This is a review of my photo backpack the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack. Lowepro has a great reputation among professional photogs as one of, if not the best, bag and backpack makers for photography gear. When I was researching bags, and there are tons of bags, Lowepro was consistently coming up in my searches. First thing I had to ask my self was what style of bag do I want? I used to carry around a Timbuk2 messenger bag for my gear but that didn't work very well, besides having all the weight of my gear on one shoulder, there wasn't protection for my lenses and such. I decided being that I did have a lot of gear and it was heavy I needed a backpack. My style of photography usually requires me to be out in nature, hiking, climbing, crawling, and just about anything else you would expect being outdoors, so I needed something that was easy to carry and protective. The AW means all-weather. There is a fold up cover, that has its own little pouch designed in the bag, so when it starts to get bad outside, the cover will protect your gear on the inside. Along with the all-weather cover it comes with water-resistant heavy-duty zippers. Just like the Lowepro website states The Lowepro Vertex "is made for the outdoors". As good as it is on the outside, the inside is just as nice. It's very well padded, it has plenty of space, and easily customizable. It has a little pocket where I can keep manuals, a little notebook, and a white balance gray card. There is also a separate compartment that will hold a medium-sized laptop computer.
This bag has all I need for a hiking trip. I can pack all my gear and some. I carry headlamps, flashes, my leatherman, my 70-200 2.8, my 16-35 2.8, my 50 1.4, and my camera body. I also carry my chargers and spare batteries and memory cards.... basically my whole kit.There are straps and pouches on the outside of the bag to strap on your tripod or a water bottle.
All these features are fine and dandy but the big kicker for me was that it fits all the way under the seat in front of me when I am flying. The smaller planes have the little overhead compartments, which this won't fit into (at least on Delta), but it will fit under your seat. When I fly I never let my gear leave my sight. Even if you are late to your flight on a 757 and there is no overhead room, which is common theses days, you will still be able to put it under your seat, and that sure beats having to check it.
So in review the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW is an awesome bag inside and out. It's sealed from the elements,it's big enough to carry a lot of gear including a laptop, its zippers and other materials are tough and durable, and best of all it is travel friendly. I have used this bag for a couple of years now and couldn't be happier.