Review LowePro 200AW Review

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Mike Simpson
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#1
Thought i would make this due to so little information on the net about decent camera bags. Not everyone can try before they buy, either because they simply can't be bothered to trek around different shops, or because the store don't have the products in stock.

The first bag i bought was a disaster, it was too small, and hardly fitted any of my gear in, and due to online retailers hyping up products and exaggerating there abilities is rather annoying when you get it delivered.

Lowe pro 200AW Sling bag Review

Quality and Construction
This bag really does feel like it could last forever. The materials are tough and durable, and the stitching is excellent. The zips feel very robust and i can't see them failing anytime soon.
The Velcro inside is strong, so you have no fears of it coming lose and your gear sliding all around in your bag.





The pen is there for scaling, and as you can see the bag isn't actually that large from the outside and it doesn't scream "I HAVE HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT IN MY BAG". The colours and design are subtle but pleasing, which was one of the main reasons i went for this.
Another reason was the unique sling design of the bag, making it easy to move the bag from your back, to right in front of you in a matter of seconds, without even needing to remove the bag from your back.
The one main strap is comfortable and supports the weight extremely well, it has a quick release clipper on the bottom of the strap, which has padding underneath which supports the side of your hip. There is also an additional stabilising strap that is hidden at the bottom to really hold the bag in place when hiking/running.
Unlike most "unique amazing designs" that most company's claim they have, the sling design really does work, and it leads me to the next stage of the review.

Swing Mode



To prevent the bag from fully opening when in swing mode, two elastic stoppers are held over the zip lines which are connected to the bag via quick release. Even if you get the zips undone completely with the stoppers attached, the bag can still not physically open.



This is the view you are greeted by when in sling mode and the zips are undone. As you can see the camera is easily accessible, and when not in use there is a store away LCD screen protector which you can see hanging down the bag in the photo above.
Below is a photo of the LCD screen cloth in its netting holder.



On the underside of the flap is a small storage compartment, which is held shut with Velcro.
This compartment is large enough for 4 SD memory cards in there plastic holders, and 2 filters. Unfortunately the card holders are not red flagged, so its up to you to remember which are full or empty.



Main compartment

Although this sounds obvious, i thought i would say it anyway, you cannot access the main compartment where all your equipment is kept when the bag is in sling mode. You must undo the stoppers and fully unzip the bag, which looks like the below.



Im going to stay neutral when saying what i think might fit, and tell you what i have in the bag. That way you can look up the measurements of my equipment and use your own judgment if yours will fit.

Nikon D40 with Sigma 10-20mm attached. (The camera also fits with all my other lens including the 55-200mm with the lens hood attached.)
Nikon 55-200mm AF-S
Nikon 18-55mm AF-S Kit Lens
Nikon HB-34 Lens Hood
Sigma Lens Hood (Supplied with the 10-20mm, not sure on the model number, but its very wide)

The only reason i have taken the lens hoods off the lens and placed them in different slots is because i have the space. Both lenses fit in there compartments with the hoods attached.
I could easily fit a SB-400, SB-600 or SB-800 in one of the free slots taken up by the hoods.

The padded inserts are strong but flexible, and the padding around the bag is the same. I would feel completely safe dropping the bag with my equipment in from arms length no problem, and im sure it would all be fine. (Please don't try that at home though!)

Outside Compartments
You have two compartments on the 200aw, i'll start with the smaller one first.



This is located at the bottom of the bag, and to be honest, can't hold very much. At the moment i am using it for storing small things like my shutter release remote, Nikon driver/software CD, and lens caps.

The second of the two compartments is located at the very top of the bag and really is big.



Its easily big enough to hold another D40 without lens, or maybe a small camcorder, but i wouldn't recommend it because the padding is poor on the front of this compartment.
I use it to store cleaning products, personal belongings and filters. (Items shown are a wallet, medium rocket blower, 3 filters, and a microfiber cloth in the netting at the back.)

