Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag - Review

Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag – Review

Since I’m a girl and a photographer, I’m a bag junkie. I have more camera bags than shoes!  I received the Passport Sling just in time for a busy two-week trip to Europe and decided to use it exclusively to carry my 5D MarkII with the 24-70 mm lens attached, extra batteries, CF cards and the few personal items. The Passport Sling immediately became one of my favorite camera bags!

Like most photographers I am always looking for that perfect bag for the job or situation.

I have a rolling bag for my everyday client shoots, a sturdy backpack for extra gear and flexibility, and everything in between. The one bag that I am the most peculiar about is my photo-walk bag. I need it to carry one camera with one lens attached and a few other necessary personal items – and the Passport Sling is perfect for that!

The Lowepro Passport Sling features a removable and fully padded camera compartment in the shape of box, that easily folds flat for storage. There are two pockets on the outside of the bag for maps, boarding passes or other quick access items. There is even a handy water bottle pocket!  I can also adjust the strap to whatever length I need and the removable sliding shoulder pad makes for carrying comfort.

Pictured here with the 5dMarkII and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens attached.

And as if that isn’t enough terrific features, the bag has an expandable compartment on one end. It zips open to reveal about 30% more space to put extra items next to the padded camera compartment.  And being a girl and a photographer, I like more storage space!

Expandable compartment

I carried my new Passport Sling on daily photo walks from Amsterdam to Paris, day in and day out, for two weeks. It was comfortable to carry and fit all my photo needs. However, if you’re like me, your camera is mostly in your hand while you walk, and I liked it that this bag was not in the way. It stayed in place on my back and, better yet, did not look like a camera bag with all my gear safely stored inside.

The one thing I missed was the extra peace of mind from having a zipper on any of the exterior pockets which might help deter a pickpocket in the Paris métro during rush hour! Also, a separate zippered pocket on the inside would be nice.

The Lowepro Passport Sling inner dimensions are as follows: Camera compartment: 4.1” width x 7.5” depth x 7.5” height (10.5 x 19 x 19 cm) Expandable compartment: 5.1” width x 6.3” depth x 15” height (13 x 16 x 38 cm) Weight: 1.1 lbs. (0.5 kg)

Depending on the size of your DSLR, you could possibly fit an extra lens or flash next to it by using the padded divider. My 5dMarkII fills the compartment when it is stored straight down with the 24-70 mm lens attached.

The Lowepro Passport Sling retails for  74.99 US$ and is currently available with a 20% discount on Amazon. It is available in Black, mica (pictured) and Light Blue.

In any color, however, this thoughtfully designed, good looking, durable camera bag will serve you well in any photographic job or situation. Now I can shop for more shoes, and stop looking for camera bags!

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag
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Valerie Jardin I live and breathe in pixels! Photography is more than a passion, it's an obsession, almost an addiction. When I'm not shooting or writing, I spend my time teaching this beautiful craft during photo workshops all over the world! I am also thrilled to be an official X Photographer for Fujifilm USA. Visit my Website Follow me on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram. And listen to my Podcast!

Some Older Comments

  • Adrian August 9, 2013 10:40 am

    Had this bag for some time now (and LowePro has already introduced a Mark II version but I'm not sure what's improved, or not for that matter). Agree with most of the comments but another good way to go nondescript with this bag is to CUT OFF the somewhat obvious LowePro and PassportSling branding tabs on the outside as it screams camera bag in tight-fit situations such as on metros or tourist traps. Like someone said, LowePro's been making camera bags for 40-odd years, so I'm guessing thieves would know that by now. Also LOVE the idea to add velcro strips to secure the outer pockets - why didn't I think of that???

  • Michel May 14, 2013 12:05 am

    Anyone tryed to fit a Canon 60D with attached grip and 15-85 to fit in?

  • Robert Southard August 27, 2012 12:49 am

    Thank you for your review. It help me in picking this camera bag for my daughter to use. It works well but most of all it does not stand out like most camera bags(ie. here is a camera steal me). Thanks, Robert from Montana.

  • Alexx March 17, 2012 05:43 pm

    I have a Canon bag. It's good for holding my lenses and flashes, but it's a little bulky to bring out with me photograph. Luckily I have an all-in-one lens that allows me to have 18-250mm without worrying about carrying extra lenses or swapping out on the scene.


