Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack Product Review
What do you do when you love to ride and shoot photos once you've graduated from a point-and-shoot camera? How do you bring along your digital SLR camera, spare batteries and memory cards, accessories, zoom/telephoto and other lenses, cleaning materials, and other goodies?
Sure, you can stuff everything into your garden-variety backpack, tank bag, or hard or soft luggage (if you have any), but your precious gear probably won't have much protection against dust, dirt, and damage. Improvised storage usually lacks convenience, and you may find yourself digging through your backpack for just the right item.
I've been packing a Canon digital SLR, lenses and accessories for several years now, and I have been seeking safe and convenient storage for combined motorcycle rides and photo shoots. A non-motorcyclist photographer friend gave me a quick demo of one of his Lowepro backpacks, and I soon began looking for a smaller Lowepro pack for motorcycle rides and other uses—when I found the Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack at a local store, it seemed perfect for most of my day trips along with non-motorcycle photographic use.
There's plenty of room for a digital SLR and accessories, and one or more medium-body telephoto/zoom lenses, such as a Canon EF 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens . There are plenty of handy pockets and other storage for memory cards, batteries and lens cleaning supplies.First impressions and prominent features
- High-quality materials and construction
- smooth zipper operation
- integrated armor/padding to help prevent damage in case of an accidental drop
- internal zipper seals to help keep out the dust and other contaminants.
- lots of pockets and photography-specific storage, for batteries, chargers, and memory cards)
- built-in LCD screen cleaning cloth
- integrated, stowaway weatherproof cover (in case you get stuck in the rain)
- adjustable/reconfigurable internal padded storage compartment dividers allow a custom fit for your lenses
Most of the weight rested on my left upper hip. I noticed a bit of weight on the shoulder strap. The bag was comfortable on a typical ride, but I can see how it might be more of a problem on a grueling all-day or multi-day marathon ride with few or no breaks. The weight of the full bag with all my gear (including an oversized Sigma 50-500mm zoom/telephoto lens) was about 11.5lbs.
When properly adjusted and strapped, the bag hangs to left side slightly. It didn't shift much during the ride, and didn't cause any problems even in tight and twisty switchbacks on one of my favorite mountain roads, but I wouldn't recommend using this pack if you plan on hanging your butt off the bike in full-out knee-dragging mode. I didn't notice any problems when riding at highway speeds.
I don't make use of the 'slingshot' feature often when riding, as it's more difficult to do when wearing heavy motorcycle jackets. That's probably not a typical usage scenario when on the motorcycle—while I can swing it around for a quick roadside shot that's not something I need to do very often.
Keep it closed
Though it may be unlikely, it might be possible for the main access flap zippers to open on their own if not properly positioned behind the protective strap and clasps—best to position them together all the way to the bottom corner, rather than at the top corner or middle. Be sure to lock the clasps to help prevent the zippers working their way open and allowing the flap to open while riding.
The Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack is a high-quality backpack well suited to motorcycle use (within the limits of its carrying and weight capacity, and your endurance) for day trips.
You can carry at least one larger lens and still have lots of room for most of the accessories you will want to carry. The 'slingshot' feature is not all that useful while on your motorcycle, but is very useful when you are off the bike and out walking around.
The only possible issue I see is the need to keep the access flap zippers behind the retention strap in order to help prevent unintended compartment opening while riding (see above).
My conclusion: a fine addition to any motorcycle-riding photography buff's arsenal. Look for bargains online if you can't afford full list price.
For more information, please visit Lowepro USA.
|Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras|
ASIN or ISBN-10: B00006I53X
|Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM APO RF Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras|
ASIN or ISBN-10: B0009F3MPQ
|Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack (Black)|
ASIN or ISBN-10: B000B9O83A