Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lowepro Pro Messenger 180 Review

The wife and I spent a weekend in Las Vegas. My post of the trip can be found here. I also happened to have a new Lowepro Pro Messenger 180. So, I set out to try the bag out while walking The Strip in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Let's start off with the bag itself...

As expected from Lowepro, the bag is made up of really good materials and the materials were put together beautifully. The shell of the bag is made up off a canvas-like material: it feels like canvas, but it actually is made up of a more modern fabric that can repel water, just in case you got caught in a rain shower.

The flap has a "dual-mode": you can use it fully extended for great security, or you can fold the flap in half to silence the Velcro. And yes, the Velcro is huge, so your camera bag will be really secure: when someone tries to open up the flap without your permission, you will surely know it. Oh, and the good thing about this flap when it's on silent mode? There is a magnet which, though it will not prevent your gear from spilling out, it will prevent the flap from flapping when you're walking about. So to speak.

The bag is small enough for it to be inconspicuous when you do your street photography, but, make no mistake, this bag has a huge capacity! Even my longest lens, the Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 lens is no match! Lowepro states in their website that it can house a gripped-DSLR with a 70-200 f/2.8 lens attached.

And speaking of capacity, you can even put an extra body in the front pocket. There are also pockets on either inner side of the bag to put a couple of speedlites. Since this is an "AW" bag, there is an included rain cover that conveniently tucks away when not needed. But as I've said previously, the exterior shell itself is already good enough for light showers, just in case you get caught unawares.

There are pockets on the outer side of the bag and you can put other small, relatively flat accessories like filters, lens caps, even a smartphone. On our trip to Las Vegas, I inserted one leg of my GorillaPod Focus and it stayed there for the duration of our stroll.

And as for carrying the bag? Well, I thought I had the thickest padding for a shoulder bag before, but this one takes the cake. The strap is huge! And because of that, there is a thick cushion between your shoulder and the strap itself. No, this will not diminish the weight that you are carrying, but it will make carrying your gear that much more enjoyable.

At the back of the bag is a trolley sleeve which you can easily "activate" by opening the top and bottom zippers. If you just open the top, the sleeve can function as another pocket for flat accessories, like a flash modifier or an iPad. And remember the front pocket where you can put an extra body? An iPad barely fits in there. So if you've other accessories that are equal to, or smaller than, the dimensions of an Ipad, the front pocket and the back sleeve will be able to store them.

And what's the best way to test the bag out? Take it to Las Vegas!!!

Some notes:
  • You can hear the wife's "oohs", "aahs", humming and singing in the video.
  • There is not enough dividers provided for this bag.
  • I wish there is a dedicated iPad pocket.

All-in-all, I find the bag very attractive and highly functional! It has a great capacity, great construction but still highly discreet.

The Shy Photographer rates it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

So get yours here!

Special thanks go to Derrick Story and Yvonne Petro of Lowepro for providing the bag.


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