Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Camera Backpack

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 Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Camera Backpack
A Serious Backpack For Outdoor Photographers

I’ve been using the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW backpack for a few months now. Generally it carries a Canon EOS-1D Mark III, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di, Canon EF 28-300MM f/3.5-5.6 L IS, a Canon 550 EX flash, Pocket Wizard radio slaves, memory cards, extra AA batteries, and miscellaneous other pieces of photographic paraphernalia. The backpack has a sophisticated harness system, holds a laptop computer, and features Lowepro’s adjustable Glide-Lock system for attaching a tripod or Lowepro Slip-Lock accessories to the outside of the backpack. It also has weather-resistant zippers and Lowepro’s Patented “All Weather Cover.”  The Glide-Lock system carried my compact travel tripod securely and was easier to use than other tripod attachments I’ve used in the past. The Vertex 200 AW also comes with another removable tripod holder that will carry a larger tripod on the rear of the backpack.

Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Camera Backpack           Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Camera Backpack

In the press release, Lowepro described the Vertex series backpacks as, “Ideal For Professional Photographers Shooting in Rugged Outdoor Environments.” Hence the weather-proof zippers, All Weather Cover, and advanced harness system. There are three sizes, the Vertex 100 AW, 200 AW, and 300 AW. I specifically requested that Lowepro send me the medium Vertex 200 AW backpack because I wanted a real hiking pack and not the kind you put every single piece of equipment you own in. I think the Vertex 200 AW backpack is a perfect size for serious amateur photographers or pros who want to take it on the trail or need to travel light.

Lowpro Vertex 200 AW Laptop Pocket

One of the main features of Lowepro’s Vertex backpacks is a laptop pocket on the outside. My 15-inch laptop fits in it just fine and I like that it’s on the outside of the backpack. I’ve seen laptop displays get ruined because they were in a backpack that stressed them too much. The outside of the backpack puts less pressure on the computer than if it was riding right next to your back.  I don’t actually carry my computer in a backpack because I have a dedicated laptop bag. Instead, I use the front compartment to carry a jacket or other clothing when I’m traveling or hiking. So even if you don’t carry a notebook computer, the outside pocket is useful.

The two things I like the most about the Vertex 200 AW are the harness system and the size. I’ve owned and used a lot of backpacks – camera-specific and otherwise. This is one of the most comfortable and best-riding backpacks I’ve ever used. The harness has 8 adjustment points which make it easy to fit. One thing that sets a great backpack apart is how weight is distributed. With a good fit and well-placed waist belt, the Vertex 200 AW feels like it’s carrying a lot less weight than it actually is. I’m a pretty medium-sized guy (5’8” and 165 pounds) and a lot of backpack harnesses are too big for me – especially the chest straps. Most backpacks feel like the designers used a 6-foot body builder for a model. That is not the case with the Vertex 200 AW. From my medium guy point-of-view, it has plenty of adjustment for both bigger and smaller body sizes.

There was a hidden bonus in not choosing the larger Vertex 300 AW backpack. The first time I traveled with the Vertex 200 AW, I ended up on a small commercial jet from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. More than once I’ve had to leave carry-everything backpacks sitting on the runway to be stowed in the baggage compartment on these little planes. So I was pleased when I carried it on and it fit in the little overhead compartment. I hate leaving my camera gear in the hands of baggage handlers. Especially when the camera belongs to Canon and not me!

The bottom line is that Lowepro’s Vertex series backpacks offer the serious outdoor photographer an excellent camera carrying solution. I can’t find anything about the Vertex 200 AW that really bothers me. I’ve used it extensively to hike, travel, carry to events, and just throw in the car. Nothing has torn, jammed, come apart, or given me any trouble. Like I said earlier, the harness system on the Vertex is excellent, making it very comfortable to carry a lot of gear. If I had to complain about something, the zipper for the main compartment offers a little more resistance than I like. But that’s not really a big deal. At $250 retail, the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW is no small investment. But neither is your camera. Consider it insurance for your camera – and your back.

Related Content:
Lowepro Vertex 200 AW review page >>
All camera backpack reviews >>
All Lowepro reviews >>
Lowepro Vertex camera backpacks press release >>
Lowepro Web site >>

Lowepro Vertex 200 AW fully loaded

 Lowepro Vertex 200 AW weather-resistant zippers

Lowepro Vertex 200 AW outer pocket w. memory card storage

Lowepro Vertex 200 AW padded inner pocket fits flash or photo storage device

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of PhotographyREVIEW.com and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Great article! The photos were particularly helpful (and well lit). It’s really hard to find pictures of somebody actually wearing this backpack, so it’s great to see how large it is on an average sized man. My purchasing decision may just have shifted again…haha.

  • Photo-John says:

    Happy to help, Brendan. And thanks for letting me know that the photos of someone wearing the backpack made a difference. I will remember that for future reviews.

  • My last big question on this backpack is the laptop compartment. Lowepro specs state it will fit most 15″ laptops. I have a 17″ laptop that will theoretically fit, but I’d like to be sure before ordering one.

