Lowepro describes their Transit Backpack 350AW as “Designed to adapt to your carrying needs, this discreet camera backpack gives you fast access with no compromises.”. The backpack has an MSRP of just $119.99 and it packs in all of Lowepro’s best features. Let’s take a look at it on video, and I’ll then run down the specifics of this backpack to help you determine if this is the best camera backpack for your needs.
The bag is made from 600 D polyester, 300D honeycomb polyester and nylon webbing. It weighs just 2.4 pounds, and it has an interior camera compartment that is 10.6″ wide by 5.9″ deep by 16.5″ high.
Lowepro states that you can carry a pro DSLR with a quick and attached lens with one or two extra lenses, flash and accessories, a contact tripod, and a 15 inch laptop. Or you can use a pro DSLR with a long lens +2 additional lenses or flash in compact tripod or a 15 inch laptop. In other words, this backpack is large enough to meet pretty much anyone’s needs, and it will do so with terrific protection. And, as we will see, it promises to do so with a tremendous amount of flexibility.
When I first looked at the Transit Backpack 350AW, I thought it would be rather heavy. I was surprised to discover that it’s just 2.4 pounds in weight and, it is in fact, far lighter than that even seems to indicate. That doesn’t mean this is a cheap backpack, it isn’t, but it does mean that the company went to great lengths to make it highly functional and protective but still incredibly light.
At the top of the backpack is the brand name and a simple grab handle. There’s nothing fancy here but it gets the job done.
The backpack straps are anchored at the top but still are able to move from side to side with enough latitude to make the backpack comfortable. They are heavy-duty backpack straps, but they are quite comfortable and will serve you well for light to medium loads.
There is a chest strap which is adjustable so that it will serve people of varying heights. A waist strap tucks nicely behind a compartment when not being used, and it comes out and is ready within a few seconds. All in all, the backpack offers pretty much what you would expect from a medium to large size camera backpack.
The company name is embossed on the left shoulder strap. This isn’t just decoration however, since you can easily attach an accessory to the loop of material.
Toward the upper portion of the backpack there is an angled sipper that opens to reveal a small storage space with a bright-colored lining. It’s perfectly sized for a smartphone or wallet, although I wouldn’t recommend putting valuables there if you are using the backpack in the city, since the zipper doesn’t lock closed.
On one side there is a strap with a buckle toward the top and a fixed strap with three areas a bit further down. This can be used for an assortment of different purposes but is, ideally, suited for a tripod.
The other side of the bag has a large quick access space that can open to reveal the main compartment. This design is terrific if you want to access the contents of your backpack without having to take it off and put it on the ground. Instead, thanks to the design, you can simply take the opposite shoulder strap off and sling the bag in front of, unzip this area, grab what you need, close it up and flip the backpack around to your back once again. It’s quick, simple and means you don’t need to take the backpack entirely off.
As you can see, the interior space is cavernous, and this entire area opens up for easy access.
The backpack has an upper and lower portion, but the back panel of it zips completely open to allow for the easiest possible access.
The zippered area on the back panel opens to reveal a small organizational pocket.
As shipped, the backpack offers a nice storage space for the top with the camera organizer below. Two open mesh organizational areas sit along the back.
Where this particular backpack stands out is in its ability to be as flexible as it is.
You can quickly and easily pull out all of the camera dividers and you can release the divider between the upper and lower portion of the backpack. The result is a large cavernous space into which you can pack a good amount of gear.
If, however, you are using a large professional DSLR with telephoto lens, you can put this divider in place and have the body of the camera sitting at the top of the bag with the lens extending down into the lower portion. From there you can organize the camera compartment any way you want, to best suit your particular needs.
And because this backpack is intended for serious photographers, there is a rain cover hidden in a false panel on the bottom that can quickly be removed and thrown on top of entire backpack weather changes suddenly. When the weather clears up, you can let it dry out and simply stick it back in place.
I like the Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW a great deal. It’s a little bit larger than what I actually need right now, but if you are carrying a 15 inch laptop and a DSLR, and you need to keep a good bit of gear with you, this is a great option. It doesn’t have bright colors which is a good thing in my opinion, since it means you won’t draw a tremendous amount of attention to yourself when using it. The shoulder straps are padded enough to be comfortable, and the ability to access the contents of the backpack without having to actually take it off and set it down is something that will meet the needs of many people. Learn more and order yours here.
What I Like: Spacious storage; Interior is fully flexible to work with your specific gear; Access to the camera storage area without having to take the bag off your back
What Needs Improvement: The bag is light enough that some may not think it as durable as it is; Color options limited to… one
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample