Vinta Type-II Backpack Review
It's slick, stylish and stands out for its vintage vibe. But how functional and comfortable is the Vinta Type-II Backpack? Read our review to find out!
By Tommy Williams
Vinta have been around for a good few years now, originating from a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017 where they released their first edition Vinta Type-S backpack.
After a rather successful entry into the highly competitive camera bag market, they set out to update and continue to improve on what some fans consider to be the best photography backpack of the year.
Vinta listened to feedback and requests from customers and the Type-II Backpack was born. Once again, it was launched on the Kickstarter platform.
It has now been just under two years since the release of the Type-II and they’re still going strong, continually improving upon their signature product range and never settling.
A company that will continue to support their range and listen to their customers is something that I can stand by, and definitely something that I can respect.
The Vinta Type-II Backpack is a modern and beautiful minimalist throwback to the classic 1800’s British Hardpacks, designed for those who want both fashion and function.
It’s stylish enough to settle into daily city life but is functional enough to join you on an adventure anywhere you find yourself within this beautiful world of ours.
Vinta Type-II Backpack Specs
- It looks great!
- It’s built well and feels sturdy and comfortable
- It really is quite versatile and suits most occasions
- It is different to most out in the market these days
- Having to deal with multiple zippers just to access gear can be annoying at times
- Not including any attachment straps limits functionality when space can already be tight
- Not having a sternum or waist strap I feel is a missing feature
Weight: 1.17kg (2.6lbs)
Dimensions: 41.9 x 29.2 x 15.8cm (16.5″ x 11.5″ x 6.25″)
Compact Field Pack:
Weight: 0.14kg (0.3lbs)
26.7 x 8.9 x 8.9 (10.5 x 22.6 x 22.6)
Camera Field Pack:
Weight: 0.45kg (1lbs)
26.7 x 27.9 x 12.1 cm (10.5 x 11.0 x 4.75″)
Combined (Camera Kit):
Weight: 1.9kg (4.2lbs)
The Vinta Type-II Backpack contains a luggage sleeve for easy transport on top of a wheeled bag, a side strap for attaching taller items, a D-ring carabiner clip for other smaller attachments, and expandable side pockets for bottles. It also includes a 15″ Laptop Sleeve build into the rear-facing opening.
It is constructed from waterproof coated twill and features water-resistant zippers and an inner lining made from lightweight nylon.
Included in the Camera Kit is the Camera Field Pack, which also comes bundled with a decent amount of internal dividers and an external shoulder carry strap.
The Vinta Type-II Backpack is available in numerous standard colour and style options such as Black Matte, Forest Green, and Charcoal, which all feature a set combination of leather accents.
Alternatively, it is also available in a limited edition range of bold colours developed in collaboration with American NFL player and fashion icon Cam Newton.
The standard configurations available are the standard Bookbag/Laptop Bag which contains no extra internal compartments, a Travel Kit which features the small Compact Field Pack and a Travel Field Pack, and the Camera Kit (as featured in this article) which contains the Compact Field Pack and Camera Field Pack.
Build & Appearance
No matter how many times I look at this bag, I can’t help but notice how the Vinta Type-II Backpack is an undeniably beautifully designed backpack.
It has been thought out and styled tastefully, it is not overdone and it is certainly not under-cooked. It is rather purposeful in its design without having too many extras thrown into the mixture.
Featured here is their beautifully subtle and sleek Black Matte backpack which features smooth tightly woven nylon and black leather details throughout the bag.
One thing I will say, and I don’t mean it in a bad way at all, is that I feel that this bag is rather polarising to an extent.
It is dark, subtle, and sleek enough to move under the radar, but once noticed it really stands out from the crowd!
It has a rather sturdy and boxy design which makes using the modular internal compartments far easier to deal with and manage.
The straight edges allow for a greater utilisation of all of the storage compartments and pockets available to you.
The top outer lid provides an extra layer of cover and water protection for the internal lid and compartment in which the Compact Field Pack sits.
The Vinta Type-II Backpack doesn’t use any annoying straps or clips to hold the compartments closed; instead, they rely on discretely placed magnetic latches which easily detach with little fuss.
The leather straps and buckles you see on the front of the bag are just purely design pieces to help give the modernised vintage look – much in the guise of the classic British Hardpack that Vinta drew their inspiration from.
A beautiful combination of both form and function, the Type-II is a wonderful example of a multi-purpose backpack.
Whether you’re riding the bus to the office, spending a day hiking, or you’re a wedding photographer capturing somebody’s big day, the Type-II Camera Backpack will fit right in to any of those purposes, and more!
The Vinta Type-II Backpack features a dual top lid system and is constructed from waterproof coated twill. It also features water-resistant zippers throughout the bag.
All of this combines wonderfully to create a weatherproof camera carry solution for your day-to-day use.
Situated on the front of the backpack is also a pair of slim pockets covered up by a large front lid held down by convenient magnetic latches.
