Top positive review
Another Lowepro gem.
29 July 2015
I bought this as an addition to the LowePro Fastpack 250 that's been my staple camera bag for a few years now. Whilst that bag is great, I think this one manages to surpass it in key areas, with only a few slight niggles.....
The insides are fully configurable to your own requirements. By means of the velcro-tabbed dividers, you can pretty much set it up as you want. I've had it set up solely as a camera bag, with both my Canon bodies (550D and 760D) plus four additional lenses, assorted filters, chargers, batteries etc. Alternatively, on a recent trip to Copenhagen, I made the bottom section into the camera-dedicated area, a small section in the upper half or battery, charger, and filters, and he remainder of the top for general storage (guidebooks, umbrella, etc). This makes the bag very useful, as it's flexible to what you're trying to do.
The "hard top". I loved the fact that the top opening is actually rigid. You have no worries about someone squashing the top section. Plus, the zippered inside pocket is perfect for keys/passport/etc to save having to keep them in your pocket. In fact I like the fact that the whole thing is rigid with the cushioned insides. It's a lot more rugged that you realise...
The Additional extras: The extra exterior straps, bottle holder, tripod holder, etc are very useful, and a lot sturdier than the ones on the Fastpack 250.
Weight: This bag, while rigid and sturdy really didn't feel heavy at all, even when slung over one shoulder.
Side access panels. This bag has the same side access panels to get at your camera as on the FP250. Plus, since there are panes on BOTH sides, you can choose which way to access your camera.
Build quality: This is Lowepro, so you know you're getting a well made product.
Size. This easily fits into Airplane hand luggage requirements, so no worries about flying with it.
The back support area. While the LP250 had good support, this goes one better with the "aeration" holes to stop the old "sweaty back" problem of carrying a backpack for long periods of time.
Integrated rain cover. I got good use out of this on the trip. Very easy to fit and fold away. Even manages to cover the bag if you have the external water bottle holder fitted with a bottle in it.
The Niggles (Not sure they can be called minuses, really).
It takes a little getting used to the fact that to open it fully, you need to unzip the whole back (and that it's the part closest to your back that provides access).
Whilst it's very configurable, I'd recommend setting it up *prior* to a trip, rather than re-arranging the sections on the fly during a trip.
The dividers for creating the sections, particularly the larger dividers, have a LOT of velcro on them, so trying to fit them exactly where you want them can be a little bit difficult, as you'll find they've attached themselves as you put them in, rather than when you've got them in the position you actually want. (if you see what I mean!) forcing you to take them out and try again.
The memory card storage has gone from two pockets inside the camera flap to a "fold over" elasticated section in the top. You can fit two card in their cases in there, but you will probably have to take both out to work out which is which.
All in all, this is an excellent bag, as long as you set it up as you want. It gives more flexibility than the lower models, and could even be used as an overnight/weekend bag if you're not taking your full camera kit with you.
Because the main divider is only attached to 3 sides, it's possible for small/thin items to slip from the upper to the lower section occasionally.