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Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW II

I’ve just taken delivery of the new version of Lowepro’s very popular Lens Trekker 600…finally! When I picked up my Nikon 600/4 I tried to get the Lens Trekker to go with it but was annoyed to find it had been discontinued! I looked at various other solutions, none of which appealed and after several calls to shops I was told there was a new and improved version on the way ‘at some point’. Well I’m happy to say ‘at some point’ has arrived and at 8:30 in the morning the doorbell rang and the postman handed me a large cardboard box…so what have they changed in this new version…?

600mm next to 600 AWII

600mm next to 600 AWII

Overview
Weight: 2.8kg (6.17lbs)
Height: 25.5 inches (64.8cm)
Width: 9.3 inches (23.6cm)
Depth: 11 inches (27.9cm)
Links: Official LOWEPRO website

Purchase: Available in the UK from Warehouse Express and in the U.S. from B&H PHOTO.

Bigger and better? What are the differences…
The new version of this bag has had a few small changes, most obvious is the size, where the old bag was roughly 24″ in height externally the new bag is 24″ internally. This means you can store your 600mm with lens attached + a 1.4x TC attached as well…or, you can use a new piece of padding that is provided and place that at the top of your bag, above the back of your camera and it gives you space to store a body on it’s own laying flat. Very handy for those who have two camera’s and may want to carry a small wide angle prime in the front pouch in case of any landscape shots you may come across whilst out with the telephoto! The shot below is of the 600/4 with space for a body attached, then the extra padding above that to show the extra room now provided. **Please note I have since found out the original 600 AW also had this padding so it is not a new feature of the AW II**

Extra room at the top

Extra room at the top

Speaking of the front pouch, it is now taller but does not protrude as much, in fact if there is nothing in it you can pretty much push it flat against the bag making the bags profile more streamlined. The pouch contains a zipped compartment and two netting compartments so there is no shortage of room for spare batteries, teleconverters and maybe a small prime or two.

Front pouch open

Front pouch open

Pouch flush

Pouch flush

Another new addition to the bag are the six memory card holders built in to the inside of the main compartment lid.

Memory card holders

Memory card holders

Finally, one of the other minor updates is the location of the All Weather Cover. Instead of being stored in the front pouch this is now in a zipped pocket on the back of the bag, above the straps. This leaves more room for accessories in the front pouch.

The usual Lowepro experience
Anyone with experience of Lowepro bags will be right at home with the 600 AW II, it has the typical quality construction you would expect and includes various straps, harnesses, loops, pockets and tripod/monopod holders that you might expect with a bag of this size and most of which are remove-able to you can really build the bag to suit your needs. The main shoulder straps are held to the body by being sandwiched between two velcro sections on the back (the same as the original 600 AW), which at first may seem crazy having such a large amount of weight being held by velcro but used in this way, it’s a very effective solution. In fact, to help you pull the removable straps away from the bag a tool is provided to help you separate the velcro that holds them in place…the Pack Jack! The PJ tucks neatly in to the back of the bag, so if you do need to take it with you, you can do so without it getting in the way.

The Pack Jack

The Pack Jack

Adjusting the shoulder straps with The Pack Jack is a simple process as any owner of the previous version will know. For those that are new to the bag however…below are the straps in their lowest setting…

Straps set low

Straps set low

You then slide The Pack Jack down to the bottom of the velcro holding the straps in place…

Sliding the Pack Jack in

Sliding the Pack Jack in

Finally, with the PJ pushed all the way down you pull the straps up to the required height and then slide the PJ back out. Simple!

Straps adjusted high

Straps adjusted high

Final thoughts
Overall, I love this bag and anyone with the older version will feel right at home. It’s the perfect long lens bag solution for both storing and carrying such a big piece of glass, with a body attached. The zip down main compartment provides easy access to your gear and the extra size now provided makes this a slightly less tight squeeze. One word of warning, my friend has the older version of this and he has taken it on holiday several times, once he was asked to place it in the hand luggage cage at an airport and it just fit in…well the new version of this bag will not due to it’s taller frame. So that’s one thing to consider if travelling on planes is something you do a lot. Also, shop around as at the time of writing there were only two UK stockists I could find, one had the bag at £199 and the other, Speed Graphic, had it for £129…guess where I got mine from…

Thinking of buying?
If you live in the UK the Lens Trekker 600 can be purchased from Warehouse Express.

And if you live in America the Lens Trekker 600 can be purchased from BHPhoto here, and the entire Lowepro range can be browsed here.

Plenty of room above the D3

Plenty of room above the D3

Frseh out the box

Frseh out the box

Main compartment

Main compartment

Space above the 600/4

Space above the 600/4

About the author

Richard Peters is a Surrey based professional wildlife photographer, Nikon Ambassador, and one of the few British photographers to receive the accolade of European Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He is known for a style that often favours dramatic use of light, runs wildlife photography workshops and, from camera clubs to big industry events, holds talks about his work.

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