The LowePro Adventura BP 150 III doesn’t hold much, it’s not particularly adaptable, and it’s not expensive to manufacture. And that might be just what you need.

Camera backpacks don’t have to be huge and unsightly. If you’re trekking through Antarctica, you’ll want to pack plenty of expedition gear and gear, but if you’re doing a city break or day trip, you won’t need all that. Big rucksacks are a nightmare on buses, trams and trains, and dangling straps, belts and carabiners get caught at every door, luggage trolley and passer-by. This is where a more modest backpack like the LowePro Adventura BP 150 III comes into its own.

It may not be the sturdiest, largest and most advanced camera backpack – quite the contrary – but it deserved to be considered one of the best camera backpacks for travelers and urban explorers, if not one of the best camera bags all round for small camera kits.

Features

Lester: 1.66kg
Total volume: 11L
Interior dimensions: 22 x 12 x 38cm
External dimensions: 26x18x42cm
Camera compartment: 22x12x20cm
Front compartment: 21 x 1 x 17cm
Upper compartment: 24x12x15:cm
Tablet compartment: 22 x 1 x 30cm
Exterior material: 1680D ballistic polyester, 600D polyester
Interior material: 200D Polyester

Main characteristics

The camera compartment has enough space for our A7R II with attached lens, three other lenses and a charger. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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The smaller top compartment can be used for a coat or other personal items – or more camera gear. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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Inside the top compartment there is a pocket for a 10 inch tablet. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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This is the smaller of two backpacks in the LowePro Adventura range – the other is the Adventura BP 300 III, which is only slightly more expensive but packs more gear. However, the appeal of the BP 150 III tested here is its profile and its portability and practicality when travelling.

It’s designed to be lightweight and sturdy, and made from 82% recycled materials, so it’s good for both your conscience and your back. It’s a bag of two halves with a bottom camera compartment with reconfigurable dividers, and a smaller top compartment where you can store clothes, maps, personal effects or whatever – although it’s also padded, so you can put a camera in there for quicker access and leave more space at the bottom for more lenses, another case, drone, etc.

Lowepro says the main compartment can hold a crop-sensor mirrorless camera with lens attached, plus 2-3 additional lenses and/or accessories. Access to the lower compartment is from the back and you reach the upper compartment from above.

There are elastic pockets on each side to store a water bottle, for example, or a small travel tripod – there is a top retaining strap on one side. On the front is a zippered pocket which could be handy for passports, other travel documents or keys, while inside the top compartment is a slip pocket for a 10 inch tablet and a pocket elastic open which could be handy for cables or power banks.

Build and manipulate

There is a side pocket for tripod legs and a higher strap to hold it in place. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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There are two straps and that’s it. The Adventura BP 150 is quick to put on and take off and has no straps or dangling belts to snag on things. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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The Adventura BP 150 III doesn’t have a very expensive feel, but that’s fine because it’s not a very expensive bag. It feels durable, it’s well padded and it holds its shape well, so it’s perfect for public transport, pushing under seats and generally not getting in the way.

Lowepro says it’s designed for crop sensor cameras, but I think that’s doing it a disservice – my Sony A7R II and a bulky 24-105mm f/4 slipped in just fine, along with my Zeiss 16-35mm f/4, some Sigma primers and a magazine. The dividers are easy to move and well padded, and it didn’t take long to redesign the main compartment around my kit.

Or I could just put the A7R II/24-105mm in the top compartment and leave more space in the base for my Mavic Mini and controller.

The tripod mount is ideal and the top strap will keep your tripod securely anchored. However, fitting more than one leg into the bottom pocket can be tricky, and any tripod over 40cm in folded length will rather stick out the top. A Peak Design Travel Tripod (opens in a new tab) would fit perfectly, like a smaller VEO Vanguard would, say. The Ulanzi F38 travel tripod I tried it with was probably as big as I’d like. With a tripod attached, the top compartment zipper is harder to use unless you do it on the other side, but that’s not a big deal.

The capacity of the Adventura BP 150 III is limited, which means it will never weigh heavy even when fully packed, so it’s easy to put on and take off and doesn’t need the extra support of a belt, which makes it simpler always.

Verdict

(Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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With camera backpacks, it’s easy to overthink, overspend and overpack, which is why the Adventura BP 150 III is so appealing. If you like sports and wildlife you’ll need a bigger bag just for the lenses, but if you shoot travel, portraits and landscapes and like to travel fairly light (like I do), then the Adventure BP 150 III is quite large.

Best of all, it’s simple to pack, put on and take off, takes up little room on your back, and isn’t adorned with belts, straps, and buckles to catch whatever you pass. There’s room in the world for big backpacks (and heck, do they need room), but there’s (even more) room for small, simple, affordable backpacks like this- this.

Read more:

The best messenger bags
The best camera bags for traveling
The best cameras for traveling

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