Description: The new, fast-access SlingShot AW series builds on the inventive design of the original and incorporates what many photographers are looking for: faster access, extra space for personal items, improved organization, and the … see full wiki
The Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW rests on the back like a backpack, but with its single strap the case will swing around to the front for convenient access to its contents. The main compartment can hold a camera with the lens attached and has adjustable sections to hold a flash on one side and a second lens on the other. A secondary compartment can hold other items such as a cell phone, filters, or other needed items. A compact tripod or monopod hangs securely on the side, and straps are strategically placed on the exterior for hanging accessory components. Other pockets and compartments are found here and there to hold even more stuff.
The SlingShot is constructed with quality materials and plenty of padding to protect camera equipment. Thicker padding protects the back from feeling the equipment, ensuring comfort for the wearer. The pack's organizational abilities and extras such as two memory card pockets placed conveniently in the main compartment, a pocketed microfiber lens cloth, and the bottom pocket's all weather shield are a nice touch. Clearly, Lowepro's developers set out to create a convenient storage solution for the photographer on the go.
Swinging the SlingShot from back to front requires unhooking the waist strap. Once swung around to the front, most pockets and zipper openings face upwards, although the secondary compartment opens from top to bottom making this section more difficult to access in this state. The compact tripod or monopod is attached to the bottom of the bag. Removing a tripod feels natural, but reattaching requires some finagling.
The adjustable sections in the main compartment attach using Velcro on all edges next to the inner sides. Wide Velcro strips in the bag allow for adjusting depth, but the padded sides do not forcing the use of Lowepro's basic configuration. While it's a good configuration, this bag is too small to use with my equipment. My Canon 580EX flash barely fits in the designated area, as it's taller than the depth of the inner compartment. I can fit my Canon 7D with 24-105mm lens attached, but the lens's width pushes the padded sides into the other compartment's space preventing storage in those sections. I can remove all the sections creating one large compartment, but then I have no internal padding to protect my equipment. Had I been able to reconfigure the main compartment, I might have been able to come up with something useful.
Lowepro created a convenient storage solution for street photographers and those on the go. Unfortunately, they chose to make the 102 too small for many to use. While I own expensive lenses which tend to be larger than the less expensive options, this bag should be able to comfortably hold a common flash. This may be a good option for photographers with smaller lenses and equipment; however the SlingShot 102 will be too small for most.
PROS: Sling design for easy access Quality construction Includes extras like the all weather (AW) shield and microfiber lens cloth