CONCLUSION

If you are a keen amature photographer, which has several medium sized lenses like myself, want something fairly inexpensive, will last a long time, and is comfortable, then i highly recommend the 200AW. The design is modern, and i doubt anyone without knowledge of Lowepro bags would know your carrying around photographer equipment.
 
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alexisonfire
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#2
I forgot to mention it does include an all weather cover, that tucks into the bottom of the bag and is Velcro sealed.

 
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Mitch
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#3
Thanks Alexisonfire,good revue i had a look at the 300 today and this should help with my final decision.(y)
 
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alexisonfire
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#4
After taking some measurements, each lens compartment could take a lens with a maximum length of 6-6.5inches, any longer and putting the bag down frontwards on the ground hard, could damage the lens.

Looking at the photo below you could remove the center separator above the camera enabling you to have a large telephoto lens equipped on the camera, but this would result in only 4 lens compartments left. The 300AW can hold a much larger camera than the D40 with a telephoto lens attached, and still have space for 6 lens compartments. I believe each of these are deeper than the 200AW aswell.

 

RobertP

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#6
Nice review indeed. I have a bag (not a camera bag) with a single angled shoulder strap and i find it gets uncomfortable when heavy as you only have the one strap and it has to be on one shoulder. How do you find this bag when heavy?
 
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alexisonfire
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#7
I've not had the bag long so can't comment on walking with the bag for long periods of time. But from short use and first impressions, i can imagine after 3-4hours it could become fairly strenuous on your right shoulder. But i have to say lowepro did an excellent job on the strap regards to weight reduction and comfort. The padding is really very good, and the bag feels considerably heavier when not carrying it on your back, so i guess that means it works well.

If you had the bag on your back and you looked straight ahead of you, the strap actually pulls the top of the bag to the left, but the bottom of the strap somehow shifts half the weight to the right. So effectively reduces the weight on one shoulder by half.
 
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Christian
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#8
Good review :)

The 200AW is a nice sized bag for most occasions. I use either this bag or a Mini Trekker AW, depending on what I need to take on the day. I find the 200AW a more comfortable bag to wear than the Mini Trekker and also handy when you don't want to walk around a particular area with your camera hanging around your neck all the time but want quick access or if you want to change a lens but don't have anywhere convenient to put your camera bag down while changing the lens.

The only downsides I've found is the lack of means to attach a tripod to the bag and when packing larger lenses. While it's big enough to take a 70-200 f/2.8 IS (just!) I was then unable to fit both the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 and 10-20 into the main compartment. If I used the larger of the two additional pockets for the 3rd lens then I didn't have enough room for my filters, spare batteries etc. One work around for this is to get one of Lowepro's lens pouches that can then be attached to the 200AW and put the 3rd lens in there.
 
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#9
Nice review. On hindsight, I might have been better off getting this instead of the 100AW. :D
 
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#11
Great Review. I have recently purchased the 200AW as well. I used to have the Mini Trekker AW which I found nearly impossible to carry any distance. So far, I like the Slingshot and glad I went for the 200AW. Yes, I have removed the central partition which then gives me ample room for my Canon 5D with 24-105mm and Lens Hood attached.

You can also use the LCD protector cloth as a Grey card if you forget yours.

The only downside to this bag is it is a wee bit tricky if you are female and you need to swing the bag around quickly. It has a tendency to get stuck on the female form. :puke: I am just glad mine are not the size of Jordan's or the bag would have had to be returned to the supplier. :LOL: :LOL: :D
 
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#13
Cheers Alexisonfire, great review. I bought one last week and its a great bag. I have a 400d with sigma apo 70-300 attached. You can also fit the hood on it too if you angle it but at the moment I have a couple of the smaller sections clear so I just put it in there. I dont think I have that weather proof cover though....
 
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#16
I rock the 200AW also as I don't like hauling around a huge bag on walks.

I keep my 70-300 IS USM fitted to my 350D in the centre compartment. (my thinking is that if I need to grab the camera quick - it will probably be for a bird or animal - flowers don't tend to run away and I'd have time to change lenses.)
I also have a 100mm macro in the left side and a 10-20mm in the right side.
There's room up top for cloths, a small rocket and a 28-80mm and space in the front pocket for the camera charger. Apart from UV filters fitted to all my lenses I don't use any other filters.

