Jon Stapley tries out a backpack designed for outdoorsy photographers with plenty to carry

Lowepro-Photo-Sport-BP-200-AW-IILowepro Photo Sport BP 200 AW II at a glance:

  • Fits one mirrorless camera or small DSLR with attached standard lens
  • Space for flash, adapter or spare lens
  • Internal dimensions: 16x9x20.7cm; external dimensions: 24.5×19.5x52cm
  • 1.2kg
  • Rain cover included
  • Price: £118
  • Website: www.lowepro.co.uk

As a features writer you’ll usually find me sat behind piles of paper at a desk – I’m not too outdoorsy. So when faced with a camping trip, I asked my technical colleagues at AP for help with which bag to take. I wanted to carry camera gear and travel essentials, and still be comfortable on long walks. The Lowepro Photo Sport BP 200 AW II fits the bill nicely.

Once the bag’s on, it won’t come off without a fight, thanks to a sternum strap and waist belt – you’ll likely keep the belt fastened at all times, as it flaps irritatingly at the arms when undone. The shoulder straps serve their purpose but are only lightly padded and, if you load up heavily, you’ll feel them digging into your shoulders pretty quickly.

The camera compartment comprises a third of the bag’s overall interior space, and at most you’ll be able to fit a small DSLR or mirrorless camera with attached lens in there. The main pocket can certainly store another lens if you want, but it’s not ideal – you have to pack in your own padding to stop the lens from rolling about. If you like the sound of the bag but need more space, then consider the 300 AW II, which is the same design but larger.

Lowepro Photo Sport BP 200 AW II – Key features

Tear-resistant fabric

The backpack’s fabric is lightweight but tough, with ultra-tear-strength coating to withstand roughing it outdoors.

Quick-access side pocket

Instead of accessing your gear through the main pocket, you can get at it with this handy zip at the side of the bag.

Waist strap

A padded waist belt helps ensure a little extra security around the midriff.

Lowepro-Photo-Sport-BP-200-AW-IILowepro Photo Sport BP 200 AW II – Verdict

The Lowepro Photo Sport is refreshingly clear about its purpose, and it hits that mark exactly. If your trips are purely photographic, it may be better to look at the other options out there. But if photography is only one part of your outdoor life, then this should suit you brilliantly.

SCORE: 4 out of 5

You may also consider:

Vanguard-Sedona-45Vanguard Sedona 45

Price: £129.99

Website: www.vanguardworld.co.uk

A removable camera compartment is accessed from the back of the bag, and there’s space for your everyday items. Alternatively the Sedona can be set up to carry a DSLR with a large telephoto lens.

Nest-Explorer-300L-Bag

Nest Explorer 300L Bag

Price: £129.99

Website: www.nest-style.com

Multiple colour variations of the Explorer 300L are available. Like the Lowepro, it offers space for camera kit, as well as lots of non-camera essentials for those who are heading off outdoors.

Manfrotto-Off-Road-Hiker

Manfrotto Off Road Hiker 30L Backpack Green

Price: £169.95

Website: www.manfrotto.co.uk

With a separate camera module to protect a medium-sized DSLR kit, the Manfrotto Off Road also offers room for a water bottle, walking sticks and more.