on May 3, 2008
This bag is not designed to carry every piece of camera equipment you own or ever will own; it is designed to carry what you need for most wildlife photo trips. It easily carries by Canon 1Ds Mark iii, 100-400IS lens, two other lenses, extra batteries, rain cover, a few filters, and sundry other small items. The bag is beautifully configured when you get it, but you can change it anyway you need for your uses. Three external pockets let you carry things you need immediately and because the cover is on the inside against your back when the pack is carried, it is both secure from theft and perfectly arranged so that, when you lay it down to get what you need out of it, the sand and dirt is on the outside - not against your back when you put the pack back on. The waist band is a bit narrow, but it works well and the pack is comfortable. Arrangement of the tripod straps is very good. It has a handy pocket that pulls out when needed, into which yuu place the tripod legs, and then a conventional strap to secure the upper part of the tripod against the pack. And, remember, since the opening is on the back, you don't have to remove the tripod to open the bag.
on January 6, 2009
Lowepro has taken an industry by storm with their bags. This bag is the 3rd Lowepro bag I've owned over the last 4 years (All upgrades).
I'll just get my details out of the way. In this bag I carry a Canon XTi body with the Battery grip, an attached Canon 28-135mm IS USM, the "nifty 50" 50mm f/1.8 II Speedlight 580EX II Flash and there is room in there for 1 more lens (I've got a Tamron 75-300mm in the mail) and an small omnibounce, cleaning solution and a CF card reader.. I ordered this to have something small and easy to carry on my trips out of state that I could carry on to the plane with me and still have a good compliment of equipment without lugging everything along..
Very well built bag, like I had mentioned earlier, this is my 3rd Lowepro bag.. I've never been let down by the quality and this bag does not disappoint.
Security is top of the line as well on this bag with the opening back panel.
The bag holds a variety of equipment while maintaining the "this ain't a camera bag" look..
There were a few things that I didn't like about this bag... they are listed below.
The sliplock system mounting straps are very poorly located on the shoulder straps. If one were to use these sliplocks, with lens cases like the 1N and 1W, they would find that the cases sit right on the tops of your shoulders if ya carry the bag cinched down, or over the shoulder if ya wear the bag lower on your back with the shoulder straps extended. These would have been put to better use on the side of the bag where they won't impede view or full range of motion for your head.
The side pocket is very small and very tight.. I fit in a lens pen, a 4 pack of batteries and 2 cf cards and I have a difficult time zipping the pocket closed. Forget about sticking anything else in there.
I wish the main compartment zipper was able to be zipped lower than it is.. As the bag sits right now, the zipper leaves a 2-3 inch well at the bottom of the bag that could be used for a little more room.
Being that I am carrying a XTi with the attached battery grip, the ergonomics with the camera makes it an uncomfortable carry for long periods. I'm not a fan of feeling the onboard flash on the camera pushing into my back.
Pockets could have been a little bigger or the bag could have been designed with a filter wallet sleeve built into the bag. I currently have to carry all my filters on my lenses because the bag will not accomodate the Lowepro filter wallet that I already own.
I hope my review has been helpful in choosing your next camera bag.
on April 28, 2009
I've been looking for a camera bag for quite some time and have been very picky. I wanted something versatile, comfortable and capable of carrying just what I needed and all for a decent price. I go hiking with my family a lot and it's always a pain carrying a shoulder style camera bag. However, all that's changed and, after just one use, I'd recommend this backpack to anyone.
I'm not a professional photographer; however, I do want a bag to carry my essentials which include a Canon 30D, 2 lenses, a tripod, a small video camera, a small digital camera for my 8 year old, as well as batteries, extra flashcards, and other small items. Yes, all this fit with room to spare as I didn't use any of the outside pockets except for the water bottle netting... but the best is yet to come!
Hiking with a camera backpack is fantastic! You don't have to deal with shoulder straps slipping and your hands are totally free to use as you will. But the best part (it's really fantastic) was to just swing the pack around to access my camera 'stuff' with a mimimum of fuss. The pack never touched the ground until we stopped to wade in a mountain pool with very, very, cold water... brrrrr.
The one thing about the bag I was hesitant about, before purchasing, was how the bag was going to hold the weight of all my equipment and still stay horizontal when used. No worries! The bag did not falter and performed as advertised. This is one of those purchases that gives you that "I'm glad I bought this" feeling. It's padded well, looks good, works as designed and, with the opening against your back, it's safe to take anywhere where crowds may hide those individuals looking for an opportunity to avail themselves of your equipment.