It's light, reliable, easy to use and doesn't shout PLEASE STEAL ME!!
 
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alexisonfire
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#17
Thought i would update this thread considering my gear has changed/grown quite a bit. I can fit all my stuff into the 200aw, but its a TIGHT fit, and is difficult to take things in and out, without tugging and wiggling, (ooh err). I will be buying a new bag soon, so i'll also do an in depth review on that as well when i get it :)





 

gazedd

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#23
i have to completely agree with this review... For the money i paid for it, its a really great bag.
Lightweight enough to carry it around all day, Comfy yet easy to hand.
Compartments for a beinner are ample and i cannot fill this bag (each compartment), even with Junk!

Great bag.
 

Galaxy66

Jeremy Beadle
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#24
i have to completely agree with this review... For the money i paid for it, its a really great bag.
Lightweight enough to carry it around all day, Comfy yet easy to hand.
Compartments for a beinner are ample and i cannot fill this bag (each compartment), even with Junk!

Great bag.
Not be long before you can hardly lift it, my better half will not handle mine for heath and safety reasons :D
 
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#25
I've been using the 200AW for a few months now and rate it as well. The single strap (which, I must admit, I tought was a bit gimmicky) has turned out to be really comfortable. It is really handy to just swing the bag round to your stomach and pull your camera out. The bag stays comfy on the shoulder even after a fairly long walk.

One problem I have found is that when Changing lenses I kneel down and set the bag down on its back so I can undo the safety catches and flip the lid open. During this operation the whole bag becomes very unbalanced and rocks about like a banana. Maybe it is just me, I have a lot of kit in the bag and maybe I haven't laid it out too good.

I have a 40D with 10-20mm and 24-60mm lenses, flashgun, wireless flash trigger, remote shutter release, filters, notepad, Giottos rocket blower, the 40D instruction manual, USB cable and memory cards in th ebag at present and it really does swallow everything easily. I am planning to get the Canon 70-200mm f4 lens and I would be surprised if it fits in.

I am happy with this bag apart from that minor niggle. You could do a lot worse for the money.
 
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#28
also have a 200AW that i bought in the summer, if i had a 300AW i'd be able to fit LOADS more crap in it but at the moment i currently managed to store in my 200AW -

Canon 20D with neck strap
Sandisk Ultra II 2GD CF cards (x4)
Canon 50mm f1.8
Canon 38-76mm f4-f5.6
Canon 18-55mm F3.5-f5.6
Tamron 55-200mm f4-f5.6
Lensbaby Original
Jessops 300D Flash
Sigma EF-500 ST DG Flash
Miranda 450 CD Flash
Mirando 700 CD Flash
Card and Velcro snoots and gobo's (x5)
Flash Gels (x5)
Lens Filters in circular boxes (x4)
lensbaby Aperture rings and Removal tool
Ebay Flash trigger
Ebay flash receiver (x2)
Spare Camera Battery
4 pack rechargable AA's (x2)
Selection of flash trigger cables
Sekonic Flash Metre
Lens Hoods x3
Rocket Blower
Blower Brush
Microfibre Cloth
Silica Gel sachets
Business Card holder and cards
Pen
Spare Tripod screw

When out on shoots i also carry -

Asus Eee 701 netbook (with win XP) in protective neoprene case
Card Reader
Mobile Broadband Dongle


Certainly is a Tardis :)

oh and i dont find it that heavy to carry, a hell of a lot better than the bag i used to use.
 
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#31
Ebay Flash trigger
Ebay flash receiver (x2)

what ones did you get? any good? how much?
bought about 8 or 9 months ago - the PT-04 receivers and a trigger (got a trigger and 2 receivers for £18 all in)

as to any good - certainly not as reliable as Pocket wizards but for less than 10% of the price i certainly can't complain.

don't work with every flash and my mate had issues with the trigger on the hotshoe of the 40D but simply stick int he hotshoe and use the supplied cable to fire from the PC port and all was good.
 
