The Making of an Industry Standard: An Interview with WANDRD

The Making of an Industry Standard: An Interview with WANDRD

There's a sort of running joke between the Fstoppers writers about the number of bag reviews we've published in the last couple months, and we've certainly caught our share of flack for it in the comments as a result. Despite all that, having had a chance to sit down for a brief interview with the people at WANDRD, I think we may have a new industry standard on our hands. If there's ever been a bag worth getting excited about, this is it.

For anyone who's unfamiliar, back in October WANDRD created a Kickstarter for their first product ever, the PRVKE backpack. The project was fully funded in just over two weeks.

​As WANDRD continues to make preparations before their expected ship date, co-founders Ryan and Spencer Cope were kind enough to sit down for a quick interview to talk about the WANDRD PRVKE backpack and why they believe it'll be the last backpack you ever need.*

* OK, those are my words, not theirs.

We are the ultimate cliché, brothers who couldn't find the perfect photography bag so we decided to design and produce it.

The Cope brothers first set out to make the ultimate camera bag in November of 2014. They describe the biggest gap in the camera bag market as the constant feeling of sacrifice, whether it's sacrificing style for functionality or vice-versa. Ryan also points out, "Another 'broken' aspect of the camera bag market is that most camera bags look like camera bags and are therefore targets for theft. I know when I am carrying all my gear I have about $10,000 in my bag and having my bag stolen would devastate me." Balancing style and functionality turned out to be a tall order, taking a year of research, development, mistakes, and innovation.

The process has been rad, bumpy, long, stressful, and informative. Designing and creating a new product is a bit like creating a photograph, we went through the same ups and downs. This is awesome. This is tricky. This is shit. I am shit. This might be OK. This is awesome.

When asked to identify the one feature that sets the PRVKE pack apart from the competition, Ryan replies, "The PRVKE Pack doesn't have just one feature that sets it apart from all other camera bags but it's more the mix of features and how they interact that create a bag that is indispensable."

The modularity of our bag means that you can use it for photography, school, work, travel, etc.

He continues, "The included camera sling and quick side access give the wandering photographer the key functionality they need. When you remove the camera cube — the minimal design and mix of Tarpaulin and Nylon Dobby create a bag professional enough for any business situation. I wish we had the time to discuss every single feature and diverse situations the bag shines in but I'll spare the uninterested and the interested can go check out our website."

Of course, one of, if not the biggest concern for making an investment in a bag like this is durability. When asked how the bag would hold up Spencer replies, "When working with the factory on the design and materials of the bag, quality was our highest concern."

Rather than ask, 'Where can we cut costs?' we asked, 'If we spent an extra $10 per bag, what could we improve?'

It's this ethos that permeates the entirety of the company. The Cope brothers eventually elected for a Tarpaulin/Nylon Dobby design based on looks and extreme long-term durability despite the increased manufacturing costs. Additionally, they offer a lifetime guarantee against defects in material or workmanship.

This bag is for the adventurous — whether in the city or the backcountry, across the globe or in your own backyard. It’s for those who need a bag that can adapt to their ever-changing activities: the commute to work, domestic or international travel, going to the beach, hiking a mountain, walking around campus, etc.

Currently the company is running an Indiegogo campaign to facilitate even more pre-orders (as requested by popular demand) for the discounted price of $215 (down from the retail price of $270). Indiegogo pre-orders will likely arrive by the end of April 2016.

If this kick-ass pack has drawn your attention as much as it has mine, show the Cope brothers some love on their website and Indiegogo.

WANDRD expects to get a few review units out in the wild in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for a full beat-the-shit-out-of-it review.

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11 Comments

steve the lacky's picture

looks like a good bag, but the price tag is a little high and since i am not making ANY money dont know if i can afford that, but it looks like it would be kick ass, anyone know any more about them and if they have any other bags

Austin Rogers's picture

At the moment this is their only bag offering. The idea of spending just south of $300 is a little tough for me to stomach too — I'm hoping though that this might be a good ten-year bag for me and possibly be a replacement to my current hard shell (SKB) solution. Keep an eye out for the review-review in the next couple weeks. :)

steve the lacky's picture

i agree, buts its a pain in the ass to carry two smaller bags but then again i dont wanna carry a roller case on my back either, i do like the way it turns into a table thats fucking cool!!! make things a lot easier

Austin Rogers's picture

I am a recent Sony convert, my entire kit fits in my current (tiny) backpack, I could practically live out of this!

Tyler Newcomb's picture

I do some camping photography, this would be perfect for that. I could bring a small kit and small amount of gear and still have quick access to my camera for those sudden candids or creatures or even landscapes. Have you seen their backpack compatibility camera sling, which in my opinion is so simple yet so genius.

steve the lacky's picture

Tyler PLEASE show me the sling that you speak of, i currently use a old incase sling which i do LOVE but have realized its getting a little too small for what i am bringing. every weekend i bring D300(with battery grip) , 11-18 mm , 50 prime, and i forgot my 3rd lens, then 2 sb800 and 3 pocket wizards, the cables and other little things that i will need, now i didnt use the flashes all the time so thats why i pack them in a separate bag witht he other shit , and i can run back and forth to my car for them but there are times i have to park and walk a bit and to carry 2 bags tripod and stands is a pain in the ass. so if i can get one decent bag to put most of it in i would be happy.

Tyler Newcomb's picture

Hey Steve! The sling is here: http://www.wandrd.com/products/camera-sling

I'm looking hard at this bag - I need to replace my old KATA backpack and this looks pretty awesome. Using the indiegogo pricing ($217), it's in line with the similar sized ThinkTank bag and slightly below the Manfrotto (used to be KATA) bag that replaced my old one in the line up.

Austin Rogers's picture

Pull the trigger man! As far as looks go I dont think Manfrotto / ThinkTank / whatever other brands have anything on this.

i totally agree. Ordering one this week after I get back from traveling.

Tyler Newcomb's picture

I checked them out. The company and the bag and all their products look to be awesome and so down to earth. Seems like the bag was made for me. No, seems like it was made BY me! I'm actually kinda bummed I didn't start a company first! The price tag is steep though, so I will have to wait a while. I mean, I'm looking at SERIOUSLY upgrading my body to an old 50D for $10 less than this bag.