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Thread started 02 Aug 2007 (Thursday) 22:49
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Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II - big hiking bag!

 
Poindexter
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Aug 02, 2007 22:49 |  #1

I wanted a Lowepro bag I could hike with that would hold my 300mm f2.8L IS with the hood in firing position and a body attached. After searching these forums I didn't find much that looked like the right fit, so I turned to the sales department at B&H. They suggested the Photo Trekker AW II; which I hear just came out not too long ago. I took their word for it and pulled the trigger.

When UPS dropped it off my first thought was "this is definitely a monster bag!" I immediately pulled all of the dividers out and got to configuring. The 300mm/hood straight out and 1DMKII attached fit with room to spare :cool: Actually, I can even put a 2xTC on as well, but it gets a tad difficult to zip the bag up.

In typical Lowepro fashion, I cannot complain about the build quality. There are a bunch of adjustments to find the right comfort spot with this loaded bag on your back, but once you do it goes from being pretty heavy to feeling like only a few slight pounds. It balances quite well!

With that said, on to pictures (they speak louder than words):

All shot with a SD550 for those of you who care.

IMAGE: http://poindexter.smugmug.com/photos/179863598-M.jpg

IMAGE: http://poindexter.smugmug.com/photos/179863612-M.jpg

I wish the shoulder straps were slightly thicker because I'm a bit stocky, but I think they'd be just fine for someone with an average chest size.

IMAGE: http://poindexter.smugmug.com/photos/179863618-M.jpg

It also comes with a day-pack for packing clothes or whatever else. The day-pack can also serve as a stand-alone backpack for various activities. Lowepro provides a single shoulder strap with the ability to stash the backpack straps in the backside of the day-pack. If you wish to attach it to the main bag, it simply straps on to the top and you move your tripod holster to the side. The tripod holster moves easily because it is one velcro attachment that slips through the various holster slots on both sides and the front.

IMAGE: http://poindexter.smugmug.com/photos/179863702-M.jpg

Just to show how much stuff is crammed into the main compartment:

IMAGE: http://poindexter.smugmug.com/photos/179863697-M.jpg

Center:
    Canon 1DMKII (with POTN strap ;) )
    Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
    Canon 300mm f2.8L IS with hood straight and Optec cover
    Rocket Blower


Left side from top to bottom (your right bottom):
    Zenitar 16mm f2.8 Fisheye
    Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Canon 24-105mm f4L IS
    Canon 550ex
    LED flashlight
    Canon 2.0x Teleconverter
    Canon 35mm f2


Right side from top to bottom (your left bottom):
    Canon 20mm f2.8
    Canon Off shoe flash cord
    Canon 430ex
    Hood for 24-105mm
    Epson P2000 in case
    Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS with hood loosely attached


Front slot compartments:
    B/W 77mm Circular Polarizer
    B/W 77mm -10 stop ND filter
    Canon remote shutter cord
    4 Energizer batteries
    Microdisc
    2 SD cards
    Spare 1DMKII battery
    Spare Epson P2000 battery
    Additional rear/front lens/body caps


IMAGE: http://poindexter.smugmug.com/photos/179863567-M.jpg

I filled the bag up simply for this review. I wouldn't take this combination of stuff into the field.

Pros: Large enough to hold a body with a super-telephoto attached. With the hood reversed more stuff can certainly fit. Rain cover and other standard Lowepro features. Daypack. Comfortable under a full load.

Cons: Shoulder straps could be thicker. I wish there was a way to stow the waist strap when working out of the car or making short walks. Rugged/tough zippers can be a tad tedious to close (guess this is a good thing too). Very few small compartments for stowing smaller items.

Experience so far: I've had this bag out 3 separate times now. Once for a 2 mile hike (birding) and twice to work out of the car (birding/landscaping once and at the race track once). Hiking, I loved it! It was very comfortable and I never felt fatigued from the bag - the 90 degree heat was another story. Out of the car it was a little cumbersome to work with because of the zippers, but that really wasn't a big deal.

Summary: I'm looking forward to using this bag more - not only because it means I'm playing with the 300mm, but because it is a great hiking bag. I don't think I'll ever use my Tamrac Expedition 5 on a hike again - this is much more comfortable. It is also nice to have something that fits the 300mm so well and still gives me great flexibility in other glass selection for the field. It is easy to take on and off, so working out of the bag is easy enough. I recommend it to people with a 300mm or 500mm Canon super-tele (500 with hood reversed) who want to bring another body and some extra glass. It balances well with a tripod and monopod attached too.

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Gidi ­ Morris
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Aug 04, 2007 07:02 |  #2

Nice setup, and excellent photos.
I wish all reviews had such useful photos.


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blonde
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Aug 04, 2007 12:37 |  #3

great review!! thanks for posting that because this is one of the bags that i was looking at. and i agree, i wish all reviews were this useful.




