I have been a member of the Camera Bag a month club for years (pssst… not really a club). My guess is many of you have been as well. It seems that we are always looking for the next best camera bag. Well, I think I may have just found THE one. I have had it for a good bit of time now and wanted to put it through the paces before giving a review. Now, is this the only camera bag you should own? Absolutely not because while it is good for almost everything there are times that you may need something else depending on the application. I currently use this 95% of the time.
The bag is the Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L backpack. It is the largest in this particular series and can hold a pro dslr along with up to an attached 300mm f2.8 and 2 additional lenses. Personally, if I am going to be going out and not sure exactly what I need I will carry a Nikon D4 with a 70-200mm f2.8 attached and the lens hood mounted, a 16-35mm f4, 24-70mm f2.8, and a 105mm f2.8 macro. In addition to this I carry an SB910 flash, some cleaning supplies, water (it has a place for a hydration bladder), small snacks, and a few other smaller odds and ends. Believe it or not, it all fits! There is also tripod holder located on the side. It seems really only built to handle smaller tripods though.
The Flipside Sport 20L is a very light bag with an empty weight of 3.52 pounds meaning that if you want to go really light you can and I will often use it this way.
The name is the Flipside so what does that mean? The main access for the bag is located in the front of the backpack not the rear like most others (up against your back when carrying it). While this may seem unusual it is there for a reason. With the waist band attached you can pull one of your arms out and slide the bag around to the front. There it will rest comfortably on your hip while you access the main compartment. I wasn’t sure how well that would work until I gave it a try in the field. It works perfectly!
With all of these positives there has to be a trade-off right? Yes, there is a trade-off. Loading it to full capacity as I mentioned above has its drawbacks. In order to fit my flash in the bag along with all the other lenses etc. I had to place it in the accessory pocket located on the back. This isn’t the most protected area. Additionally, with all that equipment it can be a bit heavy and the straps do not possess the padding of other bags because it is really designed for lighter loads.
This bag, like most everything from Lowepro, is very well made and durable. It is and will continue to be my most used camera bag. As hard as it is to say I am no longer in the market for another camera bag. I have found a keeper!
Internal Dimensions: 25 x 15 x 39.5 cm (9.84 x 5.91 x 15.55 in)
External Dimensions: 29.5 x 24 x 46.5 cm (11.61 x 9.45 x 18.31 in)
Front Compartment: 23 x 2.5 x 40 cm (9.06 x 0.98 x 15.75 in)
Weight: 1.6 kg (3.52 lbs)
Cost: 119.99 from B&H (no, that is not a typo): http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/937756-REG/lowepro_lp36503_pww_flipside_sport_20l_aw.html
The list price on http://store.lowepro.com/flipside-sport-20l-aw however is 179.00.