make it comfortable to carry for long periods.
It’s not the cheapest bag out there. As of this writing, it’s $259 for the bag by itself, and each WANDRD Essential+ camera cube is $69, but you’re getting a lot of camera bag for your money. If you travel a lot or want a solution that can streamline traveling between shoots, the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel might be for you. Just make sure you spend the time to set it up so that it works for you.
WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel Bag (45L)
The WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel bag has been designed for photographers who want to take it all with them on their travels. The bag can hold two Essential+ camera cubes, there’s lots of room for clothes and accessories, it’s comfortable, and it’s durable. If you do a lot of traveling or need a solution to get your camera gear from shoot to shoot, the HEXAD Access Duffel might be for you.