Review: Lowepro SlingShot 300AW

Review: Lowepro SlingShot 300AW
Review: Lowepro SlingShot 300AW

If you've ever been out in the market looking for a camera bag to fill with everything you'd need for a photo trip, you're probably aware of the wide amount of products out there. There are brands and models and types and the entire market is so filled that you end up getting almost as confused as you might have been when you were buying the camera in the first place!

Today we're looking at the Lowepro SlingShot 300AW, a bag model that might just surprise you in that from my testing, I found that it was useful not just for photography but for gaming.

But if you are a photographer then the SlingShot series of bags is something you should take a look at. And by "photographer" I don't mean a compact. If you put a compact in this, you're probably wasting your money and your space unless you can put some underwear and food into it.

If you're someone with a single-lens reflex or digital single-lens reflex camera, the SlingShot bags are messenger style bags that you wear in a shoulder sort of sling that can hold your SLR and let you get it out with ease. With only one strap, you'll find it's fairly easy to switch from this bag sitting on your back or held at your front but it's at the front where this bag ceases to be just your regular old rucksack.

You see instead of opening like a regular backpack and having the front zip down, you have a two part fold to open. If you open it just a little so that the bag is on your front, you get a top-down view of what's in your bag. Complete with the padding often found in Lowepro bags, this means that getting your camera out is as simple as reaching in, pulling it out, and then zipping it back up. If you need to open the entire thing up, simply pull the rest of the zippers down and the middle of the backpack opens up from the top allowing you to place your gear amongst the removable dividers.

It's kind of hard for me to explain so there's a nice picture to the side here that I grabbed from Lowepro's site.

Inside that main compartment are areas for you to store your memory cards as well as an in-built cleaning cloth. The top part of the back opens like a regular backpack as does the front part, but each of them allow you to hold even more stuff. I often walked around during testing with my Nintendo DS in the top compartment while sunscreen and a pen went in the front section.

And in case you haven't been told, the AW in "300AW" means "All Weather" so with that in mind, the part that your back rests against has a Velcro bit underneath with the weather cover underneath. Simply open it up from the bottom and pull it out & over the backpack. Easy. Putting it away is just as hard.

But there is something that the Lowepro 300AW does that I don't even think Lowepro are aware of. It's something that I don't expect the makers to have necessarily thought of and I discovered it by chance.

The Lowepro 300AW is actually an excellent bag for...

Owners of the Nintendo Wii.

Say you were travelling to your parents place up the coast and you had to take a train to get there. Well, you can pack the Wii, your control strip, two sets of Wii-motes plus the Nunchuks, power brick, and around six games to accompany it. You'll still have room on top where your normal camera access would be so you can even throw in a change of underwear!

If there's only one thing that really cramps the style of how cool the SlingShot bags are it's the way you wear it. If you happen to wear it on your side for some reason or another, you're likely to find yourself without circulation to the arm on the other side of your body. I was actually curious about this and asked users of the Lowepro 200AW that I knew and sure enough they confirmed the same sort of thing. So if that happens, you're wearing it the wrong way... but you probably know that.

Whether you want a small, medium or big bag, the body sizes go up through the ranks with the 100, 200, and 300 bags. I personally find that I'd probably be better suited for either a 200AW or a 300AW and obviously the smaller you go, the less camera gear or other items you can put into it.

But if you're looking for a bag that gives you easy access to your camera (or Wii) and gives you protection from the elements, I'd certainly take a look at a Lowepro SlingShot bag like the 300AW.

Should you buy it?: It's an excellent camera backpack and a great way to carry around a Wii. I'd probably go with the 200AW as it's a little less chunky, but the Slingshot are very well designed.

Product: Lowepro SlingShot 300AW

Vendor: Maxwell

RRP: Starting from $115

Website: Lowepro SlingShot

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