When Nasim asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of the top photography bags and backpacks, I enthusiastically agreed to help out. I have always had a fascination and appreciation for high quality luggage and travel gear. Over the course of my many domestic and international adventures, I have come to appreciate well-designed gear that keeps my equipment well-protected and can endure the rigors of travel, whether it be air, land, or sea. Discovering that your luggage seam split open somewhere along a 3 flight hop across Europe, and realizing that many of your possessions are now permanently assigned to the airline version of limbo, or having your camera backpack’s main zipper go awry and seeing your $1,500 lens doing somersaults on the rocks below (and receiving extremely perfect scores for Technical Difficulty while simultaneously racking up complete zeros for Impact Resilience) can quickly cause you to rethink saving a few bucks by opting for cheaper luggage. I always recommend that people invest a reasonable amount of time investigating their luggage options and select the very best models they can afford. “Best” doesn’t always mean the highest price, however, so it pays to thoroughly investigate your alternatives.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
– Benjamin Franklin
1) Initial Thoughts
My first impression of the Lowepro Pro 400 AW Trekker Backpack (referred to as simply “LP400AW” for the rest of the article) was that it was far larger than I expected. I immediately checked bag’s label to ensure that I had received the correct model. I then looked at the item’s feature listing once again to confirm that it met the size regulations for carry-on luggage. Sure enough, it was the right bag and B&H’s website had this line:
Meets current FAA specifications for carry-on luggage 1
I had become accustomed to believing that my current workhorse, the Lowepro Nature Trekker AW II , was a large bag, but LP400AW made it look rather small. Considering our upcoming trip to the Canadian Rockies, the Nature Trekker was indeed a bit small. It was not capable of carrying the amount of DLSRs, lenses, and accessories I planned to take on our vacation. I had considered purchasing the Lowepro 600 AW Trekker, but realized that this backpack was far too large for my needs.
Whenever I receive a new piece of gear, I always take some time to look it over, get a general sense of the fit, finish, polish, stitching, etc. and ensure there are no defects. The LP400AW passed these tests with flying colors. This backpack exudes quality. It is obviously made to the same high standards we have come to expect from all Lowepro products. Although I am partial to black bags, I immediately warmed up to the main green and tan colors, highlighted with black trim. These colors simply look like they belong in a natural setting. And as you can see, my backpack’s colors had quite a bit more contrast between the green and tan colors than those seen in Lowepro’s product photos.
15.4W x 14.2D x 21.3H in.
39 x 36 x 54 cm
INTERIOR MAIN COMPARTMENT:
11.4W x 6.5D x 17.3H in.
29 x 16.5 x 44 cm