Not long ago, we reviewed the Lowepro Photosport III. We liked the bag overall but felt that it was a little lacking when it came to storage space, especially for camera gear. Now, we get to look at its big brother — the monstrous Lowepro Photosport Pro 55L AW III.
The Lowepro Photosport Pro 55L is a camera bag for creators who like to spend multiple days out in the field. It can hold a sleeping bag, trekking poles, a tent, food, hiking essentials, and yes, cameras and lenses. Let’s take a closer look at it.
- Great construction
- Lots of storage
- Weather resistant
- Hydration bladder compatible
- Overall comfort
- Versatility is its middle name
- Weighs 6.6lbs out of the box
- No side access panel
- No way to compartmentalize when the camera cube is out
- It’s a little pricey
Lowepro Photosport Pro 55L — Tech specs
All technical specifications are from the official Lowepro website:
- Total volume: 57 L
- Weight 6.6lbs (3 kg)
- External dimensions D/W/H (Inches): 16.14 x 14.17 x 27.56 in
- Internal dimensions D/W/H (Inches): 13.39 x 7.48 x 25.20 in
- Camera compartment dimensions (Inches): 11.42 x 5.91 x 8.27 in
- GearBox interior dimensions (Inches) 11.42 x 5.91 x 8.27 in
- Exterior material: 420D nylon w/ carbonate (recycled)
- Interior material: 200D polyester (recycled)
Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L — Ergonomics and build quality
This is a bag that has been designed to be loaded up with everything you need to get away from it all for a few days. So, it should come as no surprise that the Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L AW III is a big bag. The PhotoSport Pro 55L measures 27.5 inches tall, 16.1 inches deep and 14.1 inches wide.
There’s one main compartment to the bag that can be accessed through a roll-top, or by zipped flaps located on the front and the back. However, there’s no side-access panel to be able to access your gear quickly, which is one feature I loved on the smaller PhotoSport III.
Inside the Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L, you’ll find the removable GearUp pouch that houses your camera and lenses. There’s also a dedicated pouch that can hold a 2-liter water bladder. The lid of the bag (which can also be removed) has a mesh pocket on the inside and another compartment that houses the bag’s all-weather cover or other small items.
Pockets on either side of the bag can hold tripods or a water bottle. There’s a zippered pouch at the bottom that holds a sleeping bag and there are straps at the bottom that can hold a collapsed tent. There are also loops that can secure trekking poles or an ice-picking axe and there’s an expandable flap that sits on the front that can hold a folded-up jacket for example. The well-padded waist straps also have small Velcro storage compartments.
Lowepro has done a nice job creating a bag that still looks good despite its large size.
The PhotoSport Pro 55L comes in one color combo (black, light gray and vibrant orange) which I think looks great. Even though the bag is made from 85% recycled fabrics (kudos to Lowepro for this) the PhotoSport Pro 55L weighs a hefty 6.6lbs out of the box.
Overall, the materials feel fantastic. The nylon and polyester feel nice to the touch and they have repelled light rains well. They have also stood up well to being dropped on the floor, scrapped by rocks, branches, thorns and a myriad of other obstacles.
There are metal hooks that secure the shoulder straps. The plastic clips used throughout feel solid and secure, the various straps are tough and the zippers operate smoothly. I can’t fault the Lowepro Photosport Pro 55L AW III when it comes to its build quality. I have put it through hell and it has held up well.
Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L — What can it hold?
The Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L AW III comes with a well-padded GearUp Pro XL gear cube. This cube will allow you to carry a gripped mirrorless camera or DSLR with an attached 70-200mm f/2.8. The number of other lenses you can carry varies.
I was able to load the cube up with my Panasonic Lumix S5, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art, a Panasonic Lumix S 85mm f/1.8, a Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3, a vintage Super Takumar 50mm f1.4, a Tair 135mm f/2.8 and a small flash. You could load quite a few smaller primes if you wish, or you could take a couple of larger lenses.