  • Jonathon Chambers March 13, 2012 09:04 am

    I just realized I posted that earlier...oh well :P

  • Jonathon Chambers March 13, 2012 08:34 am

    I really love this bag but a warning to any guys out there, if you wear it every day your friends will begin to call it your man-purse. But as far as a camera bag, it performs quite well. I have taken this bag to concerts, outdoor trips, in the rain, and it serves well. It doesn't have very good protection for other lenses though.

  • Annette Papa March 13, 2012 08:29 am

    Thanks Sam! I think i really like this bag a lot!

  • sam March 12, 2012 09:34 pm

    @annette, the bag has a double zip so you can have it open at the end of your choice, I choose the tall/long/top of the bag because it makes me feel more secure having it open from the part of the bag that is usually at the front.

  • Annette Papa March 12, 2012 02:52 pm

    It seems like when your wearing this, you would swing it around the left side to unzip and get your camera. However, from the photo on top, it seems like it unzips from the tall side, thus making you unzip the whole bag just to retrieve the camera. Is this correct? and does it bother you?

  • Tim R March 12, 2012 11:53 am

    I have this bag and it contains: 5dmkII with 24-105 f4.L attached (hood reversed), 70-200 f2.8L IS (in supplied Canon container) in expansion area, 580exII (in neoprene bag), 1.2x extension tube, extra CF card, extra camera battery, extra AA batteries, 2' Canon ettl cord, RadioPopper JrX transmitter, reciever and RPCube. Outside pockets contain a notebook, couple filters, and the end outside pocket carries eyeglasses and sunglasses in their respective cases. It is quick and easy to grab, fits on the floor behind the driver seat in my compact car (I am 6'2"), and like many have already stated, is quite "under the radar".
    I highly recommend it.

  • Arturomar March 9, 2012 05:53 am

    I'm with this trend of hiding my camera so I'm using one of those bags wich are made for six pack beers.

  • Brianna Danylle March 6, 2012 09:17 am

    I have this bag in black and I love it. It's the only bag that I've found that doesn't look like a "guy bag" and that can conveniently stay in place while I shoot. I bought another bag when I got more equipment, but if I only need a lens or two, this is my bag of choice. Highly recommended if you want a bag that's a little more feminine (though masculine enough for a dude to wear proudly), practical, and not so "look at my camera bag!"

  • Don March 2, 2012 08:19 pm

    This is a great bag. The best of my collection. Apart from the comments re extra zippered compartments I would like to see some padding at the bottom - especially the expandable area where I store my camera with a 70-200mm lens. Putting the bag down has sometimes resulted in an unexpected hard knock.

  • Sam March 2, 2012 11:55 am

    I used this bag on a our 8 week trip through Europe last year and loved it, my husband, who often ends up carrying the bag while I carry the camera preferred carrying it over his backpack. The external pockets came in handing for storing maps, tissues, small snacks and a bottle of water which meant that I didn't have to be constantly opening the secure part of the bag (and then forgetting to shut it properly). Although the internal pockets are small they were perfect for memory cards and the Roma or Paris Museum Pass, for security I actually stored items under the velcro and between the padded section and the bag. The strap of our money/passport wallet was wrapped around the padded section and under the velcro so if anyone did try to steal it they would discover that it would be easier to mug me for the entire bag.

    Although it is quite comfortable wearing it on your back I tended to keep it to the side or in front of me in shops and I always had the zipper closing at the front (narrow top of the bag) to decrease the chance of things being stolen.

  • beth March 2, 2012 05:05 am

    I bought this bag for exactly the same reason, and promptly returned it. Loved the bag, the shape, the design... but it was just a little too small. The bag was for my D7000 with lens attached, but the zipper just didn't open wide enough. I just kept "scraping" the sides/edges of my camera trying to get it in and out of the bag.
    I would strongly recommend check this out in person. Take your gear with you, and see if you are comfortable with the way it fits before you plunk down the money for it. Good luck.

  • Jonathon Chambers March 1, 2012 12:01 pm

    I am a guy and personally when I saw this bag I thought it would fit my needs quite well. Well it has done me pretty good but now since I carry my Camera everywhere, all my friends call it my man-purse lol. If I cared what everyone thought this would be insulting but oh well :)

  • luna March 1, 2012 11:28 am

    Oh!! I am a girl and a photographer (ok, hobbyist) and I so want a bag like this!!! *mental note to run to photo supply store on the week end....

