Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III at a glance:

  • £210
  • 24-litre capacity
  • Removable camera unit
  • Takes enthusiast camera and two lenses
  • Rear hydration or laptop compartment
  • www.lowepro.com

While most camera backpacks are primarily designed to hold lots of kit, Lowepro’s PhotoSport models are different, being true dual-purpose bags for those who’d like to carry a camera while out walking or hiking. Here, we’re looking at a 24-litre version that’s ideal for a day in the great outdoors.

In essence, this is a lightweight trekking backpack that’s split into three sections. The lower part holds a padded camera unit that can be accessed through a flap on the side or used externally via the supplied shoulder strap. This will hold a large camera body and a couple of lenses, but the supplied dividers don’t necessarily make great use of the space.

The camera unit will hold a full-frame body and two lenses, but the divider arrangement makes access to anything but the camera a little awkward

When accessing your kit from the side of the bag, only the camera is easy to get at, with everything else requiring you to undo the velcro tabs that keep the dividers in place.

Meanwhile, the top half  of the bag takes everything else you might need for a day out; sandwiches, sunglasses, headphones and so on. A separate full-height rear compartment will accept a hydration bladder or when it’s work time, a 15-in laptop.

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III key features:

  • Eco-friendly  Lowepro says that 75% of all the fabric used to construct the bag is recycled
  • Rain cover  The bright orange waterproof cover is quick to fit, large enough to cover a water bottle and stows away neatly in its own pocket
  • Attachment points  A pair of walking poles can be fastened to the outside of the bag. However, there’s no easy way of carrying a full-size tripod
  • Front pocket  The stretchy front pocket is perfect for carrying a lightweight jacket

As befits a bag that’s designed to be carried all day, one area where the PhotoSport stands out is with regards to its harness. In addition to generously padded shoulder straps complete with a stretchy sternum strap, there’s a deep waist belt which is great for distributing the load onto your hips. The back boasts moulded air channels to help stop you getting sweaty.

The excellent harness makes the bag extremely comfortable to carry all day even when it’s full

Several pockets are dotted around for organising your belongings, including an externally accessible one in the lid and a particularly handy one on the right side of the waist belt. A set of loops on the left side of the belt allows the attachment of additional pouches, perhaps for a compact camera or lightweight binoculars. Finally, a large stretchy pocket on one side will hold a flask, water bottle or small tripod.

I tested the bag on a 10-mile walk along the North Kent coast, using it to carry the Fujifilm GFX50S II with 35-70mm and 30mm lenses, along with my lunch and personal items. Suffice to say it did the job extremely well, proving itself to be extremely comfortable to carry fully laden for hours on end. At the end of the day my feet may have been aching, but my back was absolutely fine.

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III:Our Verdict

For outdoorsy photographers who wish to be able to carry more than just their camera kit for a day’s trekking, the Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III ticks a lot of the right boxes. It’s thoughtfully designed and well made, giving good access to your kit. The only real drawback is the relatively limited size of the camera unit.

4.5 stars

The Lowepro PhotoSport range

Lowepro also offers a smaller 15L model for £165, which is designed to take an APS-C mirrorless camera and a couple of lenses. Like the 24L, it’s available in either blue or grey. For multi-day hikes, 55L and 70L bags are available for £430 and £460 respectively – read more about them here.