In my previous post, I talked about how the Lowepro Flipside Trek350 seemed to be the perfect bag and how I bought it the week it came out. Well, it finally arrived and I took it hiking up in the mountains to see how it held up.
Let me just say this once again. This is the backpack I have been waiting my entire life for, I've looked at hundreds and I've always had some problem or nitpick about them. This is perfect daily backpack suitable for outdoors and hiking. In my opinion at least, Lowepro has always had great quality in their bags, and the same thing goes again with this one.
The Look - Grey and Olive, 2 of my favorite colors. It looks rugged and that about covers it.
The Design - A lot of thought went into making this bag, and I applaud a number of things, first being the access hatch for all your gear. Having it on the rear prevents anyone from trying to get into your bag if you're wearing it, while also eliminating any chance of gear falling out should you forget to zip up or the zipper itself failing for whatever reason. I really like how you can access the bag without taking it off using the waists straps. The flap is also hinged so you can access a section of the storage area without unzipping the entire flap. This is ideal for me as I'm not a huge fan of bags that have those side access flaps. Accessing the bag from the rear makes the most sense and is hands down the best design for a camera backpack in my book. additionally this allows you to keep the included rain cover on the bag while still having access to your camera gear. the back of the bag as well as the waist strap is also padded very nicely, making it incredibly comfortable to wear. Lowepro also makes a smaller version (Flipside Trek 250 which lacks padded waist straps) and a larger (Flipside trek 450) if you need space for even more camera gear.
The Rain Cover - I just mentioned it, and ya, it's located in the top of the bag in a small enclosure, great to have that included and the color looks pretty neat. I'll show how it looks on the bag down below.
Waist Straps - Check. Nice. Neat. each side has a zippered pocket for holding more stuff.
Chest Strap - Check. Great. Nylon. Whistle buckle. The straps itself can move up and down the shoulder straps for better comfort.
The Gear Pouch - I configured this area a few different times before I found a way to poack everything I wanted. I canny a Panasonic GX8, with a Panny 12-60, Panny 45-150, Panny 20mm f1.7, and a Canon FL 50 f1.8. Additionally, I have a sound recorder, flash, and wireless triggers. everything fits snug and I'm glad LowePro included a number of extra padded dividers for customization. 2 of them have velcro openings for holding smaller items.
Below is how my bag came originally, plenty of dividers included.
Top Pouch - Another feature I had to have in a camera bag was a dedicated area for extra essentials for an outing. I keep a small medical kit, flashlight, multitool, food, headphones, and a few other things in there. Decently sized, and while it's not a huge storage area, it can still fit a 6 pack of tall boys. Very important. The fact that I shoot with a mirrorless system means I have a tad more space in the camera storage area for other things if need be.
Along the top pouch there are some gear loops for attaching whatever your imagination desires, the promo piece on LowePro shows someone attaching a solar panel to charge a phone while hiking. I could see myself throwing on a few carabiners, and attaching a length of rope using the STRAP SYSTEM, because I always like to have rope when I hike.
Tablet Pouch - Another dedicated pouch, this one for a tablet, pens, maybe some cables. I've got an iPad in there for when I feel like hipstering out and editing in a coffee shop, or when I wan't to play angry birds while simultaneously rappelling off a mountain.
Strap System - I like this. I usually have a tripod in one of the side pouches, and a water bottle in the other, and you can adjust the tension of the straps to hold your gear solid in place. the side pockets stretch and I had no trouble fitting normal sized water bottles in them.
Hiking - I took this bag up to Snoqualmie Pass, where I frequently hike on the many mountains in the area. It was a rainy, windy day as I hiked up Snoqualmie Mountain via Cave Ridge. I've been up the ridge several time before, but only to go to Guye Peak, Snoqualmie Mountain has been on my list for some time now.
The included rain cover performed excellently, my bag was kept very dry during the day, and it was raining steadily the entire time. there's a velcro loop that attached the rain cover to the inside of the pocket, and it's nice you can detach it so you can dry it separately.
While the rain cover doesn't cover the back, I didn't notice any moisture collecting on the back or inside, the nicely padded back was just a bit damp simply due to sweat and a bit if rain on my back when I took the thing off.
Here's how I currently have the inside organized, Panasonic GX8 with a 20mm f1.7 lens, from top left to right we have a 45-250, 12-60 and an old Canon FD 50 f1.8 with Micro 4/3 adapter. The right section holds a variety of things including; extra flashlight, AAA batteries, extra camera batteries, battery backup brick, wall charger, multitool, and a bluetooth speaker. I used a spare divider as a sort of access flap to hold things in place. Wires and other flat items are inside the tablet pocket with my old iPad.
This bag has seen rainy and snow in one day and it held up great, perfect all around daily bag for day trips and day hikes.
That's all for now, an incredibly well designed bag that looks good and feels great to wear. LowePro, thank you. This is the bag I've been waiting for my entire life, The fit, the feel, the looks, the features, are all perfect, I have nothing negative at all to say about this bag at all.