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Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)
  
 
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #1 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


In the last months I have bought 5 different Lowepro (messenger style) shoulder bags I needed a couple of bags, so I started to compare the Lowepro Pro Messenger AW bags and ThinkTank Retrospective bags. Both brands make great Messenger style bags. And I liked both. But I prefered the Lowepro. The main difference and advantage (IMO) for the Pro Messenger was: the material in the Lowepro was more sturdy. The Retrospective was a bit thinner and more flimsy if comparing them. The Lowepro strap and front pockets was also better. The strap is the best and most comfortable that I have used on any bag. And the great flap to cover the main compartment. It also have a magnet for silent flap operation when close and open it. So you can actually close it without using the normal velcro tabs. So there is no noise/sound when you open it.
It also have a lot of pockets for memory card, batteries and all small personal stuff.
I bought the Pro Messenger 180AW and the Pro Messenger 200AW. And I also got 3 Lowepro Classified shoulder bags in different sizes. I will make a review later for those 3 bags.
Here are a lot of pics with the Pro Messenger AW 180 & 200 bags. The 200 is longer and can take a few more lenses. But the 180 is higher and better if having many tall lenses like 70-200/2,8 or 400/5,6 lenses.
The 200 will easy take 2 bodies and 4-5 normal sized lenses. And the 180 one or two lenses less.














































Edited on Aug 14, 2013 at 06:12 PM · View previous versions



Aug 14, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #2 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)





































































Aug 14, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.1 #3 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Thanks for the review. The bag that was good for a 400/5,6 lens. Is it possible to have a small body attached to the lens when having it in the bag?


Aug 15, 2013 at 06:13 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #4 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Sven Jeppesen wrote:
Thanks for the review. The bag that was good for a 400/5,6 lens. Is it possible to have a small body attached to the lens when having it in the bag?


With the 180AW it's a little bit too high with a small body attached to the 400/5,6 lens. You can use it like this. But I would only do it for a shorter time or a short walk.
With the 200AW you can't have that combo standing up in the bag. But it will fit if you put it down in the bag on the long side.



Aug 16, 2013 at 07:14 AM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.1 #5 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Thanks Lars. Which one of these two would you recommend for me. I either go out with 1 camera + 400/5,6 + 1 normal sized lens. Or 1 camera with 3 normal sized lenses.


Aug 17, 2013 at 06:26 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #6 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


The 180 AW is large enough for those combo's you describe. Even without using the large front pocket that can take a pro body or a rather large lens.


Aug 17, 2013 at 10:07 AM
pixelrandy
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p.1 #7 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Thanks for the review. You did a great job showcasing the Messengers' features.

Just a few comments about the Retrospectives as you made some comparisons (for obvious reasons) . The Retrospective's do have a "Silent" feature so you can work silently out of the bag when you don't want to use the hook-n-loop to secure the front flap.

Also, we do use a heavy cotton canvas. I've played with the Lowepro Messenger and I didn't notice that they were using a thicker canvas. That was a while back, so maybe they've changed the fabric or I just didn't notice at the time. Cotton is heavy compared to nylon, so I'm not sure that there's any advantage to having thicker canvas. I work front line support for Think Tank and I've never had a Retrospective complaint about the durability or weight of the canvas we're using. Interesting nevertheless.

I also see pros and cons to having the pocket under the flap zippered. Obviously having it zippered keeps stuff in and hands out. However there are already a number of zippered pockets on the bag. The big pocket(s) can be clasped closed using hook-n-loop, or left open for super easy access. Here's a shot of the Retrospective 10's front pocket I just snapped with my iPhone (yeah, too lazy to walk back to the studio for this shot right now):






Again, pros and cons to both pockets. Our organizer pocket for smaller items, like keys, memory cards, pens, etc is zippered and is located within the main compartment of the bag.

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Randy Wentzel
Think Tank Photo Customer Care
cs@thinktankphoto.com
(Please don't PM me here on FM as I probably won't reply. I'll reply in-line to messages in this thread or to emails sent to the address above. Thanks!)



