Vanguard Alta Rise 48

Vanguard Alta Rise 48

What Vanguard say?

The ALTA RISE 48 backpack with the +6 revolution offers you the possibility to supersize, or downsize, with one easy zipper motion, while still keeping gear protected. So when more gear or personal storage is called for, there is no need to switch bags. Designed for intuitive use, you will find that the quick-action, side flap opening allows you grab-and-shoot in split seconds when releasing one shoulder strap and swinging the backpack around.

In both size modes the ALTA RISE 48 ensures padded protection. Ideally the capacity is designed to hold a 1-2 Pro DSLRs, 3-5 lenses (up to 24-70mm f/2.8) a flash and accessories in the large dedicated camera compartment, and when the +6 width is expanded you can utilize the full length padded compartment to store personal essentials, or carry along an additional laptop or tablet.

Strategically placed internal and external pockets, arrange all other essentials, such as memory cards, cables, batteries, charger, smartphone and water bottle, exactly where one needs them; either secured in a zippered compartment, or on hand at any given moment in a slip-in pocket. While a concealed rear pocket will secure valuables such as wallet and travel documents close to your body where no prying hands can reach. Additional storage is made possible with the connection to side strap loop. Enhancing performance, you will discover our second-to-none quality, materials and bag construction, our signature total coverage rain cover and our optimal balance tripod carrying system.

The ALTA RISE 48 carries comfortably and it features: ergonomic Air System breathable back and harness as well as a sturdy top handles, which makes grab-and-run possible at any given moment and allows you to hang the bag from any hook.

The ALTA RISE 48 can carry a tripod, but enjoy the full ALTA EXPERIENCE with ALTA LINK which enables you to carry along your ALTA PRO TRIPOD in the advanced ALTA ACTION TRIPOD BAG connected to our ALTA RISE BACKPACK!

  • +6 - expand or contract with one simple zipper

  • Quick-action - side access in split seconds

  • ‘Magic’ pocket – full length, padded internal pocket with easy and discreet external access

  • Safe storage - concealed pocket on back panel to secure travel document and wallet

  • Comfortable carrying - ergonomic Air System back and harness

  • Always protected - well-padded all round

  • No fumbling - bright colored interior makes finding things easy

  • Well organized - dedicated pockets for all essentials

  • Business oriented - holds a 15" laptop and 9.7" tablet

  • Stay steady - optimal balance tripod carrying system

  • ALTA LINK - Alta Action Tripod Bag (Not Included) connection for ultimate Vanguard ALTA EXPERIENCE

  • Keep dry - total coverage rain cover


Warranty = 1 Year
Extended Warranty = Limited Lifetime
Application = photo
Weight (kg) = 1.02
Notebook capacity = 15"
Shoulder Bag Type = Backpack
Weight (lb) = 4.1900
Bag Configuration = 2+ DSLR Kits with Multiple Lenses
Color = Black
Inside Dimensions (mm) = 300 x 190 (130+60) x 270
Interior Fabric = 150D Polyester/Velvet
Tablet = Up to 9.7"
Outside Dimensions (mm) = 350 x 250 x 530
Weight (g) = 1900

On review with me:

A very well made and tough rucksack that has every pocket, feature and thought poured into it. Any professional or amateur photographer on shoot, studio or between locations is sorted with this pack but I wouldn’t want to take it hiking or up a mountain.

The Alta Rise has all of this:
Internal compartments for camera kit and personal kit – Both velcro divided to change
Side access to bottom of the pack
Top access and open the pack completely
4 smaller zipped pockets, 1 of which is a hidden pocket on the back for extra security
Expandable 6+ cm pocket on the front for tablets, documents or cables.
laptop sleeve
Weatherproof cover
webbed pocket on side with fold out tripod arm
D-rings on the front
Pack away hip belts

As you see the bag is literally packed with everything anyone could possibly need in a photographic opportunity or to cover you between locations. This mix of features are why it is perfect for weddings, events, journalism, travel, studio, essentially a busy photographers lifestyle.

