Wisport Sparrow 16 l backpack with Tenba BYOB 10 camera insert

The Wisport Sparrow 16 l is the smallest generic backpack that I use with a camera insert. This is the backpack I choose when I wish to carry only a lightweight kit. On the other hand, it still can contain an Olympus E-M1 II with 300 mm f/4 attached. The exterior of this backpack is covered in PALS webbings on three sides.

Initially I used this backpack with a no-brand camera insert made in China, but subsequently switched to a smaller Tenba BYOB 10 DSLR Backpack Insert. The latter makes better use of the available space when packing Micro 4/3 cameras and lenses, and puts a lessser strain on the zipper of the backpack. This insert also leaves a little empty space at the top or bottom of the pack for a rainproof backpack cover or a small clothing item (the orange bag visible above the camera insert in the following picture is a trekking towel).

Tenba BYOB 10 DSLR Backpack Insert in Wisport Sparrow 16 l backpack

Tenba BYOB 10 DSLR Backpack Insert in Wisport Sparrow 16 l backpack.
The lens in the insert is an Olympus 300 mm f/4 Pro with MC-14 teleconverter.

The Wisport Sparrow 16 l is comparable in general shape to the much larger Wisport Whistler II 35 l. The backrest is thickly padded, but the open-cell padding material is lightweight, very soft and easily compressible. The shoulder straps contain an internal layer of stiff cloth to keep them in shape, and an almost imperceptibly thin layer of open-cell padding. The shoulder straps are quickly detached by opening two plastic carabiners and two plastic buckles. There is no hip belt. The sternum strap is of the sturdy design present in all Wisport tactical backpacks, and it is almost impossible to accidentally lose parts of this strap during transportation. I replaced the two holders for the mouthpiece of the drinking bladder with D-rings, which are more useful to me.

This backpack has a secondary pocket on the hatch of the main compartment, meant to contain small and flat items like a passport and plane ticket. This pocket opens with a vertical zipper along the right side of the pack.

The main hatch is kept closed by a double zipper and four straps with buckles. Four flat rings at the top and four more at the bottom of the backpack allow additional items to be fastened with 20 mm wide straps.

A couple of internal pockets and an elastic ribbon are available inside the main compartment, but no attachment rings nor PALS webbings. A small, velcro-fastened flap at the top of the pack covers an opening to pass the tube of the hydration bladder. A short loop of cord for hanging the pack clear of the ground is also covered by this flap.

Wisport Sparrow 16 l, harness view
Wisport Sparrow 16 l, harness view.
Wisport Sparrow 16 l, rear view
Wisport Sparrow 16 l, rear view.

The Wisport Sparrow is also made in 20 l and 30 l models. Both models have a larger and thicker secondary compartment and better shoulder straps and back padding. The 30 l model also has a hip belt, which is however a simple non-padded ribbon.


The Wisport Sparrow 16 l is a small tactical backpack with external PALS webbings. A Tenba BYOB 10 DSLR Backpack Insert fits well in the main compartment of this backpack. This insert provides space for a mirrorless body and about four lenses, or an Olympus 300 mm f/4 with teleconverter attached, plus a couple more lenses.