|Lowepro CompuTrekker AW
|List Price: $199.99
Our Price: $199.99
The perfect travel companion for photojournalists and location photographers who need a compact way to safely store and transport digital cameras, accessories and a notebook computer.
- Padded camera compartment with adjustable, padded dividers allow you to customize the compartment based on your selection of equipment
- Adjustable backpack harness with padded, contoured shoulder straps, quick-release sternum strap and waistbelt for ultimate comfort, especially in rough terrain
- Padded notebook compartment with zipper and quick-release buckle for added safety and security
- A quick-access hide-away Tripod Mount, SlipLock attachment loops and a number of laminated and zippered organizer pockets all work to provide photographers with the fastest access to equipment while providing the very best in protection, durability and security
- A built-in All Weather Cover offers maximum protection again extreme weather, dust and sand
- Well designed with a few drawbacks
This is a really convenient way to move my 2 SLR bodies and I can fit about 6 lenses in. It's very nice in general, good protective capability and very convenient.
There is a lot of good thought behind this backpack. It designed to be a camera backpack, not just a backpack you can put your camera in. For example, on the pouches opposite the main chamber, the zippers have covers to prevent them from scratching up your gear. Another good example is that the main chamber is deep enough that all of my lenses except my 200mm fit in horizontally, allowing me to fit more stuff in! My main camera goes into the bag attached to a lens that has a 67mm filter diameter and a lens hood on it, and they fit in without any problem whatsoever.
The body of the bag does not change shape no matter how much you have in it. This bodes well for protective capability but it's actually kindof annoying when the bag is not completely loaded. If you're carrying 1 old manual nikon with no extra lenses, or two canon 5Ds with 8 lenses and a laptop, the backpack is the exact same shape. This is a touch annoying because it can feel like you have a large foam brick on your back when lightly weighted.
Not that you'd probably want to lug one, but don't try to put anything other than an ultra-mobile laptop into this bag. Trying to put a mobile-desktop style laptop or anything thicker than about 1.5" into this backpack will not be a happy experience.
This is a computrekker - it's meant for carrying your laptop with you and it's designed with that in mind. It actually feels quite imbalanced when you have the camera chamber filled but leave your laptop at home.
Finally, the straps are short. I do a lot of photography out on my motorcycle and this bag barely fits over my motorcycle jacket, and I'm not exactly a huge guy. Without the jacket it's ok with the straps out a bit. But if you're on the larger side of medium-large, this backpack might feel too small on you.
On the whole its a nice backpack, pretty expensive but not when one considers how much stuff can be put into it simultaneously and that it's a good protective bag. It's not the best backpack in the world, but being my first and only SLR backpack that might just be the way of all of them....more info
- Great bag, but slightly flawed (LET ME EXPLAIN)!!!!
I just recieved this bag a few days ago. I was was looking for a bag that I could carry all my stuff in when I travel. After countless hours of researching backpacks, I finally decided to go the 2 bag route. The CT AW bag is pretty awesome, there is plenty of room for my D90, 70-200 2.8 VR, 24-70 2.8, 18-105 VR, SB-800 flash, and all my filters. And this is just in the main compartment. Ok, let me get to the part that is flawed, first off, I have a Dell 15.4 inch Inspiron 1505 and let me tell you the first time I tried to put it in the compartment it was a pretty tight squeeze, but I managed to stuff it in with just enough room to zip it up, thank GOD, I am a Soldier who is traveling home from Afghanistan in 2 weeks, so there would not have been enough time to get a bigger bag, however I would not have needed a bigger front compartment, the stuff I have already would be swimming in this bag had it not been for the compartment seperators. Another thing, the compartment that holds the laptop is not as long as the back of the bag so you can kind of feel that lump in your back when you have it fully loaded, however it doesn't seem to bad once you sinch up the straps. My buddy has a 15 inch Macbook Pro and that laptop slid in and out of this bag with no problem, since I am converting to Mac pretty soon I am really excited about that. NOTE: I can personally guarantee that some 15 inch laptops will not fit in this bag, I think my Dell would be considered a medium sized 15 incher, in terms of thickness, anything thicker than that, you can forget it!! Some of the other reviews said that this is not an all day bag fully loaded, I agree and disagree. With everything I have, laptop included this bag is probrably over 20 lbs, not something you want to carry around with you all, and don't forget the small lump in the back when the laptop is in. However, without the laptop, this bag is extremely comfortable and could be used all day on a hike if need be. It is very well made and has enough padding to rest any fears I had of it not protecting my precious Nikon gear. I hope this helps, I just tried to answer all the questions I had when I was bag hunting. For my on the go bag I bought a Crumpler 6 Million dollar bag....more info
- Great camera/laptop bag for travel
I bought this backpack for a trip to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks to use with a Canon DSLR. I primarily intended to use the backpack for airline travel, but it also worked well on hikes. I generally unloaded equipment that I didn't think I would use for the day. However, on one day I kept it fully loaded since I didn't want to leave the equipment in the car (checked out of the hotel). Even fully loaded, the backpack was comfortable to wear on hikes (although heavy). I like the extra straps which kept the backpack from sliding off my shoulders. The shoulder straps are quite thickly padded. When fully loaded with equipment the backpack ended up at 35 pounds.