The discrete laptop pocket and additional 6+ front pocket is perfect for taking of course a laptop, great to have to see photos on a large screen and direct with the client. The front pocket is ideal for packing away external hard drives or cables or even a tablet or even a second smaller laptop. I must add however this extra 6+ doesn’t affect the main pack, only this front pocket which lifts the pocket away from the pack giving you more room for the tablet or said cables. Not I can fit a larger lens in.

Inside the bag you have the bright orange interior so it’s near on impossible to lose equipment as the black or grey of camera kit stands out. The Alta Rise 48 can comfortable fit two pro camera bodies + 5 lens and a flash gun PLUS you get the top section to add more kit or personal items like a jacket, food, water etc so you are not short on space. This is why it is ideal for a wedding photographer for example or someone at events who will require two bodies, multiple lenses and need a secure pack to keep your kit safe. You can fit inside one rucksack and carry wherever you are making travel easier.

The whole bag can be opened right up making it easier to grab kit by your feet no issues and when you don’t need quick access or don't want anyone else to have quick access, the pack zips up and two buckles on the side make it more secure when on the go. These buckles are extremely helpful as they double up to secure a tripod in place.

The tripod sling is very secure and I tried the pack with both a small Vanguard Veo 235 which fits nicely on the side and you hardly notice the tripod or you can fit much larger tripods in.

I tried the Manfrotto X-Pro 3 in the cradle and the tripod felt very secure, doesn’t swing around or feel ridiculous on your back, which one would think may happen due to the size and off centre weight. The tripod sleeve is a handy fold out sleeve which locks into place with grips and when not required, zips away so you can access the mesh pocket below.

This means you could carry a water bottle or monopod, however at first the pocket seemed very tight and I wasn’t sure I would even be able to fit a 1 litre bottle in but you can, just its tight and the more use it had the easier it became.

Vanguard also supply an additional strap to use at the top of the pack to help tie the tripod in further, if you use the Alta Pro Tripod you can attach the tripod case using this method for further convenience.

Trying to unhook the tripod sleeve to pack away I found a little fiddly and not as quick and easy as when putting into place but this is reassuring to know it’s not going to unhook with a heavy tripod in place and walking about.

But so far near perfect huh? Vanguard really have put A lot of thought into what a photographer needs!

On the opposite side the pack features the quick access side pocket which means if you are in a rush you can grab kit on the fly, this is also where the weatherproof cover is housed. At first I wasn't sure on its location here but I in using the pack further I could understand why, here are my thoughts.
It has been housed here to make it easy to grab at quickly and cover the pack without the need to put it on the floor.

Why I question the location - Why would you want to put a wet cover on the door of your expensive kit? And have you tried putting a waterproof cover on a rucksack this size, fully packed and with one arm?

Yeah messy but it is possible but certainly not as easy as just placing the pack on the floor which for the sake of ease and how tough and durable this pack is I would just do that plus the base of the pack is rubber and padded so a bit of rain is going to do very little or be of any problem.

The cover folds away nicely into a pouch which means it avoids leaking or for this to become an issue and whilst using the pack I found it wasn’t an issue, as its not tied into its location means you can move this pouch about to your personal taste.

I took the pack out in heavy rain and used it without the cover and yes the pack gets wet and you wouldn’t want to do this for long periods of time but if you get caught in a shower or you're simply in a rush, the pack is going to keep your expensive kit inside dry and very safe. The build quality does speak for itself and its great!

What I really liked about the cover was the Velcro points that you use to tie the cover in across the bag, which helps keep the cover tight to the bag and makes it more secure. Something I hope catches on with other packs and start to introduce across further rangers.

Now the important part! Is it comfortable to wear?

Yes to be blunt. The shoulder straps are big and very well padded and need to be when this pack is fully loaded! The pack has the sternum strap which has a H2o tube holder but lacks a whistle like most packs another point was the strap was ridiculously long, almost unnecessarily long but you can cut this to size.

