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Quick Review: Lowepro Photo Hatchback 16LAW

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by shepx13, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. shepx13

    shepx13 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    This will be a quick review for this backpack, based on a M 4/3 user's experience. I've found plenty of reviews on the larger 22L version, but not much on the 16L. It's virtually the same bag, except slightly smaller.

    Photos were taken with my smartphone, so you can find better quality photos on Lowepro's site here:
    Lowepro | Photo Hatchback AW series

    The Bag:
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    The bag is very low-profile compared to many others I have looked at. It has a minimalist approach to styling, with only a few zippers and 2 mesh pockets on the sides to hold water bottles or a tiny tripod. (Note: I can fit my Oben CT-3500 in one of the pockets, but it is pretty stretched)

    The main camera compartment is at the bottom, and rests against your back, so it's not made for fast lens switching without removing it off your body. that's fine for me, as I plan on using this mainly when traveling. (Which I just did on a trip to L.A.) I have a Thinktank Citywalker 10 that I use as my normal daily bag.

    One of the biggest problems us mirrorless users have is the depth of most bags is made for larger kits. That is not the case with this bag, as you can see below:

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    In this compartment I can fit my OMD with the 1st part of the HLD-6 attached (but no lens attached), and the 2nd part in a separate section. I can also fit the Panny 25 1.4 (underneath the flash pouch) and 45-175, along with the Oly 12-50, all with hoods attached. I also put in the EPM2 with the 14 2.5 attached. All of this fits nicely, and the depth is perfect for it. And for those that care, the entire compartment can be removed to use the backpack without it.

    Another photo of all the gear I keep in the bottom:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Top compartment has alarge open space, with a divided mesh pocket on one side with a zippered compartment on the other.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    In here I keep a ton of stuff. A samyang 7.5 fisheye and Oly 45 1.8 both in Neoprene pouches, plus spare batteries, chargers, cleaning supplies, an ultrapod 2, filters, cables, etc.

    Then there's a zipper on the back that has 2 separate sections, which I kept my ipad and nexus 7 for the past trip. I'll normally only bring one or the other, but it was nice to be able to bring both.

    Here's everything I took with me in the bag:

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    It's pretty insane how much stuff I put in this thing, and I never felt like it was over-stuffed. Even with all of this equipment, the weight surprisingly wasn't bad. I would imagine that's because the bag is not as deep as others, so all the weight is closer to your body.

    Quick summary:

    Great compact size with lightweight materials
    Lower compartment perfect size for m4/3 gear
    Lot's of available room for miscellaneous goodies
    Comfortable to wear
    Doesn't scream "Camera Inside"!
    Holds an ipad with smartcover and thin backplate protector attached. (Will not fit with a larger-style case on it)

    Not easy to attach a tripod
    Wish it came with a removable divider for the top compartment
    Needs better way to stow the excess on a few of the straps

    I will definitely be keeping this bag and using it when I travel, and getting rid of my old Tenba backpack. If this is the style bag you have been considering, give this one a good look.
    • Like Like x 4
  2. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord Subscribing Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Great review, Thanks mate! Should be helpful to those who are looking for a travel camera backpack. :thumbup:

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  3. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Wow, except for the quick access of my caselogic sling bag (which can fit just about the same amount), this bag looks to be great. I also have the large dakine sequence that I use for travel primarily for the reason that it opens against your back, which provides a great measure of security as well.
  4. matz03

    matz03 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 10, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    thanks for posting, I was really curious how much can be stuffed in this little bag and I'm quite surprised you can get two bodies and 3 lenses in the dedicated compartment alone. I ended up going with an f-stop kenti for the option to carry a small notebook.
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