Amazon.com.au:Customer reviews: Lowepro Fastpack Bp 250 AW II, Travel-Ready Backpack Designed to Fit A DSLR, 2-3 Extra Lenses, A 15 Inch Laptop, Tablet and Space for Your Personal Gear, Black, (LP36869-PWW)
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I’ve bought several camera bags over the past few years, and have never been entirely happy with any of them. They either don’t have sufficient room for my camera gear or are all camera space with little room for other items. Thus impressive bag hits the mark. It’s camera compartment easily holds my camera, a couple of extra lenses, speed light, laptop and all my accessories for most outings. It has sufficient additional space for other personal items, so will be a perfect bag for travel as an airline carry on. I’m very impressed overall with the Lowepro Fastpack BP250. If you’re struggling with your purchase decision, this could be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Plenty of room for my camera gear and laptop as well as extra space for jacket, book, wallet etc to use as carry on luggage. Lots of extra pockets for smaller bits & pieces like lenses, batteries, leads etc. I was also able to adjust the straps to fit my body size comfortably!! Once packed for a photo shoot, my camera was easily accessible!!
I spent a lot of money trying to find a backpack that I am happy with, well I finally found it with this one. Fits everything I need, is light and very comfortable to wear and unlike most others, the waist band/strap is removable.
I don't often make a big effort to write long reviews but due to the hassle I have had over the years finding a decent Photography bag I though I would share some comments on my findings, hope it helps.
My basis of requirement: I have had a very many camera bags over the years (Lowepro Prorunner, Lowepro Slingshot, Billingham Hadley Pro, Crumper 5 Billion Dollar house, Crumpler back pack, Lowepro Toploader 75 AW Mk1 & 2 etc...) And I currently have the Lowepro Whistler BP 450 for outdoor and extreme weather activities which is awesome! but quite big and can not be taken on a plane as carry on :(
Lowepro Whistler BP 450 Backpack for Camera - Grey
Any experienced photographer will tell you there is NO perfect bag that fits all scenarios, so define yours before you search for your bag.
However this time I was looking for the following: 1. A bag that could carry and provide easy access to a Canon 5DMk4 + Canon 16-35 2.8L MkIII + Canon 70-200mm F/4L IS inc a 1.4x Teleconverter attached + bits and bobs 2. I wanted the bag for street and travel photography and I did not want to have to unzip the whole back panel and expose my gear to prying eyes or dust/weather. 3. I wanted extra space for a flask/water bottle, maybe a Gortex jacket, filters, wallet, keys etc... 4. I wanted a bag that does not scream "EXPENSIVE CAMERA!!" so semi discret style was preferable. 5. After shelling out 250 quid on the Whistler BP 450!! I set a budget of 150 Pounds for this bag. 6. I wanted a couple of extra pockets for bits and bobs 7. I still wanted a bag with a level of waterproofness if caught in showers etc.. 8. I wanted it big enough for all of the above, but not too big that it can not be used as hand luggage on a plane. 9. Space for my 15" Macbook Pro or iPad (I wanted a pouch to put a Camelback water bladder for hiking when not taking a Laptop, its perfect even the zip is the right orientation.) 10. facility to carry a compact tripod (Gitzo Ocean Traveller)
I first tried the more expensive Lowepro Protactic 350 AW
Lowepro ProTactic Camera Bag, 350
which is a great bag and well made, However it was too small for the gear specified above, a Full Frame pro bodied camera is too tight and a pain in the ass to get out of the side access , it has very limited additional pockets for storage of smaller items, taking out a second lens meant that I had to open up the back panel, it was heavier, and it looked cool but might draw attention, would really suit a CSC Mirrorless type camera, and although the 350 was on budget the 450 was too big and was too expensive, it just did not meet enough if any of my criteria, so as much as I liked the look of it it just did not work for me so I returned it.
Well I am happy to report that the Lowepro 250 AW II ticks all of the above boxes It can easily accomodate a 17" laptop if required my 15" Macbook Pro fits with loads of room to spare, and I am very happy with the bag. Side quick access is fast and easy for camera extracion but secure enough that there is no risk of the camera slipping out, it has a waterproof cover which can be deployed in seconds and its high quality construction with nicely padded shoulder straps and removable padded hip straps. (The straps on this bag are better and more comfortable than the Whistler BP 450 AW)
No camera bag is perfect for ALL uses (hence my long list of bags historically), So I would recommend listing what is important to you as I did in this case and try your gear in the bag. this was great with Amazon due to their great returns policy which made this very easy.
I initially bought this backpack for travelling abroad with my travelling kit: a DSLR, 3 Lenses, laptop and tripod (alongside the other required items e.g. spare batteries/CF cards, charger etc) and it has exceeded my expectations. I feel comfortable and not out-of-place wearing it for both street photography situations and for landscape-seeking adventures. The top pocket is roomy enough to fit a change of clothes or some extra layers + other useful items (if you're travelling light!), the side opening is great for quick access to the camera, the fit and straps are comfortable and the bag feels secure even when heavy. Certainly, elements of the bag could be made more specific: e.g. dedicated battery/cf pockets and the tripod strap being prone to misplacement, but ultimately the spare dividers can be used. In conclusion, being a hybrid laptop, camera, and day bag, it performs each exceptionally and I have found none better.