  
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JonMoss
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Aug 04, 2007 21:41 |  #4

Superb review! Have PMed you about the 300mm cap :)


Canon EOS 1D MkIII, Canon EOS 5D
300 F2.8
LIS, 200 F2.8LIS, 24-70 F2.8L, 17-40 F4L
100mm F2.8 Macro, Gitzo Carbon Monopod and Tripod + 4Macs

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Gliderparentntn
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Aug 04, 2007 22:50 as a reply to  @ JonMoss's post |  #5

I just got my Lowepro Photo Trekker in today via FedEx and I agree with OP this is a great bag plenty of room and will hold more than you would want to carry.

Here are my pictures The gear in mine are Xti w/grip and 17-55 IS 30D w/grip and 10-22, 100 macro, 50 1.4 100-400L, 580EX flash and a 1.4 TC
Not shown but items in storage area are 4 batteries for 30D w/ charger and 5 batteries for Xti with charger and wired remote and a B&W CPL and CF cards.
As OP stated the con i see is lack of storage for small gear such as cards and such. compartments could be broken down a bit more so things would be a bit better organized.

As you will see in pictures there's enough room on one side to add the 70-200 f/2.8 IS that I just purchased. Once it arrives my bag is full

One thing not mentioned is this bag will fit in over head compartments on planes so it can go as a carry on that was my decision on getting this bag over the next size above this.

My Gear:

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Shown with Tripod attached

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One last note it also comes with an all weather cover tucked away underneath the bag.

James
1DMKIII, 1DsMKIII, 17-40L, 24-70L[COLOR=black], 135[COLOR=red]L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS,200L, 300 f/4L IS, 400 5.6L, 600L, 85 f/1.8, 100 macro, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM, Sigma 85mm 1.4 HSM, 1.4xII + extension tubes, MPe65

  
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SoaringUSAEagle
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Aug 05, 2007 14:18 |  #6

Nevermind, if you read this before the edit, I figured out what to do with the hoods, all is well.

However... what is the big U shaped pad used for? I cant seem to figure out where to best place it...


5D4 | 50 1.4 | 85L II | 24-70L II | 70-200 2.8L IS II

  
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Gliderparentntn
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Aug 05, 2007 20:39 |  #7

The big "U" shaped pad is for padding or support to the larger lenses mounted on the bodies. I found it not needed but it's there for those wanting to add extra padding to there lenses.


James
1DMKIII, 1DsMKIII, 17-40L, 24-70L[COLOR=black], 135[COLOR=red]L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS,200L, 300 f/4L IS, 400 5.6L, 600L, 85 f/1.8, 100 macro, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM, Sigma 85mm 1.4 HSM, 1.4xII + extension tubes, MPe65

  
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SoaringUSAEagle
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Aug 05, 2007 21:03 |  #8

Okay thanks... I was just curious.


5D4 | 50 1.4 | 85L II | 24-70L II | 70-200 2.8L IS II

  
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DDA
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Aug 06, 2007 06:27 |  #9

Very nice review! Has anyone a photo of the bag with the day-pack attached? How much would the day-pack fit? (lunch, jacket, water, ...)

I'm in the market for a bag for my XT with grip and 100-400 attached with the ability to take enough "other" stuff on a hike... This bag might be a little big for me though...


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Poindexter
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Aug 06, 2007 08:25 |  #10

Sorry I haven't replied yet - I've been out of town. I'm glad this review is useful for a few of you :)

DDA - the day-pack should fit a light-weight jacket, t-shirt (or two), change of socks, and maybe another article of clothing. You could probably fit some water in there, or use a hiking water system. I'm thinking about throwing two to three bottles of water in there and maybe a snack for my next hike, and I think I'll have plenty of room to spare. Sorry, I do not have any pictures with it attached yet.


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Greg_C
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Apr 04, 2009 16:07 |  #11

Probably a repeat of a lot that has already been mentioned but anyway.......

First Impressions
Big, this is a large bag. It is well made, as you expect of Lowepro gear. This bag fits into the middle of Lowepro's Larger Trekker range. It is larger than the Nature Trekker but smaller than the Super Trekker. I plan to use this bag on nature treks, with it's size I can be set up for tele-zoom work (100-400), landscape 24-105, 10-22, and also carry my macro kit, 180L, MP-E 65, tubes and MT-24 Twin Lite.

Size
The depth of this bag makes it larger than the normal carry on dimensions.
Internal Dimensions:
12W X 5.9D X 19.1H in. (30.4 X 15 X 48.5 cm)
External Dimensions:
14.6W X 15D X 21.5H in. (37 X 38 X 54.5 cm)
Weight:
8.38lbs (3.8kg)

Inside the Main Compartment
A large space inside the main compartment can be divided up as you please with the many dividers provided. You can carry two pro sized bodies and several tele-zooms in this area long with some smaller lenses also. The depth of this area is an asset as there is enough room to put smaller items like a rocket blower on top of the tele-zooms. With some smaller dividers borrowed from another Lowepro bag I have I can stack two smaller lenses one on top of the other. This main compartment also totally detaches from the inside.

The inside of the "lid" of the bag has two small and one large see through compartments. These zip closed. These are great for smaller things like lens cleaning cloths.

