Written by

Marius Masalar


Marius Masalar

In hushed tones, I admit that I am a photographer who is not addicted to bags. At least…that used to be true.

Unfortunately for me, I had to replace my go-to day bag recently, forcing me into uncharted waters. What I found there is the best camera bag I have ever encountered: the Wotancraft Scout.

Setting the Stage

Before I talk about the Scout, I want to explain where I’m coming from with this review.

For the past six years or so, I have used one bag: the Think Tank Retrospective. It’s kind of drab looking, if I’m being honest, but it’s sturdy, comfortable, weather-proof, versatile, and unobtrusive. When I got more camera gear and needed more space, I surveyed the bag landscape, shrugged…and bought a bigger version of the same bag.

Everything began to unravel when I bought the iPad Pro. My iPad goes with me everywhere, and now that it’s bigger it can no longer fit into my Retrospective 10. This meant carrying the much larger Retrospective 50 with me as my daily carry, but with only an iPad Pro, my X100T, and some cables in it most of the time, the bag was more empty than not.

Having a massive messenger flopping around like a sad blimp is not a great experience.

Instead of defaulting to the intermediary Retrospective size, I decided it was time to make a more informed decision. At around the same time, an opportunity arose to try the Wotancraft Scout, a bag I had never seen from a company I had never heard of before. Serendipity to the rescue, once again!

That was a couple of months ago, and I’ve been carrying the Scout with me every day since. It’s magnificent. It’s annoying. It’s time to explain why.


Let’s start at my first baseline criteria for bag usage: it has to be well made.

From the moment I pulled it out of its canvas bag shipping clothes, I felt the difference that buying a premium bag gets you. Mottled grey waxed canvas meets vegetable tanned leather in a bond sealed by tight, precise stitching.

Wotancraft Scout

The Scout has great attention to detail, as can be seen in the sheepskin trim or the cowhide straps fasteners.

Sheepskin trim on the bottom edges match the cowhide strap and fasteners. The main compartment is sealed with bronzed YKK zippers with a rust-proof coating, and the interior microfibre lining is soft and free from lint-gathering fuzz.

Wotancraft Scout

Straps, fasteners, and zippers are sturdy and durable. The zippers have a rust-proof coating and zip open and closed with ease.

And there’s not a trace of velcro on it.

I notice an attention to detail in its construction that’s very encouraging; it feels like the kind of bag that will last for years.

Wotancraft Scout



The Scout is not one of those bags that has inserts and pockets jammed into every nook. It’s almost minimal in its layout, focused on uncomplicated utility.

Wotancraft Scout

The Scout’s main compartment can hold a standard micro-fibre lined insert or a full waterproof insert.

The main compartment holds either a standard microfibre-lined insert, or an optional fully waterproof and shock-resistant one with removable pockets. Both include customizable dividers to help separate cameras and lenses in the compartment.

Wotancraft Scout

Like many other camera bags, you can remove the insert inside the bag and have plenty of space for non-camera gear. This makes the Scout great for photographers and non-photographers alike.

If you remove the insert entirely, you’re left with a comfortable amount of space for whatever non-camera gear you need to take with you, making the Scout more versatile than some dedicated camera bags.

Wotancraft Scout

The bag has a dedicated tablet sleeve that can fit an iPad Air or smaller tablet with lots of space. I’m a heavy iPad Pro user and can’t fit the Pro in the tablet sleeve. Instead, I carry the Pro in the main compartment.

The back edge of the interior also features a padded pocket for your tablet, which can fit an iPad Air or smaller quite easily. The iPad Pro does not fit into this pocket, but I realized that it fits perfectly into the main compartment space, which is where I’ve been keeping it.

Wotancraft Scout

Tucked between the back wall and the camera gear insert, the iPad Pro with Smart Cover is right at home in the Scout, protected on both sides by the microfibre lining of the interior.

The front features two relatively compact pockets for cables, chargers, notebooks, smartphones, or other similarly sized items. These pockets expand a bit to contain larger items, and are held closed by strong snap buttons.

Wotancraft Scout

The front of the Scout has two simple compartments that can fit cables, chargers, or your smartphone. The pockets are snapped shut by snap buttons.

The only other storage area is a basic sleeve on the back that can hold some documents or other thin items. Instead of a zipper, this pocket is closed by pulling the leather belt out and tucking the canvas underneath. This covers the opening entirely and is surprisingly snug.

Wotancraft Scout

Wotancraft has designed this bag minimally. There aren’t endless features for pro photographers — Wotancraft opted instead for a classy design that’s easy on the eyes.

There are no side pockets, tripod holders, or pen slots. Wotancraft is clearly more aligned with ONA than with Lowepro and the like as far as their bag design philosophy, and having experienced both I have come to appreciate the simpler structure of the Scout.


While it’s not an especially large bag, the Scout is still capable of carrying a surprising amount of stuff.

Wotancraft Scout

The small amounts of branding are simply and elegantly done.

My usual loadout of X100T + iPad Pro + accessories fits effortlessly with room to spare, as you’d expect, but I also experimented with some heavier payloads.

