Gadling Gear Review: Two Camera Bags From Lowepro

Lowepro Transit Backpack camera bag
Lowepro

When you invest a considerable amount of money into a good camera and a set of lenses for travel, it is important to also spend a little extra cash to get a quality camera bag as well. A good bag is not only comfortable to wear but also provides plenty of protection from accidental damage while also managing to keep all of your gear well organized and easy to access. That can play a big difference in whether or not you get the chance to capture that perfect shot or miss it altogether.

Lowepro is a company that has been designing excellent camera bags for travel and outdoor activities for years. Their bags are popular amongst professional photographers and amateurs alike because they always offer great quality and incorporate certain elements that indicate the designers know their customers’ needs very well. Here are two new bags from Lowepro that are sure to be popular options with active travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Transit Backpack 350 AW ($119.99)
Photographers in the market for a versatile camera bag with plenty of room for all of their equipment need look no further than the new Transit Backpack. The bag features plenty of pockets, interior compartment space and mesh organizers to hold camera bodies, multiple lenses, memory cards and a variety of other gear. A small tripod can even be lashed to the side of the pack thanks to built-in straps designed for that very purpose. On top of that, the pack has a sleek, attractive design that not only looks good, but also puts everything you need right at your fingertips.As with most of Lowepro’s bags, the Transit features the company’s UltraFit system, which makes the interior highly customizable. Through the use of removable panels – not to mention plenty of Velcro – it is possible to configure the interior in numerous ways. This comes in handy when you’re carrying an extra longer lens for example and you need to change the configuration to accommodate that particular piece of gear. It also means that no matter which type of camera and lenses you carry, the bag can be adapted to fit your needs. This option gives the Transit a bit of future-proofing since you can modify it to fit your gear even as it evolves over time.

Despite the fact that the Transit is designed to carry a lot of heavy equipment it also extremely comfortable to wear, even when fully loaded. Lowepro has used thick, well-padded straps on this backpack and it certainly helps lessen the stress of lugging all of that gear around all day. They’ve even cleverly integrated a side access panel that allows you to easily get to the interior of the pack without having to take it off. That makes it a breeze to either quickly grab or stow your camera while on the go.

Other nice touches on this pack include a laptop sleeve large enough to hold a 15-inch computer and a built-in weather cover that can protect the bag, and its precious contents, from the elements. An interior pocket comes equipped with a handy key clip and is the perfect size for carrying a smartphone or a few accessories as well.

The Transit Backpack is a bit bulky (it tips the scales at 2.4 pounds) but that is mostly due to the thick, high quality padding used in its construction. Still, if you’re in the market for something a little more compact, you may want to check out Lowepro’s Transit Sling, which offers a similar design in a smaller package.

With a price tag of $119.99, the Transit Backpack is an excellent deal for travelers looking to carry all of their camera gear in a safe, organized and stylish manner. Whether you’re shooting photos around town or heading to the far side of the globe, this bag will make an excellent travel companion for many years to come.

Lowepro Dryzone Duffel camera bag
Lowepro

DryZone DF 20 L ($149.99)
While the Transit Backpack is designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of photographers, Lowepro’s other new bag is much more focused on a specific market. The new DryZone DF 20 duffel is aimed squarely at photographers who spend a lot of time in and around water. The bag is perfect for the outdoor action photographer for instance, or for those who find themselves in a kayak or on a scuba boat on a regular basis. While that may seem like a small segment of the overall market, it is a group of photographers who demand an extra level of protection for their gear and have their own specific needs that aren’t generally met in most standard camera bags.

Since this duffel has a special focus on keeping moisture out, it has been built with an exterior shell that incorporates the latest lightweight and technical waterproof fabrics. It also features a roll top enclosure that provides easy access to the interior of the bag but then seals up tight when it’s ready to take on the elements. As a result, the DryZone carries an IPX-6 waterproof rating, which means it should keep out most rain and heavy splashes, but is not capable of protecting its contents if it gets fully submerged.

Inside the waterproof shell is a second bag that is built to carry camera gear. It has a fully customizable interior that can be adjusted to fit the needs of what ever equipment you happen to be carrying at any given time. This extra pack is actually convenient for moving all of your gear from one carrying case to another in a quick and easy fashion, making it possible to go from your luggage directly into the waterproof bag for instance. This secondary bag works in conjunction with the outer shell and provides yet another level of protection for our expensive gear.

I like the “grab and go” feel of this duffel, although since it is so squarely aimed at a specific market it obviously isn’t built for the average traveler. This isn’t the kind of bag you just throw over your shoulder and hit the road as it was never built with that purpose in mind. But if you do happen to fall into the niche that Lowepro is aiming at with the DryZone, you’re likely to be very happy. This duffel provides plenty of protection from water while also allowing you to easily carry your equipment with you on your next aquatic outing. My only complaint about the bag is that it has a single exterior pocket that could be very useful, except it is so small that you can’t put much of anything in it at all. I’d like to see that pocket expanded for more capacity in future iterations of the DryZone in order to give it a bit more usefulness.

