58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2010
I'm a newbie to DSLR photography, so when I bought my first DSLR camera, I got duped into buying a package with a small Canon 100EG camera bag included in the price. At first this was great. The bag was small, light wight, compact, making it easy to carry around. I soon found that my camera outgrew the bag (pretty much immediately) after buying just a flash gun.
I started looking for a larger bag that could hold the kit I had and any additional kit I'd buy in the future. I wanted something that I could carry my laptop in as well, for when I go on holiday, so I can transfer any photos straight to my laptop rather that have lots of extra memory cards.
I bought this for use with my Canon EOS 500D DSLR Camera. I was looking for a bag that would hold my camera, a couple of lenses, a flash gun, a laptop and a few other bit's and peices as time goes on.
After doing a lot of searching on the internet I kept getting pointed back to Lowepro bags. I had come across Lowepro bags previously, but had never actually owned one.
I found a lots of excellent written reviews about this bag online, which made me want this bag. I then came across a couple of video reviews on YouTube which really convinced me to buy this bag.
I currently have the following gear in this bag:
* Canon EOS 500D Camera body (with a Canon EP-EX15ii Eye Peice Extender, Canon BG-E5 battery grip & Canon EF-S 18-55mm Kit lens & Canon EW-60C Lens Hood attatched)
* Canon EF-S 55-250mm Lens (with Canon ET-60 Lens hood reverse attched for storage)
* Canon EF 50mm Lens (with Canon ES-62 Lens Hood reverse attatched for storage)
Each lens also has Canon UV filters attatched (to reduce glare & for added protection of the front of the lens)
* Canon Speedlite 430EXii Flash Gun (in neoprane carry case)
* Sto-Fen OM-EW Omni Bounce Flash Diffuser.
* Panasonic HDC-SD10 HD Camcorder.
* 15.4" HP laptop (in a Belkin Neoprene Sleeve).
* Chargers for the Canon camera, Panasonic camcorder & HP laptop.
* Various cables to connect the cameras to a television or computer.
* User manuals for the camera, camcorder & flash.
* Lens cleaning equipment (including Giottos Rocket Air Blower, Lens cleaning fluid, microfibre cloth, lens pen)
* A couple of USB flash/thumb drives.
* 2.5" Seagate Expansion 500Gb Portable Hard Drive (in a Case Logic protective case).
* Trekmates small (25-45L) waterproof cover (why Lowepro couldn't include these as standard on all their bags, I don't know).
A few people have said it is worth getting additional cases to house your lenses in to offer additional protection (whether they be the thinish bag type or thicker neoprene types). This bag can easily accommodate these, but I don't think they will be neccessary as the bag itself is more than adequately padded.
Even with all these items in the bag, it feels suprizingly light and easy to carry around.
The bag has plenty of compartments/pockets to store a multitude of different items. The main compartment can be customised to store your equipment how you find best.
One criticism, that another reviwer gave was the fact that to use the quick access feature (to remove your camera quickly) you need to carry the bag on you left shoulder. I found this true at first, as I was used to carrying ruck sacks on my right shoulder, but after a couple of weeks carrying it around I don't find it an issue anymore.
My only criticism would be the fact that you cannot actually lock the zipper compartments using a padlock. Not such a big deal, as the bag is designed in such a way, that if anyone did try to open the zips you should be able to feel it.
Fully loaded the bag can feel a little bit on the large side, so you need to be some what careful walking around making sure you don't knock anything over when turning around.
Overall, a very good quality and highly padded bag that can hold so much kit.
Definately worth getting.
173 of 175 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2008
The LowePro 350 is a great bag in terms of quality of finish (no loose threads, zips work well, padding is firm, velcro in good places, etc). There are some compromises of course, which is the nature of the design.
This system is designed to carry a laptop and camera gear, plus a reasonable "loose" section for drinks/food/etc at the top. I bought this for a holiday trip to the West Coast of Scotland which I knew would involve quite a bit of walking. I also knew I would NOT be carrying the laptop on the walks! It was a good method of getting the laptop to the accommodation fully protected without having to add yet another bag to the already full car. I also use it for walking to the office when at work, where it fits my use very well.