  • Sherry February 28, 2012 08:37 am

    I carried this bag 12 hours a day for a week thru Rome and Florence and it was just perfect!! Held my camera gear (and even a bottle of wine that I wanted to bring home with me) with no problems at all. As for the outside pockets...I put good heavy velcro on mine...nobody could have gotten into them without me hearing them!! I also just bought a lens bag to put my extra lens in..just for the extra padding. I also liked the fact that it didn't look gender specific so my husband had no problem holding it for me. :-)

  • Marc February 27, 2012 09:33 pm

    This is definitely my favourite bag. I've gone through lots. And I mean lots - one of my cupboards looks like it's where camera bags go to die.

    But this bag has lasted! What's great about it is that it means I really do take my camera everywhere now.

    If you're really fickle about camera bags, I think you should give this one a go. I really do love it.

  • Andrew February 25, 2012 02:44 pm

    Also have this one, its great. I also took it to Paris and we were quite often mistaken for locals, so it certainly doesnt scream tourist. Wore it every day for 4 weeks

    I would swing it around onto my front and wear it higher if in places where security was a concern. I would also push tickets/passport type items behind the padded compartment which was as safe as being zippered. But an internal zip compartment the full length of the bag would really add value.

    The drink compartment is great, the other outside compartments could have been deeper, they were ok for small maps & recepits etc. You could probably retro fit a press stud or velcro

  • Ruud February 25, 2012 11:45 am

    I purchased a Lowepro some 4 years ago and paid around $100 for it, and was diappointed that the main zip did not last longer than 1 year.

  • Barb B February 25, 2012 05:11 am

    I agree with all pros and cons as stated. But as soon as I received mine the interior padded box was removed to make room for endless combinations of camera body/lens including 7d w/ 70-200 f4 attached plus other lens and misc gear. I have also carried 2nd body rebel w/ 17-50 with above items. The tiny inside pockets will hold spare batteries and lens pen, mini mag flashlight. I would like zips or velcro on outer pockets but pushed down far items don't fall out and actually take effort to remove. A great day bag in addition to my carry-all backpack Lowepro mini-trekkerAW.. And the removeable slip proof shoulder piece is so good I have removed it to use on other shoulder bags.

  • dePevren February 25, 2012 04:07 am

    I have this bag to, 2 points i dont like:

    1. it does not have AW protection
    2. the non-slip shoulder thingy on top hurts my shoulder.

  • Ron February 25, 2012 02:11 am

    I had to laugh when you said you walked from Amsterdam to Paris. It has to be A good bag for that.

  • Jonathon February 24, 2012 03:35 pm

    Lol I have the same bag and I find that it's great. I picked it up for about $50 at walmart.

  • Shawn February 24, 2012 03:33 pm

    While I'm a think TANK Photo guy when it comes to gear, Urban Disguise 50, Retrospective 30, StreetWalker HardDrive and Airport Airstream the Passport Sling is my only Lowepro bag. For a quick get up and go bag it's excellent, easily holds my 5D mkII w/ Grip + 24-70, 14-40, 430ex flash, BlackRapid RS-4 and odds and ends like CF card holder, batteries, etc. The expansion zipper allows for additions yet the bag keeps a minimal profile and doesn't say "hay I'm carrying all kinds of gear"

  • Caroline Lavoie February 24, 2012 03:27 pm

    I purchased the sling bag last week and I love it! I wanted a bag for everyday use, I put my wallet inside and some extra stuff in the pocket side.
    The regular retail price here in Canada is 39.99$, an amazing price! So beware of the price sale!
    In conclusion, it's a must have!

    Sorry, Stuart Cox, I don't think we talk about the same bag or the same size. At least a camera attached with 24-70 and another lens or flash. In the non-padded section, you can add other stuff.

    Michelle, I would not go skiing with this kind of bag, I'll chose a backpack.

  • Marsha February 24, 2012 12:58 pm

    I have this. Got it last year and love it! Agree with the posted review as far as the "this would be nice to have" ideas, but it certainly hasn't deterred me using it. I have it and a Lowpro backpack one and a small compact bag. All for different uses, but this is my fave!!!!

  • ccting February 24, 2012 11:32 am

    The size looks big enough to fix 1 camera, 3 flashes, and 1 travel tripod.. nice. But i am scare about pickpocket when you hang the beg on your back..

