Lowepro Fastpack 250

Lowepro Fastpack 250

I finally got around to dusting off my old P3 to take some pictures of my Lowepro Fastpack 250. My previous camera bag was a simple shoulder bag which left my shoulder incredibly sore after hiking or carrying it around town all day. Since I began work in Caotun, it became quickly apparent that I would need a bag large enough to carry around my rain suit for the occasional daily downpours, my camera equipment because I’ve been appointed to photograph events at my school, and anything else I don’t want to stuff my in pockets during my daily commute.

Lowepro Fastpack 250

The top compartment is huge, I usually stuff my rain suit in there along with a host of random accessories.

Lowepro Fastpack 250

The camera sits in the side compartment which is modeled off the design of Lowepro’s popular Sling Shot line. Accessing the camera involves taking off one of the straps and swinging the bag around. The straps on the back flap prevent the side compartment from opening totally to prevent anything in the bottom compartments from falling out… when it’s completely opened you can see there’s a lot of room for lenses and other accessories:

Lowepro Fastpack 250

Right now I carry my D40, 18-55mm kit lens, my budget 55-200mm VR lens, my 50mm f/1.8 lens, and SB-600 flash with room to spare. As usually the compartments are customizable. One drawback is I wish there was a small velcro strap to hold the camera body snug when opening the side compartment.

Lowepro Fastpack 250

The bag can also carry a 15.4″ laptop computer, here it is pictured with my 12″ iBook G4. I’ve never had to carry around my laptop any long distances, so I cannot speak for how comfortable it is when used that way for long periods of time. The straps and back are padded nicely. I wore this bag packed with my camera equipment and rain suit on a 4+ hour bike ride to Zhongliao, Jiji, and Mingjian without any discomfort. A big drawback is that it doesn’t have a rain cover [which isn’t a problem for me if I wear my rain suit over it].

14 thoughts on “Lowepro Fastpack 250

  1. That pack is really nice. I love the easy access to the camera. Have you tried hiking in it? I’m looking for something that can be used for day hikes into the mountains.

    I didn’t realize you got a prime. Went with the manual focus I see. Good luck!

  2. Brain – I did a brief trail in town that was only about an hour and a half long, nothing strenuous but I hardly noticed I had the bag on. It’s a lot more comfortable than my old shoulder bag that would leave me sore just standing in the MRT with it on for a half an hour!

    As for the prime, it was an impulse buy over the weekend, I’ve hardly had a chance to play with it I’ve been so busy. I’ll be in Taipei this weekend so maybe I’ll pack light and only take this lens to force myself to use it.

  3. Looks like a nice pack. I have two National Geographic packs. One shoulder pack and the giant backpack. I don’t use the giant backpack and have been thinking of selling it since I haven’t used it that much.

    That being said, I have noticed that shoulder bags get uncomfortable after an hour or so. I will use the shoulder camera bag from time to time, when a backpack won’t work. What’s nice about the National Geographic bags, is that they don’t look like camera bags, so it’s less likely to get stolen.

    This is the reason that I purchased two Osprey Atmos packs, one 25L and one 35L. I use the 25L as my every day pack. It’s mainly used as an ultralight alternative.

    How do I pack my camera? Well one of my camera bag had these pull out moldings that fit in any bag. I just put my camera in that plus some clothes at the bottom of my pack. realistically when I’m on the go, the pack rarely leaves my back. Recently I’ve started using a hydration bladder. The Atmos pack has got a separate compartment for a hydration bladder and it works well. I’ve carried a 13.3″ laptop, iPod and accessories in it without any problems.

    What’s cool is that the Osprey Atmos has a frame in it, so it makes carrying camera gear easy.

    When I shoot, I take my 18-200mm VR Nikon lens. I’ve been thinking about getting a 12-24mm f/4, but they are just too expensive for my tastes for now, even used. Some people will swap lenses from time to time when they are on the go, but most people stick with one or two lenses when they go out. Carrying around a portrait lens when you are out shooting buildings doesn’t make much sense.

