two minute review

Creating a hybrid backpack for trail photographers is a compromise quest. However, Lowepro's Photoport III accomplishes the feat with very little sacrifice: it's a versatile, lightweight camera bag that's comfortable to carry, easy to use, and tough enough for trekking adventures. If you need a comfortable, versatile, weather-resistant backpack for hiking, and only need access to a few lenses, this is one of the best camera bags on the market.

With a 24L capacity, the larger PhotoSport III pack offers a decent capacity divided up smartly. Photo gear is stored in a removable padded insert, which is stored in a dedicated side access compartment. At the top, the bag's lid opens to reveal a separate area for personal items. Protected by a secondary drawstring closure, this space is relatively unassuming but useful for storing overnight essentials.

Behind the contoured back panel you'll find room for a 3-liter hydration pack. Side pockets are designed for bottles, while the front storage panel is perfect for stashing a rain jacket. The hook-and-loop attachment points can also attach hiking poles or, with a few twists, a streamlined tripod. So while you may not pack the necessary luggage for a long trip, pack light and the PhotoSport III feels well designed with roaming in mind.

This approach is reflected in the padded harness system. Wide straps rest comfortably on the shoulders, while chest and hip belts distribute the load. Custom tuned, the setup provides a nice stable feel when fully loaded. And the straps do more than just support: a zippered pocket at the right hip is handy for lens caps, while matching bands and loops offer a range of modular attachment options. You can clip a storage bag, your camera, or even the GearUp accessory to the front for easy access.

Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Mochila BP 24L AW III

(Image credit: Chris Rowlands)

  • Lowepro PhotoSport 24L AW III Camera Backpack (Black) at Amazon for €239.99 (opens in a new tab)

At full capacity, the Photosport III doesn't feel bulky. Although our wet testing conditions overwhelmed the rear panel ventilation channels, the bag's structure struck a good balance between breeziness and support. It helps that the bag itself doesn't add many pounds to the payload—thanks to a nylon/polyester construction, it weighs 1,5 pounds.

However, despite its relatively light weight, Lowepro's pannier rack also seems sturdy enough to handle plenty of outdoor shooting excursions. Weather-resistant and 75% recycled, every element of the backpack is well-made and durable. And if conditions turn torrential, you can easily unfold the stretchy rain cover subtly hidden in a small front pocket. Tied with a drawstring and a bright orange must-have, it's wide enough to protect the entire bag, providing a nice extra layer of protection from the elements.

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Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Mochila BP 24L AW III(Image credit: Chris Rowlands)Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Mochila BP 24L AW III(Image credit: Chris Rowlands)Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Mochila BP 24L AW III(Image credit: Chris Rowlands)

Photographic material is particularly well protected. Encased in ripstop nylon, the GearUp Removable Camera Insert is durable enough to be used as a stand-alone camera bag, which you can do by attaching the included strap. But the padded container also has a dedicated compartment at the bottom of the Photosport III, accessible through a zippered side opening. Hidden here, the box and its contents are safely protected.

To avoid a double door setup, you can attach the GearUp bed cover to a panel in the side door. Depending on how you've arranged the dividers on the inside, this should make it easier to access your camera. Access to other lenses and accessories is less easy: you will have to remove and completely unzip the insert to do so. Given the overall versatility of the pack, it's not a deal breaker, but something to consider if you like to swap out goggles on the fly regularly.

Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Mochila BP 24L AW III

(Image credit: Chris Rowlands)

The insert itself offers good padding without sacrificing too much capacity. In testing, we were able to fit a full-frame Nikon DSLR with a telephoto lens attached, along with a 50mm prime lens and spare batteries. For aerial photographers, the GearUp case can alternatively carry a foldable drone, its controller, and a spare cell. Two memory card slots also live inside.

For true gearheads, that's not a huge amount of gear. It doesn't help that the three dividers that come with the insert don't maximize space. One is a large center divider that folds down to wrap around the camera body, while the other two are small panels to separate accessories. Attached to walls with Velcro, they can be usefully repositioned to suit different setups. But our tests revealed that the main divider could benefit from more length and an additional fold line.

Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Mochila BP 24L AW III

(Image credit: Chris Rowlands)

However, the drawbacks are minor compared to the practical capabilities demonstrated by this Lowepro package. As long as you're happy to go easy on gear and spend time optimizing your kit's internal dividers, the Photosport III 24L proves to be a remarkably flexible solution for transporting a variety of photographic gear and accessories. Few camera bags distinguish so effectively between durability, comfort and functionality.

Should I buy a Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Backpack BP 24L AW III?

Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Mochila BP 24L AW III

(Image credit: Chris Rowlands)

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Lowepro PhotoSport 24L AW III Camera Backpack Price Comparison

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