*Vintage tech is the term Wotancraft uses to describe the design direction of the Scout, which will be elaborated on in this article.
My first Wotancraft was the Scout (2012 version). The handmade, vintage WWII-inspired design, coupled with the excellent workmanship and quality materials, made it a no-brainer choice. And unexpectedly, 10 years later, after some teasing on social media, Wotancraft has released the updated Scout (2022 version), challenging themselves in improving a well-loved classic camera bag. Let’s take a deeper look.
too long; didn’t read
A decade is an extremely long time in the camera world, and the people at Wotancraft have somehow improved on the Scout in almost every way imaginable while maintaining the design DNA that made the Scout unique a decade ago.
I only carry sling camera bags from 3 brands, and the Wotancraft Scout (2022) is among the top choices in this list.
Anyone who appreciates the craftsmanship and quality in the bag one carries should consider the Scout, more so if one is looking for an everyday carry option providing safety, protection, and well-designed access for one’s laptops/tablets and camera equipment.
One might need a bit of time in getting to know the bag and once this learning curve is over, the Scout is going to probably outlast even most of one’s camera gear.
Locally, the Wotancraft Scout is available from Drew & Barry, the authorized dealer for Wotancraft in Singapore.
Vintage Tech – Modern materials X Heritage aesthetics
Dubbed the ‘City Explorer’, the Scout results from Wotancraft’s passion for integrating outdoor functionality and elements into their vintage-inspired designs; in fact, Wotancraft labels this as a “Vintage Tech” concept found across their most popular lines.
Notably, the whole bag is hand-crafted to Wotancraft standards. This obsession goes down to the level where the hardware on the Scout is all custom-designed, down to the subtly embossed Wotancraft logo on the back.
There are two color options, an Olive Green with brown leather and Charcoal with black leather version. The angular rectangular profile, with ever so slightly rounded edges (reinforced with cow leather) and an improved lid that closes with leather Y-tabs that made the original Scout stand out amongst so many competitors, has stayed true in the design DNA of the 2022’s version.
The Scout (2022) maintains the original Scout’s design DNA with its functionality improved in almost every imaginable way.
The Scout is crafted from Wotancraft’s propriety version of military-grade Cordura® 500D tear-proof fabric and reinforced by cowhide leather at the high-contact areas to ensure this bag will last decades of use. Inside, we are looking at a medical-grade microfiber lining, a deliberate decision to minimize ‘fuzz’ during use.
The Scout’s hardware is composed of zinc alloy and brass, with YKK water-resistant zippers and the bag is held together and finished with Nylon 6,6 thread. One must really spend some time appreciating the quality of stitching around the whole bag, down to how reinforcement is done at the stress points.
The Scout and the gear it holds has a higher chance of surviving an accident than me.
Smoke-Camo Cordura® – skip this section if you aren’t keen on the geeky nerdy stuff.
Not often shared, Wotancraft actually uses its own propriety version of military-grade Cordura®, aptly named: Smoke-camo Cordura®. Wotancraft’s version costs 5x more than standard Cordura®, and to make the design work for photographers, the Scout’s fabric is made weather-proof from a Teflon® coat and PU laminated underneath to ensure one’s laptop, electronics or camera equipment is secure from the elements. (read in detail here)
Functional Design and Access
Some users will be keen to understand is the Scout a camera bag or an Everyday carry (EDC) but actually, why not both?
Although the Scout is dubbed as a ‘City Explorer’, I am reviewing the Scout as a camera user foremost, and thus how the Scout’s design is going to work in protecting my photography equipment in a safe and easy to access manner.
I have the habit of packing along a camera and a Macbook Pro 13 almost on a daily basis, and thus in the EDC aspect, a ‘proper’ EDC must allow me to minimally carry a Macbook Pro 13 and a one camera body setup. In this sense, the Scout easily swallows everything I can think of fitting in, and if I wish to, a Nikon Z6 II body with 3 lenses (a 35mm ƒ1.8 S, 50mm ƒ1.8 S, and a 24-70 ƒ4 S) and more.
The Scout basically allows you to pack along even a full frame body, 3 lenses plus a MBP 13, and you still have the 2 front pockets free to fulfil the whims of your imagination.assuming you have extremely strong shoulders…
One thing that I absolutely adore and use a lot is actually the two external pockets, or simply, very generously sized pockets that can either act as storage for my filters, batteries, or even frankly, a whole Fujifilm X100 or a Ricoh GR camera in it. These two pockets secures with two sturdy buttons each.
A clear sign of how over-engineered the Scout is that I realized every single button-clasp on the bag comes with a finger loop underneath, to simply ensure the one does not have to struggle in releasing the button.
I would not have imagined discussing the shoulder pad for a bag, but the Scout’s bundled shoulder pad made of neoprene scuba fabric is extremely soft and comfortable. One has the option to attach the strap or remove it easily using the large-sized clip-on.
I have spent time trying to find something to gripe about the Scout because nothing can ever be perfect, and I thought I found it until on closer inspection, the people at Wotancraft have also ensured to include a luggage carry slot AND a handle for the bag and with reinforced stitching for both. 🙈
The Wotancraft Scout is a camera bag on par with some of the most expensive in the market if one considers the three main areas which matter most – materials, craftsmanship, and design.
The Scout is essentially the result of a craftsman engineering an already well-designed camera bag by incorporating the know-how they have gained in the last decade and updating it based on the feedback gathered. If it matters, the Scout comes in at 1250 grams and measures 9L in capacity. Remove the dividers for a huge storage compartment and one gets 1135 grams.
Like some of the best camera bags I have used and now using, the Scout is more than just looks and is functionally excellent and there is no reason not to recommend the Wotancraft Scout bag to anyone.
Thank you for reading.
- The Wotancraft Scout was provided for review, and I will be purchasing one from the local Authorised distributor for my own use.
- All images shared were photographed by me using the Nikon Z6 II and Leica Q and processed in LR CC Classic to my preferences.
- I take pride in being a writer who does not earn through selling affiliate links or commissions, and as such able to provide a neutral point of view.