Aug 28, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #8 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


The Retrospective has a "silent feature" but then you can't close the flap. It will not be closed, just hanging down. The difference is that the Lowepro will be closed. And the Thinktank will just hang there without closing.


Aug 29, 2013 at 05:17 AM
leighton w
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p.1 #9 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Very nice review and great sample shots. The Lowepro looks very nice, but...the TT Retrospective 10 allows me to leave a lens on camera while in the bag. I don't like the idea of having to take the lens off every time I put the camera in the bag, but this is just me.


Aug 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #10 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


leighton w wrote:
Very nice review and great sample shots. The Lowepro looks very nice, but...the TT Retrospective 10 allows me to leave a lens on camera while in the bag. I don't like the idea of having to take the lens off every time I put the camera in the bag, but this is just me.


The Lowepro allows me to have 2 or 3 cameras with lenses on in the bag at the same time. And that's large combos like a 1 series bodies with 70-200/4 IS lenses



Aug 29, 2013 at 03:02 PM
 

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Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #11 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


leighton w wrote:
Very nice review and great sample shots. The Lowepro looks very nice, but...the TT Retrospective 10 allows me to leave a lens on camera while in the bag. I don't like the idea of having to take the lens off every time I put the camera in the bag, but this is just me.


I checked the specs for your Retrospective 10 and compared it against these two Lowepro Pro Messenger bags. And you can see it here. Any lens/camera combo that you can carry in your bag, will also fit in the Lowepro bags. And the Lowepro bags will take larger or more body/lens combos that yours. So these bags would be perfect for you. Here it is.

Retrospective 10:
Interior Dimensions: 30.5 x 24 x 15.2 cm.

Pro Messenger 180 AW:
Internal Dimensions: 30,6 x 27 x 16 cm

Pro Messenger 200 AW:
Internal Dimensions: 39 x 24 x 16 cm




Aug 31, 2013 at 06:42 AM
Erik_J
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p.1 #12 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Thanks for the review and images. Did you make another review of those 3 Lowepro Classified shoulder bags?


Sep 14, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #13 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Erik_J wrote:
Thanks for the review and images. Did you make another review of those 3 Lowepro Classified shoulder bags?


Hi, no I have not done any reviews of the Lowepro Classified bags yet

Lars



Sep 15, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #14 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Lars Johnsson wrote:
The Retrospective has a "silent feature" but then you can't close the flap. It will not be closed, just hanging down. The difference is that the Lowepro will be closed. And the Thinktank will just hang there without closing.


Well, it's closed but the lid is not secured should it take a tumble. I've been thinking about sewing a clasp on my R10. One of my Domke bags had only velcro so I added a clasp to it. About 30 minutes of sewing and it was done (cockroached a clasp/strap off a beat Tamrac). Looked OEM but then Domke sports a rustic homegrown vibe.



Sep 16, 2013 at 12:05 AM
PeteT
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p.1 #15 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


I just ordered a Lowepro Classified 200aw but really fear I'm going to think its too big. Thinking about the ProMessenger 200AW or the Retrospective 50.

Just wish they were cheaper!



Oct 03, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #16 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


PeteT wrote:
I just ordered a Lowepro Classified 200aw but really fear I'm going to think its too big. Thinking about the ProMessenger 200AW or the Retrospective 50.

Just wish they were cheaper!


I have both the Lowepro Classified 200AW and the Pro Messenger 200AW bags. They are rather similar in size. Maybe the Pro Mesenger is a little bit larger. The Pro Messenger will take more equipment because it have a very large front pocket that can take a couple of bodies or lenses. but the Classified 200 is higher if you need that. Like keeping a camera with a 70-200 mounted in the bag.
What's too big for you? And what equipment do you like to have in it? I have bought all my Classified bags for a very low price at Amazon.uk and Amazon.de



Oct 04, 2013 at 06:53 AM
msalvetti
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p.1 #17 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Last weekend I tried the Pro Messenger 180AW and the 200AW at my local camera store. As Lars said, the 180AW is taller, but I ended up going with the 200AW because I could see myself carrying more than the 180AW can handle. The 200AW is tall enough to fit a 1DMkIV with a 100-400 or a 70-200 f/2.8 mounted, standing on end. And there is still room for lenses and a flash on either side, plus a 7D with grip (but no lens) in the front pocket. The back zippered pocket of the 200AW is large enough for an iPad. The back pocket on the 180AW is tighter. You can get the iPad in there, but you can't zip it.

