Lowepro Pro Runner 450 AW – Review
Today I received a big parcel from amazon UK containing some new photo gear. The main item was the main item was the Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW camera bag. This bag is a large Backpack design for carrying a full set of gear. The layout is such that it will carry 2 Pro size DSLR’s one with upto a 70-200 attached and the other with a smaller lens attached. It will also carry 4-6 other lenses as well as flashes and accessories and will also accommodate upto a 17” laptop in a separate compartment.
My first impression of the bag as I unpackaged it was that the padding on the shoulder straps and hip pads was excellent. On further inspection the whole otter construction of the bag seemed great with sturdy looking buckles and zips. The front flap of the bag is a good size for carrying and organizing small accessories I quickly filled it up with pens note pad and some other little things. Inside the main compartment the bag in neatly laid out and opens wide enough to make it easy to work out of. On the inside of the lid there are a few more pockets ideal for storing cables memory cards and filters. The main are for storing your camera and lens is well padded and highly customisable. Lowepro say it will carry up to a 300mm f2.8 although I suspect not much else will fit if you do that.
The main reason I purchased this bag is for its ability to carry a large 17” laptop, unfortunately I was pretty disappointed with it in this area. Although the compartment that the laptop goes into is easily large enough for a 17” laptop with an inch or so to spare the opening of the compartment is a really tight fit for a big computer. I had to force my HP Pavilion dv7 in and it was very difficult to drag back out, this was when the bag was otherwise empty. I can only image this would be even more challenging if full of kit.
The bag is also capable of carrying a tripod using the removable tripod holder and hideaway straps. I was able to fit my Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod and secure it but it did fell a little top heavy. Having the cup that the feet sit in a little lower would have helped a lot.
Fully loaded with a 17” laptop, camera, lenses and tripod this bag quickly becomes rather heavy. There are solid grab handles on the top and side which make it easy to manoeuvre. The harness has a good level of adjustment and I was able to easily get the weight comfortably balanced.
The bag also has lowepro’s all-weather cover which in this case tucks away neatly into the outer lid when not being used and will quickly and easily wrap around the whole bag if you get caught out in the elements. Note that the all-weather cover will not fit while carrying a tripod on the bag.
In Summary the Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW is a big well-constructed backpack capable of carry a full pro DSLR system along with accessories and a laptop. There is lots of scope for customising the interior and is comfortable to wear even fully loaded. On the down side the laptop compartment opening is a bit too small making it difficult to insert and remove a computer and the design of the bag means you will have to completely remove it to access your gear.
If you carry a lot of equipment and tend to work in one location for a while this is a great bag to get your kit where it needs to be and then work out of when on location.