I bought this pack for a holiday in Canada. I wanted something that would hold my camera (A7RV) with either; 16-35 or 24-105 lens attached with room for the other lens to be stored within. I also wanted enough space in the top compartment for a jacket, sunglasses, memory cards etc.
The bag design and size itself is nice. I was able to fly with BA, West Jet, Porter and Aer Lingus using it as my personal item without issue. The side pocket and upper orange strap held my travel tripod well and the internal space within the top section is well laid out and adequate for a day pack. The hydration pocket at the back also fits a 14” laptop or 12.9” iPad Pro in a case easily. I personally would not use a hydration bladder for the risk of leaking, and I feel it would add an uncomfortable bulge in the centre of the back panel.
I hiked/walked over 100 miles wearing the pack during the holiday carrying an average of 6KG, including camera body, two lenses, filters, tripod, jacket, water etc
While the camera pod held the camera/lens and spare lens well, the padding in my opinion was lacking, it’s around 1/8th of an inch thick and quite soft compared to the padding used in similar products. The camera pod slides inside and there is no additional padding on the bottom of the pack which for me leaves it vulnerable. I ended up stuffing a woolly hat between the pod and the bottom of the camera pod for additional protection. I also added some spare Velcro attached sections within the pod.
The shoulder straps are very stiff and unforgiving. The foam used compared to other camera and hiking packs I have is a lot harder and dug into me a lot. The straps are also fairly close together behind the neck and also dug in a little. I found the hip belt worked well and in conjunction with the stiff back insert, transferred weight to my hips allowing me to slacken off the shoulder straps.
My biggest issue with the pack is the build quality. On arrival, there were lots of threads hanging out of the seams and in various places. I inspected the seams and they looked to be thread ends that had not been snipped off. However, while using the pack, more thread ends appeared and some of the seams look to be pulling open a little. Whilst this does not look to be affecting the structural strength of the pack, it’s a little annoying when you consider the pack was over £200.
Overall I am happy(ish) with the pack but feel some corners were cut, especially for the price of the pack. It would be nice to see Lowepro making a larger 55-65Ltr version for longer hikes with a few tweaks, it could be a great pack.
Something to also note is Lowepro’s use of recycled materials. I believe 75% of the pack is made using recycled fabrics/materials.