The downside of the 350 is that it doesn't have an integrated method of carrying a tripod - you'd fit a gorillapod in the top, or maybe a compact monopod, but my venerable 20-year old Velbon had to stay at home! A separate carrying method might be fixed on, as the bag has a flat bottom, so the tripod could be slung underneath if you're clever with your bungee's.
Also, there's no dedicated rain cover, so any showers or heavier rain would see you ducking for cover. The main camera compartment zips are covered by an extra flap, so this should provide reasonable protection, but the side zip used to access the camera body remain exposed. Driving rain might make it through that eventually.
In use on the walks the bag is _very_ comfortable. My kit (so far) consists of: Canon 40D, 10-22mm EFS USM, 17-85mm EFS USM IS, 70-200mm EF L USM IS (f4), weighing in at approximately 3kg altogether. I normally walked with the body and lens in hand (strap round neck just in case).
The adjustability of the shoulder harness and waist supports are excellent and I was able to easily switch between shoulder and waist for primary load bearing when required. A bit more venting at the back would be useful though, as it gets quite hot on longer or brisker walks. I didn't really find the side-access feature all that useful, though I did use it. I would frequently need to fully un-shoulder the bag to switch lenses, for example.
Inside the padded camera section, you have adjustable panels. The range of adjustment is reasonable but not infinite - the stick patches are in set areas. With the lens hood for the wide angle 10-22mm lens in one "cell", you'd still have room for a flash or fourth lens, assuming the longer lens remains attached to the camera body. You could put the hoods (for any lens they don't conveniently reverse-fit) into the top compartment and have room for a fifth lens (if you needed it), or four lenses plus a flash unit. Really depends on what you've got though.
I was able to fit two OS Explorer maps in the exterior mesh pocket, along with a 350ml water bottle. The top compartment happily took my 500ml flask, spare battery, lunch box (holding two rolls) and meusli snack bars, etc, with a little spare room left over.
Overall, I'd say this is an excellent "urban" backpack for those wanting to carry a laptop as well as camera regularly. It gets to be quite heavy if fully loaded, depending on your laptop specs. Mine's a Vaio weighing in at 3kg without the power brick, so adds quite a bit, but I can get all the power adapter/chargers and various cables in the top, so long as I don't want to carry anything else!
For fully "wild" use, I'd perhaps recommend looking further, particularly if you need to add a tripod to your carried kit, but you won't be dissappointed with the quality of this bag.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 29 February 2012
I am a professional photographer I don't know who has more bags my wife or me but each bag has it's own use. I've written several reviews on different camera bags and now it's the turn of the Lowepro Fastpack 200 which is one of my favourite bags.
Most rucksack style camera bag fall into two types those which are a rucksack with a small camera bag at the bottom where you've limited space, have to put it down dig everything out and then spend ages putting it back after but have a good size rucksack or those dedicated camera rucksacks where there's room for loads of gear but no room for a jumper or water bottle. There's several sling type bags on the market but these tend to be small and lack enough space for even basic amateur kit.
The fastback range work well in that you have a reasonable size day bag plus a reasonable sized camera bag plus the added bonus of being able to access the camera without having to put the bag down.
Personally I wanted a bag that doesn't scream camera bag, which is comfortable to wear all day, which would take a reasonable level of pro kit plus a water bottle, sandwich rolled up waterproof coat. To me it was important it fitted into the hand luggage compartment and was small enough I could walk through the seaside shops without it banging into things. Most of my post production is done back in the studio or in a hotel room so a dedicated laptop sleeve wasn't important.
They have three in this range the 100 small 200 medium and 300 large with 150,250, and 350 models with a laptop sleeve in the back.
