My mission was to have a successful honeymoon on a tropical island while simultaneously conducting a field test of the Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L AW. Fortunately my wife, also an avid amateur photography had no problem with my multitasking. And the Lowepro was more than up to the challenge as it successfully withstood my abuse in the elements including a trail-run through a rainforest and monsoon.
For its compact size, the bag is huge, durable and fast. I am 6’3” and fairly broad, but I had no problem with quick access to the bag due to the waist belt which acts as a harness for holding your gear at a 90 degree angle in front of you. Picture a wall with a Murphy bed that has been extended.
You are the wall, the bag is the Murphy bed. You have perfect access to all of your gear by sliding off the shoulder straps and using the waist belt to slide the bag around to the front of your waist. Speed and ease of use is what the flipside provides with its waist and shoulder strap system.
Lowepro has captured excellent function in a small streamlined package. It reminds me of an Arcteryx bag (for those familiar with the exceptional quality of their outdoor gear) in that is does not sacrifice any function in a sleek form. I see this bag as a perfect complement to any adventure photographer who needs a bag that fits close to his body, but still provides quick access to equipment.
The inside of the bag consists of moveable padded compartments which can be adjusted to properly stow your gear, and that can be completely removed if one chooses to use the bag as a traditional backpack. The bag itself is also tough and light.
The bag is composed of a combination of nylons and polyurethane and stood up well to the rigors (including a literal monsoon) of my trip. I also deployed the all-weather cover attached to bag at one point and found my gear perfectly dry after an hour of being in a downpour. The bag easily held a Canon 5D Mark II, with a 24-105, and a 50mm 1.4, and still had room left over for more lenses.
There were also two additional features I found convenient and unexpected. First, the bag contains a compartment for a hydration pack with dedicated opening. This is huge benefit for those who want to stay hydrated, and can be especially beneficial when you will be travelling some distance.
Second, the left side of the bag contains a tripod sleeve with two straps for securing your tripod-monopod. I originally balked at this as I have used many camera bags and none of them ever seem to have a worthwhile system dedicated to transporting a tripod. However, I was wrong. I carried a fairly large Manfrotto 055XPROB with no problem. I could clearly tell it was there due to the added weight on the side, but the bag kept the tripod off of my side and securely held it.
While not huge, the bag does come in a larger 15L option which may be more appealing to those taking longer photography trips. However, the 10L should suffice for most photographers as there is plenty of room for a professional body, large zoom in the 70mm to 200mm category, and space for a couple of other smaller lenses.
The Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L AW is available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail partner, B&H Photo, at the following link:
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