The Dryzone carries a price tag of $149.99, which may seem a bit high at first glance. After all, this is a bag that has a very specific focus and it won’t be all that useful when you’re carrying your camera gear around in an urban environment or on a trail. But if you do need a camera bag for use around the water, you won’t be disappointed here. Lowepro has designed a product that will keep your camera and lenses dry and give you a level of versatility that isn’t found in similar products from the competition. Besides, if you’re going to be using your expensive photography equipment around the water, $150 is a small price to pay to ensure that it stays safe.

Gadling Gear Review: Lowepro Urban Photo Sling 150 And Flipside Sport

Lowepro Reviews: Urban Sling 150One of the biggest challenges for travel photographers, both amateur and pro, is finding a way to comfortably carry all of our gear while also keeping it well protected. As digital SLR’s have become more affordable and ubiquitous, more and more of us find ourselves carrying extra lenses, filters, tripods and other equipment when we hit the road. After all, we definitely want to have all the right gear with us to capture those amazing sights on our far-flung adventures.

Lowepro is a company that makes excellent bags for all levels of photographers and we’ve written reviews of several of their packs in the past. But some of those were definitely designed for a more professional shooter, while most of us have decidedly more modest needs. Here are two more options from Lowepro that will likely be of interest to amateur photographers looking for an efficient and safe way to carry their precious photography equipment on their travels.

Lowepro Urban Photo Sling 150
The Urban Photo Sling is a versatile and compact bag that puts an emphasis on comfort and convenience. As with all of Lowepro’s bags, the interior is fully customizable for carrying a variety of equipment including a single DSLR body, multiple lenses, an external flash, extra batteries and other personal items. The Urban Sling even has a nicely padded pocket for an iPad or other tablet, which is definitely a nice touch for a bag that isn’t particularly large to begin with.

One of the surprising things about this pack isn’t just how much it can carry but also how easy it is to get to your gear when you need it. The Urban Sling provides access through both the top and front, which means that you can easily get to you camera and an extra lens without ever taking the pack off and yet when you do need to dig deeper it isn’t a cumbersome or frustrating process either.

Lowepro incorporated a number of other nice touches into the design as well including a dedicated memory card pocket, a stow-away waist belt that adds extra stability and side pockets that provide additional organization options. The bag is even designed to be worn on the front, back or side depending on which is more comfortable and convenient at the time.While testing the Urban Photo Sling I was consistently impressed with its comfort and versatility. I loaded it up with my Nikon D90, three lenses, an iPad, extra memory cards and a few other small items and it carried the load very nicely. I loved having all of my photography gear close at hand when I needed it, but also appreciated the ability to quickly tuck it out of the way when I didn’t. It is a lightweight, yet durable, bag that many photographers will find useful no matter where their travels take them. Don’t let the “urban” in the pack’s name fool you either; this is a sling that is more than capable of accompanying you on your adventures to remote corners of the globe.

The Urban Photo Sling carries a price tag of $84.99, which is actually surprisingly affordable for a pack that will serve most photographers exceptionally well for years. It also makes a great secondary bag that serves in a support role for professionals looking to scale back at times.

Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L AW
Lowepro Flipside SportIn our last Lowepro review we took a look at the Flipside 500 AW backpack, which is specifically designed for a pro photographer who needs an option for carrying heavy gear through all kinds of conditions. That pack is simply fantastic but it is also not exactly the best option for most of us, who never have the need to carry a 500mm lens. For us mere mortals, Lowepro offers the Flipside Sport line of packs, which are smaller and more compact while still maintaining the same level of quality and versatility as their big brother.

The Flipside Sport 10L AW is designed to comfortably carry a DSLR body with an attached telephoto lens, an additional 1-2 lenses, an external flash, extra cables, memory cards and other accessories. The pack features a dedicated external tripod holder and provides access to the fully customizable interior through either the padded back panel or a zippered side door. In short, it has everything an amateur photographer needs to carry his or her gear on a globetrotting adventure.

This pack was definitely designed with the adventure traveler and outdoor enthusiast in mind. For instance, the Flipside Sport features a side pocket for carrying a 1-liter water reservoir, which is always handy for staying hydrated while on the trail. It also has a built in weather cover that protects the pack and its expensive contents from the elements including rain, snow and sand. Trekking pole and ice axe attachments are a nice addition as well, rounding out a great package for active photographers who need to easily carry their gear while hiking, climbing or running through remote locations.

Of all the Lowepro packs I’ve tested this is by far my favorite. It is comfortable to wear, handles a heavy load with aplomb and has a fit that keeps it locked in place even while hiking or mountain biking a difficult trail. The Flipside Sport feels less like a photography bag and more like a daypack, and I mean that in the best possible way. It is a fantastic option for active travelers who need more from their camera bag than simply a way to stay organized while on the go. The price is right too. The Flipside costs just $124.99, which puts it into the same price range as other daypacks from outdoor gear companies that are not specifically designed for photographers.

