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Tamrac Anvil 23 And Anvil Slim 15 Review

We take a look at Tamrac's latest professional DSLR backpack range designed for those with lots of kit.

|  Tamrac Anvil 23 / Slim 15 in Bags, Cases and Straps
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Handling & Performance

Tamrac's Anvil range of bags is named after the anvil shaped formations of Cumulonimbus clouds common in the spring and summer. The range is aimed at professional photographers who need to comfortably carry lots of kit with them. There are 6 bags in the range of varying sizes, two of which are slimmer in depth. The bags are currently only available in black with grey detail. We got our hands on the mid-sized Anvil 23 and Anvil Slim 15 to see how well these bags perform next to their impressive feature list and specs. 


Tamrac Anvil 23 / Slim 15 Features

The Tamrac Anvil 23 sits in between the smaller Anvil 17 and larger Anvil 27 in terms of size. The Slim 15 is the larger of the two slimline backpacks in the range with the Slim 11 being the smaller model and both the 23 and Slim 15 will fit roughly the same amount of kit; mid-sized DSLR with long lens attached, and 6-8 additional lenses/ flashguns or other accessories depending on size. 

The only difference between these two bags is the depth, with the Slim 15 being 4cm shallower at 21cm than the Anvil 23 which is 25cm deep. The Anvil 23 is meant for DSLRs with grips while the Slim bags are meant for DSLRs without grips and pro-style mirrorless cameras.

There is a robust carry handle on the top of the bags and the outer shell is stiff yet padded, to provide ample shock protection for your gear. On the back of the bags are two well padded and flexible shoulder straps which can be adjusted at the bottom for length and the top according to weight to help support heavier gear. There is a plastic loop on each strap ideal for attaching keys or other small accessories that need to be close to hand. There is also an adjustable midriff fastener. 

The back wall of the bag is heavily padded and features an airflow system for added breathability and comfort. There is a slot around the back of the padding allowing you to thread through the included adjustable padded belt for extra support. The sides of the bag feature 'side arcs' on each side which can be used to attach a variety of optional accessories made by Tamron such as filter pockets, lens cases and drinks bottle holders. These can also be attached to the removable padded belt. There is also an adjustable clip on each side which you can tighten to keep width expansion to a minimum and also provide an extra layer of protection for camera compartment access. 

Included are 2 male/female and one male/male clip, which can be attached to the exterior of the bag in a variety of ways to carry bulkier accessories. On the front of the bag there are 2 loops in the centre allowing you to attach a tripod. At the bottom of the front of the bag there is a long zipped, padded pocket and on the left and right above it there are two butterfly zipped pockets with a further clear zipped compartment and pocket inside, ideal for memory cards. 

Behind this you'll find the double zipped laptop compartment with internal padded pocket which holds up to a 15 inch laptop. Behind that is the double zipped main compartment for all your gear. There are multiple velcro dividers which can be arranged to suit the kit you want to carry. The bag is designed for the DSLR with attached lens to lie down the middle, with space down either side for further lenses, maybe even spare bodies and accessories. This compartment zips all the way down to the bottom of the bag allowing you to pack and unpack your kit with ease. On the front flap there are 3 long clear zipped compartments for small accessories and cables.

Each bag also comes with a rip-stop 70D nylon seam sealed rain cover for extreme weather, although they are made from 600D polyester fabric with a PU coating making them water resistant and durable to start with.


Tamron Anvil 23 / Slim 15 Key Features

  • Tough, weather-resistant outer fabric
  • Holds a DSLR with attached long lens, plus 5/6 other lenses or accessories
  • Padded 15-inch laptop pocket  
  • Compliant with most airline hand luggage restrictions
  • Seam-sealed rain cover included
  • Removable padded waist belt included
  • Padded airflow system for comfort when wearing

Tamrac Anvil 23 / Slim 15 Handling & Performance

We managed to fit an Olympus E-30 with attached 50-200mm lens, along with 7 other lenses. There was still room for a further two lenses if required, making the bag great for those who need to travel with a vast myriad of lenses. 

The bag is comfy to wear even when loaded with heavy kit and it's easy to adjust the straps so that it fits to your body well. The padded back of the bag is effective, being comfy and breathable at the same time. The zips feature plastic loops making them easy to use. Zips on the main compartment go all the way down to the base of the bag, making it really easy to load and unload your kit with no restricted access.  

There are plenty of pockets for your smaller accessories and personal effects, something which other bags often lack. If you require some of the main pocket space for personal effects, it's easy to create spaces to your needs with the velcro dividers. 


Value For Money

Tamrac bags are distributed in the UK by Intro 2020 Ltd. The Anvil 23 is currently available to pre-order on Tamrac's USA website for $289.95, which is around £189 at current exchange rates. The Anvil Slim 15 is available to pre-order for $269.95, around £176 at current exchange rates. For the size and functionality of the bags, these prices are really quite reasonable. They are also really well made and feature lots of specialised padding for your kit.  

Alternatives include the Manfrotto Backpack 50, which can hold a pro DSLR with attached lens and a spare body with up to 5 extra lenses. It's around the same price, at £179 on Amazon, however is slightly more fiddly to access and isn't as versatile with packing options at the Tamrac bags. 


Tamrac Anvil 23 / Slim 15 Verdict

Overall, both the Tamrac Anvil 23 and Anvil Slim 15 represent good value for money, with high-quality materials used throughout and lots of versatile storage options for the pro on the move. They're both comfy even when loaded with heavy kit. The colour is inconspicuous, and they won't look out of place in the city of the countryside. They also carry a 5-year warranty, reassuring you of their quality.

Due to their comfort, amount of kit they fit and quality build, we are happy to highly recommend the bags. 

Tamrac Anvil 23 / Slim 15 Pros

Versatile kit carrying options
5 year warranty
Well made

Tamrac Anvil 23 / Slim 15 Cons

No feet on bottom to protect from wear
Quite heavy at 2.1kg without kit




The Tamrac Anvil 23 / Slim 15 are both high quality versatile pro bags that offer comfort and functionality.


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