THE PERFECT CAMERA BAG?

The quest for the perfect bag

It’s something specific to photographers, but we’re always looking for that one camerabag. That one that is stylish, comfortable, not too small, not too big, …

In the past years I tried several setups. From backpacks to shoulder bags to combinations of both. But nothing really worked. The closest I got was the F-Stop Guru which is a really good bag if you want to take more than just your camera gear. Of course, when you get rid of the other stuff you’re stuck with a half empty bag…

The Lowepro 350 AW

Last December I got myself a Christmas gift and bought the Lowepro 350 AW. Since last December I had a couple of opportunities to test it and this April I went to Nepal for two weeks which was a really good test to see if it’s practical and comfortable while hiking.

My first impressions were positive. The bag looks like a camerabag, but looks less bulky than most others. It also feels very sturdy; certainly the top cover is really hard and can withstand a blow. The bag is delivered with a waist strap, two loose straps that can be attached anywhere on the bag and with 3 pouches that can be attached to the bag (one for a water bottle, one for a mini tripod and one closed with a zipper). The bag is also weatherproof (hence the AW: all weather). It has a cover on the underside that covers the bag. The  bag also has several pockets on the outside and inside and you can get most of your gear without having to take off the bag. Click on the photos below for a more in depth look and to see what goes in mine.

What goes in?

Pros & Cons

+ Comfortable: I hiked with this bag on my back for two days in the Himalaya and not once I found it uncomfortable. Only when I tighten the chest strap too much, it feels like I’m carrying the bag on my neck instead of my shoulders. But that is just me misusing it.

+ Practical: everything is in there and I barely have to take off the bag to get to anything.

+ Weatherproof. Although I found it hard to get the cover over my bag with all the extra pouches on there.

+ Well made, really protective. It feels 10x sturdier than any other bag I used before. I don’t fear damaging my gear anymore.

+ Accessories: the pouches and straps that come with the bag are very useful. Also, the little black straps that are all over the bag come in super handy to attach anything to it.

– Perfect sized camera bag, but I did sometimes miss a little bit of extra space. On the other hand, the F-stop does have the extra space and it makes it so much more bulky.

– It’s old. There is already a new version out. So just buy the new one.

– It looks like a camera bag. It’s saying: “expensive gear in here”. On the other hand it is still stylish.

All in all I really like both the design and the practicality of this backpack. The search for the perfect camera bag might have come to an end.

Thoughts, comments, questions? Let me know in the comment section below!

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