Lowepro Top Loader 75 Camera Bag
27/02/09I was looking for a bag to use for day trips and nature photography. I already use a Lowepro Magnum AW for my full kit but needed something smaller as a walk around bag. I'd previously used a couple of different backpacks but was getting frustrated at having to take them off whenever I needed to get to my kit.
The build quality is to the usual excellent Lowepro standard. The main section can be subdivided and there are three more pockets too. One key feature for me is that the top zipped flap for the main part of the bag opens away from your body. This means that it stays open while you access your camera and makes the process much easier and efficient. The supplied shoulder strap has a very effective non slip surface but be careful if wearing a tee shirt as the strap can rub your neck raw quite quickly if in direct contact with your skin. The strap is long enough to allow you to position the bag towards the middle of your back a bit like a Lowepro Slingshot bag. This allows a fairly heavy kit to be carried comfortably for extended periods. The bag can also be chest mounted with another set of straps that come with it. Alternatively it can be used as part of a belt system by using one of Lowepro's selection of waistbelts.
Additional lens cases and other Lowepro Slip Lock accesories can be strapped securely to either side. The all-weather cover provides good protection against rain or sand and still covers the main bag when additional lens cases are added
The Top Loader 75 can take a wide variety of kit. For example, I can just about pack in a Canon 40D with 24-105mm lens and hood, 10-22mm lens (without hood), 580EX II flashgun, Sto-fen omni-bounce, filters, spare batteries and memory cards. With a Lowepro Lens Case 4 strapped to the side a 70-200mm f2.8 can be added.
Alternatively, the bag on its own will accomodate the 40D with a 70-200mm f2.8, hood and 1.4X converter mounted and still take the 24-105mm in the bag too. However, it is a very tight fit.
I now generally use the Top Loader for my camera body, main lens, flashgun, filters, batteries and memory cards. I have a Lowepro Lens Case 4S strapped on one side for the 10-22mm with hood and a Lowepro Lens Case 4 on the other side for either the 70-200mm with hood reversed or the 24-105mm with hood.
Apart from the strap, the only minor issue is the size of the case but then it needs to be big to accomodate a long zoom and it provides excellent protection from knocks and scrapes.
Overall I would recommend this bag without reservation. It's a great alternative to a backpack and is extremely adaptable.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Ease of use: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Build quality: 5/5
Pros: huge capacity for it's size, highly adaptable, build quality
Cons: strap can rub