National Geographic W5070 Walkabout Medium Rucksack: A Review

Oct 19, 2009

Of late I have transited from 35mm rangefinders to medium-format and large-format.
I quickly realised that satchels and messenger bags were wholly inadequate in handling the added weight and bulk.

That is when I started researching for suitable rucksacks to handle the new load.
My requirements were pretty specific, I wanted something durable and weatherproof with lots of compartments and pockets.
I wanted something that looked stylish and relatively inconspicuous, so that ruled out the Lowepro and its counterparts.
Lastly, it had be to well-designed and ergonomically sound.

Eventually I narrowed my search down to Langly bags and the NG W5070 Rucksack.
I finally decided against the Langly because it did not offer quick and easy access to the main-compartment.
On the NG W5070, you simply unzip the front panel to access your cameras.
Where as on the Langly, you must unzip around the bag and basically half the bag to access your cameras, top down.


Materials: 7.5/10

The outer material is some sort of medium weight canvas.
It is not waxed so water droplets do not roll off it, instead the water does seep in slightly.

The inner side of the rucksack has a plastic water-proof lining.
Now this is completely water-proof and along with the canvas it provides ample protection from a slight drizzle.
If you are heading into a full-on downpour, I would recommend using the provided rain-cover.

The buckles are a plated brass and aluminium, there is no plastic hardware spotted.
Moderate quality leather is used for the zip-ends and top-handle, a nice touch that adds to the overall aesthetic.

The camera inserts are rather thin and filmsy.
I am using them at the moment and I anticipate to having to replace them after prolonged use.

Overall, I would rate the materials used as being more than adequate for the job.


Construction: 7/10

The construction is holding up well at the moment but I am tentative about it.
The stitching is relatively neat with no stray or loose threads.

However, the stress-points, which include the various joints, are not reinforced nor bar-tacked.
It is simply stitched along the edges with no extra criss-cross stitching to strengthen it.
I fear that with heavy-handed usage the stress-points would eventually give out.

As such, I can only rate it again as adequate.


Usage: 9/10
In the application and usage is where the W5070 really redeems itself.
I really enjoy using this rucksack and I find it to be very intuitively designed.

Firstly, it is very easy to access your main camera compartment through the dual-zippers.
Dual-zippers are a boon because they offer more options in opening the front as well as enabling you to put a small-lock through them.
It can easily hold two full-sized DSLR bodies and two medium sized zooms with space to spare.

Aside from the main camera compartment, there is also a top-loading section to hold all your other items.
There is a flap dividing the bottom camera compartment and the top section.
It can be removed should you require the entire length of the bag to hold long lenses or whatever else.

Also, the abundance of pockets and compartments are simply a joy!
The front two pockets are zippered with a flap to possibly act as an addition barrier for marauding hands.
The side pockets come with flaps and Velcro. The flaps can be tucked in to hold a tripod or water-bottle.

The top flat has more pockets for your smaller items and the back panel has a laptop compartment.
It can also hold magazines, books or documents.

I must also add that I like how the straps uses a D-ring system which allows for quick adjustments.
There is also a chest-strap to help secure and distribute the weight more efficiently.

Lastly, this rucksack is very comfortable to use.
The thickly padded straps are well-placed and provides excellent weight distribution.
Added to the fact that this bag is rather lightweight to begin with, I can lug it around for an entire day without too much fatigue.
The padded laptop compartment at the back also acts as a cushion of sorts, so you will not get poked by awkward items within the rucksack.


Conclusion: 8/10

Overall, the W5070 is a well-built and well-designed rucksack.
It combines an intuitive layout with clever features with above-average materials in a stylish and understated package.

While it is definitely a rung down from the materials and construction used on Brady bags, Billingham, Duluth Packs or even the Langly bag.
The price, looks and usability more than makes up for it.

If you are in the market for something hardy, stylish and versatile without the need for the over-engineered offerings from Lowepro, Tamrac etc.
You might do well to consider and give the NG W5070 a try.

Last edited:


New Member
Oct 5, 2009
Is your pictures down?

I can't see anything form flickr

Feb 4, 2013
Hi, I saw your W5070 bag are with a bit wider shoulder straps with 2 dark strips on both sides, but in most of other W5070 pics I saw these 2 straps are thinner and without the dark strips on the sides. Is this one genuine? Is there some small different design in different countries?

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