Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Camera Backpack Review

Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Camera Backpack Review
Note: The Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Backpack has been replaced by the Lowepro Pro Trekker 400 AW Backpack.

The Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Backpack, like many of my other bags/cases/packs, meets a specific need I have ...

Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Camera Backpack Loaded with Gear

The Photo Trekker II above is ready for some wildlife photography. Shown top and center is the Canon 1Ds Mark II Pro DSLR body with an attached L-Bracket mounted to a Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM Lens with hood reversed. This is the largest combo that fit in this case - The fit is snug in both height and depth dimensions. This is exactly what I was looking for as USA domestic airline carry-on approval with this camera/lens enclosed was my specific need for this pack.

Shown to the left of the camera/lens are the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens with hood reversed, a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens with hood reversed and a notebook computer AC adapter. Shown to the right are the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens with hood reversed, the Canon EF 1.4x and 2x extenders and some misc gear including an external mini hard drive. Actually, I packed a good bit more in the Photo Trekker before leaving on this flight - many of the lenses shown in this photo have room over them.

See-through flat pockets (two small and one large) can be seen on the inner side of the lid on the open case above (the small black flaps are zipper-pull covers). There is plenty of room for thin things such as memory cards, microfiber cloths ... The other/outer side of the lid has a large zippered pocket that easily holds my 14" laptop in a padded neoprene slip case when the backpack is loaded in the displayed-above configuration. This storage area is padded on the inside only - thus I use a neoprene slip case for my notebook. This large zippered pocket can alternatively hold the included Lowepro Trekker DayPack. The daypack may be used alone or attached to the back of the Photo Trekker II.

The main storage area of the Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Backpack is very configurable as the hook & loop-attached padded dividers are movable/removable. Many are removed in my sample configuration above. The configuration shown below was my carryon for my 2010 American Southwest landscape photography trip.

Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Camera Backpack Loaded with Gear

Shown in the top row of the above backpack are:
5D Mark II battery charger, spare 5D II battery and well over 200GB of CF cards
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens with hood reversed
Canon TS-E 17mm f/4 L Tilt-Shift Lens with hood reversed
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Tilt Shift Lens with hood removed

The middle row includes:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens attached
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III body
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens with hood reversed (slightly stretching the depth dimension of the case)
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV body, a spirit level and a towel

The bottom row includes:
Arca-Swiss Z-1 Ball Head in Optech Case
Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens with hood reversed
B+W circular polarizer filter
Charger for the Canon LP-E4 Batteries
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens with hood reversed
Giottos Rocket Air Blower

Lowepro provides another example of a loaded Photo Trekker II below ...

Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Camera Backpack Stuffed with Gear

As shown above, a tripod can be attached to the Photo Trekker II - on either side or in the middle of the back. SlipLock cases (such as a Lens Case) can be added to the many side, back and belt SlipLock loops. The Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Backpack does not included the two long/tubular SlipLock cases that come with the larger, more expensive Lowepro Pro Trekker II AW. D-rings, loops and elastic cords with quick-release clips are abundant.

Storage is not the only configurable on this camera backpack (and perhaps not the most important). Adjustments are found all over the pack to maximize the support and comfort the Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Backpack provides to each of our unique bodies. Perhaps the biggest and most unique adjustment involves an ingenious device called the Pack Jack. Shaped like a large, flat arrow, the thin, stiff plastic Pack Jack slides down behind the shoulder strap harness to release the hook & loop that holds it in place. Adjust the shoulder harness to your preferred ride height and slide the Pack Jack out. The hook & loop again takes solid hold and the Pack Jack stows out of the way behind the shoulder harness (or can be removed completely). You are left with a pack customized for your back.

Adjustments on the shoulder strap, sternum strap and the belt complete a customized-to-you fit. Thick padding surrounds your body, a breathable mesh allows moisture evaporation from your back. Lowepro was generous with the length of belt they provided.

The exterior of the Photo Trekker II features water-resistant 600D ripstop nylon and 600D Endura™ nylon. It is attractive and rugged with a quality feel. Zippers are quiet and water-resistant. A rain coat-like cover is included (stowed in a pouch under the pack) to help keep the backpack dry.

The Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Backpack features nice rubberized handles on top and side - They are nice for carrying the pack or for assistance when putting it on or taking it off your back. An included shoulder strap attaches to one side of the pack.

Lowepro has several All-Weather (AW) camera backpacks. If you've read any of my other Trekker AW II reviews, you've noticed similarities between the models. All are excellent - Size is really the biggest differentiator. You need to determine the size that fits your need best ...

ModelWeightInside Dimensions (WxDxH)Outside Dimensions (WxDxH)
Lowepro Super Trekker AW II11.5 lb(5.2 kg)14.5 x 6.5 x 25.5"(370 x 165 x 650 mm)23.5 x 15.0 x 27.5"(595 x 380 x 700mm)*
Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II11.7 lb(5.3 kg)12.0 x 6.0 x 20.5"(305 x 150 x 520 mm)21.0 x 15.0 x 23.5"(535 x 380 x 595mm)*
Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II10.3 lb(4.7 kg)12.0 x 6.0 x 19.0"(305 x 150 x 485 mm)14.5 x 15.0 x 21.5"(370 x 380 x 545mm)*
Lowepro Nature Trekker AW II9.2 lb(4.2 kg)11.5 x 6.0 x 16.8"(290 x 150 x 425mm)14.5 x 15.0 x 19.0"(370 x 380 x 485mm)
Lowepro Vertex 300 AW8.3 lb(3.8 kg)12.2 x 6.5 x 20.5"(310 x 165 x 521mm)13.0 x 10.2 x 21.7"(330 x 259 x 551mm)
Lowepro Vertex 200 AW7.5 lb(3.4 kg)11.8 x 6.5 x 17.3"(300 x 165 x 439mm)12.6 x 10.2 x 18.5"(320 x 259 x 470mm)
Lowepro Vertex 100 AW5.2 lb(2.3 kg)11.0 x 5.9 x 15.4"(279 x 150 x 391mm)11.8 x 9.8 x 16.5"(300 x 249 x 419mm)
Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW6.7 lb(3.04 kg)8.5 x 8.5 x 20.5"(215 x 215 x 520mm)11.0 x 12.5 x 22.0"(280 x 320 x 560mm)

 
* Outside dimensions are with tripod holder attached

ModelManufacturer-Claimed US Airline Carry-On Qualification
Lowepro Super Trekker AW IINoWell above airline carry-on size.
Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II???About 50% of the time As of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag
Lowepro Photo Trekker AW IIYesAs of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag.
Lowepro Nature Trekker AW IIYesAs of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag.
Lowepro Vertex 300 AW???
Lowepro Vertex 200 AWYes.As of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag.
Lowepro Vertex 100 AWYesAs of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag
Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW IINo 
Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AWYesAs of 07/2009

 
The Lowepro Trekker AW II Users Guide provides lots of insight into Lowepro's quality camera backpacks and is worth reading if you are serious about purchasing a camera backpack.

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Buy Now  ►  Find the Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II Backpack on eBay.com

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