Is Lowepro’s roller-friendly Pro Runner the best bag for photographers on the move? Michael Topham puts it to the test
Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW II at a glance:
- Switches from a roller bag to a backpack and vice versa
- Dedicated space for a laptop, tablet and graphics tablet
- Sturdy urethane wheels for smooth rolling transportation
- Price: £296
- Website: www.lowepro.co.uk
The new Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW II’s versatile design, which allows you to carry it as a backpack or roll it beside you, is perfectly suited to travelling. With contoured shoulder straps, padding on the back panel and a removable waist belt, it’s as comfortable to carry on your back as it is to pull along.
Inside, there’s a host of internal dividers to arrange your kit as you’d like. At full capacity I managed to cram in a pro-spec DSLR with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, four additional lenses including a 24-70mm f/2.8, as well as a spare pro-spec DSLR body and a flashgun. Despite Lowepro’s Pro Roller X200 AW having more internal space, the RL x450 AW II is more comfortable on your shoulders and offers superior compartments at the front, which can accommodate both a laptop and tablet. There’s a thin accessory case that’s ideal for storing portable hard drives, chargers and cables as well as a built-in all weather cover and straps that combine with a SlipLock tripod cup to secure a pro-spec tripod.
Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW II – Key features
The front compartment can accommodate a 15in laptop, 10in tablet and any additional filters or accessories.
When it’s used as a roller bag, the shoulder straps can be tucked away and the waist strap removed.
The zips pull around the bag effortlessly. Their YKK locking design allows you to secure them together with a small padlock.
The bag is designed to be carry-on compatible, but always check that dimensions comply with your airline’s carry-on baggage requirements.
Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW II – Verdict
It’s quite a statement, but having used the RL x450 AW II extensively, I’m left with the lasting impression that it’s the most versatile camera bag I’ve ever used. It’s not light (4.3kg), but its dual-purpose design is superbly implemented and the zips and material used in its construction are second to none.
SCORE: 5 out of 5
The Pro Runner AW Series
The RL x450 AW II is the largest and most expensive model in Lowepro’s Pro Runner series. If you like the sound of the RL x450 AW II but would prefer a lighter alternative, the Pro Runner BP 450 AW II (2.91kg) without a grab handle and rolling wheels is worth a closer look. With comparable internal dimensions, it is capable of holding just as much gear as the RL x450 AW II and costs £80 less. The smallest backpack in the range is the Pro Runner BP 350 AW II (£184), and is designed to be even more compact while maximising internal space.