Lowepro has announced a line of new photography bags with a high-end design. The Echelon series includes a roller, laptop brief and attaché with premium touches like leather handles and each piece includes a removable All Weather cover. The attaché and briefcase provide room for a 13- and 15-inch laptop respectively, and each bag offers molded interior construction to protect lenses and camera bodies. The bags are available now at lowepro.com.

If Lowepro pulled out all the stops on these bags then the pricing certainly reflects it. Are you sitting down? The Echelon Brief is priced at $340, the Attaché at $420, and the Roller will cost $800.

The Echelon series is a bit of a departure from Lowepro's slightly more outdoor-ready gear, so when the company offered to let us try out a bag we took them up on the offer. Our own Wenmei Hill gave the Attaché a go.

Lowepro Echelon Attaché first impressions

By Wenmei Hill

The Echelon Attaché is the mid-sized option out of the three new Echelon series camera bags. It has a unique shape;  it’s tall, wide and boxy.  At 14.2W x 7.9D x 12.4H in, it’s not a small bag, and it can hold quite a bit of gear (the internal measurements are 13.4W x 7.5D x 12.4H in). You can arrange the interior compartments to fit your gear and there are several additional pockets to hold smaller items. There’s an internal pocket that will hold a 13” laptop, plus a slide-in folio that will hold papers or other things that you don’t want bent or wrinkled. It comes with a rain cover as well as a TSA-approved combination lock, and you can choose between the carrying handles and a padded shoulder strap. In addition to an exterior zippered pocket, there is another pocket that can be used to attach the bag to the handle of a roller bag. 

I used the Attaché to carry a full-frame DSLR with a 70-200mm attached, a couple extra lenses, a speed light, and a reflector. I threw extra batteries, memory cards, my phone and my wallet and keys into the empty compartments or the exterior side pocket.

I like that I can fit my DLSR with a long lens attached, but the overall boxiness of the bag made it awkward to carry around. I was also able to fit so much gear into the bag that I made it too heavy to carry for extended periods, so I had to pull gear out when I was on a shoot that required a lot of walking.

I also found that while I was so excited to fit so much gear in the bag, it was difficult to get the gear out on the fly. When I had to swap lenses in the middle of a shoot, I had to put the bag down, unsnap the ends so that I could unzip it fully, and then pull the lens out. If it was a short or wide lens, I had trouble pulling it out of the compartment because I couldn’t get a grip on it and the dividers were so snug.  I couldn’t get my wallet and phone in and out of the tight exterior side pocket, so I ended up dropping those into the bottom of the bag instead. It was also difficult to get my 13” Macbook in and out. 

Overall, I liked how much gear I could fit into a mid-sized bag. The extra height and width made it work really well for long lenses, and I could easily pack my entire kit for shooting a wedding. However, holding so much gear makes it uncomfortable to carry and I was hoping for backpack straps rather than the shoulder strap. That, combined with the difficulty in getting my gear in and out quickly, means I wouldn’t use this bag to carry my gear for an outdoor shoot or any circumstance that requires me to walk around a lot. I would happily use it to pack up a bunch of gear for an event (where I can store it somewhere and grab what I need) or for travel (strapped to my roller bag).


Press release:

Lowepro Unveils Limited Edition Luxury Photography Equipment Luggage

New Echelon Series Brings Trusted Protection to the Discerning Photography Professional

Petaluma, Calif. – March 2, 2015 – Lowepro, the leading maker of photography carrying solutions, today announced the Echelon series, the company’s first high-end collection of photography bags designed for the fashionable, discerning professional who has perfected his or her craft. The limited edition, three-piece Echelon series includes a roller, attaché and laptop brief with high-end features such as custom-cast metal hardware and saddle-stitched, premium leather handles, expressing refined sensibility. The collection is now available exclusively online for purchase at http://www.lowepro.com in the United States.

“We have designed bags for all types of image makers for the last 48 years. With the Echelon series, we challenged our design team to dream up the ultimate expression of crafted luxury and protection,” said Tim Grimmer, vice president of brand and product at Lowepro. “Our team worked directly with professional photographers, including Loweprofessional Blair Bunting, to create this collection. Blair's professional experience, appreciation for well-designed aesthetics and overall lifestyle aligned perfectly with the series, offering an invaluable resource for input and feedback throughout the design process.”

Each piece of fine luggage from the Echelon series is wrapped in 840 denier black nylon fabric and comes with precision-engineered YKK RC-Fuse locking zippers and TSA-approved locks, plus a removable, black All Weather AW Cover™ for protection from the elements. The bags feature accessory pockets and removable organization panels trusted to keep valuables and essential items organized and secure. 

The Echelon Roller’s high-impact-resistant molded interior construction protects valuable gear from shock and vibration. Its special-edition MaxFit System™ and highly engineered trolley with encased wheel build maximize volume, fitting up to two professional DSLRs, six to eight lenses (up to 300mm), flash and lighting gear, a 15-inch laptop and additional accessories. 

Also featuring the MaxFit System, the Echelon Attaché can hold a professional DSLR, two to three lenses (up to 70-200 f/2.8), flash, a 13-inch laptop and necessary accessories. The attaché opens wide, similar to a classic doctor’s satchel, offering smooth and swift access to equipment. It includes a discreet trolley pass-through, enabling the bag to be secured atop a roller bag for convenience while traveling.

The Echelon Brief offers a molded interior construction for protection as well as a trolley pass-through for travel ease. Able to fit a 15-inch laptop, pen tablet, portable hard drives and other business essentials, the brief also includes a memory card holder to keep a reader within easy reach.

For further information about the Echelon series, including pricing and purchasing, please visit http://www.lowepro.com/echelon.