Just before I took off to Iceland, LowePro shipped me their brand new Pro Trekker 450AW backpack. It arrived at the very last moment; I met the Purolator delivery on the road and switched my gear over as my wife drove me towards the airport.
I was looking forward to a new camera backpack, as I have greatly increased the amount of gear I carry in the past two months and required a bag with both greater capacity and a stronger harness system. This bag looked to provide both, but after 2-weeks use, I am ready to share my first impressions.
LowePro Pro Trekker 450AW Video
It Holds Lots of Gear – I carry a pretty hefty camera kit, but I actually have room to spare in the kit. Currently, I have my D750 and D800, four lenses, my Lee Filter kit, and miscellaneous bits and pieces in the bag. I could still fit at least 1-2 more lenses or a couple speedlights without issue.
It’s Got Extra Space– outside of the main camera compartment, there are two side pockets, a sizeable flip-top lid and a 15.6” laptop sleeve. This bag can hold some serious gear. I’d wager I could manage an overnight without too much trouble.
Comfortable Straps – This is my third LowePro backpack. While I have always loved their layout, this is the first time I’ve appreciated the backpack system. It feels like carrying an expedition pack, meaning the weight is distributed equally on my shoulders and through the waist belt. I could carry this thing for a 20-30 km hike without pain.
Carry On Sized – While it doesn’t technically meet the carry on size specs, I managed to carry my bag through the check-in process without issue and it fit easily in the overhead compartment on the plane. I’m just glad nobody weighed it!
Not Carry On Sized – I managed to get the bag onto a plane, but it doesn’t actually meet most airlines carry on specs. It’s a shame, cause it is so close and it would make things easier!
Front Entry – To access the camera compartment, there are zippers on the front of the backpack, rather than on the back panel. While it may be a requirement of the design, it’s a major flaw for two reasons.
- It’s more secure. If I am wearing my backpack and the access is through the rear panel, I know it’s impossible for a pickpocket to get into my bag.
- It’s cleaner. It’s a major nuisance to have to set the back-facing side of the bag on the ground, especially in muddy or wet conditions. The problem is doubled if it’s raining and I use the built-in rain cover. It actually has to be removed to access my camera gear.
This might not seem like a big deal, but Pro Trekker 450AW is one feature away from being the perfect camera backpack.
LowePro Pro Trekker 450AW Overall Impression
I’ve got to admit. I really like this camera bag. It’s the first time since I picked up a camera that I am truly satisfied with my carry system. It holds all the gear I carry, it’s comfortable on my back, and it has enough spare space for essentials for long day shoots.
I’d definitely recommend it to anyone.