However, I should mention that there are no purpose-built security locks, hoops, or attachments on the Type-II Backpack to lock the zippers in place.
That said, given that there is no front or side access to the main compartment, and the top access point contains the magnetic latches followed by a zipper, it would be rather difficult for anybody to knock off items without you knowing. The only potentially vulnerable points that somebody could access through are the dual slim front pouches hidden beneath the lower front lid.
Interestingly, the side pockets on the Vinta Type-II come with zippers built into them, allowing them to be closed up and out of the way when not in use.
With the side pockets zipped up they can work quite nicely as a small document pouch to carry a folded up map or a notepad, keys, or other small items you may want easy access to.
Once you release the zippers the side pockets open up nice and wide to be used as a drink bottle holder, or if you utilise the leather strap built into the side of the Type-II Camera Backpack you can easily carry a tripod or secure other taller items to the side of the bag.
The leather strap is adjustable and will sit out of the way when not in use, however, I don’t know how much weight it would handle so I don’t advise hanging anything too heavy from it just in case it stretches, separates, or breaks apart.
However, if you do need to hang extra items from any surface of the bag, I would like to guide you to the opposite side of the bag where you’ll find a convenient D-ring carabiner clip!
This interesting and conveniently simple attachment point allows for quick access to items such as a torch, keys, small tool kit, solar charger, or anything else that may come in handy in the field.
On previous generations, this was a fixed solid ring, so I am glad on this latest update they’ve addressed that and made it far more functional by turning it into a carabiner clip!
If larger bulky items are also a consideration or requirement Vinta also provide four attachment points to the base of the bag to allow usage of their Leather Attachment Straps (sold separately).
You will not find any further attachment points on the bag other than these four, along with the aforementioned features on the sides of the backpack.
The Vinta Type-II Backpack features a nice soft leather top handle and an incredible amount of padding on the back. The back straps feel strong and are nicely padded, providing you with a very welcomed and comfortable carry day in and day out.
However, unfortunately, I must mention that it does not feature any sternum or waist straps which tend to greatly assist weight distribution on long or heavy travels.
Hopefully in a further iteration this may be addressed, as I’m sure many people (including myself) will very happily welcome the addition of at least one of those two features.
Since the Type-II Backpack is the successor of Vinta’s original Type-S camera bag, it appears to look very much the same as the original. However, many of the improvements and updates were to the functionality of the bag.
When the team over at Vinta set out to redesign and improve on the Type-S, one of the major changes they made was to add on more modular functionality.
Keeping the smaller sized Compact Field Pack in the top, they removed the fixed internal dividers and turned that region into a large open compartment in which a removable pouch could be placed instead. This allows the customer to choose for themselves how to use the internal area of the backpack.
The interior region of the Type-II is quite bare. It’s basically a large cavernous interior that has either top or rear access with minimal pockets included inside.
As well as the decent-sized 15″ laptop pouch, there are two smaller velcro side pockets at the top of the bag, one thin zipper pocket on the laptop pouch and one zipper pocket contained within the internal top lid.
Without using one of the large Field Packs, the bag functions decently as a normal backpack, but the benefits really start to show when you option in one of the two larger Field Packs.
The Camera Field Pack comes bundled with a decent amount of internal dividers allowing for the usual level of customisation depending on the amount of gear you have. You’ll be able to fit at least a couple of smaller camera bodies and 3-5 lenses in there.
In essence, the Travel Field Pack is, from what I believe, a Camera Field Pack without all of the velcro and internal dividers – great for packing clothing and accessories for a small trip or a day out on the road.
Both large Field Packs come with small internal mesh pockets built into the lid, two small side pockets on the outside, and a grab handle at the top, and they also come bundled with a shoulder strap to allow for easy external carry if the backpack is needed for other things.
Both of the larger Field Packs come with an external shoulder strap which converts them into a great external carry solution freeing up space on the inside for your other daily items, such as spare clothing, bulkier items, or whatever else you require.
The Compact Field Pack is great for securing smaller items and handy if you want to leave the main bag on the floor or packed away when you only need what’s inside that pouch.
Pairing either of the larger Field Packs with the smaller Compact Field Pack will help you sort out the little things and will also come in handy in situations on the road or in cafes – for example, where you may need constant access to smaller items but find it a hassle to keep accessing the backpack itself. Just take it out and drop it on the table.
To demonstrate here, I’ve loaded it up with a travel mouse, power brick, USB hard drive, sunglasses, my wallet, and smaller cables. It’s great to be able to remove the little pouch and have it on the table while the full bag sits down on the floor.
Personally I find the Vinta Type-II Backpack to be a great multi-purpose bag. It can be a camera bag, day-pack, travel bag, work bag, laptop bag, and the list goes on.
In saying that though, I have to also add that it’s more of a “single purpose at a time” bag.
My reason for saying that is once you load it up with one of the larger Field Packs, there’s not a lot of space inside the bag for anything else.