I didn't try the tripod mount so I can't comment on this feature.
The bag is kind of bulky and doesn't compress when unloaded. However, I was able to put it under the airline seat fine. It provides excellent protection for equipment.
The laptop pouch will work fine for a thin and light notebook but anything much larger won't fit. I was worried about compression of the notebook but it seemed to be OK.
It is a bit inconvenient to unload a lens but the backpack allowed me to take a 70-200 telephoto lens with 2x extender attached. I would have missed some wildlife shots without the backpack. When hiking I left the SLR around my neck or in a toploader bag because I didn't want a delay to unload the camera.
The only enhancement I would like to see is a few more side/front pouches. The large front pouch tends to get cluttered so it can be hard finding items in there.
This is a great bag if you want to bring some extra lenses and a notebook for digital storage. I considered the bigger brother to this model (Plus). In the end, I decided that the regular version was better suited to travelling and hiking....more info
- Great bag for my DSLR
I owned one of these prior to hurricane Katrina and it was lost in the flood in my home. I liked it so much that I purchased another one of the same, after looking at several others. This is the best DSLR camera backpack I've owned. It is sturdy, lots of room and has a compartment for my laptop computer too....more info
- Why don't you have one already?
First, i think that this backpack is great, the construction is good, the size is good, and it is comfortable to wear. I really wanted a travel backpack that would fit all my stuff ( computer, pda, etc...), not just camera equipment. Sectioned backpacks are the best, i will never go back to the "black hole" type.
It was difficult to make this purchase without trying the backpack, but it has been working out just fine. I have tried several 15.4" laptops and they fit. The only issue is the limited one outside pocket and i think they could make this backpack a little more "adventure" with useful added straps that you can clip things on. The outside pocket is big and can fit books, food, clothes, etc. It was difficult to tell from any pictures i have seen on the internet. There are these bungee straps on the front and top of the bag for the tripod; they should have a hide-a-away pocket or be webbing straps. I don't think this will be best choice for snowboarding or mountain biking, due to the large boxy size.
I have not flown with the bag, but i hope i can squeeze it under a seat. It is a little pricey but there are very few good backpacks that can hold almost everything you need. If you need more storage or have a big laptop, get the Plus. I feel in the end this will be my everyday backpack and travel backpack, and I would suggest this backpack to everyone....more info
- Computrekker AW vs Tamrac Expedition 7
I have the LowePro Computrekker AW (not the Plus model) and the Tamrac Expedition 7. Both are excellent bags, but there are important differences.
Fully loaded the Computrekker holds a Nikon D300, 70-200 or 300 f/4, 24-70, 12-24, 70-300, filter stacks, extension tubes, 1.4 and 1.7 teleconverters, SB-800, and a HP DV2000 laptop. The Computrekker has a large exterior pockets with capacity for accessories like the SB-800, a Wimberley Sidekick, and room for more. The laptop pocket is moderately large and located against your back, providing plenty of protection. The laptop pocket is better for a thin laptop - the limit is my 1 1/2 inch thick Dell. Interior pockets can be configured to your specific gear. Padding is adequate, but the bag is not over-padded. I am able to fit this entire bag in most overhead compartments, but occasionally I have to remove the laptop.
I find the Tamrac Expedition 7 to be a bit heavy and bulky in comparison to the Computrekker. The Expedition 7 is a couple of inches deeper, so it will hold several lenses like the 24-70 vertically. That lets me carry both the 70-200 and the 300 f/4 lenses, as well as everything outlined above. The added depth increases the capacity significantly. The laptop pocket is okay, but smaller than the Computrekker. That pocket is also the only one big enough for your flash and a Sidekick, so with a laptop those items would need to be attached to the outside of the bag or put inside the pack with lenses. The Expedition has a bit more padding, but it is most noticeable on the waiste strap and on your back. The extra padding adds a lot of weight and bulk. Of course, you can use the MAS system to add external pouches but that also brings added bulk. The padding and ventilation against your back is a little nicer than the Computrekker - but at the expense of more weight and bulk. The small wing pockets for batteries and memory cards are not very function - and in my opinion just silly.