With the 24-105mm ƒ/4L mounted, I was able to fit a Canon 5D MKIII in the insert with enough space left over for my card wallet, a 50mm ƒ/1.4, and my Kenko macro extension tubes as well. I could probably squeeze a Speedlight in as well, but it would start to get a little uncomfortable trying to squish the iPad Pro in behind the insert.

Wotancraft Scout

Here you can see a Canon 5D MKIII and 24-105mm f/4L lens along with an extra 50mm f/1.4 lens and some extras. This is the fullest the bag gets and I’d be hesitant to cram in an iPad Pro with this kit.

For basic setups, mirrorless kits, and your normal accessories, this is perfectly adequate, but by no means should you expect this to fit a complicated DSLR setup.

The Way You Look Tonight

Left to my own devices, my awareness of fashion is limited to whether or not it’s comfortable and covers the right bits.

Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things and try to look sharp, but in this context I’ve never given much thought to the way a camera bag looks. The Wotancraft has opened my eyes to the world of bags that not only function well but also look stylish, and it’s a world I’m happy to become a citizen of.

Wotancraft Scout

The heavy leather shoulder strap oozes quality and is one of the hallmark features of the bag. It’s comfortable, stylish, and incredibly durable.

I used to think it was a joke or marketing maneuver when reviews claimed that people on the street asked about a product. This notion was shattered some weeks ago when I had someone on the street ask me about the Wotancraft. For real.

It’s flattering, and it speaks to the obvious aesthetic appeal of the Scout, but I was kind of annoyed. I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with a bag that’s so…noticeable. I don’t mind it so much here at home, but it’s definitely not a selling point for the kind of shooting I like to do when I’m traveling.

Maybe it’s just something I have to get used to carrying a nicer bag.

Wotancraft Scout

The Scout is the first bag I’ve ever had that has garnered compliments from random people I pass on the street.

The Great Outdoors

Speaking of traveling, one of the most important things I consider when looking at gear, including bags, is how resistant it is to the elements. I don’t often shoot in difficult conditions, but it happens, and I’d rather not have to worry about my equipment when it does.

The Wotancraft Scout isn’t explicitly designed for heavy-duty weatherproofing, but the waxed canvas does repel rain and the optional shock-resistant insert is fully waterproof up to the zipper. Of course, that doesn’t do much for anything not housed in the insert (i.e. my iPad) but it’s good to know that this bag has a way to tackle adverse conditions if need be.

Wotancraft Scout

Combine the Scout with its waterproof insert and it’s ready for Mother Nature. It doesn’t pack a rain jacket, however, so the Scout may not be the ideal bag for a snow storm or rain storm.

Having said that, I miss the rain cover that comes with my Think Tank bags. It’s not very stylish, but the fact that it envelops the entire bag means that you can rest easy even in a heavy downpour.


Realistically, that level of durability isn’t a reasonable expectation for a bag like the Scout. It’s intended as a daily carry, versatile bag that’s got just enough weather resistance to handle the odd bit of rain or snow.

Over the past couple of months, mine has faced heavy snow, freezing rain, ice, dirt, and sleet with no issues whatsoever—my equipment stayed snug and dry and the bag’s exterior looks almost new. I say almost because any fabric will show some signs of aging, and the Wotancraft Scout’s is no exception. The canvas and leather combo ages gracefully though, revealing itself as character rather than wear.

The only problem I encountered was the disappearance of one of the metallic fastening nubs that the front Y straps attach to.

Wotancraft Scout

As a whole, the bag is durable and well made. I did, however, run into disappearing fastening nubs on the front of the bag.

After the first few days, I mostly stopped fastening the front flap, allowing easier access to the main compartment (which I do keep zipped, for safety) so I have no idea how it fell off or when, but one day I realized it was gone. Ironically, I prefer the bag without it so I’m tempted to remove the second one as well.

Wotancraft Scout

A quick email to the Wotancraft team and I had replacements nubs in the mail. As much as great durability is key to a great product, so too is great customer service in case something goes wrong.

With the little bump gone, the end of the Y strap slots much more easily into the leather loop, and while it’s not fastened there I didn’t find it problematic, especially since the interior stays zipped shut anyway so nothing can fall out. Either way, I reached out to let Wotancraft know about the damage and they had a replacement stud (and some glue) in the mail almost immediately—that’s quality support.

Daily Carry

After years of familiarity, I expected to miss my usual Retrospective.

To Wotancraft’s great credit, I didn’t.

The Scout not only fits everything I need it to on a daily basis, including the iPad Pro, but it does so while being more compact, more versatile, and infinitely more fashionable.

If I know I’m going to be caught in the rain, I can switch out the normal insert for the shock-resistant, waterproof one. Between the front pockets, the inner ones, the back sleeve, and the insert I have enough compartments to organize my things sensibly.

Setting aside obvious things like carrying more gear, I have yet to encounter a set of circumstances where I need something the Scout doesn’t provide.


After carrying it almost literally every day for months, I feel confident recommending the Wotancraft Scout to anyone who’s after something comfortable, flexible, and fashionable. It has effortlessly become my favourite bag — the one I reach for first when I’m walking out the door.

Each bag comes with a 3-year free repair guarantee, and while it doesn’t come cheap, you certainly get what you pay for with Wotancraft. The Scout’s handcrafted build, top-notch materials, and stylish design set it firmly in the top tier of bags.