Front Compartment
There is a zippered front compartment that will store quite a lot of gear, filters, spare batteries etc. All of this will be loosely packed in as there are no dividers or separators. This compartment will also just fit a 15.4" laptop, but there is little padding. You can store the Day Pack in this compartment also - a little extra weight to cart about if you are so inclined.

Outside
The bag is made from water-resistant 600D ripstop nylon and 600D Endura™ nylon. The zips are very solid and look like they won't be a source of any leaks. The outside of the bag has many attachment points, all suitable for attachment of the Sliplock series of small cases. The bag has a solid rubberised handle on the top and one side along with D rings on one side to attach the provided shoulder strap. Small loops exist on the bottom of the bag for the attachment of smaller items like a sleeping bag underneath the pack.

Tripod Attachment
A small pocket attaches to the front or side of the bag to allow a tripod to be strapped onto the bag. This is then fastened to the bag with some of the numerous stretchy straps the bag has. You can also strap the tripod to either side of the bag, but this may change the balance of the bag a bit much for my liking.

Rain Cover
Comes with a rain cover that is stored in a pocket underneath the bottom of the bag. Very easy to get out and equally important, easy to get back in.

Shoulder Straps
It has large thick shoulder straps that are adjustable. Though these straps are not uncomfortable they are not as good as those fitted to my Crumpler Whickey & Cox. One thing that is a very useful feature on this pack is the "Pack Jack". This is a arrow shaped plastic handle that is used to adjust the positioning of the attachment points of the shoulder straps. After use there is a thin pocket that this slips into on the back of the bag for storage.

Belt
It comes with a very wide well padded belt. The waist belt is a very important part of this bag because the bag is so large. With the extra weight you can carry in this bag it is important to get this weight off of your shoulders and onto your hips.

The belt has a dual rail stitched on to attach Lowepro Sliplock lens cases etc to it. The belt attaches back to the bag in two places to provide more even support. I'll probably attach a ThinkTank Lightning Fast Flash pocket and on occasion, a Lowepro LC4 with a 100-400 in it. Depending how these are placed you might get an extra lens case on either side of these.

Day Pack
It also come with a day pack that can be strapped to the front of the main bag. In this configuration the tripod pocket on the main bag would be moved to the side if you needed to carry a tripod. The day pack has a single zippered compartment along with an open pocket at the back. The open compartment is designed for you to store the shoulder straps of the day pack as they unclip from the bottom. You could easily store a re-hydration bladder in this pocket. It would be away from the main part of the bag and your camera gear.

Price
Mmmm, not one of the cheaper bags available. At the moment in April '09 this bag is retailing here in Oz for $564, probably an over inflated price due to the state of the economy at the moment. I picked up mine second hand (perfect condition) for $100:D:p, a deal too good to miss out on.

Pros
The capacity of this bag is one of it's big selling points. It can be set up in any number of ways and will hold a lot of gear.

This is a very solidly built bag that will last. The construction is such that it is not likely to leak if you are caught in a brief shower even if you don't have the rain cover on.

Cons
Weight and size are the main concerns here. The bag can carry a LOT and when fully loaded with a tripod attached it's heavy. I've joked about extending one of the tripod legs and fitting it with a wheel to prevent tipping backwards.:oops: The way I have this bag fitted out for a normal day out this bag weighs 14.5kg.

The front apartment lacks any internal pockets or dividers. It would be good it this area had a few dividers to separate filters, business cards etc.

Web Site
http://products.lowepr​o.com …Trekker-AW-II,1992,14.htm (external link)


Greg
Blog (external link) | Photogallery (external link) | 1DmkIV + other stuff
Sanity is a madness put to good use.



  
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J-dubya
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Location: Snook, TX(work in Iraq)
     
May 27, 2009 01:05 |  #12

just ran across this post, and for those that care to know, i just got a nature trekker AW II and they look identical to each other except for the handle on the side of the bag...mine doesn't have one. they even come with the same day pack and shoulder strap




  
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petriej
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Location: Denver, CO
     
Jun 27, 2010 21:37 |  #13

I recently received a Pro Trekker 300 AW and I believe that it is the newer improved version of this bag. It has more organized pockets and pouches for cards. I will try and post a review as soon as possible.


Canon 5DMK4 | Canon EOS Rebel T1i | Canon ELF SD1000 | Canon 70-200 F2.8 II | Canon EF 50mm 1:4 | Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS | Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS | 580EXII | Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 | Manfrotto 488RC4 | PW MiniTT1 | PW FlexTT5 | Black Rapid Sport

  
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neonlazer
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Jul 11, 2010 00:31 |  #14

I want to buy this bag but I have noticed this and the nature trekker seem to be unavailable everywhere..wonder if its being updated?


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Stevenmens
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Sep 26, 2010 08:01 |  #15

Thx for sharing


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Want to see more take a look at my blog : http://menssteven.blog​spot.com/ (external link) Its Dutch but its al about the pic s ;) or http://www.flickr.com/​photos/menssteven/ (external link)

  
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Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II - big hiking bag!
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