Last week we took the Lowepro SH 180 shoulder bag through its paces. This time, it’s the BP 250 Backpack. Both are part of Lowepro’s recently-launched StreetLine series, perfect for urban photographers and gadget-hauling junkies alike.
The Lowepro StreetLine BP 250 Backpack is similar to the StreetLine SH 180 shoulder bag in many ways, constructed of the same exterior and interior materials which means it can take a beating from the outside elements. The backpack offers more space for carrying extra gear.
The straps are comfortable and are neither too small nor too large. There are loops that you can hook things to if needed.
The BP 250 also contains the same hard panel as the SH 180, helping allow a bit of air movement between your back and the pack itself, great for those warmer days!
There’s also a top handle for easy grabbing.
Internal Dimensions: 32.5 x 12 x 50.8 cm (12.80 x 4.72 x 20.00 in)
Tablet Compartment: 22 x 1.5 x 27 cm (8.66 x 0.59 x 10.63 in)
External Dimensions: 33.5 x 13 x 52 cm (13.19 x 5.12 x 20.47 in)
Laptop Compartment: 32.5 x 2 x 34.3 cm (12.80 x 0.79 x 13.50 in)
Weight: 1.15 kg (2.53 lbs)
The waist strap aids in even weight distribution. It’s a fairly basic strap lacking extra padding for comfort. Some people may find it useful depending on how heavy the bag’s been loaded.
There’s also a place to stash an umbrella or perhaps a travel-sized tripod.
The StreetLine BP 250 contains two zippers located on either side of the backpack. The first zipper allows for easy access to the main compartment, while a second zipper (on the other side) can be used to store something between the exterior and interior of the backpack.
Another similarity to the SH 180 is the front pocket, great for storing small personal items or photography gear such as memory cards. There’s a keychain hook as well. Unfortunately, there isn’t a secure way to stow anything in the pocket away from prying hands.
Similar to the SH 180 shoulder bag, the StreetLine BP 250 has a laptop and tablet sleeve. The orientation of the sleeves are a bit different.
The backpack stores your (up to 13”) laptop vertically rather than horizontally (in the SH 180). Both sleeves provide decent padding to protect your electronic investments.
Similar to the SH 180, the BP 250 has the FlexPocket system, but with a twist. The FlexPocket in the BP 250 can be positioned into two places or removed altogether. There are two straps on the front side of the tablet sleeve that the StreetLine BP 250’s FlexPocket can be attached to.
The first position is roughly in the middle of the backpack which allows you to place things at the very bottom, nesting your camera gear in the middle. The FlexPocket’s second position is resting on the bottom of the backpack allowing you to put things on top.
I preferred the FlexPocket in the lower position, though when in the higher position, you can still access the bottom portion of the backpack by the side zipper.
The top cover on the backpack – similar to the SH 180 – secures with just a single strap. One thing I noticed that the backpack lacked was a more secure closure. Even a cinch-type cord at the top to ensure stray hands don’t find their way into the backpack would be an improvement.
Overall I’ve enjoyed test-driving both the Lowepro StreetLine SH 180 shoulder bag and the Lowepro StreetLine BP 250 backpack. Both designs avoid looking like a “camera bag” — less of a target when traveling abroad. There’s a fair amount of space in the BP 250, though I can see it being an issue for those who want to take a lot of DSLR equipment on the road.
I think the backpack would be ideal for those with a medium to small DSLR body with one or two medium to small lenses. Bigger lenses might prove awkward to take in and out.
I was happy to stow a 70-200 f/2.8 VR I lens attached to my DSLR, though accessing other items in the bag with that combo proved a bit tricky. The pack did however feel comfortable on my back when loaded with a bunch of gear.
Out of the two bags I reviewed, I prefer the StreetLine SH 180. An all-around shoulder bag, the SH 180 fits my everyday camera gear though I’d have to forgo having my 70-200 f2.8 VR I attached to the camera body.
When fully loaded, I was able to access the camera, an external hard drive and the laptop. The bag’s strap, with the ability to slide the pad up and down, kept the bag at the length I wanted without hurting my shoulder during longer carrying periods. The BP 250 retails for CDN $249.95/US $199.95.
If you’re looking for a camera bag and own medium to small camera equipment yet want the additional flexibility of being able to carry a laptop and tablet, consider Lowepro’s StreetLine series. Unless otherwise indicated, images by Tyler Ingram.