When comparing to other makes of camera bag the quality and general design of all the Lowpro bags is excellent and they do last well in the field. The material is always tough hard wearing but flexible, Padding is good, not as good as a £400 Billingham bags which you can put in a cement mixer but it will still protect your kit form the general knocks that happen on a daily basis. The dividers are always good and allow customisation of the space, they are made of soft grey nylon which doesn't pick up dust like some.
So down to the nitty gritty of this fastback 200 bag. It will take comfortable a 5dmk2, 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, and 70-200mm f2.8 IS. plus a bulky Lee filter holder, a flash gun and even a 50mm f1.4 or 1.4x convertor, so its a good size. Sadly you can't fit the lens hoods in main section, this might be different if you're using the likes of the f4 lenses which are a bit smaller. Equally you can't keep the 70-200mm f2.8 on the body. I tell a lie you can but its a really tight fit and I'd worry about cracking the lcd screen. To be fair these sorts of problems aren't uncommon with camera bags and monster lenses like these.
There is a pocket on the front which will take full size lee filters plus other bits and bobs. A flap over the top helps with security.
Inside the top ruck sack section is a couple of nice small pockets ideal for cable release wallet mobile phone and such like, with a larger map pocket on the top front. There's plenty of room for extras here gorilla pod sandwich and jumper, theres also a nice water bottle mess pocket on the side which is handy and being outside you don't worry about leaks.
Shoulder padding is comfortable and the mess back is cool. It's got a small penknife size pocket on the shoulder strap which seems a bit odd sized really and not much use for anything other than a penknife. There's no chest strap but thats not the end of the world for a bag this size.
I'm not sure how good the waterproofing is it's not taped and seamed, nor does it come with a bag to cover it in the rain. Showers I think it's fine but if it was really pouring down for some hours out on a moor I'd be slightly concerned. That said there are separate plastic bags you can get, or a black bin bag would do if your out in those sorts of extreme.
The one thing really lacking and this is my biggest gripe, is the lack of a tripod holder which for any serious landscape photographer is a must. Of course you could have a gorilla pod in the top or carry a tripod separately but it's not ideal. What I've done is clip my carbon fibre tripod under the flap with the head in the top section, not ideal as it bangs around a bit. You could in fairness sew something on if you wanted it's just laziness thats stopped me.
The reality is that added features like a tripod mount, tapped seams a bit of extra padding don't cost a lot but combine them together and then it's what suddenly takes a bag from £60 to £190. Overall this is an excellent bag even without the tripod holder.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2008
Firstly, this backpack looks just like a regular backpack - it doesn't scream out 'camera bag.'
Camera gear stored inside is extremely well protected - the bag has tons of padding and, in fact, the backpack is quite rigid even when empty (it is the padding that does this). Mine holds a Nikon D80/lens with ease, even with the optional battery grip fitted. There are then 3 individual padded compartments, each of which being capable of holding a small/medium lens, or they could be amalgamated to hold a longer lens, etc. There are two further slimmer compartments, capable of holding flash etc.
There are 2-3 zipped compartments, plus a couple of small pockets for holding SD cards (or similar). In the top (non-camera) part of the backpack, it is possible to store your lunch and a drink - plus there are a couple more velcro pockets and organisers.
The backpack is very comfortable to wear and has heavily padded straps, plus a waist strap. There is a pocket on one of the straps for holding a small/medium mobile phone.
To be honest, it's hard to think of ways to improve this backpack!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2009
I have been hiking for many years and have found that there is always a problem with what to do with a camera. I have varied between carrying a digital compact on a belt holder to an intermediate digital in my backpack or round my neck. The later is hazardous for both wearer and camera when scrambling over rough ground.
This backpack is so easy to use and the camera is accessible without completely removing it. I wore it all day and had no problems being able to quickly access my camera (Canon 450D) to take bird photos etc. There was room for wet weather gear, a light packed lunch and, externally, a bottle of water. Camera equipment was kept separate and I had an additional lens, filters and small tripod and at a squeeze could have included another camera all completely separated from the general stuff carried.
