The Wotancraft Ryker Camera Bag Review
This is mainly a video review of the beautiful Wotancraft Ryker bag. I will add some words after the video below:
Occasionally a bag comes along that I really like. For example, there have been bags from Tenba, Artisan & Artist, Think Tank, Fogg and Ona that I adored. I even enjoyed the Camslinger bag and still do from time to time. But never has a bag come through that spoke to me in the way this Wotancraft Ryker does. In fact, it is the most beautiful, well made, useful and overall nice bag I have ever come across in my life. I prefer it to the Fogg bag that I owned (that was more expensive), I prefer it to the ONA bags I have had (and still own) and I prefer it to just about ANY bag, ever. Why? Well, there are many reasons and I go over them in the video above. What it boils down to is that this is just about as perfect as a camera bag can get for those who want a nice looking, well made leather bag. It is stylish, it is durable and it is comfortable. It holds a Leica and 2-3 lenses as well as an iPad mini and accessories. It feels good across the shoulder and the inside is well padded and protective as well as being pretty snazzy with the purple microfiber lining. The leather is soft and pliable not hard and stiff.
Wotancraft has a reputation for making super high quality hand crafted bags and leather goods. They are not a cheap fly by night operation and this bag is my perfect bag, end of story. I even use it for a video rig I carry around sometimes with a digital recorder and other items. Makes me want a undone in brown, one for my camera and one for my video setup.
The leather is durable but soft as you can tell just by looking at the image above. The protective zipper leather flap protects your goods inside in the event of rain or snow. I have had this bag all over with me and even took it to New Orleans for the last Olympus media trip I went on. The bag still looks brand new. It has so far survived rain, water splashes and being set down on concrete several times. It looks and feels brand new. There was even one point when a beer was spilled on the bag (about 1/4 of a beer). No cloth to stain, no worry of water getting inside, no worry of your camera getting scratched up while inside. There really has not been anything left behind. The iPad pocket is inside and is nice and protected as well with a pocket and all.
The price of the Wotancraft quality does not come cheap. At $379 it is an expensive bag, but one that will last you a lifetime. Again, for me, it surpasses any bag I have owned or come across in quality, design, usefulness, size, weight, materials, and style. Some will say it looks purse (or murse) like, but so do 90% of camera bags. When on and walking around it looks like a shoulder bag. A nice shoulder bag.
At $379 US it is well worth the cost, especially when a Fogg bag will set you back $600+ these days. This bag is perfect for a Leica system or Mirrorless system from Sony, Olympus or Fuji. All will be great for this bag. I have had compliments on it already while traveling. What people have liked is the soft luxurious feel of the bag and the features such as the purple lining and leather flap that protects the inside.
You can order the Wotancraft Ryker HERE.
It was out of stock for over a year and most thought it would not return. It is back, but I have no idea for how long. A brown one should be coming soon as well, but not sure how long away that is. This bag is in the Urban Classic line.
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Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking at the Wotancraft bags, hard to choose which one. Maybe I need more than one.
Steve, I am thinking of ordering this bag (love the black) but noticed based on your link to the Website its ordered directly from the manufacturer in Taiwan and shipped international?…. Is there any issues with US customs when ordering and international shipping to US?
Nope, not at all. Thanks!
May I ask which one you like better? Black or brown? I like both and can’t decide which one to get.. And no I’m not buying both. 🙂
BOTH are beautiful. I can not pick, but have both. I use the brown a little more but the black is really striking. Can’t go wrong with either.
Steve will the Ryker fit a Nikon Df with 2-3 small prime lenses? (28,50,105 ais)
Just ordered the brown version after seeing your review Steve. I followed your link–hope you get some sort of credit. Thanks for all your helpful advice. I have a Fuji x100s, iPAD mini and plenty of small items I like to carry.
Steve, I’d like a bag like this to carry my Leica-S with 30-90 zoom lens attached. Would it manage???
(I’ll use your link to order. Thanks!
