I have never really been too concerned with having a premium camera bag. I've always believed that most camera bags were created fairly equally. I typically carry my gear in whatever is convenient and although that approach works fine when carrying a simple point-and-shoot camera, I've come to realize that it doesn't work quite as well when using a DSLR with a variety of lenses and filters.
With expensive camera equipment to carry and protect, having a secure and durable bag becomes that much more important. Lowepro has a long history, more than 40 years, of being a leader in designing innovative and durable bags; with a wide selection of bags that fit the needs of both the professionals and the hobbyists. One such bag is the Inverse 200 AW, which has enlightened me on the importance of a well designed camera bag.
As mentioned earlier, I have never given much thought to having a quality camera bag and that has led to more than one occasion where a photo opportunity was missed as a result of not having the right equipment at the time. There is little that is more frustrating than missing a photo because you don't have a backup battery or memory card available, or you had to leave the right lens at home because you couldn't carry everything. At first glance, the Inverse 200 AW looks like the answer to these potential problems.
Lowepro indicates that the Inverse 200 AW has the capacity to hold:
- 1 pro DSLR with medium zoom lens attached plus 2 additional lenses; or a 70-200mm attached lens in horizontal position plus 1 additional lens
- charger and cords
- memory cards
The Inverse 200 AW has the following measurements:
- Interior Size: 12W x 6D x 8.3H inches (30.5 x 15.3 x 21.2 cm)
- Exterior Size: 12.9W x 8.6D x 8.8H inches (32.8 x 21.8 x 22.3 cm)
- Weight: 2.12lbs / 0.96kg
The interior fabric features a smooth polyester and brushed Tricot fabric that is intended to protect the LCD screen of your camera from scratches. The exterior of the Inverse 200 AW features an extremely durable combination of polyester and nylon that will keep your gear protected. Lowepro is known for creating stylish bags and this is no exception with the option of three color combinations: black, arctic blue and black, or leaf green and black as shown.
When the Inverse 200 AW arrived at my door, I have to tell you that my first impressions were that it was not the most attractive bag that I have ever seen. Not so much because of the style but rather because of the size of the bag. Designed to be a beltpack camera case, I could not help but think that this bag was too large and bulky to carry comfortably around the waist.
The leaf green and black color combination, while attractive, is not something that everyone will like, although the black and arctic blue options provide suitable alternatives. On the flip side, this color combo will make you easy to spot in a crowd. At first glance, I expected the Inverse 200 AW to have more storage options beyond the main storage area; although after using the bag for awhile I have since learned that this bag presents inconspicuous storage areas that will provide ample space for all of your accessories.
Two features that immediately jump out are the soft, thick padding of the lumbar belt that is used to secure the bag around your waist, as well as the number of straps and clips that are used to customize the fit of the bag. While the lumbar belt appears to be somewhat bulky, one quickly learns to appreciate the contoured padding after carrying the bag for an extended period of time. The addition of the padded shoulder strap provides an alternative carrying option, or you can use the lumbar belt and the should strap together for added security and weight distribution.
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