The problem with being able to carry all this stuff is weight. The shoulder pad is very good, but I don't see myself carrying the 200AW fully loaded very far. I didn't buy it for that, though. If I'm walking around I expect to have one body in my hand, and the bag just used to carry the lenses/flash/spare body (and I often don't need a spare body).

I also have a Stealth Reporter 400AW. That bag looks bigger than the Messenger, but it is boxy and rigid, and really doesn't carry as much as the 200AW.

One thing I really like about the messengers is they readily conform to your hip, especially if they are not stuffed full. That's not the case with the Stealth Reporter. Although if you have an iPad in that back pocket of the messenger, the bag isn't going to wrap around your hip at all.

My store had the 200AW for the regular price of $200. But Adorama and B&H both have it on special for $152. Interesting story - I asked my store if they could come down closer to the $152. I didn't expect them to match, I was willing to pay more for the convenience of being able to try out the bags before buying. But an extra $60 (including tax) was just too much. They actually offered to match the $152 "because I was nice about it and asked in a non-threatening way".

I haven't really used the 200AW yet, but I think I'm really going to like it.

Mark



Oct 05, 2013 at 02:35 AM
PeteT
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p.1 #18 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


Lars Johnsson wrote:
I have both the Lowepro Classified 200AW and the Pro Messenger 200AW bags. They are rather similar in size. Maybe the Pro Mesenger is a little bit larger. The Pro Messenger will take more equipment because it have a very large front pocket that can take a couple of bodies or lenses. but the Classified 200 is higher if you need that. Like keeping a camera with a 70-200 mounted in the bag.
What's too big for you? And what equipment do you like to have in it? I have bought all my Classified bags for a very low price
...Show more

So my Classified just arrived today... You're very right - its very tall! My 50/1.4 and even my 24-70/2.8 gets lost in it!

As for what I carry...


  1. d300 w/ grip
  2. d700 with grip
  3. 50/1.4
  4. 14-24/2.8
  5. 24-70/2.8
  6. 70-200/2.8
  7. sb-900
  8. extra CF cards, cleaning clothes, extra batteries, ear plugs
  9. Sometimes a notebook pc




Oct 06, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #19 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


msalvetti wrote:
Last weekend I tried the Pro Messenger 180AW and the 200AW at my local camera store. As Lars said, the 180AW is taller, but I ended up going with the 200AW because I could see myself carrying more than the 180AW can handle. The 200AW is tall enough to fit a 1DMkIV with a 100-400 or a 70-200 f/2.8 mounted, standing on end. And there is still room for lenses and a flash on either side, plus a 7D with grip (but no lens) in the front pocket. The back zippered pocket of the 200AW is large enough for an
...Show more

I'm sure you will like it
It was nice of the shop to match the lower B&H price. Those things will make costumer to come back and buy more



Oct 08, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.1 #20 · Lowepro shoulder bags review (Messenger Pro)


PeteT wrote:
So my Classified just arrived today... You're very right - its very tall! My 50/1.4 and even my 24-70/2.8 gets lost in it!

As for what I carry...


  1. d300 w/ grip
  2. d700 with grip
  3. 50/1.4
  4. 14-24/2.8
  5. 24-70/2.8
  6. 70-200/2.8
  7. sb-900
  8. extra CF cards, cleaning clothes, extra batteries, ear plugs
  9. Sometimes a notebook pc


When the bag is that tall, so your lenses get lost in it Is it possible to have two lenses on top of each other ?



Oct 12, 2013 at 12:08 PM
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