As photographers, we all need (want) the best camera bag available to suit our needs. For me personally, this has been a never-ending pursuit.
I’ve found many amazing bags and even reviewed a bunch of them here on Shotkit.
Of course, as with any product, I’ve come across bags that seem to have been mass-produced just for the sake of getting a product out to market every three months.
Sometimes I wish I had the skills and equipment to design and produce my own bag. I’ve even experimented by putting camera cubes into random non-camera bags.
Then I came across the Wotancraft Easy Rider and instantly knew that if I could make a bag, it would look a lot like this.
Wotancraft makes gorgeous bespoke leather bags and other small leather goods. What’s more, their camera bags look nothing like camera bags – no mass-produced logo-branded bags here!
They’re styled like hand-made products and crafted with love, care and old school tools. I love that about the Easy Rider – it looks, feels and even smells great.
There are no plastics or weird alloys or composite materials – just leather, canvas and metal hardware. There ‘s something very earthy about this kind of bag.
Let’s take a closer look at the Wotancraft Easy Rider and why this is a great camera bag – especially for those on the go.
Table of Contents
Wotancraft Easy Rider Specs
- Vintage soul – stylish
- Premium materials and build
- Compression system
- Fiddly front pocket access
- Camera insert not included
- A bit pricey
- The strap is not long enough for bigger people
- Dimensions:35cm x 15cm x 18cm (14″ x 6″ x 7″)
- Capacity: 9.5L
- Weight: 0.87kg (1.9lbs)
- Zippered front pocket: 21cm x 12cm (8″ x 5″)
- Internal phone pocket: 8.5cm x 12cm (3″ x 5″)
- Internal zippered pocket: 16.5cm x 12cm (6″ x 5″)
- Nylon 6,6 yarn Cordura ® 500D tear-proof waxed canvas
- Cotton fabric liner
- High-density EVA foam padding
- Bronze YKK Zippers with rustproof coating
Build & Appearance
Wotancraft has been around for a little over a decade and throughout that time they have adhered to a very simple principle – to design products with a ‘vintage soul’.
The Easy Rider has clearly inherited that ethos. You could very easily mistake it for something from another generation – like an old motorcycle rider’s bag.
It’s incredibly well built with heavy-duty hardware and solid stitching throughout the bag. It’s made from a combination of distressed cow-hide leather and Cordura canvas.
The leather has a battle-distressed look that includes any imperfections and scaring that existed on the hide. Further to this, Wotancraft uses a wax infusion techniq1ue to generate a cracked effect on the leather surface.
All the leather straps are thick (not overly chunky) and will take years to age and fully soften.
The canvas has a very soft feel to it and includes a multi-layer coating to improve weather resistance. While Cordura itself is not water-resistant, Wotancraft have treated the Easy Rider with a Teflon application – water will roll right off it in all but the most severe drenchings.
My review copy of the bag is actually the version 2 of the Easy Rider. The improvements from the original version include improved leather fasteners on the exterior of the bag and a padded grab handle on the rear.
As for durability, this bag is made to stand the test of time.
It’s not very often you come across a camera bag that’s only going to improve with age, but the Easy Rider will do exactly that.
The leather will soften and develop its own patina and the canvas will wear and develop its own aesthetic.
As mentioned earlier, Wotancraft aim for a ‘vintage soul’ look to their designs. With the Easy Rider, it’s not just the vintage-style materials employed but also the subtle design elements added to the canvas.
I’ve never been a fan of camouflage products – growing up in the ’80s taught that not everything needs to be camouflage! But this bag has an organic-design print to give the surface a very mild ‘Smoke Camo’ appearance. It’s incredibly subtle and adds to the aged look of the product.
The Wotancraft Easy Rider is a messenger style bag that has the shape of a mini-duffle more than a laptop carrying messenger – in fact, the bag won’t hold a small laptop securely.
Its boxy shape is deceiving thanks to a clever compression system – the bag can be reduced to half it’s capacity.
There’s only one external pocket and that’s located on the front of the bag’s cow-hide leather panel. The zipper is a large size YKK made of bronze with a rust-proof coating – again a focus on durability.
Above this pocket is a thick leather grab handle – one of two, with the other being made of padded Cordura and mounted on the back of the bag.
The front of the Wotancraft Easy Rider also features two leather straps that run vertically down the front of the bag. These straps can be anchored to the bottom of the front panel via large bronze studs.
Once secured, the bag is compressed into a much smaller size and shape. When the straps are not locked down, the bag is free to open right out to its full capacity.
The sides and base of the bag are unadorned while the back of the bag features that second grab handle. There is also a broad leather strap stitched to the bag with a pair of thick D-rings at each end.
The shoulder strap system attaches to these D-rings.
Half of the shoulder strap is a thick cut of broad leather and the other half is a soft nylon strap. There is also a second smaller, thinner leather strap that runs between the side of the Easy Rider and partway along the main strap.
When you have this bag slung behind you, or in front of you, you can slip your arm through the loop made by this smaller strap. This prevents the bag from swinging around on your body.
Wotancraft label this as a ‘3-point stabilisation’ system. As mentioned, this bag is made with on-the-go people in mind – especially those that ride bicycles or motorbikes.
