Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW Review

Is it the best bag for landscape photography?

 

I’ve been using the Lowepro Whistler 450 BP AW camera bag for all of my photography for just over a year, here’s my review covering: How comfy the bag is. How much gear can you fit inside and is it value for money?

 

**This is an unbiased review. I’m not sponsored (but I wish I was) **

Initial impressions

I made a video after about 3 months of using the bag as I was getting a lot of questions from you over on my YouTube channel. You wanted to know what type of bag it was, where to get it from and what it was like to wear. My opinions haven’t changed much over the extra few much – in fact, most of my opinions have just been reassured. here’s my detailed run down

+ The bag is comfy

I do a fair amount of walking. The walks are often 10+ miles up in the Lake District fells with the bag fully loaded. The shoulder straps are fairly thick so they don’t dig into your shoulders. The bag has a waist strap and chest strap which help divide the weight up

The waist strap helps to put the weight on your hips spreading the weight out allowing you to walk further before the fatigue starts to kick in. It doesn’t sound like it would make any difference, but experience says it does.

It’s expensive

The bag varies from around £220-£280 on Amazon which is expensive. BUT it protects equipment that is more valuable so it may be worth the investment for you. I’ve used it almost daily since I got it and if the equipment held up as well as my body has, I would have needed new equipment after some of the falls.

 

I think this is where I have got my “value for money”. A new bag is cheaper than a new camera

The bag is really heavy

Whilst it is comfy, because of the amount of space available inside. It gets pretty heavy. When I first got the bag I had to fill my old bag full of weights and rocks and walk the stairs to build my legs up.

Now I barely notice the bag is there but it is a bit of a learning process when you first try and get used to it

+ You don’t get a muddy back

The bag is backloading, meaning the front of the bag goes in the mud and the camera section is behind the shoulder straps. You don’t have to worry about your back getting covered in mud anymore

+ Your camera equipment is safer

Another perk of the bag being backloading means that somebody can’t come up behind you and open the bag and steal your equipment. You access the equipment via the section that is up against your back making it more difficult for thieves to get in

+ Easy to attach a tripod

There is a heavy duty strap on each side of the bag. You can clip your tripod in so that it doesn’t move and the weight stays closer to your back so your centre of gravity is better. It takes a few seconds to attach and unclip the tripod making photographs more liekely to happen.

 

It was really awkward to get my tripod out of my old bag, If I was unsure, I wouldn’t bother. Now I take more chances

+ It protects your equipment

The bag is quite rigid due to the box type of protection. I’ve landed on it on rocks, grass and snow (all to test out the bag, I’m not clumsy).

I’ve put some clips of my falls into the review video

 

This does mean that you can’t fit as much equipment in as if you’re like me, you stuff as much in as possible. There isn’t much give so you may find some things don’t quite fit e.g. Some lenses with the lens hood attached

+ 1 bag ready to go

Before getting this bag I used a variety of smaller ones depending on where I would go. I would almost always forget something when rearranging the bags so now that I have 1 big bag, I rarely forget to pack things now.

This has been quite a big excuse killer for me. Everythings ready to go, I just need to head out with it

1 bag ready to steal

Touch wood this won’t happen, but if it does all your gear is in one place in a vessel designed to carry it

+ The bag is water resistant

Water pours off the bag fairly well. I’ve been out in heavy rain and haven’t had any issues. There is also a waterproof cover inside the bag that you can use if needed. I always have a tripod on the side of the bag though so the cover doesn’t fit then.


Would I recommend buying it?

Yes. This bag has got rid of a lot of my excuses and has joined me on hundreds of adventures. If you do a lot of photography outdoors, this would be a good addition to your photography equipment.



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