    When I was going to school during the winter semester of 2008, I carried a GoLite Jam with me everywhere. The GoLite doesn’t have a frame, but it takes books a lot better. The large front pocket serves as a perfect place to put a padded camera.

    Anyways, these are my thoughts on packs.

  4. Great post Todd. I really thought I’d done a great job with the pack I purchased for my gear. I have a nifty little shoulder bag which looks great but it’s caused me nothing but problems. I realized this about a week after I made my purchase. Now I’m wishing I’d bought a backpack. It’s definitely more suitable for the kind of trekking that I do. John and I are often in places that require two hands free. This one looks like a great purchase. Thanks for sharing.

    BTW, we’re really hoping to see you both this summer sometime. I thought we might get a chance to see you in Miaoli, but I guess we’ll have to make it some other time.

  5. Range – I think anyone who reads this post would find your comments very helpful.

    Carrie – Definitely invest in a backpack, your shoulder will thank you later. As for the shoulder bag, only use it for events in which it would be inappropriate to walk around with a backpack. You’re not going to Miaoli? I haven’t decided if I would be able to make it, things have popped up pretty much every weekend that basically rules out longterm planning.

  6. Todd, I was googling this camera bag and was pleasantly surprised when it led to your blog since I’m already a regular reader. I am thinking of getting this bag as a general hiking/travel/airplane carry on for my new Rebel and assorted accessories. Now that you’ve had it for a while, do you still like it? My only concerns are that the side zipper might make it easier for someone to pickpocket my camera body, but the fact that this looks like a plain backpack should also deter. Also, the lack of rain cover and no tripod clip are concerns. I’m thinking of getting a generic day pack rain cover for it.

  7. Hi Sandy – for your first concern: the side zipper doesn’t make things easy for people to get to your camera body, all you have to do is move the zipper so it is behind the flap so someone would have to undo the two fasteners just to move the zippers to open the compartment holding the camera body (if my wording doesn’t make sense try this out at the store and you’ll know what I’m talking about).

    I must say, I still like my bag, I’ve used it as a carry-on without problems and have had it on my back for hikes (which is 100x better than a single strap back), and while cycling. I haven’t carried it long with a laptop inside, but I’ve heard it is not too comfortable in that regard (I don’t know how long you’ll need to lug a laptop on your back for).

    I’m not worried about weather proofing because during the rainy season here I have my rain gear stuffed in my bag for my commute to and from work. On those days I have my bag on my back and my coat on and over the bag (which looks goofy, but keeps everything dry).

    If you need to travel around with your tripod I would recommend getting a bag with clips for one. I didn’t buy a tripod till after I bought my bag. However, the handful of times I have traveled with my tripod I had it in a duffel bag along with a lightstand and umbrella. So this really is not a concern for me because all that stuff necessitates another bag anyway.

  8. Thanks for your reply Todd! I went ahead and got the Fastpack. I’m pretty happy with it so far. I got the 250 even though I don’t have a laptop because 1) I can use it for magazines and files and 2) I may get a laptop in the future! The real test will be when I bring it to New Zealand!

  9. One more thing, do you happen to know of any good places to get camera equipment in Taiwan? I know a lot of laptops are much cheaper in Taiwan because they are manufactured here and I noticed that a bunch of my Canon products are made in Taiwan. So, I thought maybe there would be some sort of high quality but cheap outlet store somewhere. 😉 I’m probably wishing for the moon here, but thought I would ask anyway!

  10. OK, nice review!

    I like also the kata 466 for its looks, but i like the Fastpack because its eaasily accessible to get the camera…

    Now i am between those, and i dont really know what to do! Go for the looks of 466, or the usability of 250!

    • I find my neck strap is most often my carrying case these days. For some reason, this is one of my most popular posts – I should make an update with the D90 crammed in there with all the other stuff I’ve acquired in the last few years.

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