For photographers the quest for the best gear is like the search for the Holy Grail. There is an endless supply of new and exciting products that are going to make everything so much better and allow us to get that shot that no one has ever gotten in the history of photography (or at least that is what we hope forJ)! The problem is there are so many options and just as many opinions. So I’ve decided to throw in my two cents on in-depth, real world reviews. Starting with camera bags.
Having a bag that fits your needs is just as important as going out in the right light. If your bag doesn’t fit your gear, is uncomfortable or people can easily get in and steal your gear, or if it just doesn’t fit your style you will have a harder time going out and shooting more. So over the next couple of months I will be reviewing several camera bags individually and at the end I will be comparing them side by side to see which one is the real winner for you!
I’d like to start with the Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L AW. I recently went on a trip to Dubai with my wife and new baby. I needed a bag that would fit the necessary gear but without being too bulky as we would be in tight areas with lots of people and also it was going to be super hot so I didn’t want to lug around all my gear. Let me start out by saying that this bag ROCKS! Seriously, as soon as I got it I was amazed at how lightweight it was. Additionally I was able to get my camera body as well as 3 lenses (Nikon 14-24mm, Tamron 24-70mm, and Nikon 70-200mm) in the bag without any problems. There is also an additional pouch inside as well as a rather large outside pocket for additional accessories. It also has a really great tripod holder that you can tighten down and make sure your tripod isn’t swinging around all over the place hitting the guy next to you on the subway.
The greatest thing about this bag however was that my back stayed relatively cool while wearing it. Most of the time my back sweats a lot when wearing a camera backpack but this bag has the back raised a bit to allow for airflow to keep you nice and cool, which was a HUGE benefit in the 110 degree Dubai heat!
(we look cool but are roasting!)
While I really like this bag there are a few things that I didn’t absolutely love. For starters the straps were a little uncomfortable. They are smaller without much padding and while I’m sure it was this way to keep the weight down it wasn’t the best bag to wear for 10 hours straight. Additionally it was kind of a pain to switch out my lenses. The bag opens from the back and so to do anything you have to totally take it off and set it on the ground. This has the great benefit of making it impossible to steal anything but sometimes it was a bit of a hassle (a very small hassle). The last thing is I wish the bag were just a tiny bit deeper. It is great for my D810 by itself but when I put the battery grip on, it raises right to the top and leaves it pressing up against my back. No big deal, I just didn’t use the grip after I found this out but still. Also, the waist strap is garbage; it is just a small webbing strap, which you don’t want to synch around your waist. Not a huge deal on a small bag so I almost wish it wasn’t there.
Overall, I really like this bag! Lowepro makes similar bags in 10 and 20 liter options as well if you want a slightly larger or smaller bag. If I had to rate it I would give it an 8/10.
This is just the first of many bags that I will be reviewing this summer as I travel through the Middle East, western US and then Europe. Stay tuned for more great bag reviews.
© 2015, Tony. All rights reserved.