    Lowepro’s laptop compartment dimensions:
    11.8 x 2.0 x 16.5 inches

    My 17″ Dell Inspiron 9300 dimensions:
    11.3 x 1.6 x 15.4 inches

    Average 15.4″ laptop dimensions:
    10.5 x 1.8 x 14.0 inches

    So will mine fit? If a 17″ MacBook Pro fits, then mine will also since they have identical dimensions except for thickness (which I’m well under the tolerance for). It’s the deal breaker for me. Thanks.

  • Photo-John says:

    Packed as full as I had it, it was a tight fit for my laptop. But it did fit. I just measured my laptop and it measure 14 1/8 x 10 1/2 x 1.5 inches. If you carry less stuff than me it won’t put as much pressure on your computer and it might fit better. On the other hand, maybe you’d be better off with the largest Vertex. I can’t remember for sure, but I think it has a larger notebook compartment.

  • Tomislav says:

    Can you tell me the brand and the model of your travel tripod please? I’m looking for something that size.

  • Jon says:

    I am confused about this bag after seeing this picture http://www.photographypress.co.uk/gallery/index.phtml/news/6152/NEWS-6152-ea122958ab11f3e16fe64170e5a017e1.jpg?slideshow=
    Is there a compartment on these bags, 200/300 where you can store the straps out of the way like when you need to stow this on an airplane. I can’t seem to find good pictures of this bag, but yours rock.

  • Andre Erlich says:

    I find this article extremely helpful..and since I cannot find the backpack in stores (in France) to try and will have to order it online, I better get it right ;-)
    Do you think my Canon 40D with grip, Canon XTi and Canon 100-400mm, Canon 28-300 mm and Canon 17-85 would fit nicely? Plus of course some extra stuff and a small (Dell D410) laptop?

    thanks and best regards


  • Photo-John says:

    I think your gear will fit just fine. In the photo I included with the review I had the EOS-1D Mark III charger on one compartment. Mosst of the time that compartment actually holds my XTi. So I don’t think you’ll have any problem fitting both cameras, your lenses, laptop, and other smaller items.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • mike says:

    thanks for the review. helped make my decision.

    btw, Costco has them for $199 on line.. $229 everywehre else, stay away from Overstock.com, $299 inflated price dropped to $229.. poor service too.

  • Pete Jones says:

    My gf just bought me this bag for my berfday… (a pleasant upgrade from my Slingshot 200)

    This truly is THE bag to own if you’re going to have to hoof it to get that shot… great review btw!

  • Photo-John says:

    Thanks for your comment, Pete. Glad you like the review and the backpack. Please post a review for your new bag after you get to know. Here’s a link to that user review page:

    Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack User Reviews >>

    And spread the word about PhotographyREVIEW.com!

    Thanks in advance for your review and thanks again for visiting us and commenting :-)

  • Pingback: Lowepro Primus AW Backpack Review

  • Raffaella says:

    I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop having the following specs: 16 X 11.5 X 2 (inches). any idea if the laptop will fit in the vertex 200AW? I need to be sure since i will buy it online.

    Regards and thanks!

  • Debbie says:

    I won the Vertex 300 from Art Wolfe [he signed it for me too!] and have found it to be a fantastic bag. I load it with my Canon 5D with attached 24-105 lens, an additional 70-200 or 100-400, 2 teleconverters, 1 extension tube [the size of 1 teleconverter], a Canon 500 closeup lens, several Galen Rowell ND filters, 3 Singh-Ray filters in their brown pouches, McClamps, AND my Toshiba Satellite laptop, extra batteries, a large flashlight, etc.

    This is the bag if you need extra room, or don’t want to squash your gear into the 200. I found the 200 a bit limiting, whereas I can carry more ‘just in case’ type gear that is typically optional. I hate getting to a site and realizing that I needed something that I just couldn’t justify bringing because I ran out of room. Not a problem with this bag.

    It’s a typical smart use of space that Lowepro is known for. It’s my 3rd Lowepro and I love it. It replaced my ‘Ape Case’… MUCH more heavy duty.

    LOVE the dust & dirt cover, as well as the additional waterproof bag! They both tuck away so well that you’d never know they were there unless someone showed you their secret storage spot! Typical Lowepro – awesome.


  • Jerome says:

    I am considering the vertex 300, but do not have a laptop to lug around. I am planning to use the compartment for all of my chargers. I carry 2 bodies around with 4 lenses and am planning to add a 5th. My equipment includes a Panasonic DMC-FZ18. I also carry a Sony F56 flash and figure that everything shouldl fit nicely in the 300 with room to spare.

    If anyone has any thoughts on the matter, I would appreciate the input.

    Thank you.

  • This is a very nice backpack.

    I have an all weather lowerpro and it is great.

    They are very well made.

  • Ricky says:

    Great article!!! Thank you for your precious help in my choice.
    Given that this item is hard to find in a shop in Italy, I will buy it online.. and I wanted to be sure that my equipment could fit (17″ MBP + 1 SLR with 3small lenses + 1 105micro)
    …and I found all the answers I needed here!
    Thanks a lot!

  • Ed Poll says:

    Excellent review, I actually was doubting if 200 or 300 but now I’m sure I’m going for the first!
    It seems being matching with all my needs so, thanx once again!!!
    Ed Poll

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