Looking into buying a new camera bag? Or maybe you’re looking forward to buying your first bag. If you’re looking for a bag that meets all the minimum requirements and satisfactions for a first time bag, then this will exceed those standards. A bag specifically for a camera will cover a few very important features while including an array of add ons and style pieces.
So what should you look for? You want just a few solid features for a camera bag that key your precious camera nice and safe. Everything else that is advertised should be considered extra or added. Here are 5 reasons why the LowePro Fastpack 150 AW II is a good choice.
Protective Padding (Shock Proof)
Okay, for a camera bag you definitely want to make sure all your goodies are going to be well protected. The Lowepro bag provides quality protection all around for your camera and lenses. The camera compartment in this bag is comfortably designed to keep your camera easily accessed as well as protected. There is shock absorbing padding all around the zippered compartment as well as around each of the compartments. The compartment padding vary in thickness providing extra support for your camera and lenses. The smaller of the pads are reserved for slimmer accessories, such as lens filters and/or cables and such. In addition, the zippered compartment is beneath another flap held down with two straps. For me, this makes me feel more comfortable about the security of my bag, not too mention the zippers have enough space to put a small lock on through the loops.
Adjustable Space for Lenses
Each of the spaces in the bag are all adjustable too. All the padding pieces can be removed for cleaning or adjusting. When you’re traveling dust and dirt can be an annoyance to your camera gear, so it’s good to know that you can remove all the pieces and clean them before your next trip or shoot. Another good aspect about having the pieces easily removed is customization for shapes and sizes of your camera and lenses. There is plenty of enough space to have a body and 75-200mm lens attached with spaces for 2 more mid size lenses, and a narrower spot for filters and other accessories. Personally I found that I can fit my camera body, four lenses, my GoPro, GoPro head strap and GoPro buoyancy case attachment, my filter case, charger block, and neck strap. That’s a lot of gear and accessories to store in a bag advertised for only 2-3 lenses and a camera. I’ll attach an image of my gear all put inside with another image laying out all the gear, to give you an idea of how much can fit inside.
- Camera body
- 11-16mm lens
- 24-55mm lens
- 50mm lense
- 70-200mm lens
- GoPro head strap
- GoPro Float back
- Battery charging block
- filter case
- Neck strap
Weather Proofing Material and/or Rain Cover
The bag, like mentioned in the first section, has protective shock absorbing material all around it while providing a water resistance as well. I would not recommend it being exposed to the rain for long periods of time though, as this is only resistance and weather proofing. However, the bag comes with a rain slip that is stored in a velcro flap on the bottom of the bag. The weather proofing comes mostly from this rain slip which is water proof and you should have no problem sporting in the rain when the cover is on. Just make sure it is completely dry before folding it back up or else the water proof material will start to deteriorate and not work.
Comfortable Back Support
The padding on the thoracic and lumbar support is made of a porous fabric and foam that allows your back to breath more than just a regular pad stitched behind a linen fabric. The straps are made of the same material as well, to keep all the parts in contact with the bag as comfortable and breathable as possible. Beneath the layer of padding for the back is semi ridged frame that keeps the entire bag from collapsing and loosing form. This is another great quality for keeping your camera gear safe. For this reason you are able to set the bag down without it falling over or tipping, it stands on its own (as long as the rain slip is folded neatly though).
There are also both a lumbar and sternum strap available for this bag to keep your posture and back comfortable for long distance journeys or hiking environments. Keeping the weight distributed along your back towards your hips is more efficient and better for you that using your shoulders and back to carry heavy weights.
Shape and Size
The shape of this bag is definitely smaller than that of a usual backpack, so prepare yourself for a smaller bag. The best thing about the size of this bag is that it meets the standard size for a carry-on for airplanes, meaning you won’t be stopped for one of your allowed two carry-ons being too large. That also comes with a disclaimer though. The bag has a pouch and strap on the side for what would be perfect for a water bottle, however it is designed to conveniently carry a small tripod. If you plan on bringing a tripod just be sure to check the overall size of the bag with the tripod in it before you use it as a carry-on.
In addition to the zippered camera storage space, you have another top pouch that can be used for a variety of other larger accessories/gear or miscellaneous items. For me I was able to double this as my daypack and camera bag when we traveled to Thailand. I was able to keep a change of clothes, some snacks, and a few other small items within this pouch.
Lastly, the back side of this pack features padded laptop/tablet compartment. Inside there are two sleeves, one fitted for a laptop and then another smaller sleeve fitted for an iPad or other tablet.
Most bags for cameras will have a large range for prices, mostly due to the branding and who the retailer is. For Lowepro bags, you can expect to find some of their products with a high price range and a more reasonable/affordable price range for beginners. The Fastpack 150 is in a perfect price range for beginner photographers, ranging from $50-$100 throughout a variety of common retailers.
- LowePro website $99.95
- Amazon $62.99
- Walmart $99.95
- Best Buy (only has fastpack 250) $129.99
- eBey (used) $40-$50 / (new/good condition) $50-$75
- B&H Photo and Video $68.37
- low cost
- durable and reliable
- weather resistant and rain sleeve
- breathable material for your back
- shape and size meets carry on limit (perfect for traveling)
- adjustable camera/lens slots
- separate storage for miscellaneous items
- pouch/strap for a small tripod
- computer/tablet compartment
- small compartment for camera and lens (some lens hoods will be too big to fit)
- rain sleeve does not fit with tripod attached to bag
- small laptop sleeve (15″ laptops are too big)
- tripod pouch is small (big enough for small travel tripods)