REVIEW: The Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW
You may be sick of hearing about my friend John Rigano in my articles, but the fact of the matter is, I owe many of my better camera accessory product purchases to him – the guy does exhaustive research before he makes a purchase. But I’ll take credit for pushing John into the realm of DSLR photography and Canon products. So it’s not a completely one sided relationship we have.
Before I finally broke down and purchased the Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW after having been introduced to it by John, I used a fairly standard backpack designed for photography gear. And it served me very well – I’ve traveled with it around the world and used it for years. I think I maybe paid $40.00 on the ‘Bay for for it. It was cheap and did the job. But, it had a couple of key problems. Firstly, even though it was fairly compact as backpacks go, it was still fairly bulky. Go out to dinner or ride public transportation, and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb with this big huge bag that’s difficult to hide out of the way. The second issue I had with it is that it didn’t make the process of changing lenses very easy – unless of course my wife happens to be with me. “Honey, will you grab my 17-40 out of my backpack?” If my wife isn’t around, I have to take the backpack off, set it down (try this in the middle of a busy sidewalk full of people) unzip it, get the lens out, switch lenses, put the lens you’ve just replaced back into the backpack, and put the backpack back on. Painfully inconvenient. On many occasions I’ve taken mediocre photos because I made due with the lens I had on the camera because I didn’t want to go through the hassle of getting the right lens out of my backpack.
The Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW is very small, very light bag. It’s also very thoughtfully designed with so many great “little” features that will make you smile because they make such good sense. Features like an integrated lens cloth, quick-release rain cover, and ample, perfectly placed pockets and”hidey holes” within the bag are very impressive. Here’s a photo of the main interior chamber – as you can see, you’ve got room for the camera (with a lens), and some combination of two other items.
In the above photo, you see that in addition to the camera (with a lens mounted to it) there’s a second lens in the bag, and a flash. But as you can see below, there’s also another substantial zipper chamber at the top of the bag:
There’s plenty of room in this chamber for another lens, or (my preference) is to keep a folded 430EXII flash in this compartment. There’s plenty of options and flexibility in a bag which is considerable smaller and lighter than my backpack. I even found I could easily configure the main chamber to hold my fairly large 70-200L series lens. The SlighShot 102 AW also ads straps to carry a small tripod or monopod on the exterior of the bag – an upgraded feature not present on the previous model.
The real deal closer for me however was watching my buddy John do lens changes using the Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW. Instead of being an impediment to doing lens changes, the Lowpro SlingShot 102 AW actually aids you in this capacity. Simply slide the bag from back to front, and you can use the bag like a table to easily and quickly change lenses.
I find the Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW is the perfect walk around camera bag, thanks it its size, weight, and fantastic design. The SlingShot 102 AW retails for $69.95 – check Lowepro’s website for information on the retailer nearest you. Of course, you can find the Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW for quite a discount on Amazon.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.