Lowepro SlingShot 200 AW Review

Categories:

I first learned about the sling bag design a few years ago and purchased a Lowepro SlingShot 200 AW shortly thereafter, and have been using it as my primary bag for about two years. The sling design is interesting because it allows you to carry your camera equipment on your back, but slide the bag around to your chest for easy access. It's an effective design, though also has some disadvantages.

slingshot200-1.jpg

Like all Lowepro camera bags, the Slingshot is well-made and has substantial padding. The zippers are top-notch and heavy-duty and will take abuse. I doubt anybody has ever complained about Lowepro's build quality!

The sling design has proven to be an effective and efficient way for me to shoot on-the-go. The bag is quite stable on my chest and is easy to work out of, and it stays there as I move around; conversely, a shoulder bag will always slide off my shoulder when I kneel down and stand up, for example. Being able to swing the bag onto my back gets it out of the way and--again--is very stable. It's much easier to walk with than a shoulder bag because of this stability and because the weight is on your back, just like a backpack.

Unfortunately, like a shoulder bag, the SlingShot can get heavy on your shoulder. Unlike a shoulder bag, though, you can't switch shoulders with it: the unique design means that trying to carry the bag by simply throwing it over the shoulder just doesn't work. The bag's center of gravity is far offset from the shoulder strap, and it won't stay. After carrying the bag around for several hours my shoulder is tired; carrying it all day is rough.

slingshot200-2.jpg

A frequently-discussed shortcoming of the SlingShot is this: with the bag on your chest to work out of, if you unzip the main compartment entirely to access other lenses, they'll fall out. It's true. The solution that I have been using is to move the padded dividers so that the whole bag can be accessed from the side. Now there's no reason for me to open the main compartment entirely, and nothing falls out. Depending upon your gear you may sacrifice some usable space, but I have found it to be well worth the change.

slingshot200-3.jpg

There's a special compartment for memory cards, which I really like. In fact, the memory card-holder is large enough to hold three Compact Flash cards in their clamshell cases and a Canon 20D battery. The Nikon D300 battery is a little larger and it's more of a squeeze to get it in there. Outside of the cards' clamshell cases, their are spots to hold eight memory cards, though I'd be surprised if you couldn't fit 16 in there.

How does this bag stack up against my Perfect Camera Bag requirements?

  • Adjustable dividers? Check.
  • Bright interior? No, it's a medium gray. Disappointing because it's so much easier to see into a brighter bag at dawn/dusk and by moonlight.
  • Zippered pocket? Somewhere for pen and paper? Yes! A few compartments, in fact: on top of the bag is a largish spot that is less-padded and can fit a number of things including snacks, filters, and the camera manual. Also on the bag is a good sized pocket for pen, paper, business cards and a number of other things. Lastly, there's the previously-mentioned memory card-holder.
  • Wide and thick strap? Check.
  • Appropriate padding? More or less, yes. The main compartment has lots of padding. The top pocket seems to have less padding, but it's still pretty tough and rigid. Personally, I could do with less there, but the compartment could be useful for more camera equipment, so the padding is good.
  • Heavy-duty zippers/no fabric lip around the zipper? Yes!
  • Manufacturer provides a good description of what the bag holds? No. Currently in the main compartment of my bag is the Nikon D300, Nikon 70-300 mm VR, Nikon 28-105 mm, Sigma 10-20 mm, and a few accessories. There's room for an SB-800 (when I get it), and a little more, too. Remember, too, that I rearranged the padded dividers.
  • Ready for additional storage? Yep, the SlingShot uses Lowepro's SlipLock system to add additional bags and storage items. I use the water bottle holder.

In the end, this is a very good bag and I highly recommend it if you need something to work out of while moving around.

Share Your Thoughts ( Comments Already)

Older Comments (3)

Dan & Sherree & Patrick currently uses Facebook for comments. Older comments are still here for readers, though. Read old comments »

thanks for sharing this. i was torn between the 100 and 200 aw bag. i recently got a canon rebel xs and a 75-300mm lens. the perfect bag list helped me a lot and now i know going with either one will be a good decision. thanks again.

First, let me say I've been using Lowe bags for years; they're my favorite. Just a thought for Sherwin or others contemplating a Slingshot: You will probably need at least the 200 if you're going to be out for a while and need the extra gear. The 100 is a little small to carry all that much. The downside, however, is apparent. The more gear, the more weight, so be prepared. What I especially like about this style of bag is being able to switch shoulders without sacrificing utility.
I have gear in different bags according shooting situations. That way, if I'm in a hurry, I just grab the bags I need. The 200 AW bag is fine for situations where I'm dealing with a variety of subjects. Highly recommended.

You are right when you say it gets heavy after a while on one shoulder. I end up putting my left thumb in the cross strap going across my chest to alleviate some weight on my shoulder. My other complaint is that the bag rides too low and has to be constantly brought back up. Also the extra strap from the bottom of the bag has to be disconnected to swing the bag around for access. This extra strap does help some in the riding too low issue. I am a big man, 6'2', 300 lbs., others may not have this issue.

« Close old comments

Recommendations

Powered by the Patrick theme and Movable Type Advanced!