Hands-On Review: Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW II Photo Backpack

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As the satisfied owner of two Lowepro Sling bags and a smaller Lowepro backpack I often use when hiking or biking, I was delighted to have an opportunity to review Lowepro’s new Pro Trekker BP 450 AW II Backpack. As I had anticipated, I wasn’t disappointed. Designed to comply with the carry-on regulations of most US and international airlines (the exterior measurements are 13.78 x 19.29 x 9.84"), the form factor of the Lowepro BP 450 AW II backpack is boxier than the more typical pear-shaped backpacks, which maximizes the amount of interior storage space within the bag.

The exterior shell of the Lowepro BP 450 AW II is manufactured from a robust poly-ripstop nylon material with a rugged, weather-resistant Cordura base. The bag’s shoulder straps and waist harness are well padded, fully adjustable, and comfortable even after a hearty hike in the woods. When flying, the shoulder straps can be folded away and the waist belt detached to make the backpack easier to store in the overhead bins on most aircraft.

When flying, the BP 450 AW II's shoulder straps can be tucked away and the waist belt detached, making it easier to fit in overhead bins.

A nice feature is the bag’s detachable waist belt, which makes it easier and less tiresome to wear the backpack over longer distances. There are two handles for carrying the BP 450 AW II, one located on the top and the other on the side. A padded 3D mesh handle with a comfortable rubber grip is located on top, and a second padded mesh handle is located on the side. The two heavy-duty #10 “kissing” zippers used for accessing the two exterior panels can be secured with locks when desired (locks not included).

The Lowepro 450 AW II's top and side handles and # 10 “kissing” zippers

The main compartment of the Lowepro BP 450 AW II backpack contains enough touch-tab dividers to create up to 11 storage slots for cameras and lenses. According to Lowepro, the BP 450 AW II can safely support a pair of DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, lenses up to 300mm, and depending on their focal lengths, 5-6 lenses.

While it was in my possession, I could easily configure the bag to hold my digital imaging system, which consists of two Sony a7R-series camera bodies and six lenses. I also set it up to carry my film camera system, which consists of a pair of 35mm Leicas with two lenses and two medium format Hasselblads with four lenses, extension tubes, and a Polaroid back. In both cases I was left with plenty of room to spare.

The Lowepro BP 450 AW II backpack can be easily configured to carry film and digital camera systems, with room to spare.

At the base of the main compartment is a slip-in, slip-out Gear Box accessory case, which is handy for stowing chargers, batteries, cables, meters, or if you’re an analog shooter—film.

A zippered slip-in, slip-out accessory tray tucks neatly into the base of the BP 450 AW II’s main camera compartment.

A second lid compartment (or gear zone, in Lowepro parlance) contains a slot for a laptop (up to 15"), an iPad or tablet, and a third slot for miscellaneous papers and other flat items. Smaller slots with translucent surfaces are available for carrying memory cards.

A secondary compartment features slots for a 15" laptop, an iPad or tablet, and miscellaneous papers, manuals, or other flat items.

Additionally, there are several pockets and zippered slots located on the front and inside the backpack for storing other essentials, including a separate zippered pocket for a water bottle. You also have the option of hitching your tripod to the front face of the BP 450 AW II using a clip-on tripod support (included) and the two support straps located on the front panel.

Carrying a water bottle and a tripod? No problem. Lowepro’s Pro Trekker BP 450 AW II can accommodate both safely and securely.

It’s worth noting that the Lowepro Trekker 450 AW II is positioned, size-wise, between the smaller Pro Trekker BP 350 AW II and larger Pro Trekker 550 BP AW II. Lowepro also offers a wheelie, or roller version of this backpack. The Lowepro Pro Trekker RLX 450 AW II backpack has all of the features found on the Pro Trekker 450 AW II, with the option of rolling it behind you as you hoof it to the gate. Either way, you get a mighty fine backpack for your money.

The Lowepro Pro Trekker RLX AW II backpack

Do you have any experience using Lowepro camera bags and backpacks? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments field, below.

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