The top of the Wotancraft Easy Rider features a brass YKK zipper with two leather pull tabs. This is trimmed with yet another piece of soft leather as a design accent and provides stability to the overall shape.
For such a simple design, there’s a lot going on with leather accents and features. Some may feel that it’s too busy for their liking – but all bags are a matter of taste.
The inside of the Easy Rider is lined with a cotton-fabric padding and micro-fibre cover. It’s clean and neat with no obvious internal pockets or features.
However, inside the back wall are three snug pockets – a small one for keys, another thin one for a pen and the final one is zippered and could hold a smartphone and passport. These blend into the lining and could almost be considered hidden pockets.
As the Wotancraft Easy Rider dimensions can be altered with the external leather compression straps, this also changes the storage capacity of the interior.
Without the camera insert, the bag has a lot of room for a couple of books, a small tablet, water bottle and all your other small daily carry items. With the camera insert installed, there is very little room for anything else – this is, after all, a camera bag.
Having said that, the camera cube is quite generous and it also can fold down to still fit comfortably in the compressed bag. Open up the compression straps and the camera insert will also expand – brilliant.
This is a great feature as it actively adapts to the gear you’re carrying without any extra effort from you.
Further to this, the camera insert is quick and easy to remove with or without gear and has a fold-down flap of its own.
If you’re carrying a smaller mirrorless kit, then you can compress the Easy Rider and your gear will be snug and secure. If lugging a larger camera, then expand the bag and the insert continues to accommodate your gear.
If it isn’t obvious by now, I have a problem. My problem is that I love camera bags and as a result have far too many of them.
Of course, I love them all and could not part with any of them. However, my favourite bags are those that are versatile in their uses.
The Wotancraft Easy Rider is an incredibly versatile bag thanks to its compact size, brilliant compression system and removable camera insert.
Take the insert out and it’s a great Everyday Carry bag that can fit all your best hipster bits and pieces – Moleskine notebook, vintage film camera, beard wax, cotton kerchief and a bag of organic tapioca (if you’re so inclined).
Drop that camera insert back in and you’ve got a great bag for safely and securely carrying your kit – large or small.
Here’s what I managed to fit into the Wotancraft Easy Rider (Non-hipster set-up!):
- Fujifilm X-E3
- Fujifilm X70
- Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2
- Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2
- Cura Cleaning Kit
- Spare Batteries / SD Cards
- Glasses Case
Ease of Use/Comfort
Wotancraft has a knack for designing bags that are incredibly comfortable to use (be sure to check out their backpacks too). From hand made leather watch straps to bags like the Easy Rider, their products ooze comfort and style.
It’s really nice to grab a bag like this and get instant tactile feedback from the materials it’s constructed with – don’t forget to take a deep whiff of that leather!
When carrying the bag, the shoulder strap is broad and thick and does not dig in with a heavy load. Over time, this will only become softer and more malleable.
There’s a separate shoulder pad that can be purchased to further increase the comfort of the bag. However, I didn’t see a need for it with my light kit.
Access to the main compartment is quick and easy with no zip-wrestling. When the Easy Rider is in its compressed form, I found it a little harder to pull my camera and attached lens out – it just takes a little more wiggling.
When the bag’s compressed via the leather straps, you can carry the bag via the two carry handles – when compressed they come into close proximity to each other.
One design issue that I did come across is that the two front leather compression straps get in the way of the zipper to access the front pocket.
Value for Money
When purchasing the Wotancraft Easy Rider you have a couple of decisions to make. Not that being able to customise your bag is ever a bad thing…
The first is to decide on the colour and materials of your own bag.
The bag that I received for this review is made of Cordura canvas with a leather panel and lots of thick leather straps. However, there are full black leather and full brown leather versions – at a considerably higher price.
My version of the Easy Rider came in at around US$260 not including the camera insert. For this price, you get the main bag with the shoulder strap system and a nice cotton dustproof bag for shipping and storage (not really a selling point).
The Quick Draw camera insert is around $50 but that’s not the only accessory you can purchase.
There’s a range of simple inserts that use velcro to attach to the inner wall of the bag. These come in different shapes and sizes with some using elastic to hold cables or batteries and others with fully enclosed pockets.
You can really make this bag your own style.
The Easy Rider is a premium product that is built to last a lifetime – without having to be delicate with it.
That kind of durability, combined with the vintage soul of the bag, make it incredible value for money. Keeping in mind that this bag is made from thick cuts of cow-hide leather and heavy-use hardware, it’s easily comparable with any ONA bag – clearly not vegan friendly!
Wotancraft Easy Rider Review | Conclusion
I think I’ve made it pretty clear that this is an amazing camera bag for a whole range of reasons. First and foremost, it has a vintage look that hides the fact that it stores expensive camera gear inside.
Secondly, the bag is incredibly well made from premium materials that’ll last forever and only get better looking with age – much like myself!
Thirdly, the bag’s simple in its analogue nature – yet very versatile. Quickly swap it from your street photography bag to your ‘scooting to a poetry reading’ satchel in a matter of moments.
But in all seriousness, the Wotancraft Easy Rider is a premium and gorgeous camera bag. It’s the sort of bag for those that just want to carry their camera kit in style while confident that it’s safe from the elements.