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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 05 Mar 2010 (Friday) 08:22
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LowePro Fastpack 250 review: Perfect school pack?

 
AlexeyK
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Mar 05, 2010 08:22 |  #1

I needed a camerabag/backpack for school and such, since I'm one of those people who likes bringing everything I own with me everywhere. I always liked having my camera everywhere, but my Timbuk2 messengerbag isn't padded at all so I looked for something else. My boss ordered this backpack to the store where I work and I picked it up at once, used it now for about 2 weeks and can safely say it's the perfect school/daytrip camerabag.

I don't have so much gear atm, but you can see how much space there's left in the camera compartment! It's enough for at least two more lenses and a flash, with some rearranging of the dividers it's maybe even enough for 3 more lenses (15-85/24-70/17-55 size lenses, the ones you don't have to lay on their side).
In the front there's also a small pocket which opens on the side (you can slightly see it) where you can put a couple of maps and an mp3 player.

Gear list in this:
Camera compartment
- 40D (ungripped) with Canon 50/1.4 attached
- Metz 48 AF-1 flash and offshoe flash-cord.
- 8 AA-batteries
- enough room for 2-3 more medium-sized lenses.

Upper compartment
- 5 books
- Moleskine drawing pad (hardcover)
- Small daybook/daily diary
- T-shirt
- pens
- some room for a cellphone etc in the pockets

Computer compartment
- Acer Aspire 5739 notebook
- Spiral-bound notepad (A4-sized)
- Magazine

Small outer pocket in on the upper side
- Map and mp3-player

Lower flap-pocket
- 40D charger
- space for another charger of the same size
- USB and power cables

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2692/4408010103_5fbbe7fa72.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4408009981_fb25d96567.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4050/4408009897_ca82564c32.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2684/4408776134_e872f02d8a.jpg

Here's the pocket on the lower flap. It's pretty damn small, but enough for have a charger in each mesh pocket and all the cables you need.
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4408775868_8cc560e81e.jpg

Here's the upper compartment with some pockets for pens, a mesh pocket for some random things and a cellphone-pocket.
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2754/4408009735_274329a4c1.jpg


In the computer-compartment I could fit my Acer Aspore notebook (it's pretty fat, about 3cm thick, maybe slightly more), a copy of an old Digital Photographer and a spiral-bound A4-sized notebook.
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4058/4408009233_970d240007.jpg



  
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AlexeyK
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Mar 05, 2010 08:22 |  #2

Here are the books I fit into the upper compartment with no problems. A4-sheet for size comparison, and they're about 2,5 cm thick, except the Moleskine drawing pad and «Big Sur».

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2711/4408009107_b6d18c5f31.jpg

Here's the thickness of the books.
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2764/4408008973_4610ab7565_b.jpg

Here are the books inside the upper compartment, I also had space for a small daily diary/planner in there and a tshirt. They're not here atm, but they're packed in the last pictures.
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2769/4408008861_496a2b2421.jpg

The camera compartment packed with all my gear, which is practically nothing. The flash also fits standing into the thinner pockets on the left side there, and you can put the batteries with the offshoe cord. So, there's space for at least two three more lenses.
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2737/4408010169_369fab259e_o.jpg

Here's everything I fit into the bag. The 40D is in my hands, but it should be on this picture with a Canon 50/1.4 mounted. The tripod is HUGE, I never take it anywhere, but as you can see in the last pics it fits perfectly fine under the lower flap, though with a smaller one it wouldn't be so akward, so a smaller tripod would be more or less perfect. The coke bottle is in the side waterbottle-pocket.
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4057/4408008751_b8f19d42db_b.jpg

Here is the backpack all packed up and ready to go.
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4026/4408776650_d97f4772c1_o.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4050/4408776718_cc4c58fd2f_o.jpg

So this is the end of my review, hope those of you looking for this kind of backpack enojoy this.
I really enjoyed mine for these last 2 weeks. It feels great on the back, even when fully packed, and the belly-strap balanses the weight nicely. The computer compartment works great, and with the thick padding in the back you won't even feel it!

All in all I'm extremely impressed with this bag, and I feel it'll be with me for a long time! Much better space and stability than the Slingshot without losing the convenient quick-draw sideopened camera compartment.
The only negative side I can think of is that there's no waterproof cover, but on the other hand the material used is the typical ballistic-like fabris which is more or less waterproof by itself and really thick.



  
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jdang307
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780 posts
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Mar 05, 2010 15:02 |  #3

I'm actually going to pick up this exact same bag. How easy is the sling and grab the camera from the side bit? Quick and easy? Cumbersome?

Waterproof cover,I'll never shoot in rain anyway and if I fall in a lake, I'll worry about surviving first (I can't swim).

Tripod. Sucks there is no tripod mount, but I've read, with a smaller tripod (I plan on the Feisol traveller) you can tuck it in the water holder on the side, and strap it down with a ball bungee.




  
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zelseman
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Mar 05, 2010 15:11 |  #4

What kept you from getting the 350? I'm in the market for a school type bag.


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The ­ Moose
Cream of the Crop
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Mar 05, 2010 17:53 |  #5

I've had this bag for over a year but soon decided I didn't like a backpack anymore. I've gone on a quest to find the perfect shoulder bag (laptop, gear, books) for uni but I think I need to give this another go. It really is a great bag but I got sick of a backpack so it only ever got used once or twice but I never sold it.

Thanks for bringing it back into my thoughts :lol:

Edit: If it matters, I had settled on a ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 or 60 as the perfect shoulder bag, so using this again will save me a lot of money!




