I’ve tested lots of Lowepro gear this year, traveling by plane, train, cab, car, bike and foot. And with field use, there are bags that rise to the surface as my absolute favorites. I thought you might like to peruse this list, especially as the holidays roll around. I’ll list MSRP US prices in my overviews, but often you can get better prices by shopping around.
Pro Runner 300 AW – For my dedicated camera backpack, the Pro Runner 300 AW is at the top of the list. I like this bag because it holds my Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 60D, telephoto, wide, primes and flash, yet is thin and very efficient. It fits in overhead compartments, on buses, under seats, and just about anywhere else. I can carry the iPad in the front pocket and still have room for other personal items. This is one bag I could not do without. $179 US.
Fastpack 250 – When I need to stow a laptop in my backpack, I still favor the Lowepro Fastpack 250. It easily handles all 15″ models, and I can even get my 17″ MacBook Pro in there. Plus, the Fastpack accommodates the 5D Mark II DSLR with 24-105 f/4 L zoom, 70-200 f/4, 50mm, flash, and accessories. I like the way I can access the DSLR from the side without having to remove the backpack. I particularly enjoy this bag for airline travel. It has lots of room for personal items in addition to camera and computer. Yet it fits under the seat in front of me or in the overhead bin. What a great everyday backpack! $119 US.
Classified Sling 180 AW – When I want a sling bag, I still reach for the Lowepro Classified Sling 180 AW. It’s a stylish bag for urban use, holds my DSLR and 3 lenses, and plenty of accessories including an iPad or even a MacBook Air. When shooting, I can sling it around, open the flap, and work out of the bag. It’s like having a mini-studio with you because everything is so accessible. I would say this is a better sling for men than women. I think the bag looks a little chunky on most gals. But for me, I always look forward to street shooting with the sling over my shoulder. $175 US
Classified 160 AW – For shoulder bags this was a tough call, but in the end my favorite is the Lowepro Classified 160 AW. For such a compact shoulder bag, it holds an amazing amount of equipment, including an iPad in the front pocket. I really like its looks too, preferring the sepia color with the black leather trim. You can go anywhere with this bag, look good, and have your gear with you. $175 US.
Exchange Messenger – For a discrete messenger bag, it’s hard to beat the Lowepro Exchange Messenger. I can carry a light DSLR with zoom and personal items, yet, most people don’t even notice I have a bag on. It’s also perfect for the new micro four/thirds cameras. $40 US.
Even though I enjoy and use many other bags, these are the five that I just wouldn’t want to ever live without.
Derrick Story is the Photography Evangelist for Lowepro.