Just received my Ryker. My Sony mirrorless system fits it like a glove. Love not only the quality of the leather, but the smell too! My iPad Air is a little tight, but the mini fits perfect. I will be using this for many years. Thanks for the great review Steve.
This is good to know! I have mine on order and cannot wait to receive it! I travel with my Sony A6000!
Hello Jim, thank you very much for your encouraging comment, i’ve almost pressed the button. Still i would like to know where exactly you then position the camera with the BOEM1 attached. I have just measured the height of theEM1 with BOEM1 and its more than 10 cm. The inner size of the bag is stated to be 8,5cm. This is why i initially asked. Sorry for asking again.
Dear Steve, i saw you comment regarding the OM-D E-M1 with the Nocticron attached and the additional e-M5 with the 12-40 attached. Do you think that it would even work with the RRS BOEM1 Plate attached to the E-M1. This would be almost 10cm in height. Thanks in advance. Harald
I can fit my EM1 with the 40-150 f2.8 attached in the bag facing down. No problem with EM1 and RRS attached with 12-40, 75, 42.5. I carry the EM-1 with RRS or Garitz along with the 12-40, 40-150. Hope this helps !
I just received my Wotancraft Ryker camera bag and feel totally cheated: Did they really ruin a great bag design by putting cheap, bad, fake brown leather panels and pieces together with the good black leather?! Tell the truth Wotancraft!…
And Steve, you must know that it seems as the company has gotten more and more orders the quality has dropped and is no longer the same as when you ordered your bag. This is a shame and too bad for I would not have ordered if I knew they will ruin such a classy, good thing.
Not sure what you are talking about as every bag I have seen from them has been GORGEOUS and top notch. A friend just got one of the Ryker bags last week and his is just as nice as mine in every way. I see no fake brown leather labels anywhere. Care to share a photo of your bag to explain what you are referring to?
I have to apologize Steve, turns out that big piece of brown leather on the inside of the black flap, where the magnets are, is genuine leather indeed. I was totally taken aback by it because it is so different in terms of texture and thickness from the other brown pieces at the bottom etc. I also did not see that piece in your video review so I did no expect it there. At any rate, I don’t think it works well because in my short experience with this bag it is too thick for the magnets and it looks strange, but it is genuine leather indeed. And the rest is just a personal opinion. All in all, I’d give the bag 9 out of ten. But Wotancraft was fast to reply and they even sent me pictures with the leather they cut the pieces to make my bag…
Steve, this is a beautiful bag and perfectly fits my new Olympus. I am thrilled with it. I do want to take good care of it. What do you use to clean and protect the leather?
I was able to get ahold of them. I preordered the bag and was offered a 10% discount for paying in advance. Can’t wait to get my new bag.
Wotancraft have written to me saying that they only produce the Ryker in small batches of 30 at a time, generally every month or so. You can pre-order by contacting them directly. Dubbin wax or mink oil applied to the leather will both preserve and make the bag waterproof without ruining the suppleness of the leather or the grain. The very best camera bag out there is the bag that you feel most comfortable with, be it a Wotancraft Ryker, or cheap five dollar “World Famous” brand copy of a WWII canvas shoulder satchel with your lenses wrapped in old socks for protection. The best bag is the bag you like. That’s all that counts.
I emailed them yesterday and haven’t gotten a response yet. I would like to order this bag but it doesn’t seem like they make it very easy for people in the America’s to be able to order one. Maybe you have a secret contact Steve that I can get one on order with?
As usually I did not pay attention to the howling dogs and ordered not one but 2 Rykers!
And wonderful they are…the look, the smell, the texture, the finish…Now one is for my XT the other for the M240 typ MP…
I’ve not had them time enough for durable impressions, but so far, the only “problem” is the attachment of the strap to the bag: I’ve already felt it snagging on clothes several times…it never opened fully, but I think I’ll be blocking the “opening” with a drop of superglue or with wrapping string to avoid any accidental opening…!!!
Thank-you Steve for your inspiration and advice!
