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In this post one of our Lowepro CompuRover AW which he gives a rating of 9 stars out of 10!
I have two red sore bits where my hips should be… Not super bad, but red and a touch on the “ouch” side. That’s where the waist strap of my new Lowepro CompuRover AW Camera Bag has been sitting all day… I have had this before with my hiking pack when I didn’t do it up correctly. So, I don’t blame the bag for this, the waist strap is great – very padded, I blame me… I started my day at about 9am, right after breakfast and walked around Palermo until about 6pm so in fairness – the bag did exceptionally well.
The waist strap is very sturdy, it has more padding than a Sumo wrestler and is very hardy – the click clack snap buckle is well made and the whole unit is well stitched. Oh, and did I mention that it’s detachable? Brilliant huh…
The shoulder straps are good and solid, on par with the indestructibility of the Crumpler reviewed earlier, with a great array of attachment locations for extra add-on bits and pieces sold separately by Lowepro, and a cross chest harness and two D clips, the straps were very comfortable even after walking with the full bag on all day with a half hour stop for lunch [when M “needs to shop” she “needs to shop”]
On the whole, the CompuRover is a top bag. It has been made with great quality materials and the workmanship is very good, with only one minor flaw that I can be bothered to mention, but more on that later…
Michelle picked up the CompuRover AW in New York and dragged it all the way home for me. On first glance at my new “large trekking style camera bag / hold everything bag” I was a touch worried! I wondered how I was going to explain to M that “it doesn’t fit all my gear” and that we’d have to send it back after she’d run around town for half a day getting the stuff I’d asked her for. I sat looking at the bag for a few minutes, all the while holding my new lens, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, a new addition to the family that had to fit in this very same backpack with its brothers and cousins, my other lenses and stuff…
The main top section is brilliant! With a built in memory card holder for as many as ten compact flash cards [I don’t have ten, but if someone wants to send me four more, I’d be happy to test it FULLY loaded. 4gb high speed please…ha!] The top section has three different sectioned off compartments around the main open area, the top one is a zip up type job that I guess you could put your toothbrush in if you wanted? I have four spare batteries in there, with room for three more, or, some pens and stuff or a cleaning kit, etc.
The second I was a little confused by, it’s another pocket that’s attached to a small bit of strap so that the little pocket can hang outside your bag, maybe it’s the “cable management bag” not sure… anyway, you could use it for whatever you liked! I have cleaning gear in it. Then there is another mesh type pocket against the back of the bag; I chose to slip a few bits and pieces in there, a tripod plate and a couple of filters. The main top section [non camera] of the bag is large enough for two more flashes [the 430ex and the 580ex II] an Italian Lonely Planet; Michelle also talked me into carrying her purse and her little Ixus 430… A very decent space for carrying a lot of stuff, you could probably go away for a weekend, carry a change of clothes and stuff and only have to take this one bag with you… easy!
The laptop section that is in between where your back will be and the main compartments of the bag is positively huge – you could fit a laptop from 1987 in there, large.. The 17″ MacBook Pro slips in with enough room for a string quartet playing a Nirvana song.
To top off the “other” storage allowances, there are two extra zippered pockets and two extra mesh pockets on the front and side of the bag for extra odds and ends, very handy for “quick access stuff” that you may need.
Now, the camera carrying section of the bag! I was scared when I first saw it, I had read on the Lowepro website that it was good for a Pro DSLR with a lens attached and 2-4 extra lenses of 80-200mm, well, I have five lenses, 10-22mm f3.5, 50mm f1.4, 24-70mm f2.8, 100mm f2.8, 100-400mm f4.5 – so, I had broken the rules on the Lowepro website and had a lens that reached out to 400mm, I also had the maximum recommended amount of lenses for the bag – was I going to be in trouble?
I opened up the camera section and was greeted by the Lowepro version of Doctor Who’s TARDIS! – Not only did all of my gear fit in there, I actually think I could fit my [now retired] 17-85mm in there too! It’s sort of like opening the back of a dump truck… everything goes in.
The camera section is divided into six sections with two higher dividers that your DSLR will happily sit on with the lens facing down into the bag – I usually have my 24-70mm attached in the bag and it all fits like a glove. You can access the camera department from the main bag section up the top with the swift removal of a Velcro panel.
The lower section is connected to the top section with what I classify as “the only weak area of the bag” “that ZIP…grrr” The little zip that holds the camera section closed needs to be a slightly larger gauge [is that the right term all you zip connoisseurs?] It’s been a good while now and it’s still stiffer than Bruce Lees bottom lip! – Not a bad thing I guess? Maybe it makes the camera section more “weather proof” but I’d prefer something a bit easier I think… swiftly moving on…
The tripod holder on the Lowepro is a little ripper! It’s basic, but it “just works” you unfold the “drop down tripod holder flap thingy” from behind the plethora of bungee cables on the front, your tripod slips in behind the bungee mass and you pop its feet into the holder and voila! A well-held tripod… You can tie one or two of the conveniently located extra bungee straps around your tripod incase you’re worried about it blowing away in a stiff wind – well thought out Lowepro… High Five!
Walking to the bus from our hotel after our weekend away in Sicily, we had about half a kilometer to walk and the rain started, not just garden variety, we’re talking “raining men” rain… raining cats and dogs if you will… I slipped out the cunningly concealed waterproof cover and slipped it over my precious haul in seconds – the lot of it remained drier than my boss’s sense of humor…
Well, I did… Almost no problems with this bag as a trekker, as a day out bag for someone with a decent amount of kit, a weekender or a camper even. I will be taking this guy to Peru shortly for a short walk up the side of a very large mountain and have no doubt that it will out perform me… easily…
I’ve given this bag the “Nine Gold Star Award”
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See more of Sime’s photos of the LowePro CompuRover AW Camera Bag