Lowepro Flipside 500 AW camera bag

OUR VERDICT: The bag has plenty of storage space and is very comfortable to carry. The built-in raincover is especially useful.

Lowepro is a familiar name to most photographers, with many owning one of the company’s camera bags. As a user for longer than I care to remember, I was delighted when this latest version arrived for review.

A design change means that the main compartment is accessed via a zip at the back of the bag, what the company calls ‘body-side access’. It means the bag can be swung around off the shoulders, while still held in place by the waist straps, opened up and equipment taken out when needed, then put away and swung back up. The front zip opens up a smaller section suitable for maps, pens and batteries; a netbook could also fit here. The inside lid of the main compartment has storage for memory cards and a zipped pocket for valuables. There are also two side pockets for carrying drinks and so on.

Lowepro claims that a 500 mm f4 lens attached to a DSLR body will fit in this bag and it can, but it was a tight fit when attached to my D3s, although my D7000 fitted a little easier. This is a brand new bag, however, and I’m sure that when I’ve dragged my lens out a few times there will be a bit more ‘give’. By adjusting the dividers I fitted in my spare body, 18-55 mm and 10mm lenses, two converters, a flash and binoculars.

A tripod mount system enables a moderate-sized tripod to be carried attached to the bag; a holder for the feet is in a zipped pocket on the front and a strap attaches the legs.

I found this bag extremely comfortable to carry. The large, padded shoulder and waist straps fit well and the whole load seemed to be well positioned. The built-in raincover came in very useful as I trudged around my wet local patch during the rainiest April on record.

Tech spec

Size: exterior 30x32.5x51 cm; interior 28x18.5x48 cm
Weight: 2 kg
Colour: black
Price: £139
Contact: call 01902 864646 or visit www.lowepro.com