A backpack for a photographer is one of the essentials in life. A bulletproof carrier for all your camera equipment and accessories in which you can easily throw onto your back gives such peace of mind. Once you’ve owned a quality camera backpack there’s no going back because the added protection, slots for all your gear and weatherproofing just makes life easier.
Here we will look at the Lowepro Tahoe BP150. A quality backpack with good features and a reasonable price.
The LowePro Tahoe BP 150 has a simple exterior, no pockets hanging off everywhere as they are seamlessly integrated into the design. The backpack comes in blue, red or green/khaki for the fashion conscious, but black is the review model here. The outer skin of the LowePro is made from padded nylon which is weather resistant, with at least water repellent features.
The front has a zipped pocket which is just big enough for small accessories or a small strobe light. There isn’t a dedicated laptop compartment, but there is a pocket big enough to fit a 10” tablet or other small items. As with any good camera bag, there are also little slots for things like pens or similar items. The front compartment also acts as nice padding and protection for anything inside the backpack. One thing with more than 1 use is always good design.
Unzipping the main compartment shows a large pocket at the top. Its quite substantial, although big enough to fit in cameras and lenses, it’s not as protected as the main area. The sides of the backpack have a very useful net pocket and a side strap for slotting in a tripod or bottle. It’s a simple addition, but not all backpacks have a way to carry a tripod, which is essential when you’re going on all day shoots in the wilds. Each of the zips also has a cord, making it much easier to grip when using gloves.
The shoulder pads have reasonable amounts of padding, not the thickest, but just enough to give you support. The back of the backpack is also padded, but it’s very flat against your back without ergonomic shaping. There is no chest strap or waist belt like a traditional rucksack. This means that the LowPro can move around a bit on your back, but I guess the main design use is for short term usage.
Velcro padded separators are the calling card of camera backpacks and the Lowpro has a main area with enough separators to have three distinctive areas, with small separators to section off space as you need. There’s even a small little Velcro attachment for things like SD cards. Nicely thought out…
There is enough space in the main compartment for a full-size DSLR with a good sized zoom attached, with the side areas able to hold a few lenses and speedlights. The good thing about the Velcro separators is that they can all come out and everything can be converted to a day pack for general usage.
Although the shoulder straps felt initially adequate, there are enough to make a full load feel comfortable, even with a tripod attached. The side net pocket and strap secure a tripod extremely well without any wobbling around. There’s plenty of space inside for a decent amount of main gear, with plenty of compartments for accessories and smaller items.
The other benefits of this backpack is enough space to carry a drone set up and accessories. With the internal Velcro pads, it’s easy to secure something like a Dji Spark. The inside is clearly usable for other applications with its movable spaces, so it’s up to your creativity for other uses.
Can the LowPro survive a drop test? I wouldn’t risk a full pack of camera gear being thrown off a building, but dropping the backpack from standing height gives a good idea of how effective the external padding is. The backpack is sufficiently padded and protected, so you have peace of mind that if it falls off a table or dropped from a few feet, you will have the peace of mind that everything is sufficiently protected. I have an old Kata backpack which is bomb proof and can easily survive being kicked around. The Lowpro may not be as fully protected as my trusty old Kata, but there’s still plenty of protection here.
How Does It Compare?
There are quite a number of camera backpacks on the market knocking around the price point of the LowPro. Some have simple designs, while others like the Vanguard Havana 48, are quite old school in design. There are plenty of zips and pockets here, more padding on the shoulder straps, but the lack of exterior protection and configurable Velcro pads means it’s not as versatile or protected as the LowPro.
|LowePro Tahoe BP 150||Vanguard Havana 48|
|Size||27.5 x 21.7 x 40.3||18 7/8 x 9 1/2 x 12″|
|Weight||1.76 pounds||2.73 pounds|
When carrying your camera equipment from A to B a simple bag could suffice, but there’s nothing like a dedicated camera backpack. The LowPro is definitely in this category. There’s plenty of external protection, pockets, compartments and configurable main area to pack your camera equipment exactly as you’d like.
Considering the price point, the Lowepro Tahoe BP150 has a lot of options and can be considered as great value for money. The design is neither too big or small, enough space for a DSLR with a lens attached, a few extra lenses and a flash. Drones with the same sizes as the DJI Mavic Pro or the DJI Spark fit easily with accessories. Taking into account everything you get and the price point, a highly recommended backpack.
No chest belt
No laptop compartment
Unlocking external straps for main compartment