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The CompuPrimus AW in the Field…

After having a chance to carry the CompuPrimus AW around in the liquid sunshine of the Vancouver, I’ve really grown to appreciate just how effective the All Weather cover is. I previously had a chance to try out the “AW” cover on the original Primus AW in a torrential downpour in Taipei during COMPUTEX, and I’m just as impressed with the performance in my own backyard. It isn’t pretty, but it does work and it’s a lifesaver when things get wet.

Thanks to upgraded straps with thicker padding, the CompuPrimus AW feels quite comfortable even fully loaded up. The only that will prevent you from being comfortable is the weight as the extra storage afforded by this super sized version of the Primus AW does allow it to hold quite a bit of gear.

Lowepro CompuPrimus AW Camera Backpack Review

Initially, I wasn’t really impressed with the somewhat cobbled on look of the laptop sleeve, but once you get to use it a few times, you do appreciate how not having to lug around the whole bag becomes. Although integrated laptop compartments are better looking, being able to ditch a bunch of weight to go hang out at the local coffee shop to work on your photos with your laptop is nice.

One gripe I had about the original Primus AW was that the side zippered pocket wasn’t particularly effective with larger DSLR bodies, especially if you had a grip attached. Since the CompuPrimus AW is a larger bag, the flap just got a whole lot more useful. As a result, getting at my Nikon D200 body with a lens attached was quite a bit easier.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Lowepro CompuPrimus AW Camera Backpack Review

When compared directly to its smaller brother, the Primus AW, you get the benefits of more storage and a real place to put your laptop. Being able to separate your laptop from the main bag definitely makes short trips a whole lot easier, not having to lug the whole thing with you. It’s an upgrade in every way to its little brother, but it might be a bit of a handful if you plan on using it as your “daily driver”.

Whether you’re in the middle of the jungle (or an urban jungle for that matter), Lowepro’s CompuPrimus AW seems equally suited for both environments. Its combination of proven outdoor durability and All-Weather cover makes it a good choice for almost any weather condition. The backpack also features Eco-Friendly aspects like the 100% CyclePet construction for the outer cover of the bag and like the Primus AW before it, Lowepro has still pledged that a portion of this bag’s sale to be donated to Polar Bears International.

The Lowepro CompuPrimus AW will set you back $299US and comes with their Limited Lifetime Warranty.


  • Rugged and durable construction made for the outdoors (or just a general good beating)
  • All Weather cover provides excellent protection in wetter climates (or very dusty ones)
  • Removable laptop sleeve and integrated sunshade
  • Lots of storage for all your gear
  • Well padded straps provide comfort and support on long treks


  • The non integrated look of the sleeve makes it look a bit cobbled on
  • The large size might be a bit hard to handle as a daily use bag

Overall Rating: 9.0 / 10.0

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