It seems my never-ending quest for the ultimate gear bag has come to an end. LowePro, purveyors of everything camera related, appears to be the definitive winner at the moment. I’ve been testing out the Fastpack backpack over the last couple weeks and it’s been a great experience. It’s meant to be a photographers gear bag, but I’ve found that all the pockets for lenses and flashes are great for all the gadgets I tote around with me while traveling.
The first test run with the Fastpack took place when I went to Philadelphia which was subsequently followed by a short trip across the country to San Diego. First things first, the Fastpack can hold a boat load of gear which is rather apparent by the photo gallery. A side loading slot can handle up to a 17-inch laptop depending on whether or not you have the 250 (15.4-inch), which is what I have now or the 350 model. The lower compartment can hold an SLR that’s still easily accessible if you place the zippers on the side so that you can swing the bag around onto one shoulder. There are five smaller compartments that are reconfigurable to suit your needs and equipment as well. I have a handful of chargers, batteries, phones, cables and other random things occupying said compartments. There are two smaller pouches that you can store memory cards in within the lower compartment. On the outside of the zippered flap is another pouch to store whatever else you feel like carrying with you.
The top loading pouch has ample room for a laptop charger, headphones, books, etc. I stored my Able Planet noise canceling headphones, Amazon Kindle, MB charger, Novatel dongle and other doodads with room to spare. Two velcro pockets can easily store business cards, condoms, filters, gum, etc. There are two slots for pens and a webbed pouch as well. Same as the lower compartment, an external zipper pouch is perfect for, well, whatever else you feel like cramming in there.
Overall, I’m ecstatic over the LowePro Fastpack and its ample room for all my gear. Even as I upgrade my DSLR or acquire other accessories for it, I’ll more than likely still have enough room for all the gadgets that accompany me on long trips and on a daily basis. It’s comfortable to pack around considering I’ve got about 20 pounds or more strapped to my back. If you find that you don’t need a laptop bag then the Fastpack 100 or 200 should be more than sufficient enough for your needs. The 100 can handle a DSLR, an extra mid-range lens, flash, and a slew of other personal items while the 200 adds another slot for lens or flash. What’s even better are the prices that top out at $150 for the 350. I give this one two thumbs up. I think my search is finally over.