This is in contrast to some other bags, where you’ll be able to rearrange a few dividers and use a different access point for your different types of items.
The reason for this is that the Camera Field Pack is a closed-off box and you can only access it by opening the entire back panel of the bag. The only free space it leaves you with is where the Compact Field Pack sits, and if you also make use of that then there’s no “I’ll just throw a jacket in here just for good measure”.
I found that when I use this for my daily commute and I get a delivery, I can’t always fit it in the bag to carry it home, unlike with other camera backpacks I own.
If you only need to load a single camera with a lens attached into your bag, but also want to load it up with a jacket and a packed lunch for work (such as I do), you may need to forego the use of the Camera Field Pack all together.
The Vinta Type-II Backpack alone will fit a good number of items and clothing for day trips or for short nights away from home, or if you’d rather use the Travel Field Pack it’ll help compartmentalise your smaller goodies with the extra internal mesh pockets.
You’ll easily fit a DSLR or Mirrorless camera body or two into the Camera Field Pack along with extra lenses, a flash, charger, and various other items inside the main compartment.
Extra accessories such as batteries, filters, and memory cards easily fit inside the internal mesh pockets.
If you’re a drone flyer you’ll easily fit a DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Mavic Air, DJI Mavic Mini, or a DJI Spark along with the controller, spare batteries, chargers, filters, and most of the other things you may need into the Camera Field Pack.
Located on the inside of the rear access lid of the Vinta Type-II Backpack is a laptop sleeve that is large enough to fit a 15″ laptop or tablet.
It can be accessed through the top of the bag if you remove the Compact Field Pack, although it’s main access point is by opening the main lid to which it is attached.
If you carry a tablet, that’ll slide in nicely to the front pocket of the backpack along with any notepads and pens you carry around with you.
Ease of Use/Comfort
The Vinta Type-II Backpack comes equipped with a large amount of back padding, and the padded straps are quite comfortable and shape around your shoulders nicely.
There’s no feeling your bulky camera gear press sharply against your back while wearing this backpack!
You can only access the main compartment from the back of the bag through the use of the full-length waterproof zippers. This is rather common practice among the world of photography-orientated camera backpacks.
This is not only an added layer of security from wandering hands trying to take something valuable from you, but for also mitigating the risk of dropping any camera gear accidentally while removing items from the bag.
Another frustrating thing I’d like to add with using this bag is also having to go through two layers of zippers just to access your camera gear.
I’ve found myself not zipping up the Camera Field Pack or the Compact Field Pack once placing them inside the backpack. The process of having to lift the top lid and go through two layers of zippers just to grab something as simple as my headphones from the top compartment can get annoying at times.
But other than those small frustrations (which you move past pretty quickly) the bag itself is quite straightforward to prepare and a rather comfortable bag to wear.
The rigid shape makes for easy packing and arranging, and the flat bottom allows it to stand upright even when fully loaded. It’s well balanced and is a rather sturdy design, which makes for easy sliding under an airline seat or dropping into the back of a car.
Value for Money
In the highly saturated camera bag market, coming out with a new product that is different to the rest can be a really hard and bold move.
Vinta created a loyal following from day one, and seem to have only increased that number over the years. Continually listening to what their customers have to say and being brave enough to admit where things can improve is definitely something you don’t always hear about.
Being a company that is proud of their signature product, yet continually working on it and improving it year after year proves that they are here for the long haul. They’re not here to just make a few dollars and disappear.
The level of time, passion, and craftsmanship that has gone into the creation and development of the Vinta Type-II Backpack definitely shows and shines strong.
It’s stylish, functional, and constructed to live a long life. But even if it starts to give way, Vinta offer the original owner a warranty on the backpack which is valid for the full lifetime of the bag.
If you’re using the bag as intended and you find any manufacturer defects, they’ll support you and will rectify the problem.
The Vinta Type-II Backpack is a New York designed small-batch boutique bag from a company in the USA. Not having a rushed mainstream format means that things take longer and cost a bit more to manufacture, however, when it is backed by a lifetime warranty and the resulting products feel great and work wonderfully, that is something that I can get behind.
If you’re after a great looking versatile boutique camera bag that doesn’t look like all the others in the market, this is definitely a bag for you.
Vinta Type-II Backpack Review | Conclusion
The Vinta Type-II Backpack is a fantastic product. Being quite versatile, durable and still being incredibly stylish definitely scores it a number of points. But there are still quite a few quirks and annoyances that I have to admit bring my opinion of it down a bit.
I really feel that it could benefit from having a sternum or waist strap built into it, or at least able to be attached to it.
Not including the bottom attachment straps is an understandable move, but I do feel as though they can be a necessary item to include in a purchase due to the lacking of extra storage when you need it.
For example, if you load up the bag with camera gear but want to also carry a jacket, towel, or anything else you may need on a hike or day out.
Vinta have produced a wonderful product and I appreciate that over the last few years they’ve listened to their customers and continued to improve on an already great bag.
I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in the future!
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