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A His and Her Review of the Lowepro Passport Sling Bag

By on Sep 27, 2012 in Travel Advice | 6 comments

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Recently we purchased the Lowepro Passport Sling Bag to house all our camera gear for our travels around Asia and Europe – an upgrade from our Crumpler Seven Million dollar camera bag. However the decision to purchase the bag, as well as our constant bickering about the pros and cons after using it for the past 12 months has led me to writing a review of the Lowepro Passport Sling  Bag…with a slight difference. I’m going to share my take on it and my wife’s view as well, which will hopefully lead to a balanced review.

This review starts late last year when Nic and I invested in a descent camera setup – a sweet canon 60D with lens, filters, tripods and various other bit and pieces. The question that eventually came up was how to house all this stuff. We had previously used the Crumpler Seven Million Dollar bag – great if you’re just shooting locally but bulky, large and cumbersome when travelling away from home. We came across the Lowepro Passport Sling Bag and were immediately at odds over this bag. These differences on opinion is what led us to some serious discussions on a bag, me sleeping on the couch and my wife seriously pissed off with me… so let’s introduce to you the Lowepro Passport Sling Camera bag, the centre of our disagreement.

 

Overview of Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag

The Passport Sling is from Lowepro, a reputable camera bag manufacturer and the sling varies in cost from $70AUD anywhere up to $120 depending on colour and the style you go for. I’ve placed a small promo clip from Lowepro to give you an intro to the bag.

The Sling is made from a nylon fabric, has a durable zip system and a solid strap. Inside is a solidly built padded camera compartment that is held in with industrial strength Velcro and can be easily removed if leaving you camera gear at home. The bag also has some room for other valuables and can be extended by unzipping along the front to allow for an extra 30%. Unfortunately the Lowepro Passport Sling  Bag is not waterproof as Nic and I discovered when our room was flooded in India and the bag tends to stain and mark easily. The sling can be simply cleaned though and we just place it in the washing machine on a delicate wash (remove the compartment first).

Lowepro Sling Bag Zipped

Lowepro Sling Bag Zipped

Lowepro Sling Bag Extended

Lowepro Sling Bag Extended

 

What We Can Fit Into The Lowepro Passport Sling Bag

 

Niki and I both considered the Lowepro Passport Sling  Bag to be a Mary Poppins bag – you’ll be surprised what you can fit in there. Here is a list of everything we can in store in there before unzipping:

Extend the Bag and you’ll easily be able to fit a solid jumper, souvenirs from your day’s adventure and lots of other little bit and pieces.

Lowepro Passport Sling Bag Contents

Lowepro Passport Sling Bag Contents

Peter’s Review of Lowepro Passport Sling Bag

Let me get this out the way, I never wanted the Lowepro Passport Sling Bag! My first thoughts of the bag was that it was a sling bag that would be uncomfortable to travel with and be more suited to a photographer crawling through the inner suburbs of Melbourne than a backpacker trekking through the backwaters of Borneo. I like to choose gear that is practical, sturdy and sensible. Gear that quickly goes in when I have to rush for a flight and gear that has a purpose to warrant its place on my back as it’s hauled around the world.

 

What I liked about the Lowepro Passport Sling Bag

First of all it is a great little unisex bag if you use it for what it is was intended for, and in my opinion, inner city photo shoots or small comfortable travels away for a short period of time. It’s fashionable for any city and doesn’t look out of place if you were in a pub shooting the latest gig or down at the local art gallery. The colour range wasn’t too out there, unlike the bright red Crumpler that says “Hey you, come rob me, I’m housing the latest apple product in here”.

I liked that I could hide things in it – great for sneaking that extra long lens into a sporting event (Australia Open). It’s also great if you want to carry other things around with you, such as notepads, bottles of water etc.

Security is good on the bag as you can wear it on your front to protect it from wandering fingers and the bag looks like any other bag, which helps mask the fact that you’re carrying expensive equipment with you. And as for the size, it amazing how much you can get in there! Cost wise, we paid about $80AUD which isn’t bad as far as camera bags go.

 

What I don’t like about the Lowepro Passport Sling Bag

My main concern about buying the Lowepro Passport Sling was that it would become my wife’s handbag, bits and pieces floating around in it, which it did. Camera bags should never be shared with normal bag contents, which inevitably end up with squashed bananas, open bottles of water and lipsticks missing their caps! Yes Lowepro argues that when you zip it up it creates a seal over the camera storage section – yet I don’t think its 100% effective.

