The new Ranger DSLR Sling XL camera bag from Hex is spacious for a sling but smaller than a backpack. Hex states that they incorporated customer feedback from photographers to create an entirely new design. We were sent one for review. How does it stack up in real-life usage? Find out in our full review.
The Hex bag provides ample access while offering numerous organizational features and adjustable padded dividers. Even more, it offers a water bottle pocket and a sleeve for a 13-inch laptop.
The sling can fit multiple bodies, lenses, a drone and more. The back offers a padded air-mesh for breathability. You may attach a tripod or other useful items by using the cinch straps on the bottom. With a 15L capacity, this sling is approaching the storage of a traditional camera backpack.
- Useful size
- Sturdy solid build
- Strong organization
- Comfortable used as a sling or backpack
- Water bottle pocket
- Padded sleeve for 13-inch laptop
- Padded air-mesh back for breathability
- Cinch-straps for attaching tripod or other items
- Several soft felt-lined pockets
- The shoulder pad could use a little more padding
Hex Ranger DSLR Sling XL — Technical specifications
All specifications for the Hex Ranger DSLR Sling XL are from the Hex website:
- Collapsible interior dividers for packability and customization
- Genuine Cordura exterior fabric
- Front access organizer
- Side adjustable load straps
- Faux-fur lined front phone/sunglasses pocket
- Hidden Velcro stash pockets
- Flush grab handle
- Faux-fur lined tablet pocket
- Adjustable bottom carry straps
- Dimensions: 11.0″H x 4.8″W x 14.5″L
- Weight: 2 lbs., 10 oz
- Capacity: 15L
Hex Ranger DSLR Sling XL — Ergonomics and build quality
The Hex Ranger DSLR Sling XL immediately feels solid in the hands. Everything appears to be built for durability. This includes the zippers as well as the fabric. Speaking of fabric, I appreciate when many of the pockets that you might put a tablet or a 13-inch laptop in are lined with soft felt. It feels smartly designed. I also feel like the first several times I looked at the bag, I discovered a new pocket.
Hex Ranger DSLR Sling XL — In the field
The main compartment has a padded divider that can be removed. The pocket and dividers are soft and well-padded, so there’s no worries about your equipment being scratched. You can easily configure this for a variety of equipment.
The contents in the main compartment are easily accessible. The clamshell zipper design can, if you want, open up fully to reveal everything. Or if you are wearing the bag as a sling, you may open up the top part and grab something from an open compartment if you have configured it this way. It’s up to you! They’re simply well-padded dividers with Velcro, so them around to suit your needs.
The bag is generally comfortable. I am a skinny guy, so I always want more shoulder padding. Since this holds a lot of equipment, I did find myself wanting softer padding after an hour of use while hiking with a heavy DSLR and two lenses.
Hex Ranger DSLR Sling XL– What gear can it hold?
Inside the main compartment, you can store a decent-sized drone, five or six lenses, or one to two full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera bodies and lenses.
To be more specific, I was able to easily fit a Nikon D750 full-frame DSLR with an attached 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens, an Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens inside its protective case, the humongous Pentax 15-30mm f/2.8 ultra wide-angle zoom lens and a Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 fisheye in the main compartment and have room for more.
There is also a felt-lined pocket just inside the mesh backing where you can store up to a small 13-inch laptop. There are many other pockets and organizers to store accessories, SD cards and much more. The bag is large and versatile enough to accommodate a lot of different equipment and needs.
The bottom of the bag has adjustable straps. You might use this for a small tripod, backpacking supplies, stuff sacks, jacket or other gear.