Lowepro Vertex 300 AW - Review

Lowepro Vertex 300 AW
Lowepro Vertex 300 AW
When it comes to camera bags for my photographic equipment I often wonder if there is one ideal bag to fit it all or whether I will always need more than one bag, (I own 3 bags now, and have owned more) and when I first received the Lowepro Vertex 300 AW bag I thought my quest was over. This review is from my original thoughts with the bag, I have left much of it the same but now added some further up to date findings.

It might not be obvious (unless you look at the full specifications at the bottom of the page) but this bag is large, very large! In fact when the box arrived containing the bag I was quite shocked by just how large the bag was. I used to own a rucksack designed to carry my baby daughter (a great bit of kit by the way if you have a baby or have one on the way) and the Lowepro Vertex 300 AW is nearly as large!

Previously to owning this bag I had another Lowepro backpack for my gear, it was about 5 years old (at the time), but was sufficient for my needs (with a bit of juggling I carried the photo equipment I needed for the job I was doing at the time), when I got the Vertex 300 AW out and started to move my gear across to it's new home, I was both delighted with the new and improved features and overwhelmed by how much I could now carry with me at any one time!

Design


Designed for the serious big lens user this bag is long (am I over emphasizing the size now?) it fitted my humble 400mm f/5.6 lens attached to my camera with room to spare. My other spare lenses, two flashes, binoculars, and photo viewer all also fitted the main compartment and still had extra space. This was before I even started on the smaller pockets! 

With slots specifically designed to hold memory cards, and large pocket on the front to fit your laptop, a space for a tripod (Zoe hates this as I am a little dangerous when the tripod is attached especially when travelling on trains or busy places), and many other pockets that I aim to fill soon, I now had a home for ALL my camera gear to be stored in!

Extra Features


Glide Lock system
Glide Lock system
Before I carry on, I?d just like to talk about a number of features I love in this bag! Firstly is the detachable cover for the straps, this zips onto the main bag over the top of the straps hiding them away and making storage, if not easier then certainly tidier. Secondly the tripod carrying mechanism, on this bag the foot holder is sturdy, but detachable, so if you are not intending to carry the tripod, you don?t have added weight of the holder for the tripod (plus all straps also used can be hidden away in their own pocket. Thirdly I would like to congratulate Lowepro on the way they have designed moving straps and carrying attachments (their glide lock system), as someone who does plenty of walking it makes a change to have a camera bag that has been designed as well as a decent rucksack, not as a camera bag with shoulder straps!

Size a benefit or problem?


As much as I love the bag, and find having all my gear with me a great boon, there is one huge drawback, when fully loaded it weighs a ton. As I mentioned earlier, I have a rucksack for carrying my daughter and lots of clothes, well she is nearly 2 years old, and that bag fully loaded, child and all doesn?t come close to the weight of the camera bag! I guess it comes down to a few factors, If you are planning a month trekking through Nepal and need all your camera gear in one bag, then the Vertex 300 AW is a brilliant bag (to be honest on a short weekend trip to my folks in Kent I usually use all my gear so it works there to), but for a short trip round you local gravel pit, or as something to chuck in the back of your car for a day out, it may just be too much bag!

Updated views


After having owned this bag for a number of years now, I still love the fact I can fit so much in it, and it is great for travel, I can take everything I need with me however with my back issues this often makes carrying this bag (or any other rucksack) for long periods extremely painful, something smaller becomes a must for day to day use. If my back were in a better condition I would probably still find myself carrying this bag all day when out and about (having lots of lenses, my bag hide, my stool and anything else I may need with me is really great).

For further information on this and other Lowepro bags visit their website at http://www.lowepro.com 

Full Specifications 


Capacity: 1-2 Pro digital SLRs, large 35mm or medium format system, 6-8 lenses (up to a 400mm f/2.8), tripod or monopod, flash and digital accessories. 
Size(Interior): 12.2W X 6.5D X 20.5H in./ 31 X 16.5 X 52 cm 
Size(Exterior): 13W X 10.2D X 21.7H in./ 33 X 26 X 55 cm 
Notebook Compartment Inner Dimensions:  11.8W X 2D X 19.7H in./ 30 X 5 X 50 cm 
Weight: 8.16lbs/3.7kg (and this is without the gear!!)



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