REVIEW: The Lowepro SlingShot 300 AW
A couple of months ago, I picked up my first Lowepro product – the SlingShot 102 AW. You can read my review of the this great bag by clicking here. After having used the 102 AW on two travel assignments, and one local event, I can’t say enough great things about the bag. Of course, the laws of physics being what they are, the compact form of the SlingShot 102 AW does have one clear drawback – limited space. Since purchasing my 102 AW, I’ve found myself leaving my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM at home – it simply won’t fit in the SlingShot 102 AW. And not having the lens with me has come back to bite me a couple of times. So when I saw the larger sized SlingShot 300 AW offered up for a killer price, I snagged one up. Here are my thoughts on the 300 AW:
There’s really nothing “magical” at work here folks – the 300 AW is simply a larger version of the of the SlingShot 1xx AW line of bags from Lowepro. All the fantastic features which made me fall for the 102 AW are here in the 300 AW – just super-sized. All the features I told you I loved about the 102 AW are present in the 300 AW including the built-in memory card pouches, the micro fiber LCD cloth, the cleverly concealed rain cover, and the all-around “it just makes sense” design of the SlingShot series. The killer design feature of the SlingShot bags however is the ability to swing the bag around to the front of your body and easily do lens changes.
The SlingShot 300 AW has room for a telephoto “zoom” lens mounted to a camera, plus 5 to 6 other lenses – the inner chambers can be configured based on the size and number of lenses you want to carry, so it’s quite flexible.
For my particular equipment set up, it works extremely well – I can transport both my Canon 5D Mark II and my Canon 7D in the bag. I mount my aforementioned 70-200 to the 7D, and place it in the main center chamber, pack a few extra lenses, and put the 5D Mark II body in one of the auxiliary chambers. So I can walk around with my 5D Mark II with say a 17-40 or 24-105, and easily switch to my 7D with the 70-200 if I see a shot I need to get with the zoom. And even though it’s a lot of equipment, the way the weight is distributed across your back is quite comfortable. I recently loaded up the bag with my Canon 7D, my 70-200, and a 100-400, and I had my 5D Mark II around my neck, with my 24-105 mounted to it. That’s a lot of heavy gear folks. I walked it from the parking lot of the Dayton Air Show, to the chalet I purchased tickets to for myself and my family – a good 2 miles. I walked in, walked around the show for about 45 minutes, then shot the show, and walked all the way back to the car with the gear after shooting for about 6 hours in the heat. The bag worked out extremely well under these conditions. Those no way of getting around the fact that I had a lot of bulky, heavy gear, but the SlingShot 300 made it quite bearable.
It’s worth noting that Lowepro recently released the SlingShot 302 AW – it appears to be nearly identical in form and function to the 300 AW, but adds the ability to secure a tripod to the exterior of the bag. My guess is that Lowepro and their retailers will soon begin clearing out the 300 AW to make way for the 302 AW. If not having the ability to carry a tripod isn’t a deal breaker for you, then you may be able to soon take advantage of some attractive pricing on the older 300 AW as I did.
You can purchase the Lowepro SlingShot 300 AW for $104.95 from Amazon.com by clicking here.
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.