I travelled with this bag around India and Sri Lanka, and after time it got heavy, hunched me over and became generally uncomfortable to wear. It’s shocking to hike any long distances with and forget mountain climbing. I hiked a small 2000m and there was no ergonomics in the bag. The strap was digging into my shoulders and the pain from carrying it was unbearable by the end of the day. Yes it’s handy that you can just open it up and whip out the camera but the uneven weight on one side of your body is not worth it. It’s also a pain in the arse to carry it with your backpack. I’d prefer to use a rig belt set up.

 

My overall view, surprisingly, is that the Lowepro Passport Sling Bag is an awesome bag with lots of space, practical usage, fashionable and secure. If I was flying up to Singapore or KL for two days to a do a quick piece of museums or restaurants – I would absolutely use this bag but put me on the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and I would be sacrificing it to the gods. The bag loses its functionality when long term travelling/photo shoots and where strenuous physical activity is involved. I also question that as I acquire more camera gear such as lenses/tripods/flashes if this bag would cope?

Lowepro Passport Sling Bag Camera Storage

Lowepro Passport Sling Bag Camera Storage

 

Niki Review of the Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag

Unlike my husbands love of  gear that is practical, sturdy and sensible, when I’m shopping for a camera bag I look for gear that is appealing to wear, that I can wear close to my body (for security) and that can accommodate everything I need to carry at once. For me, the Lowepro  camera bag is the perfect way to easily carry and quickly access my camera equipment when on the go. My original brief for selecting a new camera bag was that it was light weight, easy to carry, easily accessible (which put most backpacks out), protective of my equipment and that it looked stylist without being too obvious of its contents and Lowepro ticked all the boxes.

 

What I liked about the Lowepro Passport Sling Bag

I wanted one bag to carry my Canon 60D body, 18-55 lens and my 75-300 lens, cleaning cloth, Canon Ixus point and shoot camera, spare battery and spare memory cards around with me and still have room to carry essentials like keys, phone and purse so I didn’t have to carry a second bag. I have found the Lowepro to be perfect for my needs. I can sling it over my shoulder and go with all my camera equipment as well as my essentials plus I know it has an extra zip to open when you need more space for purchases on the go.

It’s great for travelling as it sits securely next to the body, however I would agree with Peter when he says it’s not very comfortable for long hikes as the weight load is carried on one shoulder. One other complaint I have with the bag is the open pockets that are on the outside of the bag as they have no zip or any way to secure them closed, therefore I don’t use them as I find them a security risk. The bag also has a secure padded area for my camera and lens which protects them and keeps them from floating about the bag with other items.

Overall I am very happy with this bag, and I would recommend it to others looking to fill a similar brief.

Conclusion

So we hope this review helps in your decision whether to buy to Lowepro Passport Sling Bag and also helps avoid any relationship hiccups on the way. The bag itself is a good quality bag, however you have decide the purpose you want to use it for and know its limitations.

Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback below on your thoughts of the Bag for future readers.

6 Comments

  1. Jasmine B

    February 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Hi! Do you think a camera reflex with attached lens (18-135) will fit in this bag? Thanks.

  2. Jasmine B

    February 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Hi! Do you think a camera reflex with attached lens (18-135) will fit in this bag? Thanks.

    • HI Jasmine
      I just had a look, it would be a very snug fit and I couldn’t guarantee it. With mine attached to a 300mm it doesn’t fit, however with my 18-55mm there quite a bit of space left ( a couple cm’s). Hope this helps.

      cheers Peter

      • Jasmine B

        February 18, 2013

        Post a Reply

        Thanks. Finally, I went to FutureShop, and it fits! Thank you for your review, it was helpful!

  3. Jen

    October 19, 2014

    Post a Reply

    Hi Guys, i stumbled across this review whilst looking for information on washing my lowepro passport sling bag. I just thought i would add in another perspective on this product. I have been backpacking around europe for the last 7 months with a 70L 20kg oneplanet backpack, and a lowepro passport sling bag. The lowepro bag holds my canon 5d mkII, 24-70mm lens, 11″ macbook air, 2 portable hard drives, laptop charger, phone charger, camera battery charger, portable phone battery charger, my purse, phone, passport, an umbrella, a bottle of water and usually a cardigan, with space left for shopping and snacks. It’s a fantastic bag – holds so much equipment, yet is easy to access, secure, comfortable (if you take off the shoulder pad) and i can wear it with my backpack on while still having easy access to all my belongings (the key is to put it on before your backpack). It gets a bit heavy with all that equipment inside, so for long walks and hikes when i can, i leave my laptop behind and it’s fine. A couple of other things to note are that with my 24-70 lens attached to my 5d, the top padded section of the camera compartment does not fit – however, the bag functions perfectly well without this. Also, the laptop slides down one side where the velcro is, but the extended zipper needs to be open for this to work, and, the laptop needs a cover otherwise it gets scratched by the velcro. All in all a great, practical and functional product for short, or long trips.

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