Michael Topham tests a Lowepro backpack to find out if it’s one of the best for travel photographers.

Price: £179

Website: www.lowepro.co.uk

Lowepro Pro Runner BP 350 AW II l £179 l www.lowepro.co.uk Michael Topham tests a Lowepro backpack to find out if it’s one of the best for travel photographers At a glance 
Dedicated space for a laptop, tablet and graphics tablet Removable accessory case Built-in all-weather cover Mesh padding for maximum comfort Padded easy-access pocket to hold 13in laptop and tablet Built-in weather cover The built-in all-weather cover is pulled out from the bottom of the bag and is permanently attached, so it’s never at risk of getting lost. Front pockets The bag features a pair of front pockets that are ideal for storing keys, a remote release or a small notepad. Carry handles There are two carry handles: one on the top and one at the side. Both feature thick mesh padding to offer comfort in 
the hand when the bag is carried in this way. The BP 350 AW II is the lightest bag in the Lowepro Pro Runner series and a compact alternative to the Pro Runner RL x450 AW II. Unlike its big brother, the BP 350 AW II doesn’t feature rolling wheels or an extending grab handle to pull it along, but in all other respects it’s rather similar. There are contoured straps, excellent padding to cushion the bag against your back and a removable waist belt. The front compartment easily stores a 13in laptop and 10in tablet, with space for filters and other accessories. The substantial YKK zippers on the front and interior compartments allow you to secure the bag with small padlocks, while inside there’s enough space to accommodate an enthusiast or semi-pro DSLR with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached. There’s also enough room either side for four or five extra lenses and a flashgun. Plenty of internal dividers are supplied to help you customise your kit, and the removable accessory case is useful for small portable hard drives, cables and chargers. Verdict The Pro Runner BP 350 AW II impresses in all the criteria a great travel backpack should. It’s very comfortable when fully loaded and is built to survive the rigours of day-to-day use. If you don’t require rolling wheels, but want one of the finest carry-on camera backpacks you can buy for under £200, look no further. Also consider Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive £154, www.thinktankphoto.com 
Designed for use in urban environments, this lightweight bag holds a 15in laptop, pro DSLR and a 70–200mm f/2.8 lens with hood attached. Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW II £289, www.lowepro.co.uk With large internal dimensions and the ability to roll your kit and carry it, the RL x450 AW II is worth a look. Its higher price pays off in versatility. Tamrac Anvil 23 Professional £239, www.tamrac.co.uk Designed to hold a pro DSLR body with telephoto lens attached, along with a full range of lenses, the Anvil 23 can also carry a 15in laptop and accessories via Side Arc attachment points. Kingston 512GB Ultimate SDXC UI memory card l £209 l www.kingstonmemorycards.co.uk Not SO long ago, 512GB was a very substantial size for a memory card. Today, though, Kingston is easily able to offer that capacity in the form of the behemoth 512GB Ultimate SDXC UI memory card. When loaded into a the Sony Alpha 7R and set to record video at 1080p resolution/25 frames per second, the camera quoted 
a capacity of over 49 hours of footage. In the Canon EOS 5D Mark III it ‘maxed out’ the counter, saying it was possible to shoot 
a total of 9,999 raw files in its largest resolution. We tested the card for speed in the SD card slot of a MacBook Pro (mid-2015, 2.8GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM) using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and it boasted a speed of 9.9-20.5MB/s (80-164Mbps). This is a somewhat disappointing performance, considering that Kingston claims a speed of 45MB/s is possible. For 25p HD footage this UHS-1 U1 card records great video, but I found when shooting with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 
it struggled to keep up with the camera’s Apple ProRes codec and dropped frames after recording for a while. It’s therefore expected 
this card would also drop frames with 4K video cameras, too. However, if you’re not shooting over 1080p HD video and want to capture a mixture of still and video, this card would be perfectly sufficient. Although with that in mind, it’s hard to find a real need for a single card of this size. Additionally, there’s a risk that if it corrupts you’ll lose a whole lot more data than if your files are saved over a number of cards. That said, photographers who shoot timelapse or similar footage and want to travel light with a high-resolution camera like the Canon EOS 5DS R will find this the perfect product. Richard SibleyBP 350 open

 

At a glance

  • Dedicated space for a laptop, tablet and graphics tablet
  • Removable accessory case
  • Built-in all-weather cover
  • Mesh padding for maximum comfort
  • Padded easy-access pocket to hold 13in laptop and tablet.

Lowepro Pro Runner BP 350 AW II  – Key features

Built-in weather cover

The built-in all-weather cover is pulled out from the bottom of the bag and is permanently attached, so it’s never at risk of getting lost.

Front pockets

The bag features a pair of front pockets that are ideal for storing keys, a remote release or a small notepad.

Carry handles

There are two carry handles: one on the top and one at the side. Both feature thick mesh padding to offer comfort in 
the hand when the bag is carried in this way.


 The BP 350 AW II is the lightest bag in the Lowepro Pro Runner series and a compact alternative to the Pro Runner RL x450 AW II. Unlike its big brother, the BP 350 AW II doesn’t feature rolling wheels or an extending grab handle to pull it along, but in all other respects it’s rather similar. There are contoured straps, excellent padding to cushion the bag against your back and a removable waist belt. The front compartment easily stores a 13in laptop and 10in tablet, with space for filters and other accessories. The substantial YKK zippers on the front and interior compartments allow you to secure the bag with small padlocks, while inside there’s enough space to accommodate an enthusiast or semi-pro DSLR with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached. There’s also enough room either side for four or five extra lenses and a flashgun. Plenty of internal dividers are supplied to help you customise your kit, and the removable accessory case is useful for small portable hard drives, cables and chargers.

Lowepro Pro Runner BP 350 AW II  – Verdict

The Pro Runner BP 350 AW II impresses in all the criteria a great travel backpack should. It’s very comfortable when fully loaded and is built to survive the rigours of day-to-day use. If you don’t require rolling wheels, but want one of the finest carry-on camera backpacks you can buy for under £200, look no further.

Score: 5 out of 5

You may also consider:

Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive

Price: £154

Website: www.thinktankphoto.com

StreetWalker HardDriveDesigned for use in urban environments, this lightweight bag holds a 15in laptop, pro DSLR and a 70–200mm f/2.8 lens with hood attached.

Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW II

Price: £289

Website: www.lowepro.co.uk

Lowepro 450With large internal dimensions and the ability to roll your kit and carry it, the RL x450 AW II is worth a look. Its higher price pays off in versatility.

Tamrac Anvil 23 Professional

Price: £239

Website: www.tamrac.co.uk

Tamrac 23 Pro

Designed to hold a pro DSLR body with telephoto lens attached, along with a full range of lenses, the Anvil 23 can also carry a 15in laptop and accessories via Side Arc attachment points.