Friday, August 14, 2015
Lowepro flipside aw 500 camera bag (also 500 v 400)
Back in August last year I reviewed the lowepro aw 400 camera bag. This is the review of the bigger 500 series.
The Lowpro flipside AW 500 is essentially the same bag as the 400, the design is more or less the same, the pocket layout looks the same, and the straps are the same, the only real difference is in the size. The 500 being noticably bigger.
The width is about the same, the internal depth (from front to back) in the 400 is a little over 5 inches (13.5 cm roughly) the 500 has about 7 inches (18cm roughly)
The 400 is about 16 inches high (41cm roughly) internally, while the 500 is closer to 19 inches high (49cm) internally (note all measurements are approximate) Both bags are about 10.5 inches wide (from side to side).
This means the 500 has a fair bit more room inside, really it means another row of lens, or more room for a flash on whatever. The biggest advantage I can see is my 70-300mm now drops in nicely and doesn't press against my back when it's in the bag. It also means the front pocket where I keep filters, spare batteries ect is noticably bigger too. This is good, I can now get a hat and gloves in there with my filters, batteries and all the other crap I carry around.
The flipside part of the title comes from the fact you can open the bag while wearing it. Leaving the waist belt fastened you slip off the shoulder straps and swing the bag around your front and unzip the main compartment (which is against your back normally) this "inside out" idea also makes it virtually impossible for anyone to steal your camera while your wearing the bag (although they can get into the front pocket and nick your mars bars and filters) The advantage of this means you don't have to put the bag down on wet muddy ground to get the camera out.
The 500 has the same built in tripod holder strap and foot-holder that the 400 has, and the same water resistant slip over cover built in (see the pics in my august 2014 review) although the bag itself is reasonably weather resistant anyway.
Both bags have a number os straps and loops on the sides for attaching other stuff, and there are pouches to fit it, (although I haven't got any to test) the bag sides have a sort of mesh pockets just right for a bottle of water or similar
For me the 500 seems a better fit, being longer it seems to sit better, I'm a stocky guy though, if your a small frame maybe the 400 would be a better fit?
So which to buy... Well a lot depends on how much you want or need to carry, obviously the bigger bag holds more stuff, but that also means more weight. Personally I'd go with the bigger bag, you can always leave it half empty if your traveling light. Keep in mind though a bigger bag could be harder in a crowd.
The 500 and 400 side by side