This article takes a look at the newly released, version 2 of the popular Prvke backpack from Wandrd.
The original Prvke was released in 2015 and quickly became a success story. The company released several other bags over the year and, in 2021, they decided to revisit their first backpack, improving an already solid product.
Despite leaving a few vowels behind, the designers at Wandrd are very thorough in their designs. The Prvke (pronounced “provoke”) is a full-featured backpack designed for photographers, commuters and travelers. Its versatility and adaptability are trademarks of Wandrd, and this ethos has been carried over to the rest of the company’s lineup.
The Prvke is now available in four sizes, going from the 11 liters “Lite” version, to the 21L, 31L (which we are reviewing1This bag was provided for review by Wandrd. We never accept any compensation in exchange for positive reviews, and don’t accept any editorial input from manufacturers. However, if you do decide to buy this bag, you can support our work here by ordering through any of the links on this page, whether they are from Amazon, B&H, the Wandrd website, or any others that appear.) and the largest 41L, suited for travel. There are also four color options.
The Prvke is a burly, robust backpack. The waterproof tarpaulin and ballistic nylon fabric is durable and inspires confidence.
The front is dominated by the large G-hook which keeps the roll-top in place. There are many anchor points so the bag can expand quite a lot. Velcro strips help keep the roll-top stable. One design flaw is that it is very easy to change the length of the G-hook’s strap; a quick pull is all that’s needed.
At a glance, the front appears uniform and devoid of features, but this impression is misleading. First, there is a long opening giving access to a thin and deep pocket. Second, there are loops on the sides to attach accessories or straps.
The company sells optional straps dedicated for these loops. They come in various colors and can spice up the bag’s looks.
The bottom is flat enough to allow the bag to stand upright unless it’s been packed top-heavy. It hides another pocket close to the back, ideal to store valuables or a rain cover. The straps mentioned above can also be attached there, to attach a yoga mat, umbrella, etc.
The left side features a zippered pocket. Once opened, mesh expands outwards to create a volume big enough for a water bottle or tripod. A band at the top can help stabilize the tripod. This pocket is a great feature: while roomy, it lays flat when not in use, and enhances the looks of the backpack.
The right side also features a band at the top and an opening at the bottom. When a camera cube is inserted, this gives access to the camera. The opening has a zippered pocket and can accept the flap of the camera cube, so the user doesn’t have to manage two flaps.
There is also a semi-hidden small pocket close to the top, perfect for keys, a wallet or passport.
The back panel is thickly padded and comfortable even when heavily loaded. There is a strap towards the bottom which serves as a luggage pass-through and hides yet another small pocket.
The shoulder straps are curved to adapt to various body shapes. They are also well-padded, extremely comfortable and include daisy-chained loops to attach accessories. The sternum strap uses the same attachment style as the company’s Fernweh hiking backpack. It can be detached completely from one or both sides, moved up and down, stored on one side so it doesn’t dangle down. This type of strap is excellent, much better than the default one found on cheaper backpacks.
The bottom of the back panel offers clips to attach an optional hip strap. The basic attachment point doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence, but the hip strap is solid, well padded and wide. The right side offers a thin pocket.
The top provides two burly and padded handles with the company’s motto printed on them. Those handles attach together via magnets. Believe it or not, there’s another small pocket at the top-back!
The internal volume is separated in two. The bottom part is accessed either via the side panel or from the back, via a clam-shell opening. The bag’s rigidity keeps this compartment boxy and stiff. It can be used empty but is designed to accept a camera cube, such as the “Essential Deep” shown here.
This camera cube has an opening matching the side panel and can hold quite a lot of gear. The dividers are standard, but well-made. The smaller ones bend in the middle, to wrap around lenses and round objects. There are some elastic bands to help keep objects in place. The cube has a zippered cover which folds back when inserted in the bag, for quicker access. It can also be used stand-alone, with hooks to attach an optional strap.
The back panel offers a laptop and a tablet sleeve, plus one large and two small zippered pockets.
The back opening lets the user reach the separate top compartment via two zippers joining in the middle. A tab lets the user tear away on the flap for quick access. This gives access to the bottom of the top compartment.
The main way to reach into that expandable compartment is via the top, of course. Unrolling the roll-top just how much the Prvke can be expanded. The roll-top is fairly typical, but extremely well-executed. This part of the bag can bulge and adapt to what’s inside, while the bottom retains its shape. The roll-top section does not offer any organization, which isn’t surprising.
The Prvke, like many other Wandrd products, show that the designers put a lot of thought and love in their bags.
Without being overwhelming, there are a huge number of elements, features and small details. Everything is tuned to the way the designers expect the client to use and interact with the bag, while still offering ways to adapt to each user’s preferences.
The fabrics and assembly are extremely robust. Even though they tend to attract dirt and dust, they are easy to clean and will look the same after many years of use.
The attention to details is noteworthy. The zippers are sealed but also tuck safely inside little protection covers. Most straps can be hidden or removed, and the side pocket can be zippered flat for a streamlined look. On the flip size, even though the zippers are of high quality, some of the zipper paths are tight and do not move as fluidly as we’d prefer.
The straps are robust and comfortable. The shoulder straps in particular are excellent. The shoulder straps and top handles sometimes get in the way at first because there are openings close to them. After a short while, managing those straps becomes intuitive.
The camera cubes from Wandrd are just what can be expected. Solid, robust, providing good protection and easy access. We like that they can be used as stand-alone. Internal organization is excellent. The gallery above shows many options, both with a compact mirrorless (Sony A7C, a nearly perfect hiking camera) and a large full frame DSLR (Pentax K-1 ii).
One possible improvement is that the Essential cube is the option best suited for the Prvke, and it’s a relatively big cube. Someone wanting a smaller option (the “Mini” or “Mini+”) won’t find it easy to position it for side access. With the Prvke, the bottom section needs to either be filled with the Essential cube, without a cube, or with a Mini while accepting to lose side access to the camera.
Comfort is great, a step above many competitors. Wandrd excels in this regard and does not compromise. The hip strap is also excellent, easy to store, but it increases the cost of ownership.
The Prvke 31L Photography Bundle costs $299 directly from Wandrd (including a camera cube, hip strap and accessory straps). The bag alone sells for $219, and a camera cube costs $59 ($10 more for the “Deep”), for a total of $278. The Prvke is certainly not cheap, but fairly in line with the competition. For instance, a Peak Design Everyday Backpack (which we reviewed in the past) costs $290 plus $25 for the hip strap. A Think Tank Urban Access 15 is marginally cheaper at $240 (including the hip strap) but does not offer the same expandability. Other options with comparable expandability and modularity, such as the Mission Workshop Integer, are much more expensive at up to $485.
Unfortunately, these packs are back-ordered at Wandrd and most retailers right now. Pre-order to get one when they’re available.
If there’s anything that you think we missed in this review or you still have any general question, please take a moment to ask us down in the comment section below. Have you had similar or different experiences with this bag? Also let us know! Our readers will certainly be interested to hear. Don’t worry: we’ll never spam you.
The Prvke Backpack From Wandrd: Versatile and Dependable
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