Customer Reviews: Lowepro Nova 160 AW DSLR Camera Shoulder Bag
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Model Number: LP35248|Change
Price:$37.49+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on October 28, 2008
This bag fits the Canon Rebel Xsi perfectly. I wanted a bag that was small enough to be truly portable and not look like I'm a photography nut. The bag snugly fits the camera with the the 18-200 lens attached and my kit lens (18-55mm) and my 50mm lens in the bag. I also store my SD cards, battery, charger, and some cables. That is it! If you want a bag that stores more then 3 lenses (one being attached) and the camera - then you have to go bigger.If you are like me and a minimilist who just wants a case that will carry the very basics - and is on the small side- this is the bag!
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on January 24, 2013
I looked and researched so many camera bags for my Nikon D5100 before finally choosing this one. I'm a newbie to SLR photography, so I haven't had a ton of experience with camera bags. I am female though, so I've had a ton of experience shopping for handbags. That sort of counts, right?

A BAG TO GROW INTO: At any rate, I wanted my first bag to be fairly "comprehensive." I wanted it to be big enough to fit my current gear (Nikon D5100 with the kit lens and Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX) AND future gear (Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash and Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens.) So I wanted a bag that would carry the camera, 3 lenses and a flash plus all the other accessories like spare batteries, etc.

POUCHES!!: There are two memory card pouches on the interior of the lid as well as a larger zippered compartment where you could store flat things like lens caps. There's also a front zippered pouch (bottom half) to stuff with other things like cleaning accessories, cables, etc. The front of this pouch will feel "poofy," because that's where the All Weather Cover is stored - access that from another zipper along the bottom edge of the pouch. There is another front zippered compartment (top half on the flap) that would be suitable for less bulky items. The pouches on each side are also made of a somewhat stretchier mesh material with some elastic banding along the top to keep things from falling out. The zippered compartment on the back is really more suitable for papers or anything thin. Overall most of these pouches don't really expand a whole lot, so don't really expect to be stuffing anything super bulky in them. The side pouches will hold bottles of water though.

ZIPPERS & TOP COVER: I also wanted a bag that was secured with zippers (YKK), so that nothing falls out. I especially like how the top is designed with the flaps that hang over the top edge as well - kind of like how the top of a shoe box fits over the bottom half. The design (along with the All Weather Cover) reduces the chances of water or debris entering the bag. There is also a plastic buckle that secures each half of the bag. Of course this does make it more time-consuming to get into the bag, but that was not a concern for me with this bag. ***I do wish the top cover opened the opposite way - away from the body instead of toward. That would make it slightly easier to access the interior while wearing the bag, although you can just wear it with the front facing towards you.

QUALITY: The bag is sturdy nylon with strong stitching. Its not double-stitched all around but at the key points of weakness (top handle, side clips for the shoulder strap, etc.) The padding seems adequate. The interior divider padding is about 1/4" thick and the exterior padding is about 1/2" thick. The interior is also lined in a light grey that makes it easier to find things within the bag. The Velcro has a strong "stick" and there's enough of it for greater flexibility in configuring it. I wanted a quality bag, and I'm not disappointed. ***I do wish that the bottom of the bag had the water-proof EVA base like the Case Logic SLR bags have for extra protection.

COMFORT & CONVENIENCE: The bag is fairly boxy and bulky. This is definitely not a small bag, and I thought it might be a bit uncomfortable to wear, but its actually pretty comfortable even when loaded due to the nice wide strap (1.5") and shoulder pad with the non-slip backing. The shoulder strap extends up to 55" which gives about a 27.5" shoulder drop which is pretty substantial. If you prefer the top handle, its thick and cushy with a comfortably soft fabric on the underside. There's also a flap on the backside of the bag for sliding onto extended luggage handles for easier transport. Sweet!

