New Lowepro bag - Photo Sport Pro 30L AW ?

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
mosswings
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Re: New Lowepro bag - Photo Sport Pro 30L AW ?
In reply to Sh4d0w, Apr 15, 2013

Sh4d0w wrote:

Final question...how much does it weigh? Specs are fine.  I'd guess 3.3 lbs.

3.6LB

Thanks.  The bag came into my local shop today and I spent a good time trying it on with about 12 lbs. of gear weight (typical for a wilderness day hike with a 2-3 consumer lens kit) and comparing it to the current version of the Obscura, about to be replaced in May.

Observations: surprisingly comfortable for a short bag (I'm 6' tall).  Wide, relatively supportive hipbelt of contemporary design - i.e., thinnish, not overly padded.  Gets its support through its width.  Make sure that you place it properly on your iliac crests, though...it's designed to ride somewhat high.

The trampoline suspension is not heavily bowed and so minimizes projection from the back.  Good.  All trampoline suspensions transfer the load straight to the bottom of the bag and into the belt, so the sensation is nothing against most of your back, but noticeable pressure at the base of your spine. The camera load will be the heaviest in the bag, and it's right down against the bottom, so you don't feel that load.  Weight higher up will tend to dig the bottom of the bag in against your spine if carried too far away from the back, so if carrying water, it should be in the bladder pouch next to the back, and the bag should be packed with progressively lighter stuff in the middle and as you move out from the back.

Big question mark...there is NO lumbar pad. With the test load I could feel the lower frame against the base of my spine. If you are not wearing something to pad this region, like a thick sweater, this could be an issue for longer hikes.

The side portal access is very nice and permits easy reach-back access of the camera should you desire it.  No need to swing the bag around to the front to grab your camera, as long as you keep the top of the portal unzipped and only close up the bottom and some of the side.  Easy to reholster and rezip.  Good.

One can store a 3 consumer zoom kit and a standard body easily.  A standard body wallows around in the bag...it's intended for pro bodies, after all.  You can actually turn the camera so that its base faces the ground rather than your back.  Not terribly good for a standard body kit.  A very deep bag that can't be compressed down in this area much at all.

Very wide. 13" from top to bottom, no tapering.  I could feel my arms brushing the sides of the bag while walking.  A tripod carried on the side would interfere, as would a water bottle. Iffy.

Huge upper compartment, easily 20L.  Interior water bladder storage, a bit of a problem if things spring a leak.

Bottom line, nice bag, but pretty much tailored for a pro body.  The 200AW is a better urban bag for consumer DSLR bodies, but it's a bit small and wimpy for serious daypacking use.  The Obscura doesn't feel quite as comfortable (direct contact vs. trampoline back), but is better padded and the new version should have a bit stiffer back for better weight transfer. Also more stable in scrambling situations. Wait 'til May and do a comparo before you buy for serious backpacking duties.  For urban and less demanding hiking missions using pro gear this is an excellent product, however.

There's definitely room in the LowePro lineup for a Photo Sport Pro 300 AW that's about as shallow as the 200 AW but 4" taller and 1" wider.

 mosswings's gear list:mosswings's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +1 more
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