On a recent exploratory photography trip around the South Island of New Zealand I had the opportunity to put the new Lowepro Rover Pro 45L AW to the test.

On first inspection of the pack it looked great, with a rugged outdoors feel in a nicely textured subtle blue.  The two removable camera equipment pods appeared quite small at first – but looks can be deceiving!  I was actually able to house a Nikon D800 with vertical grip and 70-200mm 2.8 lens attached as well as an extra 24-70mm 2.8 and a 14-24mm 2.8, a GPS unit plus a selection of filters.  The two pods filled the bottom section of the pack nicely allowing easy access via the front zippered flap.  I then attached my tripod to one side and placed a water bladder in the dedicated carrier on the other side.

On this trip we spent many long days – and often many nights – out in the field in remote parts of the country.  Although we chose not overnight during the trip – instead returning to “base” camp at the end of each day / night’s photography – there was certainly sufficient room for gear suitable for a summer overnight trip had we chosen this option.  Due to the changeable weather and remote locations I did carry plenty of additional warm clothes and food supplies for long days – and in case of emergencies – and storage space in the pack was never compromised.

Even fully loaded the Rover Pro was very stable, the compression straps and multiple adjustment points made it totally customisable for maximum comfort and stability.  The “Airflow suspension system” ensured that my back stayed cool even during extended climbs.  The addition of the zippered pockets on the waist strap allowed quick access to snack food and sunblock and the “stuff compartment” on the back allowed easy access to a jacket.  Having the weight of the camera equipment at the bottom of the pack gave it a nice low centre of gravity further enhancing the stability when negotiating rough terrain.

The overall performance of the Rover Pro was very impressive!

I have been waiting a long time for a camera specific backpack that also allows easy and comfortable carriage of those ever important additional hiking/camping items when out in the field.  Well done Lowepro, another invaluable piece of kit for the outdoor photographer.

All images copyright Chris McLennan.

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