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#32
also have a 200AW that i bought in the summer, if i had a 300AW i'd be able to fit LOADS more crap in it but at the moment i currently managed to store in my 200AW -

Canon 20D with neck strap
Sandisk Ultra II 2GD CF cards (x4)
Canon 50mm f1.8
Canon 38-76mm f4-f5.6
Canon 18-55mm F3.5-f5.6
Tamron 55-200mm f4-f5.6
Lensbaby Original
Jessops 300D Flash
Sigma EF-500 ST DG Flash
Miranda 450 CD Flash
Mirando 700 CD Flash
Card and Velcro snoots and gobo's (x5)
Flash Gels (x5)
Lens Filters in circular boxes (x4)
lensbaby Aperture rings and Removal tool
Ebay Flash trigger
Ebay flash receiver (x2)
Spare Camera Battery
4 pack rechargable AA's (x2)
Selection of flash trigger cables
Sekonic Flash Metre
Lens Hoods x3
Rocket Blower
Blower Brush
Microfibre Cloth
Silica Gel sachets
Business Card holder and cards
Pen
Spare Tripod screw

When out on shoots i also carry -

Asus Eee 701 netbook (with win XP) in protective neoprene case
Card Reader
Mobile Broadband Dongle


Certainly is a Tardis :)

oh and i dont find it that heavy to carry, a hell of a lot better than the bag i used to use.

just to update this i now also have a battery grip on the camera and a sigma 28-70 f2.8 all in the bag.

my laptop might not fit anymore, too much of a squeeze but it's tiny anyway so easy enough to cart about :)
 
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alexisonfire
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#33
just to update this i now also have a battery grip on the camera and a sigma 28-70 f2.8 all in the bag.

my laptop might not fit anymore, too much of a squeeze but it's tiny anyway so easy enough to cart about :)
Got a photo with all that in? I can't even comprehend how you've fit all that in :eek:
 
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#34
just to update this i now also have a battery grip on the camera and a sigma 28-70 f2.8 all in the bag.

my laptop might not fit anymore, too much of a squeeze but it's tiny anyway so easy enough to cart about :)
Any chance of some pics cause I just have to see how you have managed to get that lot in a 200aw
 
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#37
Sorry only really just had 5 minutes to myself

sorry for the quality of these taken on an old digital compact.

My AA battery packs are missing from these as they are on charge for tomorrow - any questions just shout -

1. Picture of fully packed bag on the table - you can see it doesn't buldge -



2. from here you can see the card snoots, my cam with grip and sigma lens



3. view form on top with the card removed - each end section contains 2 flashes (more in later pics) and the centre one contains lenses (more later)



4. You can see how the flashes are situated two in each side -



5. Central lens section - contains Tamron 55-200, Canon 50mm and Canon 18-55



6. Memory Card Pockets -



7. Front pocket opened to show contents -



8. Contents of front pocket - Light Metre, Business card holder, silica gel, cables, pen, flash gels, lensbaby aperture stuff.



9. Opened top section showing how it looks -



10. removed top layer of stuff -



more on next post -
 
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#38
11. More stuff removed -



12. Filters at the bottom in the net -



13. all the kit fromt he top section -



My laptop (a small Asus EEE) normally would fit above the card snoots etc, but is a bit tight now to fasten the bag so i won't be using it there, was ok efore the grip and sigma were also int he bit where the cam is.

the broadband dongle, card reader and batteries all go inthe top section also.
 
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alexisonfire
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#39
Well im impressed it all fits! But isn't that a bit pointlessly full? :p

What happens when you want a filter? You have to take out 10 items to get to it?

I was also expecting the lens to be bigger than that, you fit 3 in the space my 24-70 fits :p
 
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#40
lol yeah the lenses are quite compact but that suits me, generally i'm prepared and filters on before i go out, and i can rake about as and when i need to.
 
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