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Lowepro Fastpack 250 DSLR Camera Backpack
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- Fits DSLR with lens attached (up to 18-55mm f/2.8), 2-3 extra lenses or flash units, up to a 15ʺ laptop, accessories and personal items.
- Padded camera compartment with full 180-degree access and adjustable dividers
- Side-entry compartment make it easy to access equipment and accessories, even while pack is being worn
- Dedicated laptop compartment with protective padding
- Security flap provides additional protection to outer compartments
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|Item Dimensions||18.5 x 12.8 x 10 inches|
|Item Display Weight||6 pounds|
|Manufacturer Warranty Description||Limited Lifetime|
|Shipping Weight||3.5 pounds|
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You can shoot all day when you wear the lightweight, comfortable Fastpack 250 backpack. It protects a digital SLR with an 18-55mm or 17-85mm kit lens attached plus 15.4″ widescreen notebook, while providing generous storage for 2–3 additional 105mm f/2.8, 18-200mm f/3.5, or 70-300mm f/4.5 lenses, flash, and other gear. You won’t miss a shot, because side-entry compartments let you grab equipment and accessories, even while you’re on the move. Customize the easy-to-access main compartment with adjustable dividers, use the outer organizer to keep large accessories handy, and manage memory cards with a built-in pocket. Breathable, contoured shoulder straps distribute weight evenly.
From the Manufacturer
Fastpack 250 Highlights:
1. Security Flap
2. Built-in Memory Card Holders
3. 180-degree Side-entry Panel
4. Adjustable Dividers
5. Triple Compartment Design
6. Harness Pocket
7. Outer Accessory Pockets
8. Mesh Side Pocket
9. Tough, Water Resistant Outer Fabric
10. Side-entry Access
Additional Features & Benefits:
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Several customers left detailed reviews of the Lowepro Fastpack 250, and the dimensions seemed right, so I went down to a local Best Buy to inspect it in person. The two things that I wanted were: easy access to the camera without it being in a vulnerable position; and non-camera storage space at least equal to that of the Tamrac. I was pleased to find that the Lowepro met both conditions: it has more than the 8 inches of clearance needed for the camera and lens, and the upper storage area is actually slightly larger than that of the Tamrac.
Some observations on the new Lowepro:
* The main camera section has a dual zipper design that can be completely zipped back to expose all the internal compartments or just enough to open the side to remove the camera with zoom lens attached.
* Unlike the Tamrac Adventure 7 which is a clamshell design, the Lowepro can be swung to the side by slipping your right arm out and keeping the bag on your left shoulder. In this position you can open the side of the bag and remove the camera, but none of the additional items stored in the main compartment are in danger of falling out. This might not work as well for left-handers.
* To access all of the items, you would have to take the pack completely off and set in on a level surface before completely pulling back the zippers.
* The laptop pocket can hold a 15-inch unit with no problem, but would make the pack a lot heavier. Better to carry a 10-inch or smaller tablet there, but the dimensions of the pocket make it ideal for documents, such as a travel folder or full-size magazine. This is a huge advantage over the Tamrac Adventure 7, which did not have a pocket like this.
* There is a front pocket that holds all my memory cards, remote control shutter release, extra battery, filters, and mini-tripod with ease. Additional space for memory cards is on the inside of the main compartment zipper cover.
* The top storage area has dual zippers, an inside mesh area to hold pens, sunglasses, and other items. I currently have a baseball hat, small umbrella, small binoculars, mobile phone charging cables, and earbuds in there. It's not unusual to also store a paperback book or travel guide, my wife's Canon G15, and a bag of energy bars or cookies.
* It has one elastic mesh pocket for a water bottle (the Tamrac Adventrue 7 had two, one on each side).
I haven't flown with this bag yet, so I can't tell you how well it fits under the seat in front of me. The Tamrac had no problem, and these are about the same size so it should work fine. The only difference is that the Lowepro is a little more structured so it might not compress as well. We have a Las Vegas trip coming up in May 2013 so I will update this part of the review then.
UPDATE OCTOBER 2014 - I've flown with this bag multiple times and can verify that it does fit under most seats with ease. Curiously, the tightest fit was on a newer, larger aircraft, the Boeing 767. When we switched to a Boeing 737 for the connecting flight, the bag fit underneath with plenty of room.
1. Tamrac Adventure 7 and Lowepro Fastpack 250 from front.
2. Tamrac Adventure 7 and Lowepro Fastpack 250 from side
3. View into top storage area of each
4. View into front pouch of each
5. Nikon D600 with 28-300mm lens and hood attached fits easily into main camera compartment. Lowepro bag is lying on its back. The Tamrac bag is standing up open in clamshell position and the only way to hold the camera is to put it in lens down, not ideal for a long lens like this.
The straps and back have a special material to be soft and cool -- they are very nice features, and they do make a difference.
I've stood out in rain storms and sleet storms, and the camera compartment has stayed bone dry. The top compartment let in a small amount of water, around the zipper I'm guessing. But it was a heavy rain for a long time. I was soaking wet. The fact that only a tiny amount of water got into the top (non-camera) compartment means this is a great bag. Now, I always carry a heavy windbreaker with me, so when there are storms I put that on over me and over the bag, so everything stays completely dry (except me).
I flew to Europe, and took this bag as one of my two carry-ons. The bag is exactly the right size to fit under the seat in front of you. So your other carry on can go in the overhead compartment. Since this bag carries my babies -- my camera, lenses, and laptop -- I don't want to put it in the overhead bin.
In the camera compartment, I have the following: 70-200 2.8 lens, 17-50 2.8 lens, 50 1.7 lens, large camera body, and lots of tiny things (earplugs, camera remote control, extra SD and CF cards, etc.). There is space for more -- the 50 1.7 could be replaced with a 105 2.8 or a flash -- but that's all that I need, and it fits. Sometimes I do want to take a flash (or two) as well, so it/they go into the upper pocket. When traveling, my laptop fits in the laptop pocket. When doing photography assignments, my lumiquest LTP softbox is ALWAYS in the laptop pocket.
In addition to my camera and lenses and laptop, there are two other places to put things -- a very large upper pocket, and a thinner pocket in front of the upper pocket. The thinner pocket holds my filters, step-up rings, intervalometer, neon orange masking tape, and batteries. The large pocket holds pens, paper, camera manual, ID badges, snacks, extra camera battery, 2 off-camera TTL cords, and whatever else I need -- it's a huge pocket. There is a water bottle holder on the side, but it's annoying -- it's much bigger than any water bottle I own, so the bottle has a tendency to fall out, despite the elastic string. But hey, big pockets are better than small pockets -- I don't have to put a water bottle there, and since it's so big, there are a lot of things I could put there.
The only thing I wish this had was a strap to hold my monopod. I actually don't take my monopod with me to most events, because it's too much of a hassle to carry it with me. If I could strap it to the bag somewhere, I would take the monopod everywhere, and I'd be glad to have it sometimes.
But this bag, I can't recommend it highly enough. It is big enough to carry everything I need, it's small enough to fit under a seat on an airplane, and it has stayed in perfect condition through 2 years of tough professional use.
p.s. I forgot it has a thin pocket on the outside of the camera compartment, too. I keep my lumiquest 80-20 there, and two microfiber clothes. And I could put a little more in there, if I needed to. It's actually the perfect size for the lumiquest 80-20 folder, which is handy. (Though I almost ALWAYS use the lumiquest LTP now, instead of the 80-20.)