Lowepro Rover Pro 45L
- Rigid spring bar frame
- Comfortable shoulder straps
- Lot's of space for gear
- Well ventilated
- Water proof covering built in
- Not extremely fast or easy to remove camera
- Tempting to pack too much
- Only comes in one color
While preparing for a photo assignment in Alaska I realized I really didn’t have a comfortable way to hike with my camera gear as well as extra clothing, food, rain jacket, crampons, and other odds and ends that you need on a longer hike. I have and love the smaller Lowepro Flipside Sport, but it makes more sense in an urban environment, or shorter hikes where you are not worried about weather or food. I started researching Lowepro’s other offerings and discovered the Lowepro Rover Pro line. I purchased the 45L version which is the larger of the two available.
You can carry a ton of gear in this pack. It’s built with a rigid metal frame that keeps the bag in place on your back and allows for great ventilation. Inside the main compartment are two smaller zipper cases that together can hold 2-3 lenses, camera body, batteries, chargers, pocket wizards, card readers, portable hard drives and more. Above this compartment, there is an upper space that is quite large and could be used to pack food, a laptop, clothing, jackets, and those sort of items. On the back, bottom, and sides of the pack there are lots of places you could strap on even more gear such as a tripod, light stands, sleeping roll, water bottle or bladder, and umbrellas. It would be really easy to pack this bag to the point where it would just be too heavy for the average hiker.
On larger packs, comfort is very important. This pack does a great job of distributing weight on your shoulders and hips. The straps have a built-in spring cushioning to them that I believe keeps your shoulders from hurting or your back from compressing during every step. If you have the pack loaded and undo the waist strap, you’ll quickly realize that this feature is also taking a large portion of the weight and is helping make the pack more comfortable.
While in Alaska I was able to comfortably hike in crampons with the pack mostly loaded for over a mile. I know a mile is not that far of a hike, but we were traversing up and down a glacier. I can tell that this pack would work great for much longer hikes as well.
Overall Function and Durability
If you have a Lowepro product then you already know they are well built. The straps and zippers on the Lowepro Rover Pro 45L are heavy duty and look able to take some abuse and hold up for a long time. This is definitely a bigger bag but I found that it does work as a carry-on bag during airline travel and fits under the seat or in the overhead bins of most airplanes. Being able to fit my 15 inch Macbook Pro in the top compartment was a big plus for me.
The camera compartments are designed to protect your gear for long haul hikes and as such they are not very quickly accessible. For this type of bag I don’t see this as much of a problem. The built-in waterproof covering is a welcome feature and gives me piece of mind when hiking with camera gear out in the wild.
Style is probably the least important thing to me in a camera bag, but I do wish the Lowepro Rover Pro had more than just the blue option. I really like the gray or bright orange colors available in Lowepro’s other lines of bags. Overall though, the pack is attractive and understated. I don’t feel like it would draw too much attention if you were to hike or walk around with it in an urban environment.
I’m really impressed with this bag. It’s hard to go wrong with Lowepro products. If you’re going to be hiking and need a comfortable way to carry a fair amount of camera gear as well as hiking extras, I can give the Lowepro Rover Pro my full recommendation.