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A reinvention of a classic and highly rated pack - we test whether the changes in the Lowepro Photosport Pro III are for the better

camera backpack lowepro  photosport iii web
Best for...
Minimalist outdoor photographers
Overall Score
A larger size option could be very useful

We've used and abused our old Photosport pack for years of hiking, mountain biking, trail running and just about every other activity you care to mention. It was superb. So, are Lowepro updating it just for the sake of it?

Well, no. With a product this focussed and minimal there is no need for a revolution, but there is one aspect of this pack that is a game changer: the incorporation of the (included) Gear Up insert. We reviewed this as a standalone product and loved it, but utilising it here as a removable camera compartment means versatility for days.

Firstly, it means the Photosport packs flat (the previous iteration had a fairly bulky camera compartment which wasn't removable), so it can go in checked luggage for example, and be used as a daypack on non-shooting days. And since Lowepro have included a rather ingenious strap/connector system, you get a shoulder bag (which can be used as a toploader) for your camera into the bargain.

The quick and easy side access to the camera remains and is as useful as it ever was (think cycling, when you don't want a camera swinging in front of you, but need rapid access). It's questionable whether a waist belt pocket on both sides would have been a better design choice (only one is equipped) but since there are attachment loops for potential pocket-like add-ons, maybe this is the more versatile approach.

The only negative is that the upper section of the pack is a little restricted on space for personal items - a 30 litre version would be a great option, but perhaps that goes against the fast and light ethos of the pack.

We can't conclude without mentioning Lowepro's excellent, and very transparent efforts at environmentalism. 75% of this pack's materials are recycled and the fact this is represented on a 'progress' bar on the pack implies that Lowepro expect their customers to push them further on this.

Finally, the price is high, but the versatility is higher. A genuinely superb piece of kit.

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