Recently I went on a trip where I had to have all my photography gear with me at all times. I couldn’t leave it in a car and run back for different lenses. That meant had to carry three or four different lens, extra SD cards, and cleaning gear. As you can imagine, carrying that kind of gear got heavy and bulky even when using a mirrorless system.
Throughout my last trip I carried my gear in a small over the shoulder duffle styled bag. After several hours, the straps started cutting into the shoulders and neck. I also found that in tight quarters the bag stuck out so far it hung up on everything. Plus it wasn’t big enough to hold my personal items or water bottle. That mean’s its time for a new bag!
The Different Sling Camera Bag Options
After a few hours of research, I decided that my shoulder bag was good for storing enough gear for a trip but wasn’t good enough for flights or for all day photo events. I needed something that could carry my Sony Nex-3N or Sony Nex-7 (future camera) with a several small prime lenses and my SEL55210 telephoto lens. Plus it needed to carry extra SD cards, batteries, cleaning kits, and tablet/laptop (13 inch or smaller.) The bag needs to fit snuggly against my back but slide around for easy access.
What I found was the messenger style bags would work for short trips into the city for a little street photography or something that wouldn’t need to fit snuggly to the body.
The lowepro has a great and stylish bag that will even hold a small laptop or notebook in snug compartment with your camera gear.
Lowepro Photo Sport Sling 100 AW Backpack
So after a little more research, I found that Lowepro has as port bag that is a little larger than a messenger camera bag but is more like a one strap camera backpack. It’s the Lowepro Photo Sport Sling 100 AW Backpack. After looking at the different bags online, I went to the store and looked this bag over and played with it a little.
Everything from the construction to the design is well thought out. I could see this working for me. It is a bit on the small side. It will be a tight fight but, I could have the SEL55210 lens attached to the camera and stuffed in the bag. But I normally do not travel with it attached. I normally have my SEL16F28 or my Sigma 30mm prime attached to the camera. So in that case it would work. In the camera compartment there is room for the camera and kit lens, and an extra lens. If you have an extra lens you use on rare occasions, you could put that in the main compartment if you have small lens storage bag.
Along with camera section of the bag, there a personal storage area for storing anything from a small sacked lunch, to personal gear. You could put your tablet and other small electronics in there if you don’t want it in your pocket. But in reality, I tablet might take up to much a space. It also has a few smaller pockets on it for storing smaller things such as SD cards and batteries.
At the bottom it has straps for attaching a tripod or something rolled up. On the sides it has draw strings you could use to hang even more gear if needed. At this point this bag is getting heavy.
This is your go to bag for the active photographer. You can use this camera bag for trail running, mountain biking, snowboarding, and other adventure sports. This light weight bag is lightweight, easy access to the camera gear and still have the comfort of using a sling system.
Below are some features taken directly from the Lowepro website.
- Ultra-lightweight construction with high-performance fabrics provide comfort, durability and resiliency during extreme activity
- Ultra-Cinch Camera Chamber protects camera gear in a padded and secure compartment and helps prevent bouncing while athlete/photographer in motion
- Zippered, side-access pocket allows photographer to quickly rotate to front, unzip, un-cinch and access camera
- Toploading upper compartment provides up to 9 liters of personal space for items like a jacket, lunch, cell phone, etc.
- Multiple attachment points offer a variety ways to expand carrying capacity
- Patented, built-in All Weather AW Cover™ protects camera and personal gear from the elements
Lowepro Photo Sport Sling 100 AW Backpack Specs Final Thoughts
Lowepro Photo Sport Sling 100 AW Backpack is a great looking bag and I love the orange bag (does come if black) it’s the perfect size for limited gear day trips or hiking. These bags are perfect for those that plan on leaving their tablets and small notebooks in their vehicles or hotel rooms. On these types of trips, I would rather carry food or a book for those times I want to take a break and just relax.
But for longer trips or using this bag instead of your regular camera bag for vacations isn’t ideal. There simply isn’t enough pockets and gear storage for everything you are going to need. You still would have to carry an extra backpack or something. If you are flying, some flights do not allow the extra bag.