Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 Review

If camera bags were only about protecting your camera gear, there wouldn't be so many of them on the market. All you would need would be a boxy padded rectangle with a simple and clear design and you would be done. In a way, that's how you could describe the stereotypical Lowepro camera bag; competent but functionally angular. That's not so much the case in today's competitive market, and with the Urban Reporter series, you have the basic black bag, but with a stylish flair.

The Urban Reporter bags are made with twilled polyester that is coated with a water repellent finish. The material has a soft drape and is much more pliable than the coarser nylon used in many other camera bags. Combined with the light internal camera inserts, the Urban Report bags tend to feel more supple and comfortable against the body compared to more structured camera bags. The downside is that polyester as a material  is not as tough as nylon, so cumulative abrasion will take its toll on this bag sooner than one made with nylon.

As is common with Lowepro, there are three versions of this bag. The 250 version depicted here is rated to hold a full-frame DSLR with standard zoom attached, with space for three additional lenses up to the size of a 70-200mm f/2.8. There is even space to put a 13" laptop inside. The protective insert can be removed, turning it into an ordinary general-purpose messenger bag. As is typical for Lowepro bags, there are ample pockets and compartments interspersed throughout the bag.

A contentious feature of the Urban Reporter series is the placement of the snap-buckles used to secure the front flap. While they are a stylish and distinctive feature, they are not as convenient to use as the standard push-buckles used in the majority of camera bags. The snap-buckles on the Urban Reporter series do the job, but as there is no Velcro to secure the front flap, the bag is not as secure when fully loaded as a comparable Velcro-equipped bag by either Crumpler or Think Tank.

However, once loaded and worn on the body, access to the main compartment is quick and easy. The internal storage compartment has a top flap, so when you open up the front exterior flap of the bag, your camera and lenses aren't immediately exposed if the internal flap is tucked into place. If you are only carrying one or two lenses in the bag, there will be ample room for clothing and sundries.

Lowepro Urban Reporter with Nikon D7100, 18-140 and 70-300

Lowepro is a fairly known quantity in the camera bag world. Even though this isn't the most rugged camera bag, there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to get a good number of years of use out of it. It makes for a better personal camera bag than it does a professional one, though,  and with that regard, its subdued but stylish design does the job.

With thanks to Broadway Camera. 

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