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Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW Review

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Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW Review
Lowepro

Bottom Line

The backpack design of the Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW makes this camera bag a very comfortable option to use, as well as a pack that's designed to thwart thieves. There's plenty of padding to keep your camera equipment safe, and Lowepro's designers did a good job with setting up the backpack's compartments, giving you room for all of your camera equipment as well as a laptop.

It's even easy to fit multiple cameras in the Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW, along with the laptop. Very few photographers will find that this backpack is too small for the gear they want to take with them.

Considering everything the Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW offers, the price is fair versus other camera bag designs.

Perhaps the biggest problem for the Lowepro Backpack 350 AW is that it's too large for most photographers. If you're someone who's just carrying a point-and-shoot camera, you certainly don't need this product. However, when traveling on vacation, it's very handy to have one place to store your laptop and camera, all in a backpack that's just the right size to serve as carry-on luggage for air flight.

With an MSRP of $119.99, the Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW may be out of the price range of some photographers. However, this camera backpack features a high quality construction that should fit the needs of most DSLR photographers who are traveling. Not everyone is a fan of a camera bag that's in a backpack design, but if you like this design, this Lowepro model should be on your short list.

Pros

  • Very comfortable to use
  • Plenty of room for two DSLR cameras, accessories, and a laptop
  • Strong padding in the right places
  • Is perfect size to be carry-on luggage for an airplane flight

Cons

  • Can be difficult to squeeze extremely large lenses and tripods in the backpack
  • Beginning photographers will be unable to fill this backpack
  • May be too large and heavy to carry for long periods of time

Specifications

  • Exterior dimensions: 18.9 x 12 x 9.4 inches
  • Interior dimensions: 16.5 x 10.6 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Dual shoulder straps in backpack design
  • Airline carry-on travel rules compatible
  • Slate gray color
  • Weather-proof covering available
  • Adjustable inserts

Size

Lowepro offers a weather-proof covering for the 350 AW, shown here.

Lowepro

The Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW is a large size versus a standard backpack, but this size is necessary to allow the bag to hold several pieces of camera equipment as well as a 15-inch screen laptop computer.

A standard configuration for the 350 AW Backpack (according to Lowepro) is: A DSLR camera with attached 70-200mm lens, two additional lenses, external flash, an additional accessory or two, compact-size tripod, and 15-inch laptop computer. Lowepro's documentation indicates a lens as large as 300mm should fit in the backpack. However if you have a large tripod, you probably will have difficulty fitting this accessory inside the Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW.

This unit is quite a bit larger than most backpacks, which may discourage some people from purchasing the Backpack 350 AW. If you're a shorter person, you may find that the Transit Backpack 350 AW is too tall to be carried comfortably, for example.

It's also a bit heavy -- weighing 2.4 pounds before you begin loading it with equipment -- which might lead some photographers to be leery of taking it on a long hike. Because most of the weight is related to the padding, though, the size and weight is a worthy trade-off for having safe camera equipment. With the adjustable interior compartments, you also can remove some of the interior padding that isn't needed to reduce the weight.

Padding

The entire exterior of the bag is protected by padding of a thickness of about one-quarter to one-half inch. There's also padding used between compartments in the interior of the Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW.

The interior padding is adjustable, allowing you to create larger or smaller compartments, depending on the size and type of equipment you're carrying. All of the padding is held in place by Velcro. Not only can you protect the camera equipment by adjusting the location of the padding, but you also can make the compartments smaller to hold the equipment tighter without jostling.

Finally there's quite a bit of padding within the straps of the backpack, which is a necessity considering how heavy this unit can become. You can adjust the straps of the backpack or clip them together to increase the comfort level, too.

Overall Design

Lowepro

The Transit Backpack 350 AW from Lowepro is available in one color -- slate gray -- which may seem a bit boring. However, having a generic looking backpack may discourage potential thieves while you're traveling.

At first glance, you probably wouldn't expect this backpack to be holding a large amount of expensive DSLR equipment and a laptop. However, if you're carrying a camera bag that clearly has "Canon" or "Nikon" printed on the side, it doesn't require a lot of guesswork to figure out what's inside the bag.

Lowepro also is offering a waterproof covering that you can slip over the backpack anytime you're in a location where rain or water spray could occur.

One interesting design aspect of the Lowepro Transit Backpack is that you can use the multiple zippers to open "doors" in the backpack. One zipper opens the entire side of the backpack, while another gives you access to a smaller compartment, for example. This is a handy feature if you know exactly how you've packed this unit, giving you quick access to a particular piece of equipment.

Lowepro also included several zippered compartments on the exterior of the bag for sliding in different thin accessories. A small mesh netting compartment inside the bag has a zipper, too, and is great for holding small items that you want to be able to see before you grab them, such as different capacities of memory cards.

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