Neither of these looks like a regular photographer’s bag. They are rugged but attractive, and no matter where you go, you'll look stylish while knowing your gear is safe and well protected.
The construction of the Wotancraft PILOT bags is highly impressive. The fabric, finishing, and stitching are of premium quality, letting you know the bags will hold together, even under stress, for years to come. Beyond the rugged design, the bags are thoughtfully designed to maximize their functionality and ease of use. Both stand by themselves. They don’t fall over, even when empty. Both are well padded, so they are going to protect whatever you put inside, which, as a photographer, is the most important aspect of a bag for me.
Both bags are customizable and are designed with a modular approach. In the 10-liter bag, the laptop divider can be moved if you’ve got a thick laptop or if you want to slip a magazine into the sleeve as well. Even without the divider, the bag's structure remains rigid, making it easy to pack.
The Pilot Bag 10L carries everything I usually take with me when going away, and it looks stylish in the process. I particularly appreciate the slightly worn look and neutral color scheme that looks equally good whether walking down the street or showing up to the set of a shoot. The strap and carry handle are quite comfy and make carrying even a heavy load much easier on your body. Meanwhile, the G-hook buckle is secure yet easy to undo should you need to quickly get your gear for a fleeting shot.
Beyond the attractive exterior lies a well-thought-out and functional interior. With 10 liters of space, there is plenty of room for everything you need on the go. The laptop sleeve fit my 15-inch MacBook Pro easily, and it can be adjusted to fit thicker laptops if necessary. In addition to my MacBook Pro, it fit my Canon 5D Mark III (an older, rather bulky DSLR) as well as my 24-70mm and 100mm lens. In the side pockets, I was able to fit my MacBook Pro charger, mouse, camera battery chargers, memory cards, and cables easily. It was easy to fit everything I needed for a shoot and for editing the photos afterward. There are also tripod straps on the underside should you need to bring yours along.
The 7-liter bag is smaller, but it fit my 11” iPad Pro with my camera and two lenses without a problem. If I wanted, I could add the Magic Keyboard to the iPad, and I would have a lot of the functionality I have with a MacBook Pro in a lighter package.
Besides the Wotancraft G-hook buckle, there is also an optional Fidlock magnetic slider buckle upgrade that makes it very easy to access and close. The magnets are quite strong and lock securely.
This bag came in an attractive khaki color with dark brown accents, a timeless combination that fits in pretty much anywhere. The clasp slides into place to close the bag. It is magnetized, making it easy to guide into place even one-handed. The inside comes with a cable management panel and divider, while just like the larger bag, there are tripod straps underneath. The thick strap is quite comfortable, never cutting into my shoulder, even with a heavy load, making it easy to take a lot of gear on long walks.
Add-on Front Pockets
Both bags have optional pockets that can be attached firmly to the front vertical MOLLE straps. These pockets come in handy when you just need some extra space when planning for a day in the field. With the help of a shoulder strap, these pockets can be used individually as a sling.
What I Liked
The interior panels are designed in quite a clever fashion. They're smooth to the touch but work exactly like Velcro. Because they are smooth, they do not accumulate dirt and hair like Velcro tends to. It's little touches like this that really set the bags apart.
The external material is quality Cordura fabric. It’s also weather-resistant, so you can rest assured that your gear is safe when you’re on the move. The modular, customizable nature of the bag is quite practical and surely something I miss from most camera bags. You can modify its interior and also add or remove the two bags on the exterior.
It’s airport-ready with a strap on the back that slides over your larger, wheeled luggage handle. So, the designers thought about taking some weight off your shoulders.
What I Didn’t Like
There isn’t much I dislike — perhaps that the external pockets are not covered by the main bag's flap, which might expose them more to the elements, but that is surely not a deal-breaker.
The bags look different from regular photography-oriented bags, and they don't communicate "photographer's bag" like many others bags do. That’s a positive aspect in many ways, especially if you want to travel and keep the fact that you're carrying expensive equipment below the radar. I like the innovative approach to design and how they’ve interpreted what a modern photographer needs.
They can also be used as general-purpose bags if you’re just going out with the family. You’ve got more than enough space to fit bottles, toys, diapers, and a camera with a lens. They'll also fit your shoes and sports gear, so they're ideal for a weekend away, whether for photography or family time. You can purchase yours using the links below.