  • Michelle February 24, 2012 11:22 am

    Looking for a bag to take with me skiing - anyone use it for this?

  • Stuart Cox February 24, 2012 11:14 am

    I agree this is a great bag, I've had mine for the last six months as a runabout bag when I don't need the back pack. I have found I can fit quite a bit of kit in there and normally have a D90 with 18-200 attached, 10-20 stashed in the compartment, my 50mm, flash, filters, remote and batteries. I've also been able to squeeze in my 70-200 attached to the body and two other lenses (without extending the bag) so it is deceivinly large inside.

  • Randumb February 24, 2012 10:31 am

    Own. Love.

  • Jocelyn Harrold February 24, 2012 09:57 am

    Love mine. Finally a camera bag that works for me. I am 5' tall and small so the bag fits me. Having the space outside of the interior padded camera space. I just inserted a piece from another camera bad to protect an extra lens. LOVE the ability to open zipper and enlarge interior space.

  • Daniel February 24, 2012 07:59 am

    I have this bag and it's awesome. It's Lowepro so it's got great padding, and it's designed well, and for the price, you can't argue. There are the downfalls of the external pockets, but it's a great bag for weather you want to just carry your slr with one lens or all of your equipment. With the extendable pocket, it has a great amount of room.

  • Ab February 24, 2012 07:39 am

    Perfect bag, only not big enough. A normal size pro DSLR doesn't fit.
    Pro: doesn't look like a photobag, easy in use.
    Con: could be bigger.
    LowePro, please give us the Passport Sling Pro...

  • agnes February 24, 2012 06:46 am

    I own one and I love it. I bought another one to my daughter, she loves it too :)

  • Amanda K February 24, 2012 06:45 am

    This is one of my favorite camera bags and a worthwhile investment! It's perfect for photo walks when I may need my DSLR plus a plastic camera, but not a flash or other heavy equipment. It's comfortable and looks great. Like others, I second the need for more zipper compartments.

  • kath February 24, 2012 06:34 am

    I agree with the review - I have one of these bags and the external pockets need zippers, and I tend to not use the pockets much for that reason. There's also two internal pockets but they are really tiny and not even big enough for me to store my keys in. So my keys get lost in the bottom of my bag. While there are some good things about this bag, it has some serious design issues. The designer needed to consider that women might want a shoulder bag to put a camera in, and that this would mean requiring space for keys and other small items in the interior pockets.

  • Laura February 24, 2012 06:30 am

    I bought this bag recently and also love it! One thing to keep in mind if you have a pro body or the optional grip the camera will not fit "down" in the padded area like pictured and the zipper will be hard to close on the top. I only have a Spyder Pro belt attachment and a tripod quick release on the bottom of my D90 (no battery grip even) and I have to kind of maneuver the camera in sideways where the LCD does not face up in order to get it to fit and zip properly. This work around works fine for primes (which I use) but might not work as well for larger lenses. Not a deal breaker for me but something I wish I had known up front.

  • Steve February 24, 2012 06:09 am

    @Erin this seems to be the general direction now. Several bag companies are making "anti" camera bags now because that's what consumers want. This is definitely a good thing.

  • Justyna February 24, 2012 06:08 am

    I have one of these puppies. It's great! It's practical and doesn't scream "I'm a tourist". I can comfortably carry a DLSR with an extra lens, my point&shoot, and some snacks (not all in the same compartment). But I second the need for zippers on the external pockets. Otherwise, it's a great bag.

  • Marianna February 24, 2012 06:06 am

    Okay can I say I love you?
    okay maybe that's a bit too much, but seriously.
    I have a 24-70 mm and upgrading to a Canon 5d Mk ii probably somewhere this month or march.
    I found this bag online and I LOVED it, but when I went looking for reviews they were all about smaller camera's.
    So basically, that was... last week and this morning.
    And now I'm reading your review, about the bag I want combined with the equipment I need.
    You made my day, just sayin'!

  • Erin @ Pixel Tips February 24, 2012 05:54 am

    When I'm on vacation, shooting personal photos, or just want to have my camera with me, I like bags like this. They don't immediately look like a camera bag, and I don't exactly want my bag to scream, "Hey! I'm carrying thousands of dollars of gear in this bag!"