The Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack, like all the other Lowepro I've used to date, is a very good quality case. I ordered this backpack prior to a trip where I required two carry-on sized backpacks. Unfortunately, damage in shipping prevented me from using it for the original purpose I used as an excuse to get it in the first place. I've since spent several days packing gear around in the Vertex 200 and am ready to let you know what I think of it.
When selecting a photo backpack, size is one of the primary considerations. Here are some of the Lowepro backpacks I use or have used along with their close relations.
|Model||Weight||Inside Dimensions (WxDxH)||Outside Dimensions (WxDxH)|
|Lowepro Super Trekker AW II||11.5 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 II||11.7 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 II||10.3 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 II||9.2 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 AW||8.3 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 AW||7.5 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 AW||5.2 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 AW||6.7 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
Now, take out the gear you want to pack with you (or store in the case) and organize it on a table in a format similar to what I show in the examples below. Measure the best you can the size case your gear requires. These cases are slightly pliable, so you can sacrifice one dimension for another to a small extent. You can also judge from my examples what can fit into the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack.
In the example above, a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II is shown with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L IS USM Lens and its reversed hood attached. The neck strap is tucked into its own small padded section, but could easily have been tucked beside the body freeing that space for other use. Below the neckstrap is a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens with its hood reversed. Next down is a Canon EF 14mm F/2.8 L II USM Lens. In the bottom-center is a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens with its hood reversed. Much of the time I was using this pack, I had a second body with a lens mounted in the 16-35's position. A lens shorter than the 100-400 is required in the top position for the 2-bodies-with-lenses scenario to work. The second body in the above example is a Canon EOS 5D and the flash above it is a Canon Speedlite 580EX II at a 90 degree setting. Obviously, there is a lot of room for additional small items in this configuration. Not all padded dividers are shown, nor is the large, padded lens collar. A stretchy strap hook-and-loop-attaches over the primary lens to keep it in place when opening the pack (it is tucked into the 24-70 lens position above).
Here is another example.
In this example, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II is shown with a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens attached. The lens on the right side is a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L IS USM Lens with its hood reversed. A Canon EF 14mm F/2.8 L II USM Lens and Canon Speedlite 580EX II at a 90 degree setting are on the left. This setup shows the maximum (stretched) width you can get from the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack.
As in the previous example, there is still a lot of room for additional small items. The open lid gives you a glimpse of the numerous zippered and hook-and-loop-closed pockets available. Transparency allows visibility of the contents. The padded center pocket opens to allow filters or similar items to be stored - as long as there is enough room remaining inside the case to accommodate the extra space requirements.
This is just the beginning of the small-item storage space available.
The above picture shows the left zippered compartment opened. The small gray hook-and-loop-closed pockets hold compact flash cards in their plastic cases. Five additional pouches are provided here. Moving to the other side ...
The rear-right has additional zippered and open pouches including pen-sized ones.
As you can see in the top-most image, a tripod holder is included with the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack. This is detachable and can be positioned on either side or the back as shown above.
A new Lowepro feature found on the Vertex packs are Glide-Locks. Glide-Locks slide up and down over a nylon-covered piping on both sides and hook-and-loop attach into place. An adjustable strap and buckle grip the tripod. I like the new strap more than the Trekker II straps, but "glide" does not accurately define the hard-to-adjust Glide-Locks. Most likely, you will position them one time and not worry about them again - and in this case, there is no problem.
Like many of Lowepro's camera backpacks, the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack includes an attached rain cover that elastic-grips around the pack (shown above right). The rain cover stores in a hook-and-loop closed, thin pouch under the pack.
One feature that distinguishes the Lowepro Vertex series from the Lowepro Trekker II series is the padded notebook computer compartment. I sometimes use the zippered compartment on the main Trekker II lids (where the daypack can be stored) for notebook transport (inside a padded sleeve), but the Vertex notebook compartment is a nicer solution if you plan to have the notebook with you most of the time. The size of the 2" thick notebook storage area varies (mostly in height) across the Vertex line
|Model||Notebook Storage Inside Dimensions (WxDxH)|
|Lowepro Vertex 300 AW||11.8 x 2.0 x 19.7"||(300 x 51 x 500mm)|
|Lowepro Vertex 200 AW||11.8 x 2.0 x 16.5"||(300 x 51 x 419mm)|
|Lowepro Vertex 100 AW||11.0 x 2.0 x 13.8"||(279 x 51 x 351mm)|
The Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack very comfortably carries my current Dell Latitude D630 notebook. The main storage compartment lid obviously becomes heavier with a notebook computer stored in it - care should be exercised when opening it. The computer is in a padded section, but you still do not want to subject it to the unnecessary impact of dropping the lid open.
Destination photography frequently requires airline travel. And, most of us want to take our gear with us as carry-on. According to Lowepro, the Vertex 200 qualifies for this purpose ...
|Model||Manufacturer-Claimed US Airline Carry-On Qualification|
|Lowepro Super Trekker AW II||No||Well 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 II||Yes||As of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag.|
|Lowepro Nature Trekker AW II||Yes||As of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag.|
|Lowepro Vertex 300 AW||???|
|Lowepro Vertex 200 AW||Yes.||As of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag.|
|Lowepro Vertex 100 AW||Yes||As of 07/2009 - with nothing attached to the outside of the bag|
|Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW II||No|
|Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW||Yes||As of 07/2009|
If you have used any of Lowepro's SLR cases, you will not find any surprises in the quality of the Vertex 200 construction. The pads, zippers and zipper pulls are very nice. Provided padding is very protective and the pack is very functional. A handful of Lowepro Slip Lock attachments are provided for additional modular storage.
So, there is little to not like about the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack.
A Lowepro designer informed me that this series was designed to be a lower-priced product than the Trekker II packs, but at this point there is very little difference in street prices. The Trekker II packs come with a daypack and the Vertex Series have built-in notebook computer storage. The Lowepro Trekker II Series has an adjustable harness system, the Vertex Series does not. The Vertex packs have more small-item storage compartments. Both are very nice. I decided to stay with the Trekker II packs, but could be very satisfied to use the Vertex 200.