Hi Steve, I absolutely love the design of this bag but I am concerned about water and rain damage. Would you mind commenting a bit about that?! Thanks very much in advance!
Great review , i’ve ordered myself a bag today :D.
$379 for the camera and bag, right? 😉
Ummm, you might want to look for an old used camera and a $50 camera bag if you want both for $379. This bag is $379 and worth every single penny of that $379.
Will it fit omd em1 with nocticron 42.5mm and em5 with 12-40? Currently I’m using Hardley Pro, and it’s meeting my needs so far, but I love and want this bag badly but got to ensure it fits the above first.
Sure would not be an issue at all.
Will it hold an A7 with battery grip, A6000, 70-200 fe, and a few other lenses? I have a retro 5 now but need something bigger. Like the looks and function on this.
Ok, just figured out after studying this that a 70-200 fe might not work. I ordered one anyway. Wotancraft Sale gave me a ship date of 8/15 and I’m looking forward to receiving and using it in time for a few business trips and fall shooting in Colorado! Not in any hurry. This is a luxury.
I just received mine today. Ordered on May 27th an I received in Toronto 6 days later. Fits my EM1 with a few lenses, 12, 42.5, 75 with some room left over on the inside for a few other items or I can also fit my 12-40 in if needed. Nice quality and sharp looking. Not too big or too small perfect size. iPad Air does fit in as well on the inside rear flap.
Correction, I ordered mine on May 23rd.
So glad I ordered this camera bag (and I’ve gone through about two dozen bags). Received mine today and it is fantastic for both looks and function.
Because it looks relatively small and sleek, I was surprised that it would hold my 5D3 with 24-70 f4 mounted and still have room for 2 additional primes when configured into 3 sections. A tight fit, but It will hold an iPad Air in the inside pocket along with a smaller camera like micro four thirds.
Awesome! I told you! Great bag, use mine daily.
Looking at the dimensions it looks a bit tight for an A7R…or will it fit Steve…Guys anybody?
I’ve ordered one expected mid-July
A beautiful bag, but a bit too fancy for my tastes – I will stick with my Billingham Black FiberNyte 307 (the best bag I have owned).
has anyone noticed that their website is down – has been down for me for three days…
Has not been down for me at all. Works just fine. They are out of stock on the bag though. Sold out in 24 hours or so after I posted the review. I believe they are now taking emails for a wait list, which I would assume should not be too long of a wait.
That is exactly the situation Steve.
Steve, how about the Metal zippers? Do they easily scratch gear when taking it out?
A quick info for those in EU – I had a short chat with guys from Wotancraft and there is distributor in Netherlands: http://www.vintage217.com/en/ although, sadly the Ryker is not in stock at the moment.
Hi Steve, thanks for the reviews of the ryker… Just bought it 2 hours ago from my local Wotancraft distributer and you were absolutely right about the leather smell..
The bag is very well made and the leather / purple inner linings really makes it looks good!
Thanks for the bag review. I’ve ordered one as it looks perfect for certain situations even though I often use no bag at all, or just carry a backpack for potential rain protection. We all have different styles and some of us shoot with different equipment for different situations and need more than just one size/type camera bag. My wife accepts this as a reasonable. Lucky me.
Steve – if I will manage to persuade my wife this could become my ‘upscale’ camera bag. It would complement my ‘drag-me-through-the-mud’ Courierware messenger bag perfectly.
Looks like my grandmas purse. I use an Eastpak with a Crumpler Haven and people have no idea what I have in my “schoolbag”.
I agree, MS. Nice purse.
Mine’s on order.
The thing I never get about these bags, is why people prefer messenger-style shoulder bags to backpacks. I don’t want to be slope-shouldered hunch back from the unequal load. I want two free hands! I don’t want the thing to fall off my shoulder when I crouch down. I just don’t get it. I like to celebrate diversity but I’ve never understood this one. The only compelling reason for a shoulder bag is easy access. But how much are you digging in your bag, really? All this said–a beautiful bag!
