The Lowepro Photo Travel 350 AW bag was all I expected from Lowepro; good looking, well-made, with lots of pockets and compartments for all sorts of kit.
I actually travel pretty light on a day to day basis, as I like to photograph hand-held with my 100-400mm lens, so I rarely carry huge lenses and tripods, but with my Safari visit to Zambia in just a few months, then I was keen to see what this bag had to offer.
The bag I use at the moment is the Lowepro Flipside 300 as it is just big enough to hold the camera with the 100-400m on and a couple of other lenses and accessories. Generally, that is all I need and it is compact, slim and comfortable.The Scope Photo Travel is much bigger and able to carry all my kit for a much longer trip hopefully. It is part of the Lowepro Optics range and is the largest of the Optics Series, with the ‘Field Station’ bag, ‘Scope Porter 200’ and ‘Scope Travel 200’ below it in size.
This bag is designed to carry quite a lot of kit and has three main compartments, each with different functions.
The main section of the bag has five, padded compartments that are easily removed and adjusted.
The only downside for me was that the main compartment down the centre is designed for a spotting scope, which I don’t use, This means that you have a large, long compartment where I wanted my camera to be really. The black Pro-fit DSLR compartment can be moved to the top of this scope section, though, and then the lens lies within the scope compartment. My lens only ran about half way down it though and I felt I had ‘wasted’ space at the end.
I did find I could fit a couple of trail cams in here as well, which is a great advantage for me, as well as my macro, standard lens and binoculars. I also popped in my ipod and Bushnell BackTrack DTour. This versatile space will be really useful for Zambia.
There is a zippered front section which is full of compartments for books, notepad, pens etc and then the back compartment is well padded for a laptop.
Being quite slim, I find that many of the larger backpacks are designed for a frame that is much larger than mine. The Photo Travel, however, is fully adjustable with 5 adjustable points, including a sternum strap, meaning I could make multiple adjustments until it felt comfortable on my back. The mesh-covered and thickly padded packpad and waistband means that the rucksack feels comfortable, even when it is full of kit and I walked with the kit all day with no discomfort at all.
It also comes with a built in ‘All-Weather AW Cover’ which stretches up to cover the entire backpack, protecting it from the elements.
This backpack looks good and is incredibly comfortable to wear. For me, it is not going to be the one I use on a daily basis, just because of its size. For longer trips, such as my Zambia trip in June, it will be perfect…. I just need to check that it is within the hand-luggage limits as I would want to use this bag as hand luggage to carry my precious camera kit! I will be doing various internal flights as well so I just know that this bag is going to really come into its own!
I will update this review on my return from Africa… ….
To find out more about the Lowepro Optics range, click on the images below.