The Computrekker is my choice of a good, light weight bag. As noted by others, it is easy to overpack. The Expedition has better padding, but it is at the cost of added weight and bulk.
- Camera part fine, Laptop compartment not practical
The camera compartment is this bag is good, holds an EOS 20D with an attached 70-200 f/2.8l IS USM, and room for more lenses. There is also enough clearance to permit the battery grip. If you plan on using this with a laptop I would not recomend it. If you have a widescreen laptop (ie Dell Lat 800/810, Insp 8500,9500, etc) the zipper barely closes, with one corner pushing out on the zipper, necessating the Computrekker AW Plus. If you have a smaller laptop, you should be okay. However, unless you have an ultra-thin laptop, the compartment isn't thick enough-- it's tight enough that the screen will be pressed into the keyboard, scratching the screen. Also, the corners of any laptop could come in contact with the zipper area where there isn't padding. If you drop this case, your laptop could get a cracked corner. This case isn't an all-in-one solution to the laptop & camera combined. Again, it's fine for camera/lenses, fits decently, doesn't scream camera inside. The laptop compartment however could be used for folders, papers, etc....more info
- As good as it gets...
No camera/laptop hybrid bag is perfect. But this one comes darn close. It is made extremely well, and it is comfortable when loaded up. It is perfect for traveling and event photography. The number one reason I bought it was to be able to travel and carry my 15" mac book and camera equipment in one bag. My mac book has a hard clam shell case attached to it for added protection. And I was concerned that it would be too bulky. But it slipped in the laptop compartment just fine. This bag will also be just fine for carry on. After searching online for days looking for a camera / laptop bag, I'm really glad I bought this.
What I loaded this bag with: Mac book 15" laptop, Canon Digital Rebel XTi, with a standard lens, zoom lens, and wide angle lens. I can fit my battery charger, extra batteries, memory cards, AND my sony mini DV camcorder with all of its accessories. Nice! ...more info
- Efficient, light backpack
This backpack is the ideal size for a photographer during an assignment, there is no need to carry huge packs on wheels.
In this pack I can carry 2 or 3 bodies, 2 Flash units, extra batteries for all, 3 lenses; in a separate compartment I can carry small items, such as small screwdrivers, a swiss army knife, memory cards, etc. A separate, padded zippered compartment can be used to carry a 15" laptop or, a compact monopod instead.
Other backpacks of this type are usually too small ot too big. This bag is exactly the right size for most photo assignments....more info
- GOOD AS IT GETS!
My Backpack arrived 1 day before my scheduled workshop so I packed all of my photo
equipment... including a dedicated flash and a macro flash an Epson 2000 photo capture unit, batteries and misc. photo equipment. This workshop was a field workshop on the ocean, sand dunes, lighthouse locations...you name it. Being in my
70s and out of shape I thought I was in trouble with the weight of all these items but the way this backpack was built the weight distribution was perfect even in the climbing and traversing the dunes and tide pools. I used all my lenses from wide to 100-400, 70-200 canons. The weight was there but so was the distribution and thought out straps. Had a tripod too!...more info
- Poor tripod attachment
It fits Apple 15" Pwrbook comfortably, the camera compartment and the accessory compartments are all excellent. The bag is, as with all Lowepro products are, very well constructed. However, there is one HUGE flaw with this bag: the tripod carrying attachment is very impractical. I bought this unit online so I didn't have a chance to test it out. If you plan on using this bag to carry a tripod, look elsewhere. ...more info
- Design & Craft
It's well designed and well made. Smart layout. I need to buy more lenses now! The only - is perhaps the various straps that can fly all around....more info
- Truly Great Design and Features
Lowe (who KNOWS ergonomics when it comes to packs) has a real winner with the computrekker. I also own the SlingShot 100. Why own two bags?I bought the computrekker first then realized:
It's too big for a field bag. In the field, quick access to my gear is cumbersome at best. You have to take the bag off to get to the stuff. Photo-ops don't wait for you to take the bag off and get the camera and the lense and flash.
Also the tripod attachment system is a bit complicated to untangle once you get your tripod on. I don't use the 'beaver tail style' fold down holder.
I'd redesign it closer to the ice-axe handle loops on expedition bags. I just use two adjustable tension bungie straps to hold my lite carbon field tripod.
