Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Two weeks with the Lowepro Whistler - A camera bag made for mountains

If you follow Aspect Media on social media or have looked at our website you may have seen the fact we work closely with camera bag manufacturer Lowpro. We help to test their products and give them good honest feed back after giving the products real world abuse, and we don't go easy on gear doing what we do.

As official production company in charge covering the Enduro World Series its literally our job description to take lots of camera gear out in to remote mountainous locations, no matter the weather and often by riding or hiking bikes to get there. We need gear we can trust, trust not to break when we are 2 hours ride from the nearest road.

Before the new Whistler 450AW came along we where using multiple different bags from Lowepro depending on the specific job ( Vertex, Flipside, Photosport, Pro Trekker etc ) and having to pack extra bits and bobs on the outside of packs and while all this worked well we noticed certain things that needed adding to make one bag that was perfect for what we did day to day. This new bag sorts all our thoughts and worries and they have hit the BB out of the bike park with this one.

First off here is a very short video of Chris and myself testing the bag and proving you can ride with it on:




Main features of the bag we love, as both still and video shooters who have to both hike and ride bikes with the bag on are:

  • Large enough to fit in all the gear you will need ( see below )
  • Fully removable camera compartment if you need to use it just as a hiking bag
  • Opens from the back so you don't get you back all muddy putting the bag down on the ground 
  • Heavy duty sturdy clips and zips that don't feel like they will die when you yank them hard
  • All weather cover built in
  • Bag is shower proof without the cover even on
  • Big top, side and front pockets for putting bits and bobs in
  • Front pocket fits a 15" laptop in easy
  • Bladder pocket on the side
  • Waist and Sternum straps and back padding are comfy and breathe well even climbing hills in 35 degrees
  • Orange straps on the front are super strong and can easily clip on tripod/steady cam etc 
  • Small and tourist enough looking to glide through airports and into over head bins on 90% of planes

Way up above Whistler in BC while filming the EWS. Bag fully loaded with the days gear and tripod etc and making easy work of the full on trail. Whistlers famous Tusk in the back ground. Image by Jeremie Reuiller

Packed ready for the day. In here we have 2 bodies, the Canon 5D3 and a Panasonic GH4, 5 canon lens's including the 70-200mm 2.8, 24-105mm, 15mm,50mm and 11-16mm, Flash gun with 2 pocket wizards, radio mics and a rode video mic pro, then in the front pocket all the batteries, cards, cables, ND filter case, cloths, blowers and in the top pocket food, jacket, tools etc

Heading back down the hill with the steady cam strapped on the back and carrying the tripod for speed of getting down the hill, if I was on the bike there is loads of room on there for it. - Photo by Gary Perkin
Chris Seager from Aspect flying down Dirt Merchant with the pack on, with gear in, not just posing!

And again, not small but at the same time as streamlined and slim as it can be to get a body in sideways and not have any issues with pack depth.
We found that with a full face helmet riding jumps or really really steep stuff you had to loosen off the shoulder straps slightly, but the great waist and sternum strap keep it from moving too much, and then it doesn't hit your helmet. Easy!

In the half face XC lid though you can have the thing as high up on your back and tight and comfy as you can and it never hit me in the head in a whole two weeks of riding the bike park and world enduros. First bag that's ever not tried to make me do front flips.

Chilling while shooting some B roll in the USA.The bag its leaning on is our drone bag to give you some idea of size, small enough to not be a pain to carry or travel with but large enough to swallow all your gear.

Another shot proving its not us just saying it, but its a bag you really can get up the mountain ( and down again ) with ease.

So there you have it. A camera bag that does it all. If you bike, hike, ski, board or even ride a horse etc and need to carry a good amount of camera gear is pretty damn perfect. Not something I say lightly, or without testing.

We didn't want to post anything online till we had chance to really put the bag through its paces and now with over two weeks of solid riding and shooting under its belt, I can say 110% that I have found my dream camera bag.

http://www.lowepro.com/whistler

If you guys and girls want to see or know anything else about the bag ( or Aspect as a whole ) leave a comment below and I will edit this post and add it in.

Cheers

Aspect

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