Valkyrie camera backpack

My reviews: Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack

As a professional photographer I often find myself on the perpetual hunt for the ideal camera backpack – one that seamlessly marries functionality with comfort while providing ample protection for their precious gear. In this quest, the Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack emerged as a compelling contender in my search.

camera backpack review

Promising a fusion of durability, versatility, and style, I embarked on a thorough exploration to uncover whether it lives up to its claims.

Toxic Bags is the new sister company to British tripod brand 3 Legged Thing. The Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack aims to challenge conventional camera bag design by weaving in premium quality and great style.

The Valkyrie backpack is available in two different sizes: a 20L Medium and a 25L Large. The backpack is available in three different colors: Onyx (black), Emerald (green), and Sapphire (blue).

I bought the Sapphire (blue) 25L one about a month ago. After having used in a recent short photo journey in North Italy, I'm pleased to bring you a review of my new Toxic Valkyrie 25L camera backpack.

The first things you notice in the Toxic Valkyrie are colors and organization.

Finally, a camera backpack that doesn't come in the usual and boring black color! Furthermore, it has lots of useful pockets as smart storage inside and out. This allows users to organize all of their gear easily.

DIMENSIONS

External Dimensions: 48 x 33 x 21cm
Internal Dimensions: 45 x 29 x 12cm
Weight: 1.8kg
Laptop compartment: 15/16″

A well done bag

Nothing feels cheaply made in this bag. The primary material is a custom jacquard fabric created specifically for Toxic. Jacquard fabrics have patterns that are woven directly into the fabric, rather than being screen-printed on afterwards. It’s a one of a kind design because Toxic creates these fabric panels by combining a map of their hometown Stagsden with an alligator print. No two bags get the exact same design. The combination of the patterned fabrics and the grey stone-washed canvas is also nicely done, and the overall feel of the camera backpack is one of very high quality.

The shoulder straps are thickly padded and comfortable. A (removable) padded waist strap is also provided with the bag.

Many pockets!

A zippered front pocket features several useful small sleeves for organizing pens, cards and notepads. Two additional zippered compartments provide more security for your documents or smartphone. I use it mainly for storing my travel documents (boarding card, train ticket, etc.) and my passport,

There’s also a transparent ID (or business card) slot.

Furthermore, there are also two zippered side pockets. Both include an internal elasticated pocket and zippered semi-opaque pocket. They are both useful places to store my batteries, cables and my SanDisk 4TB Extreme Portable SSD.

 

 

Valkyrie camera bag

Camera Compartment

The camera compartment comfortably holds a DSLR or a mirrorless camera and up to 6 or 8 lenses depending on their size. The bag is deep enough to hold my Nikon Z8 camera with L bracket attached but not for a similar size camera with an attached battery grip, unfortunately. The dividers in the camera compartment have pockets on the side of them. Another useful feature this camera bag reserves differently from other bags.

The main compartment of the bag reveals even more room. There is a large mesh zippered pocket and another semi-opaque plastic pocket. Personally, I really love the detachable memory card wallet inside. This useful wallet has three smaller slots for SD cards or CFexpress Type-A, and four larger slots that can be used for XQD, CFexpress Type-B or Compact Flash cards. This is a great feature of the camera bag.

Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack

Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack

Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack

This backpack can fit perfectly all my following gear depending on what kind of photography I'm planning to organize: travel or event.

GEAR NORMALLY USED FOR MY TRAVELS
  • Nikon Z8 (or Nikon Z7 II)
  • Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4
  • Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4
  • Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4-5.6
  • DJI Air 3
  • DJI RC 2 remote controller
  • 14" Macbook Pro
  • Drone landing pad
  • Filters pouch
  • Batteries, cards, cables, etc.
  • Ulanzi Zero Y carbon fiber tripod
GEAR NORMALLY USED FOR EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Nikon Z8 
  • Nikon Z7 II
  • Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4
  • Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4
  • Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4-5.6
  • Nikon SB-700 flash
  • 14" Macbook Pro
  • Filters pouch
  • Batteries, cards, cables, etc.
Frog pocket

The Frog pocket is designed to give you a small space to put your wet gear (like your lightweight rain jacket). It's quite small. It is accessed via a zipper on the bag’s back panel, but the space that it uses intrudes on the space in the main camera compartment. The pocket is quite small. If you have any lens or other camera gear in that area of the backpack, then you can't use the Frog pocket as you will not be able to expand the pocket to fit your jacket. That's why I don't use it.
If you are asking, yes, the Frog pocket can hold a mirrorless camera or a small DSLR one but I highly don't recommend it. As you lose the interior space by popping up the Frog reserved section,it doesn't make any sense to then half fill that same volume with a camera from the Frog pocket size.

