The Vanguard Quovio 44; is an anti Tardis and thats what really relegates its usefulness for me. The discrepancy between external and internal voulume is because Vanguard have gone for huge amounts of foam padding on the base, top and and around the sides of the bag. The nice thing about this padding is that it isn't just for your camera's there is a lovely contoured back to the bag - partly to store a rain cover but between that and the padding the Quovio almost felt like lumbar support. The shape of the back allows for a bit of ventilation over your back. The downside is there is a lack of space for secondary item's - there is a tight pocket for an iPad on the back - but it wont take an 11" macbook air or much thicker than an iPad. There is a small zipped pocket on the top; but again this can't take much more than pens. There are dedicated memory card pockets on the top flap. For your camera equipment though the Quovio is Nirvanna. Inside the Black backpack is a bright orange padded world for them to relax. Your tripod isn't left out thanks to a pull out tripod holder on the side; though being on the side I wouldnt use a heavy tripod or you will feel lopsided - using my travel giotto felt OK but I wouldnt want to walk with it for a long period.
All around the outside of the bag are chunky contrasted Orange Black zippers all with glove friendly pull ties. Away from the tripod harness on the other side of the bag is a full height zip that allow you to use the Quovio 44 as a sling opening opening easily from the side (though in a nice touch the zipper has a magnet to prevent you using it by accident) . The quovio is a convertable; thanks to some sturdy metal clips you can change the bag from a backpack to a sling. I did find the sling side opening tight though - my 7d with a lens was difficult to extract; this may be because the bag is new and still a bit stiff or my personal preference to the backpack design. I do like that I am free to switch easily between the two options though.
Thanks to the large size of the bag; and inspite of the padding, the bag can take a Pro sized SLR with a Sigma 150-500mm Zoom with ease. Though doing so reduces the amount of other lenses you can carry as it compressed one side of the bag (see the photos I have uploaded.) The Quovio is happier with a smaller zoom attached like a 70-200 but its nice having a back that so comfortably carries the bigma on or off the camera. You can overcome the limited storage by putting a foam plug into the internal bag at the cost of carrying a long lens attached to your camera; which allows the curved top section to be used for storing small items. This may be essential given the lack of secondary storage pockets. The plug doesnt provide any liquid protection -and the lack of liquid carrying is the biggest drawback to the back if you are going to go on a long day with it out of town.
The Vanguard isn't a cheap bag; as a contrast I have been using an AmazonBasics Backpack
for a couple of years. That has far less padding but far more secondary storage. The Quovio's thoughtful touches make it a much nicer bag to carry around though; the better build is evident the moment you pick it up via the soft feel top handle. There are so many little touches that make the bag nicer to use; from a magnetic flap to stop you accidentally opening a zop; to the Velcro ties to keep any excess straps tidily looped up. The Vanguard is built to last; the zips are more rugged, the padding is considerably thicker and the shape is better suited to carrying a zoom lens. In the end its the comfort from the back of the pack that make it a 4* bag - the lack of secondary storage costing it a star.