Reviews |Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III

Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III Review

Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III
Review

Price when reviewed

£169.95

$169.95
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Our Verdict

While the Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III lacks some of the adjustment features of a dedicated trekking backpack, it enables you to carry a substantial load of camera gear comfortably for several miles. It remains comfortable at the end of the day and I didn’t find myself shifting it around on my back in an effort to relieve pressure points or move the load.

Lowepro uses good quality dividers and padding to protect your camera gear. The back section is also well-paded so that you don’t feel the contents of the backpack pressing through.

For

  • Robust and durable
  • Back access keeps camera gear secure
  • Removable accessory pouch included

Against

  • Not many external pockets
  • No 'load-lifter' straps on the main straps

What is the Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III?

The Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III is a backpack for carrying camera gear. It has a traditional design with a large main compartment for carrying cameras and lenses, a dedicated laptop compartment and a side pocket that can be used for carrying a water bottle or a tripod.

There’s room inside the Flipside BP 400 AW III for a large DSLR or mirrorless camera with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, plus another four or five lenses.

Specification

  • Product type: Backpack
  • Exterior materials: 600D polyester, 600D polyester ripstop
  • External dimension: 33 x 24 x 48cm
  • Internal dimensions: 28 x 14 x 41cm
  • Camera compartment dimensions: 28 x 14 x 41cm
  • Accessory pouch internal dimensions: 27 x 11 x 9cm
  • Volume: 20L
  • Capacity: Pro DSLR with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens plus 4-5 additional lenses
  • Laptop compartment: Yes up to 15-inch
  • Weight: 1.7Kg

The Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III is also available from Amazon UK

Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III

Features

Lowepro designed the Flipside BP 400 AW III for photography rather than a day out with your camera. It’s a subtle difference which means that the majority of the Flipside BP 400 AW III’s capacity is dedicated to holding camera gear. It’s not a split pack like the recently reviewed Gitzo Légende Backpack, which has a top section for carrying things like your packed lunch or an extra layer.

Nevertheless, the Flipside BP 400 AW III has a large flat pocket at the front for holding a few accessories like a filter or two and a memory card wallet. As I mentioned earlier, there’s also a pocket on the side of the backpack that can hold a drink bottle or support a tripod. A strap with a snap closure above the pocket enables you to pull the tripod close to the side of the bag.

Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III

On the opposite side of the backpack from the tripod pocket, there’s a zip-closed opening to access the bottom of the main compartment. This means that with careful arrangement, you can swing the pack around your left shoulder, open the side and swap your lens.

If you want full access to the main compartment’s contents, however, you have to put the Flipside BP 400 AW III down on its front, flip back the main straps, and undo the zip. While you do this, the new curved EVA bumpers on the front of the pack protect the insides from lumps and bumps in the ground.

Inside the Flipside BP 400 AW III, there’s a healthy array of dividers with Velcro attachments and preformed creases to help them mould around your gear. Two small orange dividers stand out clearly from the rest, which are grey. These have a Velcro-sealed pocket that’s perfect for keeping a memory card or two safe. It’s a simple but smart addition.

Lowepro also includes a removable accessories pouch, which is shaped to fit at the top of the pack and has velcro strips to keep it there. With internal dimensions of 27 x 11 x 9cm, it has enough space for a purse or wallet, spare batteries and cables.

Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III

The Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III is also available from Amazon UK

Performance

Lowepro has given the Flipside BP 400 AW III well-padded shoulder straps which are nicely curved, so your arm movement isn’t restricted and there’s no rubbing.

There’s also a chest strap that helps pull some of the weight off your shoulders.  This strap runs up and down the chest section of the shoulder straps and there are clips that can be released to allow it to be positioned before they’re locked in place. The good news here is that the chest strap can be pushed quite high, close to your collar bone or lower down to near the bottom of the main strap. That means it comfortable for male and female photographers.

Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III

Lowepro has also given the Flipside BP 400 AW III a waist belt, which is small enough to fit me (5ft 2 and UK size 8) and big enough for larger photographers. However, as you can see in the image above, the waist belt is quite high for taller photographers (the model here is 6ft 2).

I carried the Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III for several miles with and without using the waist belt and I didn’t really notice any benefit from using it, but the chest strap did help.

Although the backpack feels quite stiff, at the end of a couple of 5 and 6-mile walks, I only felt tired after carrying the weight of the Fujifilm GFX100S and four medium format lenses, I had no specific aches arising from carrying the Flipside BP 400 AW III. However, a few times, I reached for a non-existent strap at the top of the shoulder straps in an attempt to pull the weight a bit closer to my shoulders and higher up my back.

A shower cap-style rain cover is included to protect the contents of your bag in heavy rain.

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