Having recently upgraded from a little point-and-shoot camera to an SLR with various lenses and filters and what-not, I was very keen to get a comfortable bag in which to carry around all my expensive equipment. I was looking for something that was neither to big nor too small, wasn’t too expensive, as I had little money left after investing in the equipment, but which would protect my sensitive equipment to the hilt. A friend told me that he had always used Lowe bags; he showed me his but it was too big for my equipment, so he suggested that I look at the Lowepro SlingShot 100 AW, which is perfect.
I love the slingshot method of carrying my cameras, as it does not place too much strain on my back, is comfortable to wear, and by swinging it around to the front I can get my camera out easily and snap the shot I need without missing a beat. Another reason I like this type of bag is that I am an avid cyclist and I find that it is more comfortable to cycle with a slingshot bag, than with a regular backpack which makes me feel as though I want to tip over backwards.
The only thing that I really have to be careful about when it comes to this bag is the fact that my girlfriend is also a bit of a photographer and I have seen her eying my slingshot a few times when she has been struggling to put her backpack down, get it open and take a shot whilst worrying that nobody would steal her bag while her attention was diverted. Of course the easy access and the fact that I don’t have to put my bag down also mean that I usually get the better picture.
What You Should Look For
Even if you are an amateur photographer, you want to make sure that the bag in which you are going to transport your photographic equipment can do so safely and has certain features, so here is a list of the features that I feel are important and which you should look for in a bag:
- Easy access
- Comfortable to wear
- Sufficient space for cameras and accessories
- Good protection for your equipment
The Lowepro SlingShot 100 AW offers all of the above and a few surprises besides.
Ample Space and Easy Access
The 100AW has a primary storage area for my camera and lenses which includes three Velcro partitions which can be rearranged to fit different equipment in snugly and safely. There are also various pouches wherein I store my memory cards, MiniDV tapes, extra batteries, and various other accessories.
Easy access is very important to me, and this slingshot provides that with a main compartment that flaps open fully to give unrestricted access.
Comfort of use and Durability
The bag is manufactured from durable material and looks good, and there is sufficient padding to protect my precious cameras and lenses so I really feel safe using it. I also love the fact that there is a second strap which can be attached for added security when hiking and the nylon webbing straps with quick-release clips.
An added little bonus I have found is that when I swing the bag around to the front to gain access to my camera it provides a handy little shelf for me to rest my arms on, which is great as I tend to shake a bit at times. This way I can use the bag for stability and a clear shot no matter what.
The inner padding provides good protection for my camera and lenses, and the built-in microfiber cloth protects my LCD screen whilst my camera is in the bag, and can even be used as a lens cloth if I forget mine.
Added protection is afforded by the “all weather” cover that fits over the whole bag and is stowed in a flat Velcro pocket when not in use.
What Do Others Think?
Being a perfectionist and a bit worried that I would make a mistake in my choice of bag, I did some extensive research on the Internet to check what others who had bought various bags had to say about them, and the favorable reviews that the Lowepro SlingShot Backpack got were what sold me on it.
Here are some of the comments made:
- “While the camera is out, the bag hangs comfortably around the front and I use it to rest my elbow on while shooting (an added bonus! Stability). “
- “The microfiber LCD protector, numerous pockets are added bonuses, but the TRUE BEAUTY OF THIS BAG is that it allows QUICK, EASY AND SECURE motion from storage to shoot. “
- “This is beautifully made and intelligently designed bag that will likely last for years. I can’t recommend it highly enough. “
- “Very snug & secure on the back – easily hike, ride a bike or even a horse without fear. “
Are There Customer Complaints?
To me, researching a product means that I look at the good and the bad reviews, as I did with this product, and the worst that I could find was that one or two individuals said that the bag was not big enough to take all their equipment, which is fair, but it is only meant to hold a certain amount of items, so if you have more, you should get a bigger bag.
Where Can You Buy the Lowepro SlingShot Backpack?
Although the backpack is sold in various stores internationally, as noted on the Lowepro website, the cheapest price that I found was through Amazon, so that would be my suggestion.