Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L AW Review

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May 9, 2013 at 10:05 am  •  Posted in Cool Gadgets, Review by  •  7 Comments

Enter the Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L AW. On paper, this one looks like, “Wow, wow, wow!”

Enter the Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L AW. On paper, this one looks like, “Wow, wow, wow!”

Once in a while, I have to explain to my better half why I need so many photo bags. “You see, honey, my photo bags are a bit like your shoes. They’re all perfectly useful in certain situations, but not very practical in others.” For example, I love my Photo Sport 200 AW. It’s perfect for my morning run and for biking to work, but I have to carefully select what I pack and what I don’t. My Flipside 300 is fantastic, but it’s really hot during demanding activities in the middle of July. And I could go on and on about my entire collection. For every “wow” factor, there’s a “but”—and usually the “wow” of one bag is the “but” of the other.

Enter the Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L AW. On paper, this one looks like, “Wow, wow, wow!” and I’m tempted to use the ultimate plea: “But sweetie, it looks like they designed it just for me!”

A brief description of the bag by the manufacturer
“Get on-the-go access with a lightweight and technical camera daypack that fits pro-sized gear. The Flipside Sport 20L AW is built for photographers in pursuit of active adventures.”

About me
I like to see myself as an adventurer, but maybe “active” is a better descriptor. I bike to work, rain or shine, with my photo gear and laptop. I also run or walk a few kilometres a day. My car is mainly used for going to the grocery store or family trips. And I’m a bit indecisive about what to bring with me in any given situation, so I always pack more than I should.

The bag
At first glance, it’s impressive. I can easily fit a lot of photo gear in this bag. Lowepro says that it can accommodate a tablet or small laptop, but I was able to fit my 15-inch laptop in the bag (but not in the slot intended for the computer).

I’m able to fit in my 15-inch laptop right on top of my equipment and then close the cover to keep everything secure. I have to do this before attaching the tripod in order to get as much give as possible.

I’m able to fit in my 15-inch laptop right on top of my equipment and then close the cover to keep everything secure. I have to do this before attaching the tripod in order to get as much give as possible.

What makes the whole Flipside series unique is that the access to the main compartment is on the body side of the bag. That’s handy because nobody can access your gear while you’re wearing the bag, and when the waist belt is attached, all you have to do is flip it to the front to access your equipment. The bag is well vented, and all the padding is made from perforated, breathable material. This makes it more comfortable, and you don’t have to worry about sweating too much.

As with all their AW series, the Flipside Sport has a removable rain cover to protect your gear that you can pull out and fit over your bag. I find the tripod attachment system more convenient than both the Photo Sport 200 AW and the original Flipside line. Big or small, the tripod will be solidly secured, and it won’t move even if you’re running with the bag (The attachment system is also just the right size to hold two baguettes, in case you were wondering). Same with the trekking pole holders; they just seem better placed. Of course, you can’t put on the rain cover if a tripod or trekking poles are attached to the bag.

Big or small, the tripod will be solidly secured, and it won’t move even if you’re running with the bag (The attachment system is also just the right size to hold two baguettes, in case you were wondering).

Big or small, the tripod will be solidly secured, and it won’t move even if you’re running with the bag (The attachment system is also just the right size to hold two baguettes, in case you were wondering).

Lowepro was nice enough to also include two attachment points on the padded straps. I often link my camera to one of them with a strap for extra security when shooting in awkward situations.

Attachment points on the padded straps are a big plus for me. I often link my camera to one of them with a strap for extra security.

Attachment points on the padded straps are a big plus for me. I often link my camera to one of them with a strap for extra security.

I always carry one or two of these small straps. You can easily make them with material bought at your outdoor gear store.

I always carry one or two of these small straps. You can easily make them with material bought at your outdoor gear store.

Not only is the inside of the bag completely configurable so you can arrange the layout according to your needs, but it is also removable with its own extra layer of protection! You could even carry it as a separate bag to make room in the backpack for some more stuff.

The inside of the bag is removable, with its own extra layer of protection. Neat stuff!

The inside of the bag is removable, with its own extra layer of protection. Neat stuff!

Many “wow” factors, but where’s the “but”?
As with many things in life, the biggest draws can also be the biggest drawbacks. In this case, if I ever fall backwards with my bag full of stuff, I may end up looking like an upside-down turtle unable to right myself. Such is life!

For more information: http://www.lowepro.com/flipside-sport

Definitely a winner if you need this much space in a bag. If not, you might want to have a look at the 15L or 10L version.

Definitely a winner if you need this much space in a bag. If not, you might want to have a look at the 15L or 10L version.

7 Comments

  1. Pedro Machado / October 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm / Reply

    Your laptop is 15,6″? Does it fit nicely or is it kinda hard, I was thinking about this bag but I need one bag where my laptop fits!

    • Jenny Montgomery / October 8, 2015 at 10:03 am / Reply

      Pedro,

      Guy said, “It’s feasible, but not ideal. You would probably be better served by the Lowepro Pro Runner BP 450 AW II. It does have a dedicated space to accommodate a 15” laptop and enough room to carry A LOT of gear. It weighs 2.91 kg though.”

      Hope this helps!
      Jenny

  2. Guy Cruls / April 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm / Reply

    the photos are ridiculously small!!!

    • Jenny Montgomery / April 18, 2016 at 10:09 am / Reply

      Hi Guy,

      This post is from three years ago, which was before we updated our website to its current design. At the time of this post, we used smaller images than we do now.

      Best,
      Jenny

  3. Jacob Kenworthy / April 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm / Reply

    Does the 20L have room for the Sigma 150-500mm attached to Nikon D7000?

    • Jenny Montgomery / April 18, 2017 at 11:41 am / Reply

      Hi Jacob,

      Guy says that it should fit in both bags but that those bags have unfortunately been discontinued.

      Best,
      Jenny

  4. Jacob Kenworthy / April 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm / Reply

    Or even the 15L?

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