The dividers are easy to move around so you can make your gear fit and they offer plenty of protection. There’s enough room to play around with so this should please most creators.
It goes on and on
The Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L can hold so much more than just camera gear. You can remove the camera cube and you can wear it as a sling. This frees up room in the main compartment for a few days worth of clothes, shoes, food, and so much more.
As mentioned above, the bag has a dedicated compartment for a sleeping bag, straps for a tent, trekking poles, tripods, water bottles and a 2-liter water bladder. You can make this bag work for you in many different ways. It’s this versatility that makes the PhotoSport Pro such a great companion when you’re out in the backcountry.
Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L — In the field
The PhotoSport Pro 55L AW III weighs 6.6lbs dry, so when you load your belongings into it you know the Photosport Pro is going to be a weighty affair. However, Lowepro has done a fantastic job at making this bag feel great when you’re carrying it around.
Right off the bat, I love that the bag has a dedicated pouch for a hydration bladder. When you go hiking it can be a pain to stop walking, remove the bag, grab your water bottle, and so on. With the bladder, you can run the hose from inside the bag and over your shoulder so you can grab some quality H2O without breaking stride.
Onto the straps. The height of the harness system can be adjusted quickly. This allows you to make the bag fit your torso. The harness is easy to adjust as well thanks to a simple Velcro and hook system. The shoulder straps are very thick and provide a ton of support. The straps are also nicely contoured so they flow under your arms nicely. Inside the bag is an aluminum plate that adds rigidity and that helps disperse the weight to your hips.
There’s no breathable mesh on the back of the bag, however, thick padding between the straps and the back of the bag creates a small gap that air flows through nicely. The harness also has a sternum strap, which helps keep this bag in place when it’s fully loaded. The waist straps are also generously padded and the lumbar support is plush. This bag is comfortable and it stays put when you’re in motion.
It’s incredibly versatile
The Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L AW III has a few party tricks thanks to the accessory strap system. You can keep the bag in the configuration it arrives in, which means you leave the GearUp camera cube in the bag, or you can remove it and carry it as a sling. You can also attach it to the shoulder straps, which frees up room in the main compartment for other items.
If you leave the camera cube in the bag you can flip it as you please and can access it via the front or rear of the bag. This is great if you don’t want people to access your camera and lenses from the front of the bag when it’s on your back. There’s no quick side-access panel, though. So, to get to your gear you have to take the backpack off.
The accessory strap system also allows you to remove the top flap of the bag and wear it as a separate sling pouch. There’s a strap that you can use as a camera neck strap. The pouch the accessory straps come in can also double as a pouch that can attach to the shoulder straps. You can place your smartphone or other small items in it.
The accessory straps do come in handy. However, they also make this bag quite complicated. So, you need to spend time with this bag to get to know it intimately. Only then will you be able to get the most out of it.
Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L — A serious bag that loves the great outdoors
The Lowpro PhotoSport Pro 55L AW III is more than a camera bag. It’s a bag for those who like to get away from civilization for a few days. The PhotoSport Pro 55L AW III allows you to load up everything you need to trek around in the woods, mountains or anywhere else you want to go.
The build quality is fantastic. The accessory strap system makes the bag very versatile and the adjustable harness system and lumbar support make this is a very comfortable bag. I appreciate that Lowepro has made this bag ecologically friendly as well. Using 85% recycled materials means that bag is lighter than others but no less tough, and it helps the environment. It’s not a cheap bag, but for those who need a strong bag for multi-day hikes that can carry camera gear, rations, and clothes and more, this is a solid option.
Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L AW III
The Lowepro PhotoSport Pro 55L is a bag for creators who like to go on multi-day hikes out in the wilderness. The bag is strong enough to survive the backcountry yet soft and supportive in all the right places. The bag is incredibly comfortable, it can hold cameras, lenses, a tent, a sleeping bag, clothes, and rations. If you need a bag that can carry it all on your next adventure, check out this option.