Monday, April 4, 2011

Review of the Lowepro Slingshot 202 - the Best Mid-Sized Camera Sling Bag

Before my surgery, I was able to acquire a Lowepro Slingshot 202. I'm quite happy with the Lowepro Fastpack 250 but I needed an alternative for those times when I don't have my MacBook Pro with me. I needed something smaller but is still big enough to suit my needs.

What are my needs? Well, basically I want a camera bag that is more comfortable than a shoulder bag but still has the easy-access feature a shoulder bag brings. The side access of the Fastpack 250 solved this but, as I've said, I needed something smaller but can still accommodate my Canon DSLR, a spare lens and a speedlite, at the least.

So, I looked for a backpack that could satisfy my requirement. However, I couldn't seem to find one that suited my needs. Why? I'll explain below. So, I next looked at sling bags.

My first choice right off the bat was the Slingshot 202. The only thing that caused doubts in my mind was actually the size of the bag - ironic, I know, since I wanted a smaller bag. But, I wanted something that can fit more than my camera gear - being a bookworm, I also wanted to bring at least one book with me when I go out. (I don't know why camera bags don't have this "feature". At the least, photographers would sometimes want to bring a photography book, magazine or maps, right?) The good news is, my friend's first generation iPad, with case, was able to fit into the camera compartment. That was the sign that I really made the right choice - if you can put in an iPad, you definitely could put in at least one book, albeit not an encyclopedia...

The compartment on top is big enough to fit a DVD case. This is good news for me for the Kindle and its case is of such a size. So, I can put the Kindle in its case, Seth Godin's latest book Poke the Box and my Lumiquest 80-20 kit in there at the same time! It even is big enough to house two speedlites or my Canon 7D with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens.

I won't say much about the capacity of the camera compartment for I will just let the photos do the talking for me. One thing I'll say though - I'm quite surprised with what I was able to put in!

A Canon 7D with a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens attached? Wow!

There are a lot of small bonuses that came with the bag, like CF pockets that are easy to access as well as meshed pockets inside where you can put cables, filters, lens caps, etc. You can put a small tripod or a monopod on the side of the bag. There is also an all-weather cover that slips conveniently into a hidden pocket in the bag.
As I've said, I was able to enjoy this bag before I had my surgery. Getting the camera was a breeze because of the quick side access. When you swing the bag to the front, the zippered opening is "on top" so your gear won't fall off. Also, I can actually fit my Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105 f/4L lens with the lens hood in the ready position which made it a lot easier to get "that" shot.
I was able to walk for a couple of hours around Princeton, NJ and the bag is comfortable to use. I was even able to do the groceries, with the wife, with it! The bag is really comfortable when it contains my basic photography needs (plus the Kindle).
The Lowepro Slingshot 202 is really a very good bag.
I only have three requests for Lowepro to really make this a great bag:
  1. I wish that the solitary strap is heftier. You can't go wrong with a strap with a thick padding. It also becomes a little more uncomfortable when I have two camera bodies inside, though I don't know if Lowepro really designed it to hold that much. What is, for me, the best strap for a bag? See number 2.
  2. Put grooves on the back to allow air to flow. The Ecogear bag that I won from Engadget, the first Rhino version, has the best "back" for a backpack for my taste. The Slingshot 202 is a slim bag but with the arrival of Spring and Summer, I don't know if my back would be able to "breathe" with this.
  3. What about an additional side-access compartment, like with that for the Lowepro Fastpack 250, for things like an iPad or a book like David Duchemin's Within the Frame?
Or what about a two-strapped version of the 202 making it a full-pledged backpack? All the backpacks that I researched before I got the 202 that is capable of carrying a laptop are all huge: all are capable of carrying "laptops with screens up to 17 inches". I don't know about you, dear readers, but I just want to bring a "gadget" with an 11-inch screen. When I get to own one... Two strap version? My shoulders would praise you to high-heavens dearest people at Lowepro. :)

But, the Lowepro Slingshot 202, itself, is a very good quality bag. It is Highly Recommended.

All photos made with the Canon Powershot G12. My review of the G12 and the perfect bag for it can be found here and here, respectively.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for this review ! It helps me to choose my next bag.
    Elise, from France



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