- Buyer's Guide
Db x Chris Burkard Limited Edition Collaboration
Renowned photographer and explorer Chris Burkard has traveled to some of the most demanding places on earth to capture the unmatched beauty of nature. And naturally, these adventures require gear that can handle the demands of rugged outdoor exploration. So Chris teaming up with Db, a brand equally passionate about exploring the outdoors and getting your gear safely where it needs to go? A picture-perfect union in our minds.
The Db x Chris Burkard 500-piece limited edition collaboration has been designed for creative outdoor exploration. The collection features some Db classics as well as brand-new products, including a multifunctional sling bag and a burly 60L duffel. Chris’s extensive adventure and photography insights have been paired with Db’s tough and functional design DNA to create gear that thrives outdoors, giving creatives peace of mind that their gear will be safe and sound while adventuring near and far.
The Ramverk Pro sling is the standout of this collection, designed from the ground up with Chris. Inspired by a photographers need to be nimble and flexible on the go, the Ramverk Pro Sling has a few tricks up its sleeve that make it a worthy contender for any creatives’ quiver. Its primary use is as a camera sling, a mobile studio that lives by your side ready to be called into action at a moments notice, wherever you may be. The bag was inspired by Chris’s need for a piece he could use while climbing, skiing, and shooting photos in diverse locations. A hybrid piece that would deliver convenient front access to camera gear while doing double duty for EDC use too.
The matte nylon outer is understated aesthetically, and incredibly robust. In my two weeks travelling around southern Australia, it encountered rocks, ocean waves, rainforest scrambling, and urban escapades. The weatherproof material didn’t show any signs of weakness, and all of my camera gear stayed safe and dry in these varied situations.
The double zip opening makes accessing your gear on the go a breeze, and adds some quick extra protection if you get caught out and it also makes this sling ambidextrous, which is a bonus as it matches any user’s style.
The rear zippered pocket by the handle is a great spot for a phone or wallet, and also doubles as a connection point for the hip belt. Internally, the pocketing is rather simple, with a stretch mesh pocket on one end for a water bottle, smaller EDC, or a rocket blower (this is how I used it most), and then three other pockets for EDC, cables etc. The minimalism of this sling is very much in line with D_b_’s design language and one that I personally find really enjoyable to use. As a photographer bags that are overly prescriptive can become frustrating quickly. And so it provides flexibility to work as needed for any given situation.
As such, that’s where the excellent insert comes in. I’ve spoken before how much I like D_b_’s camera inserts, and the 10L insert that they’ve designed here with Chris is a champion option for those on the move.
At 10L, it has the space to hold a good amount of gear. Either a full APSC set up, or a Full Frame body and a few lenses. I used it in both configurations while on the road and found it to be adept at both. The lid of the insert houses two zippered pockets, and are the perfect spot for cables, batteries, lens-caps and the like. This lid is also removable, to reveal the cinch top closure.
That’s right, with this insert, you have multiple closure options! In reality, these options translated into travel and working. The lid was on and zipped closed while travelling, and lid zipped off, cinch top in use while working. The cinch top is great for quick access, while still providing excellent weather protection.
The sling comes with a padded shoulder strap, which is very comfortable, but you can also use the waist strap if you need extra stability. I personally don’t love waist straps on slings, because I like the bag to be quickly accessible and I want to be able to pull it round at a moments notice. However, if you’re being particularly active or rambunctious, you may find it useful.
While the primary use of this sling is as a camera copmanion, that is not its only strength. If you remove the camera insert, zip closed the bottom of the bag, you now have a slimline daily carry bag. This is perfect for a day strolling around town or a quick jaunt into the office. I like the fact you have two bags in one here, you can go out slimline and expand if you pick up some goodies on the road.
Overall this sling is a classic example of a problem solving product. Not only is well designed and nice to look at it, it is genuinely versatile and exceptional value for money at $180 for the full kit. If it’s good enough for Chris, it’s good enough for us!
Duffels can be awesome for hauling large amounts of gear. But when they lack comfortable options for extended carry, you’re not going to get very far when it’s time to step off the beaten path. So the Roamer Duffel 60L was built to deliver the best of both worlds, swallowing up a lot of gear while enabling comfortable carry with ergonomic chest and shoulder straps that can be stowed away for check-in use.
Plus with padded 360-degree grab handles you can easily manoeuvre the bag in tighter spaces too. The main compartment opens fully from one end so that you can quickly and easily view and access gear throughout your explorations. This feature can’t be underestimated when on the road, and traditional openings are one of our biggest bug bears on duffels, kudos to the team at D_b_ for finding a clean solution. Not only that, it comes with a stuff sack to keep it streamlined at home, or as a back up bag on the road! 60L is the sweet spot size wise, offering you more storage for your adventures than standard backpacks, but not being aggressively large and impossible to move when loaded up.
Some adventures call for extra gear, and while this isn’t a new design from D_b_, it has been upgraded with some nice touches in this collaboration with Chris. Primarily, this is the ultimate gear hauler. 90L of uninterrupted space for all of your storage needs.
A retractable handle zips away when not in use, while a mammoth bungee compression strap covers the whole width of the bag internally, to stop your goods moving around too much in transit. Each sidewall of the main compartment has mesh zipper pockets that run the length of the volume, and these are a great spot for your smaller accoutrement, whether it’s underwear, toiletries, or accessories.
D_b_’s rib cage construction means that the Hugger 90L maintains its shape whether full or empty, this makes it excellent for packing, but also great in the field as you have some extra protection when accessing your gear. This bag is also surprising lightweight for a piece of luggage that is so robust, tipping the scales at 10lbs. Mine went through EWR & SFO multiple times, two airports not exactly famous for their tender loving care of luggage, and the Hugger came out unscathed. There are grab handles on either side, as well as one at the top making this easy to grab wherever you find yourself. The front of the bag includes the loops for D_b_’s hook up system, meaning you can attach another backpack or bag to this for easy transport through to your destination. I’m also happy to see locking zippers and an ID sleeve on the Hugger, an essential on any good piece of luggage in my view. Oh, and how could we forget the awesome Suzy Q insignia on the front of the bag!?
Another updated product is the Ramverk Pro Backpack, in the 32L configuration. I reviewed its smaller sibling this summer, and was enamoured with it. The story is the same here, with the larger Ramverk Pro providing the same excellent performance in a slightly larger package. This updated model also has Chris’ signature colourway, along with the newly updated D_b_ hardware which is more robust and easier to use with their hook up system. I found the larger quick access pocket at the top of the bag particularly useful, it’s even large enough to house a camera body and lens! When paired with one of the D_b_ cubes or even used in tandem with the Ramverk Pro Sling, this is a portable studio you can rely on.
Icelandic Inspiration – and Alpacas
The colorway palette for the collection takes inspiration from one of Chris’s iconic photos of Iceland, ranging from shades of green to black. An understated nod to a country that holds a special place in Chris’s heart.
And for some added fun? Chris’s beloved pet alpacas make a stealthy appearance in the form of an alpaca print lining featuring Suzy Q the alpaca, putting a smile on your face as you search out nature’s wonders.
As you would expect from a partnership between a world renowned photographer, and an adventure based powerhouse, this updated Ramverk series is designed to take you, and your equipment, to the most magical places on earth with comfort, protection, and ease. The new additions of the Ramverk Pro Sling and Roamer duffle speak to D_b_’s desire to keep progressing and innovating beyond their famous snow sports line, and after a few weeks on the road with these bags, I’m impressed! D_b_ have a knack of blending form and function harmoniously and they’ve done it again here.
The D_b_ x Chris Burkard Collection is available now!