Brinzler1, I keep my messenger bag on my left shoulder but the bag actually lays on my right side. Wotancraft bags have a soft and comfortable shoulder pad, with a rubberish foam on the lower side, it does not slip from the shoulder. It’s some years I use my bag every day and only lately that shoulder pad is getting more “rigid”.
The difference from a backpack is the easier access, as you said. It depends on your style and needs.
Looks really good. Actually they all do from them. I just wonder if there would be any way to put in an ipad as well. Maybe between the padding the the leather in front.
Just purchased one. I have the Ona Berlin bag as well, but I like the look and feel of this bag.
Will the larger retina iPad fit in this bag? I have a EM1 with the 12mm, 12-40, 75, and 42.5 and I am thinking of either this bag or the Ona Berlin? Which would work better? Thanks!
Beautiful …Really, Really Beautiful…. but while I don’t worry about theft, I do worry about water… how is the water resistance with this bag?
I’m the first one to admit I’m vain, so I love these type of bags, especially because I take mine to work daily, no point in dressing for the office then putting on something that looks like it’s a hangover from high school imo. I’m also new to serious photography, and even newer to street shooting so bags that just look like nice bags as opposed to CAMERA BAG HERE!!! are a big bonus, may have to pick this over the union street as my next bag somewhere around Christmas (just picked up the bowery for daily use)
I am glad I saw Steve’s review of the Domke F-803. Ordered it sight unseen to carry my newly acquired Fuji X system. Love it. Holds a body and four lenses with enough room to keep the hoods on. And at a third of the price of this bag. And as someone who moved from a FF Canon system inspired by the need to go with lighter gear, I am happy to say the Domke bag only weighs a pound. And it does not scream steal me.
I have the same bag in light brown leather, and have owned it for maybe 2 years now. It has travelled with me to Hawaii and Mexico without a problem. No one has tried to steal it or snatch it off my shoulder as I keep it around my neck with the strap across my chest. I think it would be pretty hard for a snatch and run for anyone. I think mine must be version 1 because I don’t have the zipper, it only has the flap that comes over the top which then snugs under the strap across the front. I love it, it is stylish and functional.
I carry my olympus em1 with 12-40mm f/2.8 attached. I also have the 75mm f/1.8 lens and a contax T2 camera with rolls of film in there. It holds more than you think without looking too packed. Great bag.
You will love that bag for years too come Steve. Cheers, Micheal
Sorry, but from a 28 year photojournalism background, there’s nothing better than a well padded ballistic nylon or canvas (Think Tank, Domke) bag better yet, no bag at all. Bag weight only reflects it’s construction and padding or lack of. Leather is nice for occasional carry but is susceptible to damage from abrasion and stains.
Ok enough about bags…there’s an a6000, a7S, RX100III and a new 16-35FE Zeiss lens to review 🙂
A7s, have not received one yet. RX100III..have not received one yet. A6000, working on it 🙂
It looks very nice… but this is in any detail the type of bag that pick-pockets will steal in a minute. Release one clips and bag is gone, I’ve seen it happening before my eyes in a Paris metro station. The more expensive it looks, the easier it will be a target in crowded spaces. It really disappoints that so few bag manufacturers take this kind of treath in account when they design this stuff. Lowe Pro is one of the only that has backpacks like the flipside 300 having a bit of resistance versus these dangers, but of course this is not the most portable or fancy looking kind of solution.
I’ve traveled the world with more expensive bags than this, even on the streets of Rio..never has anyone even come close to attempting to steal my bag. I have been in Paris street shooting with my Fogg bag, not even a glimpse. I think this is a very rare occurrence. In 20 years of shooting and using bags, never have I had an issue with someone trying to steal my camera or my bag. Again, those who want a bag like this will not want a Lowe Pro. This is for those who want a quality leather bag that is beautiful and functional and has some fashion sense to it. Many choose bags on that alone and some could care less. Those who do not care about such things would be thrilled with a Lowe Pro. My pref is Think Tank for all out function, Ona for versatility and nice looks and Wotancraft for overall build and style and function.
