Lowepro Freeline BP350 AW Camera Bag Review
Lowepro have been in the camera bag game for a long time now. I remember selling them 10+ years ago to my customers when I worked in retail. They were good bags then, but are they good bags now? Let’s take a look.
So what do we get with the Lowepro Freeline BP350AW backpack? Well, quite a bit of space actually. The whole backpack works off a three tier shelving system, with a top and two side zips for easy access. The bottom of these shelves houses a smaller bag with three compartments. Perfect for smaller accessories. The inclusion of two soft orange dividers makes it easier to protect your gear from colliding with eachother when you’re in transit. If it’s easier, you can snap the front and rear of the shelving unit to remove it completely from the bag to install your gear. However, you cannot install the dividers and then snap it down to put it back in the bag.
Other openings include one for a 15-inch laptop and tablet with a divider between them, although I’d stick to slimline laptops like the Macbook Pro here due to the extra thickness it will impede onto the bag and cause a bit of tension. You’ve got a water bottle holder on each side, a tripod holder on the front, and again I would stick to something small like the Manfrotto Befree Advance. And on the back you’ve got straps to hook it to pull-along luggage.
Wearing the Lowepro Freeline was comfortable enough. The shoulder straps offer a decent amount of padding to protect your shoulders and enough grip to keep it in place. There is a chest and waist strap as well if you’re carrying heavier loads. There’s ample back padding too to protect that area from strain although airflow isn’t great so expect a sweaty back on a hot day. You can also store a mobile phone in the left shoulder strap, though it won’t take any of the Plus sized mobile phones we’re seeing from the likes of Samsung and Apple. My Google Pixel 3 with a case on it was fine though.
The whole thing is made from a water-resistant nylon so don’t be afraid if you get caught out on a rainy day. Easily the most frustrating feature with this backpack are the annoying strap clips. I wish Lowepro would have used some kind of quick release clip, but I can see why they went with this system. It’s to keep them flush against the bag. They’re alright if the straps are loose, but when you’ve linked a tripod to the side, it causes tension and can be very tight on the clip itself, so removing the strap just causes issues.
If you’re a run and gun photographer, or like carrying around that extra gear as a just incase, then the Lowepro Freeline BP350 AW would be the bag for you. It’s expensive though, advertised on the Lowepro website at £239.99, but you’re getting a decent quality bag afterall, and Lowepro knows it.