Photography News 111 - Newsletter

First test PRICE: £219

LOWEPRO.COM Lowepro Pro Trekker BP350 AW II

This camera backpack was designed for frequent flyers – we find out whether or not it’s a runway success

The outside of the bag is made from two different grades of polyester plus ripstop nylon, and it’s a rugged, hard-wearing affair with chunky zips and a useful outer pocket that’s ideal for travel documents and passports. You can also attach a medium- sized tripod to the outside, using the supplied detachable pouch. An integral rain cover is included too, and even the shoulder and waist straps can be stowed away, allowing you to carry the bag conventionally with the handles on the top and side. Laptops up to 15 inches and tablets up to ten inches are stored in the front section of the bag. There’s a good amount of padding here and it’s a welcome feature that the whole section can be unzipped from top to bottom for easier access. “I WAS A FAN OF THE LIFT-OUT GEARBOX SECTION, PERFECT FOR STOWING SMALLER ACCESSORIES”


I HAD A dilemma earlier this month. I had a working trip to Europe approaching, during which I’d take three flights. I’d be carrying at least two camera bodies (one of which was the new GFX100 II), three lenses and general accessories, along with my 13-inch laptop and a nine-inch tablet, all of which needed to fit into a bag adhering to carry-on standards. My existing carrying options didn’t cut it. I had a backpack to take all the camera gear and a backpack that would swallow my laptop and tablet, but not one that satisfied both needs. I’ve always been a Lowepro fan – I already own enough of their bags to successfully lag the loft in a three-bed semi – so the company’s Pro Trekker range was an obvious port of call. I ended up plumping for this model which, at the time of writing, is on special offer for £219 – an £80 saving. Admittedly, this is a function- before-form kind of bag. If you like your backpack to be a style statement, look elsewhere. But for me, much like with my clothing, function is a primary concern, so this backpack fitted the bill perfectly.

PLANE SAILING? Lowepro designed this bag to meet carry-on regulations while still having room to safely transport a large camera body, a bundle of lenses and a laptop, with plenty of space left for accessories and cables

Velcro compartment dividers, so you can tailor the bag to perfectly cosset your gear. I was a fan of the lift-out GearBox section that sits at one end of the bag and is perfect for stowing cabling or smaller accessories. Time spent fumbling looking for ‘that’ cable was eradicated in an instant. The BP350 was on and off my back a lot during the trip and remained comfortable and well-balanced throughout. My back did get a bit

SPECS ›  Weight 2.39kg ›  External dimensions (wxhxd) 32x25x48cm ›  Internal dimensions (wxhxd) 28x15x42cm ›  Total volume 24 litres ›  Materials 1680D ballistic polyester, 420D ripstop nylon, 500D polyester Kodra and Veltex nylon ›  Designed to carry DSLR or pro mirrorless body with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, 4-5 extra lenses or speedlights, compact digital gear like DJI Osmo or Mavic, up to a 15in laptop and 10in tablet, medium tripod Inside, my two-camera-three- lens combo was comfortably accommodated, but there was also room for a range of accessories – travel plug, sunglasses, powerbank, straps, headphones and more. The interior is standard fare with lots of

sweaty, which is worth considering for day-long hikes and, in hindsight, I wish I’d taken a smaller messenger bag to decant kit into for those times when I just went out for an hour or so. But that’s my fault, not the bag’s. From a carry-on perspective, the bag was never weighed or measured but on one of my three flights, it didn’t fit under the seat in front of me (as it should), which made for a slightly less comfortable journey.

Verdict A well-thought-out backpack that is great for the creative wanting to carry both photo kit and computer equipment. The fact that it’s also made of 75% recycled fabrics is welcome, too. PROS Plenty of space, comfortable carry, sustainably made, well priced, GearBox section for cables and accessories CONS Large to carry for shorter trips once arrived at destination, didn’t fit under one airline seat when fully loaded

62 Photography News | Issue 111

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