I have to say I really like the Fastpack 350. The “Quick Draw” panel by far sets this bag apart from all my other camera bags. This feature alone makes me get over the boxy look of the Fastpack 350. Life is about compromises right? The “Quick Draw” feature works extremely well and will save you lots of time when you need to pull the camera out quickly to shoot some pictures and re-store the camera. If Lowepro were to add a few straps here and there and tweak a few things, this bag would be even better than it already is.
Longer zipper tabs and a few extra straps for a lightweight tripod or monopod are very easy low cost additions that could be implemented. Gone will be my days of using regular hiking day packs (ie North Face, Camelbak etc ) to cart around my SLR camera and lenses. Everyone that has ever used a regular hiking day pack knows it is such a hassle to dig the SLR camera out of the pack amongst all your other stuff in the bag.
A couple weeks ago, I went spring skiing up at Whistler Mountain. The day was super sunny and warm, so I figured why not pack the Fastpack 350 with some gear and really test it out. I was trying to learn how to Telemark ski, so I ultimately fell over numerous times on my front and back.
Although I landed on my back a number of times skiing, The Fastpack 350 worked out great and kept all my gear in one piece; nothing broke! I took with me an SLR body, 70-200mm F/2.8 lens and the 35mm F / 2.0 lens. I had room for a light weight jacket and a long sleeve shirt inside the bag, along with my lunch and a bunch of other personal accessories ( Sunscreen, wallet, keys, cell phone, energy bars, extra batteries, etc) All this “stuff” fit into the Fastpack 350 with no problems and I even had some room to spare. For hydration, I put my 3 liter Camelback bladder into the laptop compartment with no issues.
The bag is a bit wide so I would have to take the pack off every time I loaded the chairlift so I wouldn’t fall off the edge of the seat. Shooting pictures of my friends skiing and snowboarding in the sun was a breeze compared to previous occasions with the camera in the regular backpack. The “Quick Draw” panel actually makes you want to shoot pictures vs not wanting to take the photo because you have to go through the hassle of digging the camera out of the bag!
If you are looking for a good all round day trip bag to cart around some of your camera gear that enables you to access your camera very quickly to take photos, I would highly recommend picking up the Lowepro Fastpack 350.
- Quick Draw Compartment that enables you to get your camera out super fast
- Lots of useable storage space
- Comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps
- Weight is evenly distributed
- Water bottle holder
- You can fit a water bladder in the laptop compartment!
- Lots of protection and padding
- No rain cover
- Could use longer zipper pulls
- Bit on the boxy side
- Small gauge zippers
- No tripod/monopod holder
Overall Rating 9.0 / 10.0
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