If you're like me and looking for something that's not too expensive and can carry the essentials then this Lowepro 300 Flipside backpack should be highly considered.
on May 22, 2008
I'm very satisfied with the purchase of this pack. I don't have a lot of equipment or glass, but the small top-loader I had was not cutting it any more. I was looking for a relatively small pack to store a few lenses, flash, chargers, and of course the camera. I tried to like the Lowepro Slingshot, but ultimately wasn't satisfied with the side load design. It's a great concept and I know that it's great for getting those quick shots, but I was concerned with its ability to accommodate a long lens attached to the camera. This bag is supposedly designed to allow you to leave the straps that buckle across your hips connected so you can swing it around and open the pack while standing. I haven't tested this and really have no intention of using it in this fashion, so I can't give an opinion. It was not a factor in my decision, but it may be in yours. Here are the pros and cons in my opinion.
- Decent storage for anyone with a light inventory
- Typical adjustable configuration using Velcro dividers
- Security of having the zippers against your back
- Clean design
- Not much storage room for other items
- The zipper can be a bit awkward since they are partially hidden
- Not All Weather, but they may come out with that version
I like the idea of having the zippers against your back for two reasons. The first is security. I really don't have to worry much about anyone trying to gain access to my bag in a crowd. Also, if you're like me I constantly worry about my gear falling out because the zipper was not closed all the way. I've had some bad experiences with standard backpacks that did this when the zipper was not FULLY closed. It wasn't even that I forgot to zip it. The second reason is that I can set the bag down on the ground and not worry about getting the side that touches my back dirty when I get my gear.
In conclusion I like the bag and am satisfied with it for my needs. If you have a lot of items you will need something bigger. Minimalist design with minimal room for extra stuff, but a nice step up from a small top-loader.
For reference I have a 350D, 18-55 kit lens, 50 1.8 II, 24-105 f/4L, 430EX, battery chargers and filters. Will be adding the 70-200 f/4L which is why I would like the room in the bag to leave it attached.
on October 10, 2009
I have found this bag fits most of my field photography needs. The particular attraction was the ability to hold my Canon 450D with Sigma 150-500 attached, room for a 24-70 lens, 430 flash, and the miscellaneous camera gear that goes with me. I bought this item locally rather than via Amazon as camera bags are one of those items (I think) you should not buy sight unseen. Camera bags have to be tested and decided by the user personally - user needs are unique as the bags.
I demanded several criteria in a camera bag:
1. No more than $100 cost (it's a padded BAG!)
2. Capacity for 450D body, battery grip, 150-500 lens attached, short lens (24-70), miscellaneous smaller gear
3. Comfortable (naturally)
4. Overall bag size should not be larger than a student's book bag.
A. Tether for monopod/tripod
B. Preferably a sling bag to access equipment without having to take off the pack
C. Theft resistant
D. Room for a water bottle, umbrella, keys, and other personal items.
I tried and considered several items including the Tenba Shootout Medium Sling Bag, Lowepro Slingshot 100/200 (300 is hard to find in stock locally), Lowepro Fastpack 200, Canon 200EG. Surprisingly, all of these bags are too small to handle a 500mm w/ body attached. I also have a military fabric messenger bag I used prior to the 150-500 (custom added padding, dividers) but that became obsolete with the new lens. All of these bags had great features and would have worked wonderfully - if you don't have a large 400mm+ lens w/ body attached.
I effectively had to forget about the side loading sling bags - they can hold a larger lens by itself but not with the camera body. Surprisingly, the Tenba Shootout sling bag did allow top-of-bag access to my setup but it was very unwieldy to remove the camera & lens (side access definitely a no-go). The camera & lens caught on the bag zipper area a lot - that's just asking for a dropped camera. The Fastpack was impressive but since the upper compartment is separate from the lower half that limits the ability to carry larger items (such as body+large lens). I did not have an opportunity to test the larger slingshot (300?).
The Flipside was not a first choice but it serves my needs adequately. Excellent padding, straps, and the typical complement of the Velcro dividers. The bag holds my body+500mm lens combo very well although it is not accessible without putting the bag down - very roomy inside for its size. The particular impressive aspect is a Velcro-attached zippered bag in the interior - as a mundane item I geniunely appreciate not having to search 10 different pockets for certain items. The bag is also secure as you can only open the main compartment from the part that rests against your back.
