Lowepro PhotoSport PRO III Review: The Only Pack an Adventure Photographer Needs

CAMPING GEAR

Lowepro releases the PhotoSport backpack PRO III. Specially designed for photographers on long journeys, it’s made with 85% recycled materials and a fully removable camera insert.

The PhotoSport PRO III premiered last fall as the third generation of the PhotoSport collection. Specifically designed for photographers on multiday treks, the pack comes in two sizes: 55L and 70L. Both sizes have the brand’s integrated GearUp camera insert that fits a full-frame mirrorless camera with a 24-70mm lens. And it offers additional space for two lenses plus accessories.

This is the first iteration to join the Lowepro Green Line label. With 85% of materials made with recycled fabrics that are lightweight and water-resistant, it’s more sustainably produced than the previous generations.

In short: Whether you’re traveling internationally or on a backpacking trip through the wilderness, the Lowepro PhotoSport PRO III ($480) securely fits your gear in easy-to-access panels while leaving plenty of space for travel essentials.

It fits all your gear as well as accessories, clothes, and backpacking equipment. It’s extremely adjustable and sizes to your body perfectly. This is an ideal technical pack for long adventures with a camera.

Lowepro PhotoSport Camera Pack Review

PhotoSport backpack PRO III backpanel

Whenever I travel, I try to stuff as much as I can in my backpack to keep my hands free and my legs moving. So when asked if I’d like to test a pack specified for photographers, I was all in and ready to move.

I journeyed across the Atlantic to Germany, Belgium, France, and even through some snowy backcountry. I packed my Canon R5 with a 24-70mm lens, the Profoto A1x handheld flash, two film cameras, and all the accessories to match.

On top, behind, and around all of my camera gear were clothes, toiletries, gifts for family, and supplies.

Suffice it to say, strategic organization had never been more important. Here’s what I learned zipping through security checkpoints, walking for miles, and traveling on trains — all the while unpacking and repacking dozens of times in various conditions.

Look

Overall, the black-and-gray design gives it a classic backpacking look. The pack maintains a simple aesthetic that professionals and creatives alike often prefer.

Traditionally, I would want all black. But I found I prefer the gray concept, as it differentiates itself as a backpacking pack versus just another one of my everyday camera bags. I threw this bag around plenty for it to get dirty. I love the naturally water-resistant and easy-to-wash fabric.

Materials

The Lowepro PhotoSport Backpack PRO 55l AW III uses 420-denier nylon Oxford and 420-denier nylon diamond ripstop with carbonate exterior. It’s lightweight and water-resistant. For rainy days, it includes an all-weather cover to protect gear from rain, snow, and dust.

A huge bonus for me is that the pack is made almost entirely from recycled fabrics. Lowepro did a great job thinking through the aesthetics paired with recycled materials.

Fit & Construction

Lowepro PhotoSport PRO 55L AW III

The PhotoSport PRO III has adjustments on adjustments that help individualize support for every body type. This can be pretty daunting at first but provides a lot of comfort in the long run.

As backpackers and photographers know, fit and weight distribution are key to keeping you and your back happy. The ActivLift system gives substantial weight distribution that can be dialed to your specific sizing that’s adjusted through the back panels. The shoulder straps adjust in the front for tightening and loosening. And the back panel features varying height levels to hook at the shoulder.

Once you set the pack to your measurements, you should be set for life. Though straightforward — Velcro and buckles — this adjustment took some muscle and a few tries to get right. So it’s nice to not have to adjust more than once.

On the whole, Lowepro’s design offers the most specific size adjustments I’ve seen on a pack of this kind. This feature really makes the pack feel personalized while carrying the load evenly with fine-tuned adjustments. The hip support is a little stiff. But it does the trick to hold up the additional weight of the camera and lenses.

I especially appreciated the loops on the shoulder straps that allow you to use a clip for your camera if you’re actively taking photos while on a trek. And the pack fit more items than I anticipated. It’s a good-size camera insert. I prefer its wider size compared to the more narrow inserts I’m used to.

Features

Lowepro Photosport Pro Backpack

The pack came with the GearUp camera insert accessible through the back panel. There are two options to access the insert: front or back. I opted for front access most of the time. The back panel would be preferable during inclement weather.

Personally, this made it quicker for me, but I appreciate the front or back option compared to the side panels seen on other packs. The insert secures with clips inside the pack and helps keep other items in the pack from moving around.

When adjusting the camera insert for your camera gear, note that the Velcro is especially strong. This is great for keeping the items in place but adds extra work to get them situated properly.

The backpack features a bottom “cubby” that zips closed a the bottom, staying separate from the rest of the pack. This makes it a nice option for dirty items, a sleeping bag or pad, or other gear you’d like to access more readily.

Accessories

I’m still discovering how meaningful all the accessories are that come with this pack. When on the go from base camp, the GearUp camera insert can be easily removed and attached to provided straps. This will allow you to carry camera gear out on a day’s journey without the weight of the whole pack while keeping your camera protected.

In addition, the brain is removable as a daypack. I also used the straps to clip onto the GearUp camera insert to double as a small camera pack when it’s removed from the backpack for daylong trips without the hassle of the larger pack.

And for foul weather, Lowepro includes an “all-weather cover” to defend against rain, snow, or dust. Its bright-orange coloring changes the overall aesthetic but protects your equipment from moisture.

Conclusions

After weeks of testing the 55L PhotoSport PRO III, I found that there was ample space for all the camera and traveling gear I needed. Lowepro has a history of producing top-of-the-line camera bags and did great work considering the needs of the photographer and adventurer alike.

Overall, I really love this pack. It’s now my go-to bag for traveling light. Once fitted, it feels secure and comfortable, which adds additional assurance when traveling on your feet for long periods.

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Camera Carry: Lowepro PhotoSport 200 AW Review
Camera Carry: Lowepro PhotoSport 200 AW Review
Want to bring a camera mountain biking, hiking, or snowboarding? The Lowepro PhotoSport 200 AW is a solid choice for an outdoor camera pack. Read more…

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