Unfortunately before I bought that bag, I searched the internet for a while but didn’t find the information that I was looking for (which is usually the case with lots of photography accessories), so I decided that once I get it I will post a review to help others.
They always say that your first camera bag will never be big enough, I have three camera bags until now, my first one was a camcorder shoulder bag, it was the only available bag at the shop I bought my camera from, it’s quite good and can hold lots of stuff but nowhere near practical.
Back then I only had a Canon 550D with the 18-55 kit lens, a 55-250 zoom lens, the nifty fifty 50mm f1.8 II and two Canon flashes. I have always craved for a slightly smaller sling bag when I was only walking with the camera and one or two lenses; I also wanted easy and quick access to the camera. I searched for a while and decided upon the “Lowepro Top Loader 55 AW”, it is a remarkable bag, and I will post a review about it soon.
Now we get to the core of the post, one of my friends was traveling to the US in a business trip and I had the opportunity to order some lenses and other accessories, so I had to choose a larger bag since neither of my bags would ever fit all of the lenses at once, and it had to be as compact as possible. I chose the “Lowepro Pro Runner 200 AW” for several reasons, it was compact, cheap, good looking, had the standard Lowepro “All Weather” protection and finally it had their standard “Slip Lock” straps which means I can attach other accessories (like lens cases, pouches, etc…) to the outside of the bag. I have some Lowepro lens cases as well that would make use of this “Slip Lock” system, but that’s for another article.
Before we start with the pictures of the bag, you must note that this is a quick review, in future articles I will talk about the “Slip Lock” system (not enough info on the internet about it), the lens cases, the top loader bag and several other accessories.
As you can see from the pictures above, the bag has a main compartment and a small pocket at the front for small accessories like pens, keys, etc… You can also notice the bottle carrying sockets at the sides of the bag and the “Slip Lock” straps at the sides as well.
One more feature is the tripod pocket, if you look at the front of the bag you will find a strap in the middle, and there’s a small hidden attachment at the bottom of the bag where the tripod legs can rest inside. However I find that it would never carry a large tripod like mine, I think it is made either for small tripods or for a monopod, unless they intended you to insert only one tripod leg in that pocket.
Another feature I skipped is the “All Weather” protection; I didn’t get any photos of it due to the lack of time so I’m sorry for that, but you can find lots of pictures about it online. In short; it is a small cover hidden at the bottom of the bag that you extract and cover the bag with if you get caught in rain or dust and want to protect your equipment.
The main compartment is quite roomy for a bag of this compact dimensions, here’s a rundown of the equipment seen above:
1- Canon 550D
2- Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM + Lens Hood
3- Canon 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM + Lens Hood
4- Canon 55-250mm f/3.5-5.6 IS + Lens Hood
5- Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 + Fotodiox Olympus-EOS adapter
6- Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
7- AC Charger + Spare Battery
8- Canon 580EX Speedlite + Pearstone 2m TTL Cable
The small pocket above the main compartment can hold some “thin” items; I have some cables in there plus some papers. There are two very small pockets to hold your memory cards. The filters, remote, card reader and the macro flash-diffuser all go into the bag’s outer pocket.
Finally, to give you an idea of the size of this bag, I thought I’d put it beside a common item; a one liter Sprite bottle. The build quality is excellent (usual Lowepro quality), the bag is very comfortable on the shoulders; it has really thick padding on its back, and if you want there’s a strap that can be clipped around your waist.
I hope this review helps your decision on buying your next bag. I wish I found one like this before I bought mine. And by the way, Lowepro makes different sizes of this exact same bag, check their Pro Runner series here: http://www.lowepro.com/prorunner_backpacks .
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