Moving on, when the pack is fully loaded and additional support is required you have the hip belt which is stored away in the back. Very easy to pull out and put away and the belts are made of the same tough webbing as your seat belts making them extra durable and tough. They fit comfortable and don't rub whilst walking.

So far top marks.

I took the pack away on a DofE hike and yes it was comfortable to wear but it felt heavy so its wasn't great for the purpose of a long hike however walking around cities where I would take the pack off and lay it down, it was very easy suited to this style and was easy to take off or throw back over my shoulder and walk away. With the ease and convenience this is why the hip belts are packable, not everyone needs them and certainly in the cities on tubes or public transport. Hip belts can be irratating.
For hiking I would want to see the extra padding around this area and for the base weight of the pack to be much lower. So if outdoors is more your thing then I highly recommend the Vanguard Sedona which I own myself.

Back to the comfort and support of the pack, the rear or back support is very well padded and is great as its keeps the pack from sitting flat on your back helping to keep you cooler and of course comfortable.

The security pocket on the back is a nice added feature and can fit plenty inside (keys, wallet and phone) but I did find that when filled it did force the pocket to push out, making the padded off set. Now it doesn’t dig into your back but does cause distortion. Main thing is comfort isn’t jeopardised.

Shoulder straps are padded as I’ve already commented and helps a lot when full on your back and you will notice the weight of the pack. The bag along before it has anything inside is 2kg so not a light pack. In comparison my 70-80L expedition rucksack weighs less than this bag but this rucksack isn't padded or made to protect some £6000+ payload. So if you are traveling or at events, weddings or parties, the pack on the floor or in the boot of your car then the heavier weight won’t be anything to be concerned about in fact you'll be thankful for it and just goes to show you how much padding is in this to protect your kit.

When I used the pack at full weight others would comment how heavy the bag was and it was heavy! 2 bodies, 4 lens and spare kit plus water and some personal items for events and when I used it out hiking I had one body, 2 lens and a stove inside.

The laptop sleeve was an ideal location to store my map when I didn't need it and was easy to pull back out again without taking the bag off.

Despite comments on the weight of the pack the important part is, it’s not uncomfortable to wear.

One of my first comments was how it was great for photographers but wouldn’t want this bag for hiking, and was due to the huge base weight plus the lack of padded hip belts and more room for personal kit but this isn’t what the bag was made for.

It’s a rugged, professional looking rucksack designed for the photographer on the go. It was ideal for my event photography and traveling around the cities. Having room for a laptop, camera kit and documents, I was fully prepared for my client meetings and exhibitions.

I have been impressed with the rucksack for all its handy features and hide-away pockets, for my day-to-day photographic work: perfect! Nothing would be left behind or worry about not taking a lens or pushing to fit a laptop inside with the camera kit.

At events, the security of hidden pockets was reassuring so I could keep my body light as I worked. The black, sleek professional look to the exterior meant it fitted into these environments and didn't look like the obvious camera bag plus the full open access of the pack made life easier to grab kit in the studio or on shoot and the interior could be customized to fit your camera kit needs. Whether I needed 1 body, 2 or needed more lens or flashes, I had no issues changing to the job in hand. The pack is unrestrictive which is what the professional photographer needs. No compromises, no leaving kit behind, you need that item you take it. Simple as that.

Certainly recommend this pack for wedding photographers and those who shoot a lot of events or travel and require laptops. You’ll be pleased to have a well thought out and featured pack to keep you going in your working life and most of all, keep your expensive kit safe and secure.

Transparency Notice: Please note that I am a Vanguard Photo UK brand ambassador and receive the products for free to review from Vanguard Photo UK and are returned after completing the review. The review is no guarantee of endorsement. I receive no monetary gain from Vanguard Photo from the reviews or discount codes. Any Vanguard kit I own has been bought by myself.

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