Lowepro Fastpack 250 review: Lowepro Fastpack 250

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Attractive; practical side-opening design; comfortable; roomy top pocket.

The Bad Needs more media pockets; top pocket could use some more compartmentalizing; uncomfortable grab handle on top.

The Bottom Line Although it's a solid backpack for toting some pro gear and a large laptop, the Lowepro Fastpack 250's design still has a few rough edges.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.3 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0

A variation on the company's side-opening, single-strap Slingshot models, the Lowepro Fastpack series integrates the clever top-and-side camera compartment approach with a more traditional backpack design. Middle of the line, the Fastpack 250 offers an attractive, relatively comfortable option for a weekend traveler who likes to wander armed with a midrange-to-large camera body, several lenses and accessories, and a Photoshop-worthy laptop.

The Fastpack 250's camera compartment is just large enough to accommodate a large body equipped with a couple of midrange telephoto lenses and a flash unit. Inside the flap you'll find two small flash-media pouches (not shown). More would be welcome.

I and the 250 ventured out with a Nikon D3 plus the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens, the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens, and the SB-800 AF Speedlight. It was a tight squeeze because of the exceptionally wide (physically) 14-24mm lens.

The top pocket is quite roomy.

The top compartment is large enough to hold a hardcover book, sunglasses in a case, and other miscellany. There are a couple spaces to slide in pens, a mesh pocket that can handle a largish MP3 player, a small pocket sized for a typical cell phone, and another flap pocket that I use for holding business and credit cards. A few free-floating pouches or dividers and a way to Velcro them in place would be useful to keep random items organized, though. On the front is a free-form zippered compartment.

Made of weather-resistant nylon, the Fastpack seems quite well-made and sturdy. The padded straps and back are comfortable enough for a day of roaming. There's a flat pocket on top of the camera compartment that seems sized for holding a camera manual or blister packs of medications.

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