Hoping to travel more, I decided I needed a camera bag that I could take on planes and carry without killing my neck and shoulder. I have an older Tamrac camera bag that has lasted for years and liked it very much, but wanted something I could keep everything in and still take it with me.
At first, I didn’t like the idea of a backpack, but finally decided that was probably the best option. Before I would buy one, it had to meet my list of requirements. After looking at dozens of backpacks, I decided on the Lowepro “Pro Runner 350AW“. What is most unusual is that I bought it sight unseen. I’m the type of person that likes to handle the product before I purchase, but no one in town had this model. But having looked at many Lowepro bags, I knew the odds were very good it was of excellent quality.
Good quality – It must last a long time, with no seams coming loose, stretching, weak Velcro or zippers and such.
Comfortable harness – I wanted the material to be strong and have good padding.
Good stiff interior padding – There are lots of cases that have flimsy dividers. I just don’t trust them.
Laptop sleeve – I have and older 15″ Macbook that I might need to carry.
Tripod down the middle – Many backpacks will carry a tripod or monopod, but many carry them down the side. This throws the balance of and many people complain that the holding straps rip. The backpack features a Hideaway Tripod Mount that holds the bottom of the tripod, to keep it from slipping, plus three other straps to keep it tight.
Hold lots of gear – I hope to later carry two bodies, lenses, flash, and lots of accessories. It says it is made for one body, but I can fit a second camera at the bottom of the case, plus all my other gear.
Side pockets – For at least a water bottle. This case has that, plus a large front pocket for thinner items or a small jacket.
Comfortable – The padding that goes against your back is great and allows for the case to breath, reducing perspiration. It carries the weight well on your back. I rarely connect the waist harness, but might if I load it with more equipment later.
Rain cover – I hope I never needed, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
Waist strap – Not needed on smaller backpacks.
Expandable – There are “SlipLock™ attachment loops” that allow for smaller cases to piggy back on the backpack.
These are the main items that attracted me to the case. Check out their website for the other details, but know that I wasn’t disappointed when it arrived. Any larger and you would want wheels on it, but they make that version also. It doesn’t look like a photo bag; no large brand logo on it, so it’s fairly discreet. It also meets the standards for the airplane carry-on.
The price was around $130, which is lower than many packs I looked at. I think this will be a case I will be pleased with for a long time.
What do you look for in a camera bag or backpack? What brand do you like?