  
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AlexeyK
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Mar 06, 2010 02:05 |  #6

Jdang:
With the belly strap it's no problem to sling it back and forth, though when it's full and heavy it is quite hard to balance it right. I usually take the camera out and walk with it when I know there can be something I can snap a shot of, and then put it back. If you don't fill it up so it's really heavy, there isn't any problem with slinging. I like to wear it quite low on my back, which makes the strap not stick to my shoulder quite right, and that was cumbersome. If you tighten it, like I tried just now, it was much easier.

Zelseman:
The 350 was slightly too large. It's wider, and with the shape of the bag (quite boxy, as you might see on the pics) it just looked too big/awkward for everyday school use. I realized that I wouldn't need any more space than there was in the 250.

Moose:
I know what you mean about a backpack, I had the same thoughts as well, I'm more of a shoulder bag type. But I found out that getting inserts for my messenger bag only was about 20$ cheaper than getting this one, and with the extra space I took it.
The UD-series look great, but they're so expensive, that's my problem..=\ The new retrospective look very nice as well though!




  
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ChanTheMagicMan
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Location: San Francisco, CA
     
Mar 06, 2010 03:56 |  #7

I actually own this bag as well, and it's easily my favorite camera bag. I go hiking a lot, and the weight has never been an issue, especially once you use the front belt strap. It fits my body, 3 lenses, and a flash with ease. In addition, the water bottle mesh on the side is perfect, and the top compartment is roomy enough to fit spare batteries, microfiber cloths, and some snacks for the trail. My only complaints are that it does not include an all weather cover (minor gripe), and there's no dedicated tripod holder. I usually carry the tripod by hand, which is fine, since I have a lightweight tripod, but if I had a heavier one, I'd be more upset.

The best part about this bag is that when I travel, it fits my macbook pro on the side as well, and it fits underneath the seat on every plane I've tried it with thus far. I'm very pleased with it.


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The ­ Moose
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Mar 06, 2010 07:22 as a reply to  @ AlexeyK's post |  #8

Moose:
I know what you mean about a backpack, I had the same thoughts as well, I'm more of a shoulder bag type. But I found out that getting inserts for my messenger bag only was about 20$ cheaper than getting this one, and with the extra space I took it.
The UD-series look great, but they're so expensive, that's my problem..=\ The new retrospective look very nice as well though!

Definitely prefer shoulder bags but as we said, the only thing close to matching the Fastpack in terms of space (specifically the separate compartments) is the UD50/60 or the Lowepro Stealth Reporter 650 AW but they're both hideously expensive. I'm a sucker for compartments. I prefer things to be in their own spot rather than in together. That's what I've been doing with laptop and books in an Adidas sports bag but I just got sick of it. I'll give up the shoulder bag for usability and saving money, too!




  
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zelseman
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Mar 07, 2010 22:56 |  #9

How tall are you? And how are you built? Large is relative you know? Thanks for all the help.


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The ­ Moose
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Mar 08, 2010 00:20 |  #10

zelseman wrote in post #9749751 (external link)
How tall are you? And how are you built? Large is relative you know? Thanks for all the help.

Me? I'm about 175-180cm tall and a normal athletic build. I used my 250 today and it felt good. When wearing it, it feels smaller on than it actually is but as you said, that depends on the person. Also, you really don't even notice the weight with 1D2+24-70 and laptop in there. I didn't take my 70-200 but I wouldn't notice the difference. Also, I didn't feel any of the stiffness that people have mentioned when the laptop is in there. I thought it was comfortable.

Glad I gave this bag another go, it's going to be good!




  
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AlexeyK
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Mar 08, 2010 02:01 |  #11

I haven't noticed any of the stiffness either, feels pretty good, so I'm not quite sure what those people are talking about. Over-sensitive back?

Zelzeman, I'm 6.1 and 220 pounds (185cm and 100 kg) or around there, normal/athletic build.




  
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zelseman
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Mar 11, 2010 03:01 |  #12

Thanks for the measurements(as weird as that sounds). Im 6'3" 215, so I think im going to go try one of these out then decide from there. I appreciate the help.


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regnis
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Jun 01, 2010 02:52 |  #13

thanks very much for this review! i'm picking this bag up today. i've seen photos of it fitting a 40D with 100-400 attached. Hope i'm not seeing things

cheers


---Adam--- Facebook (external link)
Canon 1Dx MK II, Canon 5Dmk3 x 2, Sony A7sII, Tamron 24-70 VC, Canon 35 f1.4 II, Zeiss 35-70 f3.4, Sigma 50 f1.4, Canon 70-200 f2.8 II Canon 135L f2, Tamron 150-600 SP VC,

  
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mol_air
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Jun 01, 2010 04:16 as a reply to  @ regnis's post |  #14

I went for the 350, because the 250 wouldn't fit my gripped 450d + 70-200 F4 + 1.4x extender attached. Even in the 350 it only fits just. Apparently the 100-400 is even longer than the 70-200 i have http://www.the-digital-picture.com …l-is-usm-lens-review.aspx (external link)

So Im not so sure it will fit in the 250. Let us know if it does!




  
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regnis
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Jun 05, 2010 06:22 |  #15

the 100-400 attached is not longer than the 70-200 + 1.4 attached


---Adam--- Facebook (external link)
Canon 1Dx MK II, Canon 5Dmk3 x 2, Sony A7sII, Tamron 24-70 VC, Canon 35 f1.4 II, Zeiss 35-70 f3.4, Sigma 50 f1.4, Canon 70-200 f2.8 II Canon 135L f2, Tamron 150-600 SP VC,

  
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LowePro Fastpack 250 review: Perfect school pack?
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