OVERALL: I really love this bag. Its got a few features that might not make it super-easily accessible, but I wanted more of a "tanky and secure" nylon bag which could carry most of my gear comfortably. I didn't really buy this bag for "out-on-the-town-and-shooting" - I bought the Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag-Mica for that. This bag though is great for when you want to bring more of your arsenal with you and keep said arsenal protected. I do really wish it had the EVA-clad base and the top flap opening away from the wearer, but we can always hope for the future. Sorry for the mini-novel, but I hope this helps some prospective buyer out there.
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on August 12, 2009
I have been using Lowepro bags for a long time and I'm always amazed at the simplicity of the design. This bag is perfect as my daily grab-and-go bag for my Pentax K-7 kit. It's weather-proof, just like my Pentax gear so I don't have to worry about the occasional rain or snow shower. I keep my SLR with a prime lens in one side (actually laying on the side with the grip facing up for quick access) and have room on the other side for another lens and some filters. The strap is well made and is easy to adjust. The zippers are well made and zip easily open and closed. The bag has an overall well-made fit and finish and is a joy to use. The top handle is padded and very comfortable to hold for short periods or while moving the bag around. Like most other top-flap designed bags, the handle on the top isn't very useful unless the bag is zippered and clasped closed. A short handle strap instead of a handle would have been a better choice for me, but I'm really nitpicking here.

The memory card pockets and zippered pocket on the inside face of the top cover are perfectly placed. There are a couple of elastic pockets on the outside of each end of the bag along with a zippered pocket on the back (probably only large enough for pamphlets or a map) as well as a compact zippered pocket on the front where I keep some smaller filters. If you have a compact DSLR and are looking for a compact bag to go along with it, I would highly recommend this bag. I can sling it over my shoulder and take it with me wherever I go and it hardly weighs anything. Highly recommended!
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on September 11, 2009
I use my bag told hold my Rebel XS as well as all my lenses and have no complaints so far. The lenses I keep in the bag are the Canon 55-250mm IS with hood reversed, the Canon 50mm f1.8, and the Canon 18-55mm IS. I can store all of them without feeling like I am cramming too much in, and can store the camera with any of the lenses attached to it. I had looked at the Nova 140, but it did not have enough space to hold the camera with the 55-250 attached, so it was out. This bag also has lots of pockets for all the goodies you need to carry, including USB cable, cards, filters, etc. This would not work for a full frame camera, but for a consumer SLR such as the Rebel XS, this fits the bill quite nicely.
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on March 26, 2010
This is my second Nova 160 bag--the first one (bought 10 years ago) is still going strong, but I needed a second. This bag is convenient in all the right ways. I have used this when backpacking. The small loops on the top rear of the bag allow it to be hung with carabiners from D rings on my pack straps so that the bag rides on my lower chest. This allows quick and convenient access when the wonderful vistas appear.

The older bag dated from the film camera era and had pocket designs to match (e.g., a removable film pouch for the front zippered pocket). The major difference with the new bag is pocket layout. The front pocket is somewhat smaller, and there is some reduction in volume from the folded all-weather cover which tucks under the front flap. The inside top pocket is also smaller, but the outside top flap pocket more than makes up for it. I can't easily fit the SD cards or CF cards (in their protective cases) into the inside card pockets, but they can be forced in or out. The zippered pocket at the back is the same as in the earlier model, and convenient for your camera guide and for stowing other flat documents. The all-weather cover is a newer and valuable feature.

Outside attachment points are well designed: shoulder strap attachments (strap is included with the bag), belt loop attachments (belt sold separately: check your local backpacking store for cheap wide nylon straps and fasteners) and the top loops at the back for front mounting the bag to your pack straps.

You can easily stow a digital SLR with mounted lens, one additional small to medium sized lens, two screw-on filters, a couple of lens hoods, and maybe your battery charger and cord (with tight packing).
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on May 6, 2012
Great product! I Already had a Lowepro (top loader zoom), but with vertical grip my camera didn't fit anymore, at first the bag seems a little too compact, but actually works great.
I have a Canon 60D with 18-135 lens attached, facing lens down in the bag. Vertical grip attached too. The charger in there, a sun cap and a bunch of small accessories. There is still room for the flash and two lenses that will come at some point.

The two things I think are missing are a hard plastic bottom (it is probably fine, but doesn't make me entirely comfortable with my lens facing down), and even though there are plenty of inside dividers, I thing there are two sideway shapes missing, as well as Velcro on the side of a couple of the big ones.
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on June 6, 2011
This was the first camera bag, bought from the bargain section of B&H when I bought my Nikon D5000. As I now look for a new bag to accommodate my expanded kit for an international trip, the biggest thing I look for is what each bag can actually carry. Below is a list of different combinations of cameras and lenses I have fit in this bag. Mind you, for most of this there were no dividers in place, and the bag was absolutely full to capacity:

