Carrying photo gear is a balancing act. Today, Lowepro announced a new backpack series, the Flipside Trek, designed to balance the need to accommodate outdoor conditions with the amount of gear photographers require on long treks. The gear protection brand also launched a new airport roller, the PhotoStream RL 150, that offers a happy medium between gear protection and heavy travel bags.
Like earlier Flipside backpacks, the Flipside Trek series unzips from the body side of the backpack. That means no one can access the main gear compartment in a crowd while the backpack is being worn. But, unlike most backpacks, the Flipside design allows photographers to access their gear without taking the bag off. The bag’s waist belt will support the weight of the gear when the photographer slides the shoulder straps off, allowing the bag to be swung to the front for quick access to all the gear inside.
Lowepro has had success with Flipside backpacks in the past, but the Trek series is created specifically for the outdoors. The bags are designed to hold off-road gear as well as camera gear and a tablet. The waist and shoulder-strap combo helps keep the bag comfortable during long hikes and a weather cover is built into the bottom of the bag.
The Flipside Trek BP 250 AW, retailing for $150, is designed for mirrorless users and small DSLR kits as well as an eight-inch tablet. The 350 and 450 AW successively add more space for larger kits. All three bags include tripod straps, while the larger two, listed for $170 and $200, can accommodate a 10-inch tablet.
While there’s no shortage of photography carry-on bags, the Lowepro PhotoStream RL 150 keeps dimensions as well as weight limits into consideration. The bag itself weighs only eight pounds, allowing photographers to load it up with gear without pushing the carry-on weight limits.
Even with the bag’s lighter form, the PhotoStream is able to use a FormShell molded panel on the front to protect gear without getting caught in the cramped overhead bins. Access to a 15-inch laptop is simple with front-panel access. The rolling bag can fit two DSLRs with a 70-200mm lens attached and up to eight lenses and speedlights with a small to medium-sized tripod. The rolling airport bag is listed for $250.