Review Lowepro Photo Sport Backpack 200 AW II

WoodWorks

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Joined
Dec 12, 2012
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Ashland, OR, USA
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David
I already have too many camera bags. But they're all shoulder bags, and while they're fine for just wandering around, if the terrain gets a little steep and rocky, or if I find myself scrambling over slippery trails, as I was on my recent visit to some of Oregon's waterfalls, I really need to have both hands available while carrying my camera gear. Shoulder bags tend to swing around loosely in those situations, and it's sometimes necessary to keep one hand on them while moving. So I went looking for my ideal camera backpack. And I believe I found one that suits me well: The Lowepro Photo Sport Backpack 200 AW II.

It's Lowepro's second generation of this backpack, and it seems ideally suited to mirrorless cameras. It's the smaller of their two Photo Sport backpacks (they also make a larger 300 version), and will hold an A7-style (or A6XXX) body and two zoom lenses. In my case, that would most often be my A7RII and the 24–105mm f/4 and the 16-35mm f/4. And it has plenty of room left over for some rain gear, snacks, miscellaneous camera accessories in the remaining space, and it even has a slot for a 2L water bladder (which you have to supply yourself).

Here's what it looks like from the outside.

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It has a wide, well-padded hip belt that has two zippered pouches big enough for a small phone, some energy bars, keys, etc., comfortable shoulder straps with multiple adjustment straps to conform the bag to almost any body, and a firm back pad with plenty of ventilation slots.

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The right side of the bag has a tall pocket that will hold a water bottle or a small tripod, with a strap to cinch them tight.

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The left side has a zippered flap that opens to a completely self-contained, padded "box" with an adjustable, padded divider that will hold my A7RII with the 24-105mm lens in one compartment, while leaving plenty of room for the 16-35mm in the other.

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The zippered flap can then be cinched snug with an adjustable strap that will keep the camera and lenses from moving around while I'm on the go.

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The great thing about this design is that, unlike a traditional backpack, I don't have to put the bag on the ground to access the camera. By unclipping the waist and chest clips, slipping the right strap off of my shoulder and swinging the bag around like a sling bag on my left shoulder, I can get at the camera while keeping the bag on my body.

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The main chamber opens from the top with a draw string, and has plenty of space for some cold- or wet-weather clothing, some snacks, or whatever other miscellaneous stuff you may want to have along on your shoot.

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Here you can see the interior, showing the padded camera box, and a small, zippered pocket on the side of the interior nearest my back. There's enough room to slide a small, travel tripod in there on the right side of the camera box, and even a slim space between that box and the side of the bag that faces away from my body. Plus, there's another huge pocket on the exterior of the bag that expands to hold any number of things. I've seen YouTube videos where people have put such things as bicycle helmets in there.

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The top cover has an external, zippered pocket that contains a key clip, and enough space for a few items such as a lens blower, or other small camera accessories. And immediately below that is a zippered opening for a water bladder.

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I already have a 2L bladder from a Camelback-style shoulder bag that fits perfectly in there, and there's a little plastic clip to keep the bladder from sliding down as it empties.

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There are also some slots to secure the drinking tube down either shoulder strap.

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At the bottom of the bag is a small, zippered pouch that holds the rain shell. It's attached to the inside of the pouch with a strip of flexible ribbon to keep it from flying away when you pull it out.

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It covers the bag completely, and the elastic perimeter strap seems to hold it securely. My intention is to use this bag while out on the motorcycle, so I expect it to hold firm at 70 mph in a fierce crosswind. We'll see how that goes. :laugh:

Here's how it fits on me. I'm 5'10" (178 cm) tall.

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I bought the bag from B&H for US$97.18 (using this site's affiliate links, of course :D), and I look forward to putting it to use on my photo excursions this summer. I'd be happy to answer any questions you all might have, so feel free to pepper me with any.
 

WoodWorks

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
5,692
Location
Ashland, OR, USA
Real Name
David
So I had the chance to try out the waterproof cover of the bag on the bike today. No rain or fierce crosswinds to test it against, but I got up over 70 mph (112 kph) on the Interstate for about 20 mins., and ducked in behind a few big trucks to expose it to some turbulence. Rock solid. Seems like a keeper to me. :thumbup:

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