Tripod carry

Tripod may find room in two different places in this camera backpack. Provided straps in the front of the bag or the elasticated side pocket with the built-in bungee cord. The elastic system aims to hold a small water bottle with ease but I prefer to use it to accomodate my tripod. Personally, I don't like stretchy pockets that much. Always I fear they becoming loose over time. The material used in the Valkyrie bag seems like it won’t go down this route. Only time will tell.

Rain cover

Like in other camera bags, a rain cover is provided and stored in a dedicated pocket on the bottom of the bag.

 

Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack

Laptop Carry

On the front side of the backpack you find a dedicated, thickly padded laptop and tablet pocket (I don't have a tablet and I use the pocket to store my ebook reader). The pocket uses a padded divider to separate your tablet from laptop.

This camera backpack can easily accomodate a 16" laptop.

The laptop compartment has a good level of protection with an effective padded divider that doesn't make the bag feel bulky.

Differently from the main compartment zipper, this pocket has a YKK Aquaguard zipper. I wonder why Toxic hasn't provided a similar useuful protection also for the main compartment. It looks like laptop protection is a priority over camera protection for them but this doesn't make any sense honestly.

 

Toxic Valkyrie camera bag

Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack

Hidden Pocket

At Toxic they call this pocket a hidden pocket for your passport. As long you are wearing the bag on your shoulders your passport is hidden from pickpockets. Good when you're walking around crowded places or packed into public transport.

Bring the camera backpack on board

As a travel photographer, for me it's very important a camera backpack must be big enough for my gear, sturdy, ensure comfort during extended all day long wear and, last but not least, fit easily under a plane seat.

Thanks to its compact size (48 x 33 x 21cm), the Toxic Valkyrie camera backpack fully meets the international carry-on standards and fits perfectly inside the overhead compartments of most planes (including turboprop or regional jets).

Being 21cm deep only, this camera backpack fits perfectly under economy seats of most of commercial planes.

So far, I have tested it on board of an Airbus A-320 and of a smaller commercial plane like the Embraer 195. 

Airlines I flew with this camera backpack are Swiss, Lufthansa, Helvetic and Air Dolomiti

Conclusion

The Toxic Valkyrie backpack is an interesting entry into the well saturated camera bag market. Toxic succeeded in making a practical, comfortable, high-quality camera backpack that works well in urban and travel photography in my opinion. 

Whether traveling through rugged landscapes or navigating bustling city streets, the Toxic Valkyrie bag proves to be a reliable companion. Its versatile design seamlessly transitions between photography outings and everyday use, making it a practical choice for my professional needs.

Despite its ample storage capacity, the backpack remains relatively lightweight, ensuring that I can carry my gear comfortably for extended periods without undue strain.

I love the fact you have a camera backpack that doesn't come in the usual and boring black color. 

I like all the smart storage inside and out the bag with many useful pockets for your gear.

Toxic made a camera bag that’s functional and good-looking. Nothing feels cheaply made in this backpack. Definitely, its price puts this bag in the high-end market but while there may be other options on the camera bags market, few can rival the Toxic Valkyrie's winning combination of style, functionality, and durability. Yes, it does feel rather expensive but I think it looks cool. I really like it!

This camera backpack proves to be a worthy investment for photographers seeking a reliable and versatile carrying solution for their gear.

 

PROS AND CONS

 

PROS

  • Eye catching, stylish, and individually patterned exterior design;
  • Lots of pockets;
  • it's not black!
  • Internal dividers with strong velcro and useful inbuilt sleeves/pockets;
  • Liquid and stain repellent exterior fabric;
  • Laptop storage compartment reinforced by YKK Aquagard zippers;
  • Rain cover tucked away out of sight;
  • fits perfectly under economy seats of most of commercial planes;

CONS

  • Main camera compartment is not reinforced with YKK Aquagard zipper
Stefano Politi Markovina