I’ve never been the type to consider style in my shopping for bags, but if the style doesn’t cost a thing, then why not? This is certainly the case with the new HEX x Misshattan Ranger DSLR Sling, a different take on the company’s regular Ranger DSLR Sling.
It goes without saying that if you look at this bag, you are probably already familiar with the work of Natalie Amrossi, aka Misshattan, whose photographs of Manhattan seen from the sky are quite eye-catching. They are also eye-catching when printed on the personalized rain cover and interior panels of this bag.
On the outside, the Misshattan branding is subtle. An embroidered logo on the back and a polished metal badge on the side are the only clues that this particular bag is different from the standard Ranger DSLR Sling. That’s a good thing, because no one wants their camera bag to scream “steal me” with something flashier than that.
Before the folks at HEX sent me the bag to try it on, I had never used a shoulder bag. I’ve always had the standard shoulder bags and backpacks. I had to navigate to the bag’s info page to see photos of how it was supposed to be worn. It’s supposed to look like how Amrossi wears it in the photo at the top of this review.
Depending on the company, it can be worn around the waist like a fanny pack. I don’t think that’s something I’ll ever do with my cameras.
The bag is made of water resistant Cordura fabric and has a strap with a small cushion for extra comfort. The strap has a clip which is just a little too easy to disassemble (I dropped the ones from the entire bag with only slight pressure from the clip), but makes the bag fairly easy to remove. There is a decently sized compartment to stash your camera and lenses, but the features I really liked were the secret compartments built into the shoulder straps, a grab handle on the back, and the faux fur lined pockets on the back. front to store accessories. On a few hikes and while shooting at an event, I quickly got used to the scarf style backpack and was able to walk around the bag near my hands for easy access to targets and to other equipment. At the bottom there are a few straps that are easy to put on and take off to hold a tripod or monopod.
If I have a problem with the bag, it’s probably in the misleading name. It’s called a “DSLR Sling”, but it’s not quite the right size for a DSLR. Placing a Canon EOS 6D and EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM lens, a fairly common setup for outdoor shooting or light photojournalism work, filled the entire main compartment of the bag, with only room for the smallest of 50mm or 85mm lenses on the left. I understand the purpose of the bag is more of a “day bag” setup, but a little more elbow room would be appreciated. The fit is very, very tight with most DSLRs larger than a Canon EOS Rebel.
The game changes a bit if you are a shooter from a small mirrorless shooter. I loaded some of my Micro Four Thirds gear into this bag and found it perfect. In most other bags, the smaller size of the Micro Four Thirds gear makes it look like it “swims” in the main compartments – it often feels like there is too much room for the bags. things bounce back, but this bag was the perfect fit for my Panasonic Lumix G85, Olympus 75mm f / 1.8 lens and a few extra lenses. If you’re shooting a slimmer body like a GX85, the fit will likely be even better. Fuji X series shooters will probably also like the bag a lot.
One of the advantages of the entire Ranger line from HEX is that there is no price difference depending on the color. If the features of the bag seem nice to you and you don’t want the Misshattan branding, there is always the standard black color. There are also a variety of camouflage colors. It always annoyed me to pay extra just for the look of an accessory if it did the same (I’m looking at you, MeFoto). It’s a solid bag in itself, and the Misshattan image and branding just add a little flair.
What I liked
- Useful and thoughtful features
- Superior feel to the materials
- The sling style grows on you
- Ideal for small mirrorless cameras
What I did not like
- The strap clip comes off a bit too easily
- While it can hold a DSLR, it’s a tight fit for all models except the smallest
You can purchase the HEX x Misshattan Ranger DSLR Sling here.