If you’ve been searching for the right camera bag to fit your needs, Lowepro will certainly have something of interest. If it isn’t the versatile and comfortable Urban Sling or the active Flipside Sport pack, then perhaps one of their other models will meet your expectations. All of their bags are durable, designed with the photographer in mind and priced right. Check out the entire catalog at Lowepro.com.

Gadling Gear Review: Lowepro Event Messenger 250 and Flipside 500 AW

Lowepro Event Messenger 250One of the greatest travel innovations of the past two decades is, without a doubt, the digital camera. Not only have they made photography more fun but more accessible as well, allowing us to capture travel memories like never before. Over the years, digital cameras have gotten smaller and lighter, increased their megapixels, added new features and greatly reduced their prices. As a result, it is difficult to find anyone who doesn’t own one these days.

As amateur photographers have gotten more sophisticated, the digital SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) cameras have grown into the best selling segment of the market. These cameras are popular because they not only offer great image quality and fast performance, but they also have the ability to change lenses to capture just the right photo. The problem is that SLR’s tend to be considerably bigger and heavier than point-and-shoot cameras and when you throw in a few extra lenses, it can be a real challenge to lug all of that gear around. Fortunately for us, Lowepro makes a number of fantastic bags for travelers that make it much easier to carry our photography gear and keep it well organized. Here is a look at two of those bags, each designed for different uses.

Lowepro Event Messenger 250
The Lowepro Event Messenger 250 is the largest of the Event Messenger series packs and features everything that an aspiring or experienced photographer could ask for in a compact camera bag. This shoulder-sling style pack has room for a large pro-style DSLR body and up to four extra lenses, depending on size. A zip pocket on the front provides storage for accessories such as extra memory cards, USB cables, batteries and so on. The bag even has a well-padded slot for a laptop or iPad, which was a bit surprising as it doesn’t initially appear large enough to carry that much gear.I was impressed with how slim and compact the EM 250 is while still providing plenty of padding to protect the precious cargo inside. The interior of the bag is easily customizable to fit your needs and it can carry plenty of gear with ease as well. I managed to fit my Nikon D90, three Nikkor lenses, a Macbook Air, cellphone and a variety of other accessories. A well-designed shoulder strap rounded out the package, making it a breeze to carry all of that gear for a full day in the field.

Using the EM 250 was a revelation for me. Typically in the past I kept all of my gear in a standard backpack, which did little to keep my gear well organized. When I needed to access another lens or spare battery, I was often forced to rifle through the pack to find exactly what I needed. But Lowepro’s pack not only kept everything well organized but also close at hand, which made it much easier to change out a lens and capture the perfect shot.

Pro photographers will appreciate the Event Messenger 250 as a slimmed down bag for carrying just their bare essentials, while well-equipped amateurs will find that the pack more than meets their needs. At a price of just $79.99, it is a fantastic investment for protecting your expensive camera gear while traveling, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Lowepro Flipside BackpackLowepro Flipside 500 AW
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the Event Messenger is Lowepro’s Flipside Backpack. Designed for professional photographers, this pack provides far more storage than the typical amateur would ever need, wrapping it all up in a pack that is comfortable to wear on extended trips to just about anywhere on the planet.

The spacious interior of the Flipside has room for three DSLR bodies, 2-4 extra lenses (Up to 500mm!), a large flash, collapsible tripod, extra memory cards, an iPad and plenty of accessories. Much like the Event Messenger, the interior is fully customizable and very well padded, and the seemingly endless number of pockets will keep all your gear very well organized.

For a backpack dedicated to photographers, I was surprised to find a number of features that would be more common on packs designed for climbers and hikers. For instance, the shoulder straps and back padding were extremely comfortable, allowing the wearer to easily carry a large, heavy load over challenging terrain. Other nice touches include a built-in rain cover that provides extra protection from inclement weather, a tripod mount and leashes for trekking poles and more. It is even hydration ready, providing a dedicated pocket for carrying a 1-liter water reservoir. In short, this pack has everything an active photographer could hope for and then some.

The Flipside 500 AW was built from the ground up for the professional level adventure photographer. It was designed for someone who needs to be able to move quickly and easily with all of their gear, while still having their hands free to shoot photos. As such, it is overkill for the average traveler who is only carrying a DSLR body and a lens or two on a group trip. But if you’re an active, adventure traveler with lots of camera equipment, this is a no-brainer purchase. Simply put, every action photog should own one of these bags.

Lowepro lists the MSRP on the Flipside 500 AW as $249.99 and considering the market that it targets, that seems like a steal. This is a pack that will carry thousands of dollars worth of equipment with ease and protect it from all kinds of dangers. Aside from it being a bit bulky, it is an amazing piece of gear that is difficult to find fault in. If you fit the target market, and don’t already own one, add the Flipside to your gear closet now.