+Nikon D5000, 18-55mm VR lens, 55-200mm lens, Canon SX120 point and shoot
+Nikon D5000, 18-105mm VR lens, 55-300mm lens, medium-sized Sunpak flash
+Nikon D7000 w/ 55-300mm VR lens, Nikon D5000 w/ 18-105mm lens (cameras facing up, real tight fit, but it worked!)
+Nikon D7000 w/ 18-105mm VR lens, 55-300mm VR lens, 50mm/f1.8 AF lens, Sunpak flash
+70-200mm/f2.8 VR lens, 55-300mm VR lens, 50mm lens, Sunpak flash (no camera body in here, 70-200mm lens was diagonal across the bag)
+several 67mm and smaller filters, AA batteries in the front pouch

Up until I added the 70-200mm to my kit, this bag has served me well. Since I usually have one of the zoom lenses on my D7000 and in hand, this bag serves well for carrying my remaining lenses. Up to that point, I would typically have the 55-300mm or 18-105mm lens on the D5000 / D7000, laying on its side, and the remaining zoom lens, 50mm lens, and flash surgically fit into the bottom of the bag below the camera. So for its size, as long as you don't carry large professional-quality lenses, you can actually fit a good range of lenses into this bag, or even two smaller SLRs with lenses attached! I will continue to use this bag for smaller outings or other occasions where I want my camera handy but don't anticipate heavy shooting, or to hold my D5000 with my older lenses so I have lower quality but full kit for friends to use if they want to join in any shooting but don't have a camera themselves. The rain cover has come in handy on multiple occasions, and for more than just keeping rain out of the bag. I have also laid the rain cover out on the ground when I need to take a knee, and those with narrow frames could even sit uncomfortably on this when you need to get down lower but your clothes or the conditions mean you don't want to get too dirty or wet.

In summary, for what it is this is a good bag, and with a little bit of finesse you can fit more than advertised in this bag! For those that aren't carrying around big zooms or telephotos or lots of accessories / other gear, this bag is a good fit.

UPDATE: I have more lenses, and I still use this bag. Now that I use a Black Rapid strap to keep my camera on one hip, having this bag on the other hip makes the load well-balanced and pretty comfortable. Here's what I typically fit in it now. Yes, it is a stretch to get it closed but it does fit!

+Front pocket: AF 20mm f/2.8D, AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G, AF 50mm f/1.8D, 1.4x teleconverter OR two of those lenses + SB-700 speedlight
+Main compartment: AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G, Nikon D7000 with battery grip and attached 12-24mm f/4, AF-S 24mm f/1.4G, or Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro
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on June 29, 2009
This bag has plenty of room for a DSLR body, kit lens and tele-zoom lens with space left over for a compact camcorder or a point-and-shoot. One does not have to unmount the tele-zoom before putting it in the bag as there is plenty of depth to accommodate the longer configurations.

Storage is everywhere; There are elastic pockets on each side, a zippered flat pocket in the back, a zippered flat pocket on the front of the flap and a zippered pocket (as well as memory storage) on the interior of the flap. There's also a large zippered organizer pocket on the front of the bag. All of these contribute to being able to load up with batteries, chargers, cables and cleaners and still have room for the manuals.

The stowable rain fly is a great feature while the sliding strap pad distributes the load reasonably well. The belt loops are sturdy and welcome for the times that a backpack or other shoulder straps might interfere with an over the shoulder carry. A very well thought out and durable product for the mid-level amateur or someone who wants all their gear in in one bag and wants it protected.
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on December 5, 2009
Great Buy!

Has space for a D-SLR [like the D90], a 18-200 zoom, Flash [like the SB-600] AND a 50mm lens.

Build quality is good.

Negatives - Wish the base of the bag had a thicker / harder padding.

Very good bag.
Make sure you know what will fit in. This is smaller than a full size pro kit bag and that is why I bought it. Very compact / portable.
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on February 19, 2011
I bought this bag as a last-minute replacement to use with my Canon Powershot SX20IS before a vacation trip to London. This bag, like my previous one, is not just for my camera. Along with the usual extra batteries & memory cards, I usually carry a water bottle, snacks and possibly a rain jacket. Pretty much what I carry on a short (1-2 hour) hike or for a day being a tourist in a city. This bag excelled at that. It held my camera nicely with the adjustable divider panel making a space for other stuff. The pockets at either end held 16 oz water bottles nicely, but they can fall out if they are not fully seated in the pocket. I ended up using one pocket to hold a small umbrella. Initially I thought the attached rain cover was a bit of a gimmick. One day of London rain cured me of that. It gave me peace of mind not having to worry about rain soaking the bag.

After a hard week of constant use, I'm really happy with this bag.
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