However, the bag is not without fault. Several aspects I dislike:
I. Limited external pockets for storage. The external storage aspects of the bag are very lacking.
II. Some bags come with rain cover but this does not. The bag *is* rain resistant (sealing zippers) but not a sub for a cover.
III. Bag can certainly hold a monopod but a tripod might be somewhat questionable without buying an additional tether
I rated this bag 4 out of 5 stars. I give the bag a generous rating for obvious solid construction, versatility, excellent value (as far as camera bags are concerned), comfort, and standing true to its advertising - ability to carry a large lens/body combo. I docked the bag primarily due to the lack of extra pockets. I will not dock the bag rating for size as this is just a matter of proper bag selection (space efficiency is a different story).
I regret that I have yet to encounter a bag with quick access to a body+large lens combo.
A bit more shifting of bag contents and it holds my gear better now. I've also added a 340DX tripod to the rear of the pack - it carries this surprisingly well. The 340DX is a stable AMT alloy tripod so it's not the lightest but not heavy either - enough to balance my 500mm telephoto. The tripod pouch on the bag holds it for now - I have concerns that it will not last the long-term before it tears but that is just speculation.
on July 24, 2009
I took this bag with me on a back packing trip in Moab, Utah. We had a base camp where we slept but we trecked the area daily to see what we could discover. Not knowing what to expect I was able to pack a D300, a 200-500mm f/5-6.3, a 55-200mm VR f/4-5.6, a 17-50mm f/2.8, a 90mm macro f/2.8, a tripod, and accessories. The great thing about this bag is that it made it very easy to change lenses on the move. Not knowing what we were going to walk up on I had the opportunity to shoot everything from my telephoto to macro. I simply took down the shoulder straps (while the bag is supported by the waist belt), and swung it around on my hips. The bag lays flat like a table supported by your mid section. Since the bag opens from the opposite side of most backpacks I was able to change my lenses as I walked. The bag stayed sturdy and made a great table to lay the camera on and switch out lenses. This was great because not everyone I was with was a photographer. I was able to change my set up, talk with my friends and keep up while getting my shots. Another great benefit to the camera compartment opening from the opposite side is that when you set your bag down, the ground touches the outside of the backpack. This helped prevent from dust getting into the camera compartment when opening it. This was an amazing bag to take when you want to bring a lot of equipment. The bag is sturdy enough to support a large amount of weight while still maintaining functionality. I was most impressed that the bag could lay flat like a table and still support all the equipment in the bag with out over extending from my waist. This is a very comfortable, functional and well designed bag.
on October 30, 2008
*plenty of storage volume. I could fit a Nikon D80 plus 12-24 f/4, 24-70/2.8, 70-300VR, 18-200VR, SB-600 flash without problem. I can see one fitting a mounted 70-200 f/2.8VR or 300 f/4 without problem. I've also used the bag with a hood-on 24-70/2.8 mounted on a D700, plus a 70-300VR hood-on with room for another hood-on big lens.
*The two straps on the top side of the bag can hold a small jacket in place, the two side mesh pockets can fit sizable waterbottles, plus a tripod holder at the back : how much more do you wanna carry?
*All weather cover for adverse weather conditions.
*As a bonus, one CAN sqeeze a laptop in (I could fit a 14.1" wide screen thinkpad T61 with extended battery pack) after some valco re-configuration effort, while carrying a non-gripped body plus 4 lenses. You don't want to do it often but for air travel alone it is doable (not very comfortable for your back however).
*You can really tighen the waist strap on your body, flip the bag to your front side, and access the content without additional support for the bag. provides a secure platform for lens changes while on the go.
*the flipside design (camera compartment can only be opened from your back's side) is very secure. no by-stander can open your bag without going through you.
*the size is okay for air travel.
*it is a bit too big/bulky for daily use. And on heavier loadings (10 pound total weight or more) the bag isn't all that comfortable when i first got it. it was a bit stiff all around. 2 months later and now it gets slightly better. but not at the comfort level of compurover that i tried.
on August 18, 2008
I needed a backpack that would carry my camera, standard zoom lens, large lens and accessories, as well as the tripod. I recently went to Alaska with this backpack, and it worked out great; fit well into the carry-on spaces on planes, buses, and trains. I would highly recommend this pack.
on January 25, 2011
I like this pack a lot and for reasons others don't seem to mention.
