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Thread started 18 Jul 2009 (Saturday) 16:49
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Bag Review: Lowepro Classified 160AW w/pics

 
sf_loft
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Jul 18, 2009 16:49 |  #1

Hi everyone, this is my first attempt at doing a product review on POTN. I'm not a professional photographer and simply an enthusiast who travels a lot overseas. I've been searching for the perfect bag that is deceivingly compact, low profile, with good ergonomics, plenty of storage compartments, good protection against weather and the elements, easy top-loading access to capture the moment, and most importantly, look good. I've done lots of research and have purchased and returned many bags until my recently got my hands on a LowePro Classified 160AW shoulder bag.

Lowepro product info: http://products.lowepr​o.com …ssified-160%20AW,2121.htm (external link)

The Classified series is one of Lowepro's newest line of sling / shoulder bags. Its name suggests just that, classified. It's meant to be stealthy and blend you in with the crowd. Although it doesn't scream camera bag, it still looks like a fine piece of luggage / laptop bag. Some may or may not like that, but to me it looks good without looking like a camera bag. The quality of material and construction of the bag is world class with fine stitching and leather accents on high grade nylon. With quality, comes with a steep price tag of $174 retail and $129.95 through online retailers.

My gear requirements:
1. Canon 5D Mark II
2. Canon 70-200 f/4L IS
3. Canon 24-70 f/2.8L
4. Canon 16-35 f/2.8L
5. Canon 430EX II
6. Compact Flash wallet
7. Spare battery
8. Battery Charger
9. USB cables
10. Lens Pen, caps, keys, etc.
11. ** 10.1" Netbook PC

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2511/3732600009_2237effd1b.jpg

Hmm, if you're wondering how I can possibly fit all that into this bag, the answer is you can't, but you can have the following configurations. Well actually you can, I've filled it up to the gills with all the camera gear on that table.

Airplane transport:
1. 5DMKII w/70-200 f/4L IS attached w/hood reversed + 430 EXII on one side + 16-35 on the other side + charger
2. 5DMKII w/70-200 f/4L IS attached w/hood reversed + 24-70 f/2.8L w/hood reversed and 16-35 f/2.8L stacked on top of each other on the side. You can jam in the flash on the grip side, but it's really really tight.

Light travel / walkabout:
3. 5DMKII w/70-200 f/4L IS attached w/hood reversed + 24-70 f/2.8L on one side w/hood reversed + 430 EXII.
4. 5DMKII w/24-70 f/2.8 attached w/hood reversed + 16-35 f/2.8l (My typical walkabout configuration)

n. It's pretty flexible depending on your gear and you can mix and match depending on your needs.

x. ++ with any of the above configuration you can comfortably include your Netbook PC in the front pocket without taking out any of your equipment. This was a huge win for me because netbooks are really handy while traveling and can be used as a back-up / storage device to replace your typical multimedia hard drive. They cost the same or less with more storage + a screen and wi-fi. Win win!

General picture of the bag:
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2431/3733338698_dbf0e7d2f7.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2595/3733338776_d1c2a14ab8.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2477/3732539855_dc4fe7dee1.jpg

Pockets and storage:

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2638/3733338974_53ef852b0f.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3434/3732540031_bd7731038f.jpg

CF card wallet included:

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2579/3733344202_6684255b13.jpg

Pens, Lens pens, caps, batteries, etc.

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2657/3733344328_c31eae1e62.jpg

Continued...

Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

flickr (external link)

  
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sf_loft
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Jul 18, 2009 16:54 |  #2

Rear document pocket:

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2557/3733344758_4508df813e.jpg

Rain gear built-in:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3442/3732545637_ae0aaab666.jpg

With 5DMKII + 24-70 f/2.8L

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2476/3732599927_564d4dc9c1.jpg

With 70-200 f/4L on the side or you can have it attached to the body. Also notice the built-in micro-fiber cloth to protect your LCD. Thoughtfulness!

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2435/3732599689_b2f36193da.jpg

Flash on-top of 70-200 and actually there's enough room on the right side to squeeze it in vertically.

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3477/3733399592_76cd06a87f.jpg

Now for the Netbook PC (10.1" Asus Eee PC 1005HA)

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2444/3732539311_bc4aae1c98.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2470/3733338400_dc2c79071f.jpg

Fully closed with the camera gear + netbook with medium rocket blower for reference.

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2517/3732539443_cfe65e2b44.jpg

Continued...

Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

flickr (external link)

  
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sf_loft
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Jul 18, 2009 17:05 as a reply to  @ sf_loft's post |  #3

Now to put everything into perspective; how big is this bag really? The bag is fully loaded as shown in the earlier pics. There's still plenty of room in there to throw my charger, a small point+shoot, and key fobs.

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3420/3733399340_65e4985728.jpg

I am 5'11" with shoes :D and about 155 lbs.

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3494/3732615561_271729660b.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2520/3733415414_528861c922.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3429/3733415596_a50a81e111.jpg

Now how does this compare to a more familiar Crumpler 6MDH bag:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3429/3733415872_c7d21c3c92.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2667/3733415984_b9545af834.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2456/3732616271_76aa221185.jpg

Continued...

Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

flickr (external link)

  
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sf_loft
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Jul 18, 2009 17:16 as a reply to  @ sf_loft's post |  #4

I took out the 70-200 f/4L IS and attached the hood forward to clearly show that this bag is capable of holding the 70-200 f/2.8IS with hood reversed attached to body.

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2552/3733416328_ed7a605982.jpg


Forgot to highlight that the bag is also expandable to hold body with grip or full-size bodies.

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2620/3732539545_ab7d3b1c51.jpg

Bag size reference between empty and filled with gear + netbook:

Empty. If you take out the dividers, it will compress and can be tossed into your luggage.
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2546/3733511732_305a9cbbbb.jpg

Full, notice the small difference and equals the height of the blower.

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2517/3732539443_cfe65e2b44.jpg

I think I have covered everything about the bag, but what about the cons. There aren't many and my only complaint is the strap. It's sturdy and durable, but I wish they made the padding wider. After some time with all that weight, it tends to dig into your shoulder.

If someone can recommend me a better shoulder strap, this would be the best day bag ever!

Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

flickr (external link)

  
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Jim ­ G
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Jul 18, 2009 19:42 |  #5

Fantastic review! Thanks very much for the photos, particularly the comparison photos of the 6MDH - these were the two bags I was tossing up between and ended up going with the Crumpler... this settles in my mind that I jumped the right way for my needs.

Very helpful. Thanks for posting :)

Could you use a Domke postal pad on the strap to make it more comfortable?

Also, make sure to get this added to the bag reviews sticky :)


Gear Listhttp://www.codastudios​.com.au (external link) Reviews & Hotlinks: Domke F-3x - Pelican 1510/1514 (external link) & 1610/1614 (external link) - DIY Variable Length OC-E3 - Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home (external link) - FA-100 (external link)

  
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sf_loft
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Jul 18, 2009 21:07 |  #6

Jim G wrote in post #8303640 (external link)
Fantastic review! Thanks very much for the photos, particularly the comparison photos of the 6MDH - these were the two bags I was tossing up between and ended up going with the Crumpler... this settles in my mind that I jumped the right way for my needs.

Very helpful. Thanks for posting :)

Could you use a Domke postal pad on the strap to make it more comfortable?

Also, make sure to get this added to the bag reviews sticky :)


Thanks. I still love my 6MDH and use it for walking about town when I don't need to bring my 70-200. One of my main requirements is to be able to have the 70-200 attached to the body and the ability to take it in and out without having to remove it. In the 6MDH, the bag will not close right and you would have to put on a different lens to stow it properly.

I will look at the Domke postal pad and see if that works.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

flickr (external link)

  
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BLUEONION
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Jul 19, 2009 14:13 |  #7

Thanks for the review. although i am currently not looking at this bag, I am looking at the 140 and it gives me some idea.
I cant decide from a Lowepro Classified 140 or a Domke J5XB or a Crumpler 5MDH


Canon 6D: Rokinon 14 2.8 I Sigma 50 1.4 I Rokinon 85 1.4 I Canon 135 2.0 I Tamron 70-200 2.8
WTB: Skills :)

  
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FLiPMaRC
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Jul 22, 2009 11:14 as a reply to  @ BLUEONION's post |  #8

:cool: Thanks for the review! :)


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RichardSRT
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Aug 16, 2009 14:09 |  #9

Wow - I love how your netbook fits into this bag. Nobody would ever guess that you have that much gear in such a relatively small and discrete bag. Thanks for the detailed photos.


Nikon D80 & D70 / 18-70 / 18-200 VRII / Canon 700IS / Panasonic Lumix ZS3 / Domke F-5XZ / Crumpler Luncheon / ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60

  
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darosk
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Aug 16, 2009 14:15 |  #10

I say! Rather nice review you've written there, my good sir! The photographs provided are much appreciated.


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CronoDL
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Aug 16, 2009 17:02 |  #11

Great review. I also have the 6MDH and I've been looking for a shoulder bag that can hold a 70-200 lens attached. This looks pretty good.


Danny
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phidailo
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Aug 18, 2009 11:51 |  #12

Nice review....pretty slim profile on the bag


Rebel XSi EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS(Kit) | EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS (Kit) | EF 50mm f/1.4 USM | EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

  
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DMOEsq
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Sep 05, 2009 19:10 |  #13

Do you have a pic you can post of the camera in the bag with the 70-200 f4 and its hood attached. Are you able to zip up the top that way?

Don


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DBOi
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Sep 06, 2009 06:59 as a reply to  @ DMOEsq's post |  #14

Is there anyway to attach a tripod on that bag?


5D Mark II /grip, EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM, Speedlite 430 EX II, RS-80N3 & P.O.T.N. Wireless Shutter, Manfrotto 055XPROB w/ 488RC4, OPUS H0022 Studio Flash System, Tamrac 5612 Pro 12, Kata 3N1-20

  
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sf_loft
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Sep 12, 2009 11:32 |  #15

DMOEsq wrote in post #8590719 (external link)
Do you have a pic you can post of the camera in the bag with the 70-200 f4 and its hood attached. Are you able to zip up the top that way?

Don

It will zip up all the way with the 70-200/f4 attached with room to spare, but the hood has to be reversed.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

flickr (external link)

  
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Bag Review: Lowepro Classified 160AW w/pics
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