I now have more camera bags than I do lenses or bodies. And I have an awful lot of lenses and bodies. But many of the camera bags I’ve been relying on in the past may have just been disintermediated.
Let me start out by saying this bag has been around for a while but it’s new to me, so that’s why I am reviewing it. And in the case of the Lowepro Pro Roller x300 Camera Bag, it’s worth the wait. This is a full-size rolling camera bag with tons of room. Moreover, it’s well thought-out, well-designed and even has a few tricks up its sleeve that are quite impressive.
Let’s start with the basics. This is one beefy, big boy. At 17.5 pounds empty, you won’t want to plan on carrying this around the world, but for trips in a car, bus or train or across the studio, it’s a great fit. With one slight modification it works on planes too. More on that in a minute.
The bag is 18.5×11.4x.26.3″ in size. It’s only available in the USA as of this writing. In my test, I put the following into this one bag. Yep EVERYTHING on this list made it in the bag without crowding.
2 – Canon 1D MK IV Bodies with Kirk L-Plates attached
1 – Canon 14 mm F/2.8 rectilinear lens
1 – Canon 15 mm F/2.8 lens
1 – Canon 24 mm F/1.4 lens
1 – Canon 35 mm F/1.4 lens
1 – Canon 50 mm F/1.2 lens
1 – Canon 85 mm F/1.2 lens
1 – Canon 135 mm F/2 lens
1 – Canon 400 mm F/5.6 lens
1 – Canon 580 EX II Flash
1 – Canon TC 80N3 Camera Remote Control
3 – Rogue Flash Modifiers
1 – Canon OC-E3 Flash sync cable
1 – Canon 1D MK IV battery charger
4 – Lexar 32GB Flash Memory Cards
1 – Lensbaby Composer
1 – Zacuto Z-Finder
8 – Polarizer filters and step up rings
1 – Singh Ray Variable ND filter
1 – Canon EF 25 extension tube
1 – Canon EF 12 extension tube
1 – Supersized micro fibre cloth
2 – Kata Reflex E Camera Straps
1 – Lexar multi-card 24-in-1 usb reader
1 – Canon Closeup Filter 500D
1 – Giotto Rocket Blower
1 – Small Flashlight
1 – Small Headlamp
1 – DataColor Spyder Cube
Assorted cables and other accessories
That’s nine lenses (seven of them “L” glass,) two pro bodies, a pro-flash and a ton of accessories in one rolling bag!
I could stop the review right now and you’d get it. This bag holds everything. But unlike some of the other big bags I’ve owned, used and tested, this one does it with style and grace. Imagine a fat guy who dances really well.
You may have guessed this bag is too large to carry on a plane and you’re right. But Lowepro has designed an ingenious way to work around this. When you want to go airborne, simply unzip and lift out the reserve pack which converts to a backpack that will fit in most major U.S. airlines overhead compartments. Very cool idea.
The bag is also very well set up. Instead of leaving it to you to figure out where to insert all those little gray velcro dividers, Lowepro has pre-configured the bag in a very usable way. I had to make very few modifications to make it perfect.
Some of the other super cool features I’ve never seen on a bag like this include a hideaway tripod mount and a TSA approved cable lock. The handle comes equipped with the capability of mounting a camera directly to it via a supplied accessory. There’s also a neat hideaway prop foot that allows you to sit the bag upright at a 30-45 degree angle which may be preferable to laying it flat in certain situations.
There’s also a place to slide a 17″ notebook on the outside of the bag. The notebook pocket can double as a place to store filters or light modifiers if you aren’t bringing a laptop with you.
The wheels are removable and very well made. The bag rolls very easily and the wheels look to be sturdy. If I have one complaint it’s that the wheels may be a tad too small, but I need more time to determine this.
The entire bag is very well made and will no doubt hold up longer than you’ll have your cameras.
This bag would make a great remote location lighting kit. You could even mount a light to the bag with the included tripod mount and have the ability to move it around without bringing a light stand.
At about $360 this bag is actually less expensive than I expected it to be. Lowepro bags have come a long way. Those who know me will probably be shocked to find out that this bag will be taking the place on my favorite list that is currently occupied by the Think Tank Airport Addicted. The Think Tank has been my favorite for more than five years, but the Lowepro is slightly bigger, holds more gear and has some innovations that I really like.
This bag is big and heavy and certainly not for everyone, but if you want a bag that will hold everything, this is the one.