Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II at a glance:

  • $330 / £289
  • Four access points
  • Takes large cameras and lenses
  • Excellent padding and protection
  • Measures 36x22x52cm, weighs 2.8kg
  • www.lowepro.com

The Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II is a pro-level backpack, notable for its comfort, ruggedness and versatility. The bag’s outer is very well padded all round with a semi-rigid lid, a thick base and a wealth of inner foam-core modular dividers. I couldn’t detect any weak points at its corners, which is often the case with some models, and its padded 15in laptop sleeve uses a cradle-fit design, so devices are kept off the deck by a few centimetres and better protected.

Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II main compartment

The main compartment will swallow a large amount of kit. Image: Lowepro

The main 30x44cm compartment covers the full inner, making it suitable for larger lenses, while at 16cm, it’s deep enough to accommodate pro-sized, gripped bodies with ease. On one shoot I easily fitted Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6, 400mm f/4.5, 24-120mm f/4, and 14-30mm f/4 lenses, plus a Nikon Z 9 body, along with filters and a teleconverter. There’s certainly no shortage of space.

Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II key features:

  • Webbing: These tight fabric loops cover the face, sides and belt to add accessories and other kit.
  • All-weather cover: The base of the bag has a stitched-in protective cover, so you can’t lose it.
  • Turret top: A body with a long lens attached can be pulled straight from the foam shell top.
  • Side access: As well as the top and rear, dual side doors give sling-style immediate access.
Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II side access

Access to your kit is provided from either side of the bag. Image: Lowepro

Changing things up internally was easy with all dividers secure when in place, thanks to broad Velcro attachment on both their rear and sides. For smaller kits or day hikes, it’s possible to run dividers across the top, creating a section for a coat or lunch. But while I found this stayed in place well enough to support quite heavy items, it’s not as good as having a dedicated compartment. There are additional slip pockets around the interior for small accessories.

Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II top access

You can also get at your camera from the top. Image: Lowepro

The two expanding outer pockets on the upper left and right aren’t padded so, while useful, they’re not for delicate items, and the belt has unpadded zip pockets, too. Elsewhere on the exterior, there’s no pre-fitted tripod holder or bottle pocket, but these come as included accessories which can be fitted to the webbing. It’s a hugely versatile system that just takes some setting up.

The bag offers four access points so there’s plenty of options for getting to your camera. Top and rear openings are joined by flaps on both sides at the bottom, for sling-style use with the bag hanging from one shoulder. All external zips are oversized, running smoothly and using large pulls that are easy to grab with gloves.

Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II harness

Thanks to the well-padded harness, the bag is very comfortable to carry, even when fully loaded. Image: Lowepro

In terms of comfort it’s excellent, with broad padded straps, a removable waist belt and sternum strap, while the back padding is well designed, aerated and supportive.

Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II: Accessories

The ProTactic range uses exterior webbing and a range of slip-lock accessories to provide lots of carry options beyond the basic bag. A tripod shoe and bottle holder come as standard, but you can add plenty of further options including phone holders, lens bags and more.

Lowepro Protactic accessories

It’s possible to fit accessories such as a lens pouch (left) or bottle holder (right). Images: Lowepro

Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II: Our Verdict

This is a large, safe and comfortable bag, and as part of Lowepro’s Green Line, it uses a good amount of recycled materials and environmentally friendly dyeing techniques. With a single generously sized main compartment, it’s quite a technical model, however, and therefore best for those with a lot of kit to move about, rather than more mixed needs.

4.5 stars

Further reading
Best camera bags to buy in 2024
Best tripods to buy in 2024

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