Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Nice Bag, January 11, 2010
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This review is from: Lowepro Flipside 400 AW Backpack (Black) (Camera)
Got this for a 2-week trip overseas after doing a lot of research online and I gotta say I love it.

It holds a lot of equipment (Canon 20D body no grip, 10-22mm EFS, 24-70mm 2.8 L, 70-200mm 2.8 L, 420EX flash, 2 soft boxes (folded), 2 battery chargers, blower, lens cleaning fluid, video cable, USB cable, MacBook 13.3 in neoprene sleeve, Mac power adapter) and I still had a compartment left for another small lens. I could even get the 20D with 70-200mm 2.8L lens on with its hood facing out into the center compartment if I took out the dividers.

And yes, the MacBook is not a typo. You can actually fit a 13.3" MacBook in a neoprene sleeve inside the flap over all the equipment. This was a big worry of mine since I carry a laptop wherever I go pretty much and it didn't have a dedicated slot for that which would have been it's only negative.

The equipment was easy to access but as someone else stated, the bottom compartments take a bit to get at so smaller items are best for those areas which is exactly what I did.

The bag carries a lot but still feels compact on your back and is not bulky like the AW Rover that bangs every seat down an airplane aisle even when you've cinched up the waist belt and maneuver around to avoid banging into seats. This one is compact enough that it stays in the aisle even when wearing it on one shoulder.

The waist belt and harness are very comfortable for not having cinch straps at the top and it pulls the bag to your back nice and tight when you have the chest strap on. Btw, they use a rail that the chest strap slides up and down for adjustment instead of gliding on the shoulder strap. This may be good or bad. I've never had the other type come off, but if it did I guess it would be a catastrophic failure that you can't recover from. This one came off after it got caught in the wheels of a cart. I was able to shove it back on although with quite an effort.

I love the look which is somewhat rounded and doesn't look like a camera bag. Also, the straps at the top held my Goretex shell well and didn't make the whole thing look bulky. They can double for securing a tripod on each side or in the middle back which is nice to have those options.

I put the separately sold bottle holder on one of the lock loops of the waist belt, which served as a miscellaneous goods holder for keys, wallet, lip balm, etc. that I needed quick. When I put the contents inside the bag, the bottle holder folded down nicely to be completely non-obtrusive.

Someone else brought this up in their review but I love the fact that since the opening is on the back side, the AW cover doubles as a ground sheet. You don't need to take it off to get at your gear.

This is great for longer trips and day hikes. It was a bit bulky to be unnoticed when walking around town but not enough to not be able to bring it along with me wherever I went even in the busiest areas of Tokyo. (even some of the trains at rush hour, granted you have to take it off and hold it)

There's nothing I don't like about this bag so far.

Ah, except that one piece of the chest strap connector broke from normal use. One of the 3 prongs on the inner piece. Maybe it was a badly molded lot or maybe the fact that the plastic is very stiff (but that gives it a very secure lock). However, it still stuck with only the other half holding it which I thought was kind of cool. But it shouldn't have broken in the first place so I'll be asking for a replacement.

Definitely 5 stars.
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