The Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW is the middle-sized model of Lowepro's Slingshot cases. It is basically the same as the Lowepro Slingshot 100 AW but larger.
As I said in the 100 review, I'm always looking for additional and better ways to carry and protect my gear. The Lowepro Slingshot cases have quickly become very popular, so I tried all three models currently in the line to find out if they were right for me. Over the last several months, I've been using them along with the Lowepro Toploaders that I most frequently use (at least at this time) for my light gear needs.
Characteristic of a sling type of case is the single padded and liberally adjustable shoulder strap that goes over the head and hangs on a shoulder. The Slingshots are designed to hang from the right shoulder. An additional strap and clip under the right arm optionally secure the case while it is in the on-the-back position. A handle is provided for carrying the Slingshot off-the-shoulder.
Continuing like the 100 ... To access the case contents, unclip the small strap (if you are using it) and rotate the case and shoulder strap down under the left arm until it is easily accessible in front. At this point, a double-pull zipper will open to access only the side of the case which is pointing up - similar to how a Toploader is accessed - with the lid opening away. Unclipping two clips will allow the same double-pull zipper to continue until the entire flap opens - as is shown below. You don't want the bag hanging from your shoulder with a fully open main compartment as the gear is at high risk of falling out - the clips for preventing this from accidentally happening are a good idea.
The Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW is shown above with the near-largest camera and lens combination that fit in the designed location. This a Canon 1-Series pro body (the Canon EOS 1D Mark III Digital SLR) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens attached with lens hood reversed.
Outside dimensions without the strap are 17.5" long, 10" wide and 7" deep (445mm x 255mm x 180mm). The main storage compartment is 11" wide, 9.5" high and 5.5" deep (280mm x 240mm x 140mm). Divider pads in the main compartment are held in place by strong hook-and-loop fasteners and are reconfigurable. Though significantly larger than the Slingshot 100, the 200 AW still does not have many alternative configurations that maintain the basic way the case is designed to work. The two divided sections measures 4" x 5.5" (100mm x 140mm) (wxh) without their middle dividers in place. There is some flexibility in how you use these sections - A full size flash such as the Canon 580EX II will fit with its head in the 90 degree position. You can store a medium-sized lens on either side - the Canon EF 24-105mm F/4 L IS Lens fits comfortably without its hood, but snugly with the hood attached (another .5"/13mm of width would be nice). A similar lens or flash will fit in both sides of the case with a little room left over for filters or other accessories. Since the case is somewhat flexible, you can stretch the dimensions I provided somewhat.
There is also room beside the camera body in the above picture. I haven't found a great use for this space as there is no protection provided between the camera and this area. There is also nothing to keep an item stored in this area from falling into the camera lens section when actively using the camera.
A nice amount of additional storage is provided under the zipped-closed area on the right side (as pictured above) of the case. It measures 5" x 8.5" (127mm x 215mm), but the depth and width are tapered strongly toward the narrow end of the case - from 5.5" (140mm) down to 3" (75mm) in depth.
A hook-and-loop-closed flap on the inside of the large lid opens to numerous CompactFlash-sized compartments. A zippered pocket on the outside of the main lid also has a few small/thin slots for storing small things. There are two small elastic-closed pouches - one in each of the larger compartments. The one in the main storage section is behind the camera body in the above picture - this one has a lens cloth sewn into it.
Three external SlipLock attachments are provided - one can be seen to the left side of the Lowepro logo in the picture above, another is on the lid shown opened in the same picture. The third is under the case as pictured above. Lowepro provides many pouches, lens cases ... that can be attached here. When the case is on your back, these attachments will be upright - but they will be sideways when accessing the case hanging on your shoulder.
The AW portion of the product name refers to the "All Weather" protection provided by a just-the-right-size rain jacket stored under the padded section of the back of the case and held in place by hook-and-loop fastener. Pull it out when needed.
The Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW pads and the case itself are very protective - very typical for Lowepro gear. Quality construction is also typical Lowepro. The external material is a strong, durable Nylon. The case itself is light.
The Slingshot 200 is obviously larger than the Slingshot 100 - it better-holds what I typically need. It is better-suited for a serious photographer. The larger amount of gear the Slingshot 200 can hold can also make the pack considerably heavier than the 100 packed full. I found an even modestly loaded Slingshot 200 to become uncomfortable after several hours of carry. The load is not as evenly balanced as a backpack. Toploaders also have an unbalanced carry weight, but this weight is more adjustable - it can hang on either shoulder as well as either shoulder while over your head. The Slingshot 200 has a significant capacity advantage however.
Carrying the 200 for shorter periods of time is not uncomfortable. The thick pad that very adequately insulates your body from the camera body is appreciated. The larger size requires a little more care while maneuvering in a crowd. Accessing the camera is convenient.
We all have different preferences and needs when it comes to carrying our gear. The Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW is probably the best-sized of the Slingshots for most serious/pro photographers.
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