I thoroughly recommend this backpack.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2009
Overall yet another excellent lowepro product. I bought to replace a slingshot where I had liked the concept but found the weight too tiring on one shoulder. In the bottom half, there is enough room for a camera with a long lens (I used have a D300 with 70-200mm) and leaves enough room for two smaller lens on one side plus my filters / holder on the other. There is a separate small pocket inside for memory cards.
In the top half, there is enough room on the inside to us as a daypack with waterproof, sandwiches etc along with compass and other walking gear items. There is also a good outer front pocket for flat items and also a bottle holder mesh with a toggle to keep it secure.
So, why 4 stars and not 5? No waterproof cover (I knew this before I bought it) and no tripod holder for more serious day walkers / trekkers. The most fundamental issue for me is that my 17" Dell widescreen laptop cannot squeeze in with it's neoprene cover but can fit without the cover. I say 'can' because you need to be really careful not to scratch it due to the zip so cannot easily get in / out.
Overall, a very good bag, make sure you try with your laptop first if that is the most important feature to you.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2009
I got one of these after looking around the net trying to decide what bag would best suit me. The Fastpack 200 was my final choice as it had the 2 main points that I wanted. 1: Must take my Sony A300, 2 Lenses and cables. 2: Must have room to take other bits like lunch.
The top pocket is big enough to take lunch for 2 people and a couple of small items like sunglasses. The bottom part where the camera goes is a good size and easily takes my Sony A300 with 75-300mm lens fitted and enogh roon for another similar size lens, charger, leads and spare battery. Its well padded so nothing will get broken easily. Being able to get to the camera is really easy by just slipping the right strap off your shoulder and spinning the bag around.
It doesnt come with a weather proof cover like some others but that doesnt bother me to much as i dont intend on going walking in the rain to often.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2011
I received this bag well packaged in a sealed Amazon box, i opened it up and pulled out the bag which was slightly larger than i expected but not overly huge. The Build quality of this bag is very impressive, it has a large amount of padding on the straps and all compartments of the bag. It is extremely comfortable to wear especially on long trips. I am AMAZED at the amount of room this bag has, i currently stored 1 x 13" macbook pro, 1 x Nikon d40x digital camera and lens, 1 x flower hood, 1 x zoom lens, 1 x macbook charger, 1 x Camera charger, 1 x External hard drive about the size of a ordinary hard back book, 1 x Portable hard drive, 1 x a5 notepad, 1 x sandwich. Plus several other cables. I still have a large amount of room left over for other items.
I would strongly recommend this bag to anyone looking for something that can hold a lot and that is comfortable to wear. It is also waterproof which is a big advantage over other bags like this.
If your thinking the price is too expensive and i might buy a cheaper imitation, don't bother buy this is worth it 1000%.
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2008
I owned the lowepro trekker 2 backpack and that is not really designed for a reasonable amount of gear. I have a body with lense, two other lenses and a flash, and it will all fit no rpobs at all.
this bag is very well made, and the best thing is that when you wish to get to your camera out of the bag, you don't have to put the bag on the ground or your lap, and unzip it etc....you can do it while still walking about! That may not sound like a big deal, but it makes a difference!
Basically, if you want a day pack, this is the bag for you!
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2009
I really like this bag. I bought it to use as a carry-on bag for travelling on airplanes and as an overnight bag. I wish I would have gotten the size below this one. It is a bit bulky. I'm not sure if it will fit under the seat of the airplane as a carry-on. It is also very square and is a bit tough to stow (I work/live on a boat, so storage is an issue for me). Aside from that the bag is really well made and has plenty of room for my camera, extra lenses, power cable, etc. My 16" lap-top and it's case fit perfectly in the lap-top compartment. There is still room for the power cord and external hardrive too. The top compartment fits all of the other gadgets I travel with (Iphone, Ipod, Kindle, power cords, etc). The camera compartment provides great protection and is the main purpose of my purchase. As an overnight bag, I take out the pads in the camera compartment and use that for my clothing and store my camera in the top compartment with a carabiner as a quick release "lock" for anti-theft protection.