What I like:
I can set the bag down in the dirt, wet grass etc and use it as a workspace and keep my gear clean and organized while the back and straps stay clean. (watch out for ticks though)
There is only one way in and out of this bag. This way you can't accidentally leave the other side open as you roll it over or pick it up. Even if you leave the main zipper half done, the flap really would rather be closed and the act of putting it on your back will keep your stuff from falling out. So it makes it faster than the "sling" type bag I was using if I just whip it off my back and reach in the top.
It will hold more gear then I want to carry all day.
Like that it has water bottle holders.
What I don't like:
The hip strap is too high for my average length torso so I have to spool the shoulder straps out quite far to get this bag to sit on my hips and then the shoulders are not as comfortable. This was about the only thing that Clik Elite did right on their probody sport bag.
I would have liked a rubberized outer skin (like Caselogic is doing these days) so it would be easier to clean when I set it down in said grass.
The tripod holder could be way better (although this issue is not limited to this bag), here's why: If you use the tripod holder, the tripod will protrude out the bottom of the pack (all tripods will do this regardless of size). Acting like an extra long leg, the bag will want to tip over and land on the strap side (the part I would rather keep clean). Also, in order to get that useful workspace I talked about above, the tripod needs to be removed first or the bag will want to lay on one side or the other. Besides all of that, it only holds one leg so unless it is a monopod, it will be somewhat floppy side to side no matter how you strap it in.
To get around this I am using carabiners to attach my tripod case to the back straps so it hangs below the backpack. This lets me set the bag face down first and then take the tripod out. Since is is a Benro 5 section Traveler it is no longer than the pack is wide and works well but it is a cluge to get it to work. I have no idea how I would manage something longer like my old 3 section Manfroto.
I think attachment loops should have been added to various places around this pack (bottom, top, sides) for adding carabiners etc. mentioned above so people can customize their layout. Things like tripods are a great example of a place that needs flexibility because of the wide variance in shapes and sizes.
All and all, I have not seen anything better and I have really put a lot of effort into finding just the right bag, but I still think there is room for improvement.
on November 28, 2012
Ever since I bought my Canon 5d Mark II in 2010, I've been looking for a new backpack camera bag. My previous bag was okay, but I have a battery grip and a quick release plate on my camera, making it 6.75 inches tall, and the bag just wasn't deep enough to hold it without the hotshoe sitting prominently above the padding. It was a pain in the behind taking the grip off after every session, but at the same time I didn't want to go back to a bulky shoulder bag, either. I tested several other bags, including others by Lowepro, but none had the depth to hold my 5d. There were several big backpacks, but they were either outrageously expensive or too big to use for travel (won't fit in overhead compartment of a plane).
When I first searched for "large camera backpacks" on Amazon, the 500 AW didn't come up, at least not in the first couple of pages. When I went back to Amazon later, however, it was there as a "recommendation based on your browsing history". I checked it out. 7.5 inches deep! Yes! Price? $159.00! Yes! Now I could get a new bag without worrying about my wife killing me in my sleep.
When I got my Flipside 500 AW, I was a little surprised. Compared to my old backpack, it really wasn't that big. It wasn't as wide, and it was about the same height. But, oh, that depth! That was the difference. Plenty of room to store my 5dII with the grip, quick release plate, and even a hotshoe bubble level if I want. I could put it in on its side, too, allowing for a quick grab. All my lenses fit as well, along with a couple of speedlites, battery chargers, an extra camera body and various other items. There's even several ways to strap a tripod to the pack. Everything is well padded, too. There's padding on every side, and a kind of butt plate pad (really don't know what to call it) that protects your camera's LCD screen. It's very well made all around.
I have only two complaints, but they're very minor. One, it won't fit a laptop. A tablet will fit nicely, but even a smaller laptop won't slide into the padded storage area. I understand why the compromise had to be made, since the opening for the camera compartment is on the wider side where a laptop might fit, but it's important to note this in case someone needs to carry one.
Secondly, the accessory storage area is plenty big, but there aren't enough pockets or dividers in it, and some of my stuff has to just sit all together in the main compartment. Maybe I can rig something using the dividers from my old bag, but Lowepro could have done a better job here.
Bottom line: If you need a bag that will hold a pro camera with a battery grip, plus lots of other gear, this bag is worth your consideration. Tamrac and Tenba both make bags that will do the job, too, but the price and overall size are just too much for me. The Lowepro Flipside 500 AW does the job at a fair price, and it isn't so big that I'd have to leave it home when I fly.