Recently returned from a 2 month long trip to Southeast Asia (SEA), and I took the Lowepro Passport Sling bag as my main carry around bag.
The main reason I initially chose this bag was due to its non-camera bag look. If you didn’t know about this bag, you wouldn’t know that this bag was carrying a $3,500 + camera gear inside it. My biggest concern for this trip was getting my camera stolen, so wanted my bag to be as discreet as possible.
When you are sleeping at multi-bed dorms, traveling on trains, buses, and etc, you really don’t want to draw any attention to your belongings, especially to your expensive camera, and this bag does a perfect job of being discrete. I couldn’t find any other dedicated camera bag that was this inconspicuous. The photo above shows how normal the bag looks in public
Backpacking means a lot of walking and carrying my bags around, so I was a little hesitant of having a sling bag on my shoulder with heavy camera equipments for the whole trip.
For the first week, (before I started my travel) when I just carried it around, I could feel my shoulders getting soar. “Uh oh” is what I though. But surprisingly after that, I didn’t feel any discomfort, and that’s how it was throughout the whole trip. This is the bag that never (almost literally) left my side (I even slept with it next to me) and always carried it with me, and I didn’t get tired from it.
Problem with sling bags is that they tend to slid forward when you are either bending down, or moving around a lot, but the Passport Sling managed to stay well fixated to the back, and at the same time it was easy to pull it forward when you wanted to.
Few discomforts came from the shoulder pad, which never stayed in place so always had to adjust them back to my shoulder. Also, when the load was a little too heavy, the strap adjuster would undo itself occasionally.
One thing I wish this bag had was a little more room. Mind you, this bag has PLENTY of room if you are using this bag as a photography trip, but since this was my backpacking trip, I had to carry a lot more than just regular photo gears. Every now and then, I wish this bag had an inch more space.
Regarding space, I don’t understand why this bag has an extension zipper. Its nice to make the bag smaller when you don’t need the space, but I didn’t think it was necessary. But this is just a personal taste.
I love how the camera padding is removable. Once its removed, the bag transforms into a regular messenger sling bag, with plenty of open space. There are two permanent mini slots inside which are big enough for few cables, and/or memory cards.
Externally, there are two side pockets, which are great of slipping maps, guide books and etc, and also there is a very spacious pocket on one end of the bag, which is perfect for water bottles (can fit 3 hand held bottles easily), and/or an umbrella.
To show the capacity potential of this bag, I’ve stuffed it as much as possible. Below is the result.
Things that went in the bag (from top left to right)
– T-Shirt (because I could fit it)
– Two water bottles
– Camera Padding (included in the bag)
– Canon 5d Mk ii with Canon 35mm f/1.4 L
– BlackRapid Sport Slim
– Canon original strap
– Accessory Bag with 5 filters and filter lens adaptor
– Accessory Bag:
– Charger for Canon5D
– Charger for Canon S95
– Silicon Power Rugged Armor 500GB HDD
– Canon S95 with Lowepro Case
– Remote Trigger
Other Blog reviews of the Passport Sling Bag