Sarah here. Andrew received his prize from the ViewBug contest: a very spiffy National Geographic camera pack. He asked me to take a still life of it (apparently I’m the household product photographer), so we pulled together the most explorer-appropriate gear we had around: Middle Eastern feedbag-turned-rug, Russian bayonet, Australian bush hat, desert boots, and a steamer trunk.
The pack is very retro-cool, and it’s got lots of organizational pockets and some great features, like a nice padded modular camera insert that’s similar to my Lowepro pack but smaller. Andrew hasn’t used it yet, but our first impression is that it feels pretty rugged. I like the map-printed fabric inside some of the flaps. Some parts are so retro that they’ll probably be annoying, like the chest strap; where any modern backpack would use a simple buckle/clip, here you have to loop the strap through two metal rings. It’s also not the lightest (it’s canvas instead of high-tech fabric, etc.). It’s obviously not meant to be the most high-speed-low-drag of gear, and it’s a bit on the small side, but it’s cool and reflects its NatGeo roots nicely. It looks and feels like it wants to tag along on some grand adventures.