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Lowepro Pro Trekker II AW Camera Backpack Review

Need to carry large, expensive and/or a lot of equipment? The Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack is a high quality camera backpack to meet this need.

I need a camera backpack to carry a Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS Lens Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS Lens or Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM Lens attached to a pro Canon body along with any other lenses or accessories (including a tripod) I need for an outing. There are several options available for doing so (including the Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW and Lightware z600), but I found the Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack to be the best option for me personally.

The Lowepro Trekker AW II Users Guide provides lots of insight into Lowepro's quality camera backpacks and is worth reading if you are serious about purchasing a camera backpack.

The Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack is a very large camera backpack - you probably don't want to use this pack for carrying your DSLR camera body and a short telephoto lens around town. But, if you need to carry a super-telephoto lens and/or a lot of equipment, the Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack is up to the task.

The Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack is pictured above with a Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS Lens, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS Lens, four mid-sized Canon L Lenses with hoods reversed and some accessories. Obviously there is room for a Pro DSLR camera body to be stored above the telephoto lens (sorry - I was using it to take the picture). A Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM Lens or Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM Lens mounted on a 1-Series pro body makes for a tight fit length-wise - the zippers barely close - but I use it regularly for these lenses. The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens also fits tightly - depth is the tight dimension with this lens zipped inside.

The Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack comes with many additional hook and loop-attached padded dividers not shown in the above configuration. The entire main storage area is thickly padded and is opened/closed with a quiet, water-resistant heavy duty YKK zipper that has small plastic tube-covered cord pulls.

The Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack has a large amount of storage available in additional to the main cavity. Small/thin items can be stowed in the see-through rear lid/cover pocket. Anything with a SlipLock attachment (such as a Lens Case) can be added to the many side, back and belt SlipLock loops. The Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack includes two long/tubular SlipLock cases (one padded and one non-padded). An included tripod foot holder and tripod clips allow a tripod to be mounted on the sides or back of this camera backpack. I suppose you could get two additional holders to mount three tripods if you wanted to. D-rings and loops are also in abundance.

Just because you can fit everything into this camera backpack does not mean you will want to. It is easy to put more in this pack than you will want to carry any distance. Weight will quickly become an issue if you fill all of the storage areas with lenses and other heavy accessories. The Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack is not light, but not heavy considering its size, quality, protectiveness and ruggedness.

Storage is not the only configurable on this camera backpack (and perhaps not the most important). Adjustments are found all over the pack to maximize the support and comfort the Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack provides to each of our unique bodies. Perhaps the biggest and most unique adjustment involves an ingenious device called the Pack Jack. Shaped like a large, flat arrow, the thin, stiff plastic Pack Jack slides down behind the shoulder strap harness to release the hook & loop that holds it in place. Adjust the shoulder harness to your preferred ride height and slide the Pack Jack out. The hook & loop again takes solid hold and the Pack Jack stows out of the way behind the shoulder harness (or can be removed completely). You are left with a pack customized for your back.

Adjustments on the shoulder strap, sternum strap and the belt complete a customized-to-you fit. This camera backpack model features two aircraft-grade aluminum staves (an internal frame) aid in transferring the weight to your hips. Thick padding surrounds your body, a breathable mesh allows moisture evaporation from your back. Lowepro was generous with the length of belt they provided. I need to figure out what to do with all of the excess.

The exterior of the Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack features water-resistant 600D ripstop nylon and 600D Endura™ nylon. It is attractive and rugged with a quality feel. A rain coat-like cover is included (stowed in a pouch) to help keep the backpack dry.

The Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II Backpack features nice rubberized handles on top and side - They are nice for carrying the pack or for assistance when putting it on or taking it off your back. An included shoulder strap attaches to one side of the pack. A cover zippers over the backpack straps (keeps them from getting caught on something) or stows in a hook & loop-closed pouch under the camera backpack.

An included Lowepro Daypack can be stored in the main zippered section cover or removed and used by itself.

Lowepro has several All-Weather (AW) camera backpacks. You will need to determine which is best for your application...

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