With this type of bag, really, it takes two minutes to steal it… and you won’t put an old casio in it, thieves know that very well. Using this type of clipses and strap is just asking for trouble… You don’t have to believe it, but unfortunately it’s the sad reality in large cities, not just a very rare occurance. i could tell very unpleasant stories – like a few weeks someone attempted to steal my Fuji X while I was just walking on the streets – and it’s not the first time. Precisely that makes people an easy target…thinking they are safe. Only ten years ago, this was all very different.
Fogg bags don’t have clips, the strap is an integral part of the bag.
My problem with bags with these type of clips is that they can squeak as you walk, as the metal buckle rubs against the metal hook. My Ona Bowery (a truly miserable heavy little pillow sack of a bag) does that, which is why I have relegated it to storage use. Well, that and the fact that it has a metal buckle on the strap that digs into your shoulder!
Huss this is a good point. Inalso own a Bowery and the noise of those clips really bugs me. Steve can you tell us your experience with this?
Not happy with your Bowery, would you sell it?
Though this is obviously a high-quality bag, I agree with EJPB that it likely wouldn’t contain a toy. As to the strap having clips, IMHO, a piece of black duct tape around each clip would deter attempts at theft, as well as dampening any sound of metal on metal. Not the most “elegant solution, but we photographers are a practical bunch!
I wouldn’t worry too much about how fancy the bag looks, but bags with clips are definitely a bad idea for world travelers. It’s a piece of cake for a skilled thief. You could replace the clip with a ring to make it more difficult to release. I also won’t travel with a bag that has a vinyl or canvas strap. I’ve met travelers whose bag strap was cut (probably with a kitchen scissor) and the bag was gone.
When traveling in a high risk area, I just carry my camera securely strapped to my wrist and gripped firmly in my hand. That way I always know exactly where it is. I don’t rely on a shoulder strap since a thief could possible slip it off if given the opportunity.
I know some people say, “I’ve traveled for years and never had this happen…” But that doesn’t mean it won’t. Czech Republic, France, Vietnam, and China are a few places I’ve been where theives know exactly what they’re doing and who to do it too. Hell, there were some neighborhoods in Saigon where I actually worried about getting mugged for my camera!
I’ve been looking at these bags since seeing the Scout on another site. Nice idea but not my cup of tea since I often need to carry my 13″ retina. Have now settled on the perfect bag, the Ona Astoria. It literally goes with me everywhere.
I always wonder why only few people care about the weight of the camera bag, albeit many seem to care about the weight of the camera. Camera manufactures are also crazy about reducing the weight of the camera, but bag manufactures aren’t. The weight is my first priority when to choose a camera bag for small cameras like mirrorless or compact, but I have yet seen the camera bag review that concern about the weight.
Ive mentioned weight in my reviews when the weight is a problem. The ONA Leather Brixton is a great bag but heaviest bag I have ever used. This bag is not a problem in the weight area.
My thoughts exactly!
Yes, these days more pockets, often so many I leave some unused forever, are popular. But every extra sheet of leather adds weight.
How about custom pockets that you can add or take off / out of the bag, with velcro things, buttons or a zipper or whatever.
About this bag: not my style, sorry. Durable and functional no doubt, but reminds me of the bag my grandpa keeps his electric shaver inside.
I fully agree with you: I have a City explorer Ranger and a City Explorer Scout (my favourite of the two) from Wotancraft and their quality is perceived since the unboxing grom their cotton bag. I have carried them around for years, and the Scout is small as the Ryker and I have it always with me. When I say always I really mean always, even when I go to the grocery store 🙂 In time leather gets even more beautiful and I think they’re worth the money they cost. Regards.
Steve, the bag looks nice indeed. I am wondering wow would a Rolleiflex TLR feel inside the bag? Would it be a good fit?
I was in contact with Wotancraft and they tried it and the result was that it fits, but not in a comfortable way. But the interesting piece of information was that they soon should have a different model where it should fit. What about that! 🙂