Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW
Posted on June 18, 2008 by Jared
I’m not the guy who usually writes about photography gear, but thanks to the fact that my first child is on the way, I’m slowly getting into it the photography scene. I picked up my first digital SLR (a Canon Rebel XTi) around a month ago. Since then I’ve learned a fair amount about my camera and how to take some decent shots. Beyond that, I’ve come to appreciate all the sweet gear that’s out there.
I soon realized that I needed a way to carry my camera around. I also knew that I would purchase a new lens and flash soon. So I started looking around online and reading reviews.
After about an hour of scouring the web, a couple of things were clear to me. I wanted to be able to carry my gear on my back (instead of like a suitcase), and I wanted to have the ability to grab my camera without setting the bag down. Moments later, I came across some Lowepro gear and my prayers were answered.
About the Lowepro Slingshot
Lowepro’s Slingshot series comes in three sizes/models: 100, 200, and 300 (300 being the largest). I was able to compare the 100 and 200 side by side, and the 100 seemed like the kind of bag that you would use to carry just the bare minimum. I knew (deep down) that I would probably carry some of my other gadgets too, so I opted for the roomier Slingshot 200.
The Slingshot 200 is a much like a messenger bag (as are the 100 and 300). You wear it over your right shoulder so that the strap comes across your chest and under your left arm. The shoulder strap is well padded and comfortable, and an extra stability strap can be used to keep your bag in place while you hike. If you’re like me, though, you’ll only use the shoulder strap as it is adequate for most normal activities. I haven’t seen the 300 in person, though, it’s my understanding that it is just the largest of the three models (roughly the size of a typical backpack). I’m not aware of any differences as far as features go.
The best thing about this bag, in my opinion, is how you get to your gear. While wearing the Slingshot on your back, you can sling it around so that it rests below your chest. An ingenious design now presents itself as there is an opening you can unzip right in front of you. You can easily go from strolling down the sidewalk to snapping pictures in five seconds flat. Seriously.
The inside of the bag is quite large. I don’t have a lot of equipment to carry (yet), but I can confidently say that you could carry your digital SLR with a lens attached, two extra lenses, a good flash, and plenty of smaller accessories (remote switches, pocket wizards, etc.). Velcro dividers can be moved around to match the gear you want to carry. On the inside of the main flap, there is a pocket for storing up to 8 CF cards. A smaller pocket on the outside can be used to hold small accessories. The top of the bag has a huge compartment for larger items. I was able to fit my Nintendo DS (in it’s own carrying case), a hand held GPS, and a small flashlight in that top compartment alone.
Finally, all of the slingshots sport an All-Weather (thus, the AW) covering that is tucked inside a Velcro pocket on the bottom of the bag. It’s so well hidden that some people claimed theirs didn’t come with one. The All-Weather covering unfolds from the pocket and stretches over the bag. It doesn’t completely cover or “make a seal” so don’t drop it into anything more than a puddle. The weather covering is there in case you’re caught in the rain or something of that nature.
There are a few things to consider when getting this bag, though. If you’re a lady who is a bit curvy, the strap that comes across your chest may not be very comfortable. Also, you pretty much have to wear the Slingshot on your right shoulder. So, if you’ve had some sort of injury that would interfere with carrying a load on your right shoulder, you may want to look for something else. As far as I know, Lowepro doesn’t make a version of the Slingshot that is meant to be carried on your left shoulder.
Specifications (from the Lowepro site)
I shopped around for a good price before handing over the cash. I looked at Best Buy, the Lowepro site, and Amazon.com. Surprisingly, the Lowepro site was the highest (at the time) at $109.99. Best Buy’s price in-store was $100. Amazon.com had the lowest price of $89.95 (and since it’s sold by Amazon, free shipping is available). Take care when surfing the Amazon site. There are other sellers who offer the same bag at higher prices (and usually charge shipping).
Here’s a link to the Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW sold by Amazon.