Lowepro Magnum AW Camera Bag
22/09/09This was my main bag for shooting events such as weddings for a few years. The quality of manufacturing is top notch and it can take a wide range of kit without being excessively large. The exterior dimensions stated by Lowepro are 16.9W X 12.6D X 10H (inches) or 43 X 32 X 25.5 (cm). This makes it just about small enough to qualify as carry on luggage for most airlines. It weighs in at 3.05lbs (1.38kg).
It's made of water-resistant 1200D ballistic TXP™ and 2000D ballistic nylon which is very durable. The top of the bag has a well padded leather handle and a small mesh pocket. Personally, I've never found a use for this pocket but I'm sure someone has. The main section has numerous padded dividers that can be attached by velcro in almost any configuration. Inside the top flap are three smaller pocket that are handy for storing small accessories such as batteries or remote releases. The main zip opening is protected inside by the bag padding to prevent dust or water working through the zip. There is also a large and fairly deep front pocket with several smaller pockets within it, including one zipped pocket. Also in the front pocket is a fastclip for securing keys and a dual chamber see-through media storage wallet. This is great as it allows you to easily change media cards in a hurry and to avoid confusing the empty ones with those already used. Attached to the sides of the bag are a couple of smaller detachable padded bags. There is a curved shoulder strap with a very tactile backing. This is the most comfortable strap I've ever tried and the non-slip backing works very well. Finally, in a pocket at the rear of the bag is an all weather cover for those times when the heavens open.
Lowepro say that the bag will accomodate 2 pro SLRs with attached lenses, 4–5 additional lenses, pro flash and accessories. As a Canon user I've found that it can take the following: 2 camera bodies, 10-22mm lens, 24-105mm lens, 70-200mm f2.8 lens, 50mm f1.4 lens, 100mm macro lens, 1.4x and 2x extenders, 580 EX and 430 EX flashguns, filters, numerous spare batteries, chargers and a basic cleaning kit. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend carrying it very far with that amount of weight in it.
If you need a bag to carry a large collection of gear to and from a location I can definitely recommend this one. If you are looking for a bag to fill and carry around all day then I would suggest you consider either a backback or holster type bag.
Update: June 2012. For weddings I now use a Think Tank Retrospective 20 bag for my working kit as it's a lot easier to lug around all day. I have the support kit in the Magnum.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Ease of use: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Build quality: 5/5