We like to keep it clean and simple, and so does this backpack.

Photo Gear: Lowepro’s 250 Fastpack II- If You Only Want One Bag, Get This One (and its CHEAP).

It may not come as a surprise to you that a lot of what goes into creating any sort of digital content depends on gear. Cameras, laptops, internal storage, and all kinds of accessories begin to pile up quickly when you are regularly creating media.

But, even with all these demands our gear needs to satisfy, it becomes easy to compromise for nonessentials that catch our eye; form over function. I have gone this route before, buying gear that looks trendier or sports the expensive logo. At the end of the day, the novelty wears off and you’re left with something that may not really fit your personal needs. What ends up being really valuable are those often-simple, often-inexpensive, basic pieces that just plain work.

Having been a photographer for the past four years, I have gone through multiple storage solutions. The way my projects usually go, I need a single pack that fits all of my gear and provides easy access to each item as I am shooting. Durability and size has also always been a concern, as I tend to take extensive trips where the bag must be able to take a beating; essentially a “go-to” or “do-it-all” piece of kit.

This is where the Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 II fits in beautifully.

With a solid construction, simple appearance, and ample storage, the BP 250 provides a perfect solution for a creator on the go.

Storage

Lowepro has designed this pack to be able to house a full-sized DSLR with an attached lens, and 2-3 other lenses. The inserts are secured very well with strong velcro strips, and I have had no problem customizing the layout to what I need.

I easily created a spot big enough for my Canon 6D, 24-70 2.8 II lens with a hood, and a battery grip. The camera is easily retrieved and stored by swinging the bag up to my chest on one strap and accessing it from the side. This is incredibly useful for shooting while walking or hiking, and I find myself preferring this over hanging the camera on a strap.

The main top flap provides a great space for all of my power accessories, and an internal pocket to shield my memory cards and external drive. This would also be a great place for extra batteries, as well as anything too bulky or oddly-shaped to fit in the camera section.

What really ties the whole bag together is the laptop space. The side zipper offers the same easy access as the camera section, and also contains a second internal sleeve for a tablet. There is plenty of padding here, so your laptop feels perfectly secure and doesn’t press against your back.

If you’re like me and don’t like carrying your wallet and phone in your pocket while shooting, this top pouch is a perfect spot and offers plenty of space for both!

Durability

All of my bags get beat on. They’re constantly being tossed into car seats or slung to the ground. The things inside have extensive value to me, but they have to be able to withstand the constant movement and quick moves I often find myself making. I have yet to feel a seam pop, or come close to breaking anything holding this bag together. It really does feel quite solid, and I would not hesitate to take it with me across the country.

A padded, removable velcro strap can be clipped and secured across your abdomen to minimize movement of the bag. I currently have it uninstalled, but I plan on taking advantage of it when hiking.
The side pouch is plenty deep enough to fit a large bottle or a small tripod securely. There is also an internal rain cover that can be stretched over the entire bag (not pictured).

Price

Here’s what really convinced me. The bag costs just $129.95 directly from Lowepro’s website.

I was fortunate enough to come across the bag on B&H, where I purchased it brand new for around $75 on sale. B&H currently sells the bag for $99.95, which also qualifies for their free expedited shipping. This has to be the best deal for a full-sized bag that can haul all of your gear wherever you need it to go.

If you’re looking for the one-shot solution to get all of your kit from the coffee shop to the trail in one piece without breaking your back or your bank, you can’t do much better than this.