156 of 158 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Lowepro Fastpack 350 Quick Access Backpack for SLR Kit, 17" Notebook and General Gear for Canon 550D, 500D, 1000D, Nikon D3000, Samsung NX10, PL1, Panasonic G2, Sony Alpha A450 - Black (Electronics)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.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Sep 2012 17:43:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Sep 2012 22:48:18 BDT
Good review BUT IT DOES have an integral method for carrying tripod ... please let the author know!!! It is on the side and slides out the bottom of the bag !!!
APOLOGIES but my NEWER version of this bag ... the lower Video Fastpack AW350 does have this tripod arrangement which makes all the difference... so this is the one to buy !! Apologies to Story Fanatic T
PS some people would prefer the tripod centrally rather than on one side ... ...as this position is slightly unbalanced ... but i think fine with moderate sized tripod
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2012 19:18:15 BDT
I'm sorry, but you must either be referring to a different bag, or perhaps a newer version has had this feature added. Look at the customer photos (linked at the top of the page) and you'll see two options that have been suggested for carrying tripods.
One by hanging it off the bottom straps with velcro straps and the other by using the laptop compartment on one leg.
If your bag definitely is this model and it definitely has a purpose-made carry method, please post photo to the top of the page so everyone can see the update. Thx.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2012 20:02:52 BDT
There are pictures here with this little thing for the foot of t tripod which you have to pull out ... its on moimne and i wondered if it might be hiding on yours ... or it may be a newer model .. have a check and let me know Best wishes Tom
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2012 22:34:42 BDT
That is definitely a new product range.
If you go to the the "Products" tab on the Lowepro site you linked to, you can see the version that I have (and reviewed) is on the second line down, under the Original Series category. Direct link to detail: http://products.lowepro.com/product/Fastp
The product I reviewed/have is named simply the "Fastpack 350", whereas you seem to have (or are referring to) the "DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW", which definitely does have the tripod holster you mention.
Perhaps Lowepro read my review, as they seem to have addressed the only two negatives I listed!
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2012 22:45:40 BDT
THanks for the correction of my correction ... i will try to amend my comment .... actually with a waterproof arrangement and a small thingy for the tripod + all that was there when you reviewed it ... I think it may now be my ideal bag ... I'll let you know
Posted on 15 May 2013 19:13:24 BDT
Mr. Paul J. Clements says:
hi, great revue, very helpful. One thing you omited; what was in the rolls?
In reply to an earlier post on 15 May 2013 21:47:10 BDT
After 5 years, I don't remember! But it may have been the family favourite of cheese and pickle or grated carrot with sultanas and cheese. Mmm, cheese... :-)
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