The computrekker carries everything I need when I TRAVEL on mass transit or car. Cameras, lenses, flashes, tripod, cables, cards, batteries, books, magazines, ALL fit wonderfully and are well protected. And it easily rides with me on an airplane. No need to carry separate laptop and camera bags.
But when I get to my destination, I transfer whatever I will need for the day in the field to the SlingShot 100. The slingshot doesn't have a tripod holder, but I just drop one leg through a loop on the bag and secure with smaller bungee.
Update June 2008:
After at least a year of using this back it is still holding up well. I have to say that I have actually taken it on hikes to falls and cliffs. And again, it is not that well suited for backpacking. It is still great for transporting stuff when traveling (planes, trains, autos), but into the woods I'd leave it at the hotel or in the car. Besides I would not carry my laptop into the woods. Just bring more memory cards and have a camera with a large LCD.
UPDATE JULY 2008
So, I'm selling this bag. It is still in great condition and a top notch performer. I have my eyes set on the LowePro Rover. I am going to Kauai in October (the wettest place on earth) and I want total waterproof protection for my gear. This computrekker will serve some lucky buyer well!
- Not for everyday use
This is an extremely well-made bag with exceptional padding. There are almost infinite ways to configure the removable, padded inserts in the main camera compartment. The laptop section is extremely well-padded, but is not practical for my laptop, as I have to push and pull to get it in and out. I occasionally use that pocket for carrying my Manfrotto monopod.
The bag is large and very heavy when fully loaded, so I do not use it for everyday shoots. It does provide the additional shock protection and security I need when travelling.
I currently have it configured to hold a Nikon D40 with 18-55mm lens attached, a Nikkor 55-200mm lens, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28, chargers and cables for each camera, and an IOMEGA portable hard drive. I store the camera manuals and spare memory cards in the interior zippered pockets....more info
- Great to carry it all, but could have been designed better
I purchased this bag because I travel a lot internationally and I usually need to carry my laptop, but want to carry my SLR as well. In the past, I have carried my laptop in a backpack and the SLR separately in a Lowepro bag. This worked, but I was always nervous about having the camera separate, especially when I arrived in foreign cities at night and it felt obvious that I was carrying an expensive camera. Plus, I was worried that some day, one of the airlines would notice the two bags and forbid me from carrying both the laptop bag and the camera bag onto the plane. To overcome this, I tried putting both the camera bag and the laptop into a large backpack, but if it looks big, the airlines will notice and twice last year I was asked to take things out of my backpack (Istanbul airport and Milan airport, both on Lufthansa).
This bag by Lowepro seemed a good alternative. I also tried the larger, Lowepro CompuTrekker Plus AW Camera Backpack, but that bag seemed way too large to get away with carrying it onto the plane.
I can fit my Dell Inspiron 1500 15 inch laptop and my Canon 40D with the 100-400 lens and the 28-135 lens. I could get a third lens in as well. I was also carrying other electronics such as hard drives, power cords, GPS, palm, etc and all fit snuggly into the adjustable compartments in the bag. The laptop fits really tight into the bag, much snugger than I would like. I would say that my size laptop is the absolute maximum size that will fit into this bag.
Computers and SLRs and all the supporting cables, drives, etc add weight quickly and once the bag is fully loaded, it is really heavy. If the airline ever weighed my bag, I am certain that I would be well over the limit for carryon bags. However, that is my over packing and you don't need to fill up the bag just because you can a lot into it.
The bag is comfortable to wear for a short time, but if you have a lot in it including a laptop, it sits really poorly on your tail bone which gets painful after a while. Other backpacks that I own have additional padding at the bottom of the bag to avoid such problems. I am surprised that Lowepro did not do a better job at adding padding where it was needed and adding channels to allow for airflow along you back. However, without the laptop, the bag is really comfortable. The handle at the top of the bag is placed so that the bag is balanced when you carry it. However, this means that the handle is not convenient for hanging the bag. A second handle or loop would have been nice just for hanging the bag.
The first time that I used the bag, I loaded it up and then put my reading materials in the very front pouch. This expanded the bag so much that it would not fit into the bins on the Lufthansa, Airbus 330-300 on which I was flying. I had to take my laptop out in order to get the bag into the overhead bin. For the next flight, I packed less in the bag, but still had to take the laptop out. The problem is not the size of the bin, but the lip of the bin which does not allow the bag to be pushed in if there is something long and hard at the back of the bag such as a laptop. Something to consider.
Overall, I bought the bag to carry it all and it works really well for this purpose. Everything fit snuggly and all of my equipment arrived safely. I think that Lowepro could have done a better job with the design of the bag, however. Plus the inconvenience of needed to remove my laptop means that I will keep looking for other bags.