Stuart Forster reviews the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW camera bag, a camera backpack designed for outdoor use.
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For any photographer and travel blogger, finding the perfect camera bag is essential. They must be comfortable, durable and – importantly – offer both protection to my camera and other photography gear. Quick and easy access to that kit is important too. That’s why I was excited to try out the Flipside BP 400 AW III bag from Lowepro.
Lowepro has developed the Flipside series of camera bags to carry digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) and mirrorless cameras. They are described on the Lowepro website as: “Rugged outdoor camera backpacks with plenty of space for non-camera gear.”
The website also suggests that they offer extreme protection and strength, which is ideal for photography during both rural hiking trips and city breaks.
Camera bag specifications
Lowepro’s Flipside III series is available in three sizes. Generally speaking, the greater the number of the bag – 200, 300 or 400 – the larger it is.
I opted for the Flipside BP 400 AW III as it can hold a DSLR camera with an attached lens, up to four or five additional lenses and other accessories.
Notably, the bag also has a padded compartment for a 15-inch laptop, making it possible to download and edit images on the road, and a 10-inch tablet. A robust strap pulls over those compartments, keeping their contents secure.
The camera bag’s external dimensions measure 33 centimetres by 24 centimetres by 48 centimetres (13 inches by 9.4 inches by 18.9 inches). That could be a significant consideration, depending on how you plan on travelling and the baggage allowance of the company you chose to travel with.
When empty, the BP 400 AW III weighs 1.7 kilograms (3.68 pounds).
The exterior of the bag is made from hard-wearing 300D polyester.
Flipside camera bag
This Flipside camera bag exceeded my expectations when it came to its functionality. Not only is it comfortable to wear, but it’s also very durable and easy to use.
The bag is made from polyester and features a weather-resistant coating. I’ve taken this bag on multiple trips and it holds up well against conditions such as light rain and snow.
A lip protrudes over the back of the bag, helping keep moisture away from its contents.
For more extreme weather conditions, it comes with a detachable all-weather cover. The grey cover is elasticated and wraps around the camera bag. It’s easy to pull on and off and the all-weather cover packs down into a pouch. It’s ideal for peace of mind if you are out hiking in heavy rain.
The bag has a robust finish and mud splashes can be wiped off following days out in the countryside.
Lowepro Flipside 400 AW
One unique feature of the Flipside is the back-entry compartment. This means that the camera gear is accessed from the side of the bag that rests against your back, making it more secure from potential theft or tampering. The back panel is also padded with airflow channels to help make it comfortable to wear.
In addition to space for a laptop and tablet, the flap that sits against the wearer’s back has a mesh compartment with a zip. It’s ideal for carrying travel documents and other paperwork that benefits from being kept flat.
The grey strap down the middle of the back panel features a handle that offers a point of leverage to the bag’s straps and handle.
The bag features a removable mesh compartment that is held in place by Velcro. With a soft orange lining, it is ideal for carrying sandwiches or similar supplies during a day out. (I always think that it’s additionally worthwhile putting food and drink inside sealable packaging to help prevent spills over expensive camera gear.)
One of the most significant benefits of the Flipside camera bag is its security features. The back-entry compartment keeps camera gear safe from potential theft or tampering. The bag’s zippers are lockable, adding an extra layer of protection.
Using the Flipside BP 400 AW III
Lowepro’s Flipside BP 400 AW III camera bag is super easy to use. The padded dividers inside can be easily adjusted to fit the specifics of your own camera gear. It takes just a couple of minutes to configure them before use.
There’s a side-entry zip so that you can quickly get at your camera without unzipping the back-entry compartment.
The front pocket of the bag has two small pockets and one large compartment for storing photography-related accessories such as lens filters, memory cards and batteries. They can also be used for storing the likes of a compass and map plus a notebook and pen.
The padded shoulder straps are adjustable and felt comfortable while being used over long periods of time. It’s possible to clip them together with chest-level connecting straps, which I found ideal to use while carrying a lot of gear. Additionally, the Flipside BP 400 AW III features hip padding and an adjustable belt; something that ensures that it distributes weight and sits comfortably throughout a long day of walking.
An excellent camera bag
Overall, I feel comfortable recommending the Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III camera bag. It’s comfortable, durable and has excellent security features.
The back-entry compartment sets it apart from other camera bags that I’ve used. If you’re a photographer or travel blogger, this bag is definitely worth considering.
The Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III camera bag is available to buy via Amazon.
Stuart Forster, the author of this post, is an award-winning travel writer and the director of Why Eye Photography.
Thank you for visiting Go Eat Do and reading this review of the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW camera bag. If you enjoy photography, you may also enjoy my Manfrotto Element MII tripod review and post about travel photography in Nova Scotia.
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