Intro: An unmissable tool: A good camera bag
Easily overlooked, not talked about enough, and with a bit of a boring reputation, I think camera bags deserve more. I know this sounds silly but honestly, the difference a good camera bag can make is tremendous! It’s so satisfying to have a little pocket for everything, and how good does it feel to be able to bring everything you need in a compact easy to use and carry bag?
I was thrilled that Degreef & Partner sent me this Lowepro bag, that can function as a trolley and a backpack, and wanted to really put it to the test. I’ve been using it for quite some time now and it’s made my travels and location shoots a lot easier. It’s been with me to on-location shoots and workshops, photography fairs, to a shoot trip in Paris, and to random self portrait sessions in a cold, misty field. Every time I have been able to put everything I need into the Pro Trekker RL 45 AW II and it’s always easy to find everything you need in all the neat pockets it has.
Adjust, adapt, and go.
The bag fits pretty much everything I want to bring, with some room for extra’s. I don’t have a huge amount of lenses and accessories, but it was enough to not fit in my previous bag. Because of this, I always had to leave things behind. Not so much with this one! When circumstances call for it, I can rearrange the inside of the bag to fit different things as well. For example, when I went to Paris I had to pack lightly, because I was traveling by train. I had one bag with two lights and all the light shapers and accessories I needed, but I needed another light that just didn’t fit in there. I improvised, took out all the dividers and all my extra lenses and accessories, and adjusted the bag so that it would fit one of my lights in there.
Note: on the picture below I still have an additional lens in the bag, which I took out to make room for a floor stand and the light’s power cable in the early morning before I left.
Ok, let’s talk some details
Because I know this matters too, let’s have a quick lineup of the technical details.
The bag fits: Up to 15” laptop and 10” tablet, large smartphone, pro tripod and accessories, 1 DSLR with attached lens (such Canon 5D Mark IV with up to 70-200mm f/2.8) and 4-6 extra lenses (up to 300 mm)
Sized to meet standard carry-on requirements. Travel friendly with stowable shoulder straps and removable waist belt
- Weight: 4.06 kg
- Total Volume: 28 L
- Main Color: Black
- Internal Dimensions: 32 x 13 x 45 cm
- External Dimensions: 36 x 25 x 52 cm
- Camera Compartment Dimensions: 32 x 13 x 45 cm
- Front Compartment Dimensions: 33 x 4 x 48 cm
- Laptop Compartment Dimensions: 32 x 3 x 34 cm
- Tablet Compartment Dimensions: 22 x 1.5 x 26 cm
- GearBox Exterior Dimensions: 28 x 5 x 13 cm
- GearBox Interior Dimensions: 26 x 4 x 11 cm
The bag also comes with a weatherproof cover.
How I use the space
There are many images of the inside of the bag online, both empty and neatly packed. This is great of course, because it shows you how much space you have and what your options are. However, I like showing you a more realistic use-case from a messy creative person, so you can imagine a bit better how it would look when you put this bag to proper use.
First of all, a huge plus for me is that my old chunky laptop fits in the bag. I use this laptop for the bare necessities and for shooting tethered, it can’t do much anymore but it can still handle those tasks. It fits nicely into the laptop portion of the bag, and t here’s another pocket for all the cables I need for data and power. As you can see there is also space for a tablet and some extra accessories that I am not using (yet). I used to have to bring an extra backpack with me to take all of that, and this saves me the additional back and shoulder pain that carrying one heavy backpack per shoulder causes.
The large compartment
In the large compartment of the bag, I keep a bunch of different things. Of course my camera and lenses, but also my Lensbaby optics and omni filter packs, an external hard drive and the water resistant cover that comes with the bag.
As you can see, I still have some room for an extra lens. (Oh dear..tempting)
You can move around the dividers and create a layout that works for you. This is perfect if you want to change up the layout when you get new gear, or want to bring different things to a specific job like I did for my Paris trip. In the flat zipper pockets I keep little things like cables, pens, lens wipes, and there are two nifty compartments to keep memory cards safe.
In the main compartment there is a removable pouch which fits perfectly at the bottom. This is ideal to keep your charger, extra batteries, and any other small items you want to keep close. Like in my case, the spare trigger for my lights.
Some nice exterior details are few additional zipper pockets. Like the one on the front, it is quite spacious but I just keep some random tidbits in there like a small sunscreen and lip balm. Additionally, there’s another one on the side, which is ideal for a water bottle or small umbrella.
The wheels are soft and smooth and not noisy at all. They roll over most terrain pretty effortlessly. Then there is the option to convert the bag from a trolley to a backpack, or the other way around. The comfortable shoulder straps and waist belt are tucked away behind a nice piece of padding, and can be easily revealed. This quick change is ideal for travel on terrain where the bag can’t roll, you have other items to carry with your hands, or when you just prefer a backpack over a trolley.
While my previous bag was nice, safe and comfortable, this bag is a huge upgrade. I think I could fit about half the stuff in my old bag that I can pack easily with the Pro Trekker RL 45 AW II. Also, it wasn’t a backpack/trolley combo. I’m a big fan of this camera bag, and would recommend it to any photographer that, like me, likes to travel with ease (i.e with as few bags as possible) but enjoys the peace of mind of being able to bring everything they need to every job.
That about wraps up everything I had to say about this bag. I hope it was informative, and helps you appreciate the importance of a good camera bag!
Want to read more about gear I love? Try my Tablet review!
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