The Lowepro Video Fastpack line of camera backpacks is the workhorse of camera backpacks. I was impressed by the 150 AW and use my 250AW constantly. The Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW is the largest backpack in the line. Not much to look at, it has great features and holds a ton. Best of all it is under $150.
The Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW is big. When I was carrying a Canon T3i and multiple lenses it would have been ideal. Now that I have streamlined things and moved to Sony’s mirrorless system, the 350 AW is a bit of overkill. After all, this backpack is designed to hold a Pro DSLR with attached lens (up to 70-200mm f/2.8), 2 extra lenses, a pro flash or LED light, headphones, a microphone, extra audio gear, up to a 17″ laptop, and a tripod or DSLR video rig. That’s a ton of gear, and I have no doubt the 350 AW can do a superb job holding it all.
Here’s a look at the Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW on camera.
I really like the design of this bag. The backpack straps are thick and comfortable. They offer plenty of padding. Combined with the vented padding along the back portion of the backpack, the sternum strap, and the thick waist strap, the backpack does a good job of letting you carry a good amount of gear in a fairly comfortable manner.
When I have used the Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 250 AW during travel I have wanted to bring my 15″ MacBook pro along with me as well. The laptop slot in the backpack is great for that purpose. I worried that having the laptop right against my back would be uncomfortable. Fortunately that was anything but the case. The flat laptop, when combined with the padding on the bag, made for a comfortable experience.
The bag has an easily customizable camera compartment. It contains plentiful padded dividers that can be moved to fit the specific gear you are carrying. The “fast-access, side-entry pocket” that is part of the Fastpack line of backpacks is a fantastic feature that lets you access the main camera compartment without having to take the backpack off.
The upper storage space is also well-conceived. It includes a loop for holding your headphones in place as well as a “removable custom audio utility pouch”. I was able to keep all my camera gear in the main organizational space and put headphones, a tablet, a Moleskin notebook, and other assorted items in the upper area with room left over.
In addition, the Hideway Tripod Mount makes it easy to carry a tripod or DSLR video rig along the side of the backpack. When you don’t have a tripod or other stability device with you the Tripod Mount folds out of the way.
And of course, since this is part of Lowepro’s AW offerings the bag has a Built-in All Weather AW Cover. It stows beneath the bag in a manner that makes it easy to forget. If the skies open up on you however, you’ll quickly remember this feature and be grateful it is there. I’ve needed to use a rain cover a few times in the past and was happy to know my gear wasn’t getting soaked while I was.
The Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW backpack is a great camera backpack for someone who needs to carry tons of gear. At under $150 it is a bargain although, for most of us, the large bag may be overkill. Before purchasing the 350 AW, I would recommend really taking the time to consider what you carry on a regular basis. If the 150 AW or 250 AW are large enough I would suggest going with one of them. If, however, you really do need a bag as large as the 350 AW, then you can be confident you will be buying something that will serve you well. Check out the entire line here.
What I Like: Well made; Thoughtful design that is quite useful; Holds a ton; Easy to access gear on the fly; Tripod mount; Rain cover
What Needs Improvement: May be too big for many — in which case the 150 AW or 250 AW are the better choice
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample