Still The Best All Weather Cover
Unlike a lot of weather covers out there, the Lowepro one is still one of the best out there simply because it not only does what it is supposed to do, but it still allows you to use the carry straps properly. With the Classified 250 AW, all you need to do is pull it up, unclip the carry strap, and just feed it back through the two reinforced slots in the cover. Thankfully, I didn't need to use this a whole lot, but it is there for that unexpected torrential downpour or sand storm.
Inside the Lowepro Classified 250 AW
This bag is deceptively large, harbouring up to 15W X 6.3D X 11H inches (38 X 16 X 28 cm) of storage for your gear.
After unbuttoning the leather handle and unzipping the main compartment, you gain access to the inside of the bag. Although annoying when you want to take a picture of it, the compartment doesn't fully expose when open, giving your gear a little bit of protection from prying eyes. The interior is fleece lined to keep things from getting scratched and the light grey color also makes it easy to find things. The dividers are attached to the interior with velcro, making them easily customizable to suit your needs.
Microfiber cloths stitched into each divider come in quite handy allowing you to drape them over the sensitive displays on your DSLR bodies, providing a bit of scratch protection. They are also handy for a quick wipe of lenses and other items that tend to get dirty like your glasses.
Lowepro says that the equipment compartment easily fits one to two professional DSLRs with 70-200 f/2.8 lens attached plus two to three additional lenses or flashes. However, with a grip attached or if you own a NIKON D3, you will need to use the expansion zipper on the outside to get the additional room you need to fit them both in. It's definitely deceptively cavernous inside.
Instead of two DSLR's, I was able to pack around at CES, my D200 with grip and a f/2.8 17-55mm attached, a Canon HF100 HD Camcorder, a flash unit, three more lenses (35mm/60mm/50mm), extra batteries for everything, chargers, cellphones, 80GB ZUNE, laptop and full sized monitoring headphones with room to spare. I ended up packing all of the USB and paper press kits around in this bag so that I could work on articles when I had a spare moment. Overall, I'm very impressed with the capacity while maintaining a svelte silhouette.
Finally, we get to the laptop compartment which snugly holds my 15.4 inch MacBook Pro. Although there is a little bit of adjustment with the velcro that attaches this compartment to the bag, I have to say that it is quite tight. If your 15.4 inch widescreen notebook is much thicker than the MacBook Pro, then you might have a hard time stuffing it into the compartment. Most 14 inch notebooks should be comfortable though.