Vanguard Pampas 57 Sling Camera Bag

pampas-1 I am always looking for the next great camera bag, especially something that offers convenience, comfort, and functionality so I was very interested in the new Pampas sling-style backpack from Vanguard.

At first look, the sling style would allow you to rotate the back to your front to have access your gear and then fling it back over your shoulder where it acts like a normal backpack.

As someone who does a variety of different types of shooting, I figured that I could really put the Pampas 57 bag to the test and see if this was going to be something I would really use on a regular basis.

Let’s get into it and look at the bag and then see what I thought of it.


pampas-2 The Pampas bags are designed for comfort and functionality by allowing you to wear the bag as a regular backpack and then rotate the bag over your shoulder to your front for access to your gear. The Pampas bag has a good number of access points points and the build quality is top notch.

The back is covered in a nice breathable material over nice thick padding to help keep the bag comfortable on you and reduce sweating.

  • Sling style design
  • High Quality 600D x 600D Strong Polyester
  • Secure Side Opening
  • Extra padded inside dividers
  • Contact areas offer breathable fabrics
  • “Grab and shoot” quick access pocket
  • Opens from front and side for instant access
  • Front and top pockets for accessories


pampas-3 The Pampas bag certainly was comfortable as I used it during several small shoots as well as a 10 hour wedding shoot. Inside the dividers come setup for a handful of lenses and a DSLR body with a small size lens attached. I found that this wasn’t the optimum setup for me since once I am shooting I need access to the lenses and the main section was empty without the camera in it. Since the dividers can be arranged for your particular style, you can easily change it to match how you work.

Access to equipment from the side access section is very easy once you rotate the bag around to your front. However, getting to items that are further into the bag proves to be a little more challenging. While the large back section opens wide for easy access to the rest of your gear, I found myself quite nervous about having something fall out of the bag while it was open like that. To help prevent any issues like that, the side opening stays attached via some clever side webbing, but it just felt a little weird, this is probably something I will get over with more use of the bag.

I tended to keep my CF cards in the top outside pocket since it is pretty small but my CF card holder fit into it perfectly and was easy to get to. In the large top pocket I kept a container of batteries and my second flash head. Inside the main body I could have a 17-40, 24-70, 12-24, 50mm, and a Lensbaby Composer and still had room to spare.


pampas-4 The Pampas bag did prove to be quite comfortable and the side access area was very easy to get to. I really only had some issues with the larger rear access area since it felt a little awkward getting to the equipment but not so much that I wouldn’t continue to use the bag. At weddings I normally have been using a Think Tank Photo Modulus Speed Belt which has worked out really well for me with one main exception. The speed belt fits lower on you around your waist and adds a good six inches of width on each side of you so navigating quickly between tight chairs in a reception can sometimes be difficult. With the Pampas bag sitting higher on your back I didn’t have as much problem squeezing through chairs at the receptions and I tended to carry more lenses in the Pampas bag simply because I could without adding any additional size. Where I really like the Pampas bag is when hiking or other situations that require lots of walking around between shots, I can put the entire camera with a lens on it into the backpack and not have to worry about the camera swinging around into things.

One of the best things about the Pampas 57 is the price you can get it for. While it is a good deal at the list price of $108, I found it online for only $69.99. While it is to small to be my complete camera bag, it is certainly a great bag for keeping your most used items on you, its a great day bag or hiking bag, and its certainly a great bag for when I need to travel and want to take a good selection of gear without taking my entire kit.

Product Score Card









Final Score


Product Website:
Author: Kerry Garrison
Photographs by John Loyola


Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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7 Responses

  1. mutuelle says:

    Seems to be an excellent camera bag. Except on design aspects

  2. kgarrison says:

    There is no one bag that is perfect for everyone as everyone's needs are different. This is a great bag for some people and I dont think it looks to shabby either.

  3. Ed says:

    I bought the bag at your recommendation. LOVE IT !!!!

  4. Ed says:

    I bought the bag at your recommendation. LOVE IT !!!!

  1. April 30, 2009

    […] "I DO" Wedding Blog created an interesting post today on Vanguard Pampas 57 Sling Camera BagHere’s a short outline“Grab and shoot” quick access pocket. Opens from front and side for instant access. Front and top pockets for accessories… […]

  2. April 30, 2009

    […] Sewstylish’s Weblog placed an interesting blog post on Vanguard Pampas 57 Sling Camera BagHere’s a brief overviewThe Pampas bags are designed for comfort and functionality by allowing you to wear the bag as a regular backpack and then rotate the bag over… […]

  3. April 30, 2009

    […] See the rest here:  » Blog Archive Camera Dojo > Product Reviews > Vanguard Pampas 57 … […]

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