Unbelievable Story: Photo Pack Cushions a Fall for Robert Frase

&copy: Robert FraseEditor’s note: For many shooters, the best light is the first morning light. So it was for Robert Frase, enthusiast photographer and member of the Fort Worth Camera Club in Texas.

Robert and a close-knit group of photographer friends often meet and shoot in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. One pre-dawn morning this January, he drove to the chosen location – a waterfall at the end of the Trinity Trail. With his camera, extra lenses and gear tucked away in his Flipside 400 AW, Robert arrived first and made his way to the falls.  

As he searched for a good vantage point and crossed the footbridge, Robert took a misstep and fell off the retaining wall. As he fell, his gear was still on his back. He landed on the rocks below – a distance of 15 feet he later learned – and on top of his backpack. He never lost consciousness, but was injured. He picks up the story here:

© Robert Frase“I landed on your Lowepro bag.  Apparently, it was the thickness and construction that prevented my head from slamming onto the rocks.  Yes, I was in pain – tremendous pain.  After the jolt of the fall, I wiggled my fingers and toes to make sure that I was not paralyzed.  As it was still very dark, I laid there until my friends arrived some 30 to 40 minutes later. I made it to the hospital, and as a precaution, the ER personnel put me in a neck brace and proceeded to check for spinal damage.  A CT scan was performed and I was informed that I had a compression fracture of my Lombard vertebrae L1 and L3, including disk bulging.  Currently, I am awaiting kyphoplasty surgery to repair the spinal fractures.

I truly believe that the Lowepro bag saved my life, protecting me from what could have been a paralyzing event, or even severe head trauma.  But I’m not yet done!  Later on, a friend retrieved my car along with my camera gear that was still in the trunk. Upon inspection, NOTHING was damaged from within the Flipside 400 AW pack — not my Canon 50D with the kit lens, Sekonic l-758dr spot meter, 8mm fisheye lens, Canon 10-22mm lens, remote cable release or Singh-Ray filters.

© Robert FraseThank you for making a superb product. You have a customer for Life!”


Robert, we hope you are feeling better and thank you for sharing your Unbelievable Story. (We included one of Robert’s dramatic, black & white images of El Capitan here and hope he gets back to shooting soon!)

Katrina Neill

About Katrina Neill

Katrina was the Senior Editor & Communications Manager for Lowepro.


  • Ian Anderson says:

    Wow, what a story and I sure hope Robert is making a swift recovery. I also have the Flipside 400 AW and took a pretty hard fall backwards onto some rocks and was fully protected by the backpack. Nothing like Robert’s dramatic story, but interesting to know that this great backpack can cushion a far worse fall!

  • That’s an awesome story and I’m so glad Robert is going to be ok.

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