At the end of next week I’m off on a photo-trip to Northumberland and it will be the first major outing for all my new Fuji equipment. When I go on these trips, I tend to put all my equipment into a rucksack, currently the excellent Lowepro Flipside 400 AW, and then if neccessary deport cameras and lenses to a smaller Domke bag, currently either the F6 – A Little Bit Smaller Bag, or the F-5XB, as and when I need.
However after trying my Fuji gear in the 400 AW it was pretty obvious that the bag is far too large now for the smaller format cameras. In the past, I only just managed to fit all my old Olympus and Nikon gear into the bag but putting the Fuji stuff in it, there was masses of room to spare. There was also the fact that I moved to Fuji to get away from the sheer size of carrying a DSLR and lenses around so it probably now makes sense to get a new backpack. Something more suited to the smaller Fuji cameras and lenses.
So, after scouring the internet and trying to figure out from litre capacities and dimensions of many makes of camera bags which ones would enable my Fuji cameras and lenses to fit, I decided to get the Lowepro Tahoe BP 150 in black from Wex.
The bag features Lowepro’s customisable interior with padded divider system, plus what looks like a separate zipped space in the top of the main compartment.
There is a large front pocket in which a 10” tablet can be carried as well as pens, keys and other bits and pieces. There is a further smaller front pocket for guides and maps etc. On each side of the bag are mesh pockets for drink bottles and such.
The Tahoe is a lot a smaller than the Flipside 400 as you can see. It also does not have the waterproof cover as designated by the letters ‘AW’ in the Flipside bags name. Lowepro, does say that the Tahoe is weather-resistant, so hopefully that and a couple of plastic bags kept in one of the pockets of the Tahoe for emergencies may fend off any wet-weather disasters.
Once the Tahoe arrived the familiar sounds of Velcro ripping over and over again echoed around the Marshall household as I rearranged the compartments in the bag. I was pleased with the overall size of the bag to the extent that I thought that I could leave the Domke F6 at home and if I wanted to carry the two cameras I could just take the backpack. With the Flipside 400 AW on previous trips, it was so full and so flipping heavy, I frequently emptied out the gear I wanted for the day into the F6 and carried that instead.
After a little bit of pulling, tearing and re-velcroing (is that even a word?) I re-arranged the compartments to fit the Fuji equipment. The zippered pocket at the top of the main compartment took up a little more space than I actually wanted, but I eventually got everything in the bag to my satisfaction.
- Into the small container at the top of the bag, what Lowepro call an ‘ultraflex’ panel I placed battery chargers, batteries, cables, cleaning cloths and a rocket blower (also not a bad place for sandwiches).
- Fujifilm X-E2 and Fujinon 35mm f/2
- Fujinon 27mm f/2.8
- Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0
- Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI-S and X mount convertor
- Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
- Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8
The large pocket on the front of the bag now contains filters and filter holders and the small front pocket a couple of maps and a notebook journal.
The full Tahoe obviously doesn’t feel nowhere near as heavy as the Flipside with all my Nikon gear used to be and being smaller it is a lot easier to carry and get on and off the shoulders. With this backpack, I can leave the F6 at home and just take the F-5XB for carrying one camera and lens when I need to.