We review tons of gear here on the blog, mostly cameras, lenses and the like. But once you’ve got your gear in tow, what are you going to carry it in? What about the harsh weather or conditions that await you on more exotic shoots? Luckily, our pal Sarah Thomas Moffat is here to help show you how the Lowepro Dry Zone BP 40L and Pro Trekker 400 AW got her through a particularly arduous documentary shoot, and why it might be the perfect bag for you. Moffat is an accomplished Director of Photography, Cinematographer and Associate member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers. Her projects have taken her to some of the world’s most exciting places, which is why we thought a recent documentary shoot would be the perfect spot to test out these bags.
What project were you working on?
An International documentary.
Which Lowepro bag did you bring with you?
How did it address your needs on the project?
Both bags were amazing. The DryZone bag had many tasks. It carried extra lenses and hard drives during flights. On location I used it to multi-task as a counter weight for my E-image EC-800 mini jib and also when traveling on water, and in rain weather. The inside carrier bag, which is removable and padded, acted as a great bucket to hold my C500 Canon between places while in one location. It provided safe and secure protection to the camera, with it’s padding and waterproof shell.
The Pro Trekker 400 carried everything else, from my laptop, charger, batts, cards, cables, hard drives, lenses, camera body, and more. This was my everywhere pak. It was also my carry-on onto planes, as I cold take apart my C500, and fit all the pieces, plus lenses, batts, cards, charger, cables, etc, and be ready to shoot anywhere I went – even if the rest of the luaguage was delayed in flight. I still had my camera kit ready for action.
Both bags are fitted with sturdy shoulder straps, waist and chest buckles. And are very comfortable to wear and walk with.
How did it compare to other bags you’ve used?
My last camera pak was the LowPro CompuRover AW, I have had for years, and still use it. That bag has also traveled around the globe with me. The ProTrekker 400 was an upgrade decision going onto a long term job with a lot of travel involved, as I needed to carry a few more items. The major improvement was the way the bag opens, and I can access everything inside – the whole face of the pak unzips and flips up so you can lay the pak down on its back, while working out of it and having easy access to everything. Both of those paks have excellent waist and shoulder straps, built like a real back packers pak. Very comfortable to wear, and hike in for long time periods. Everything gets heavy as the day gets longer, though those paks distributed the weight on my body to ensure safe mobility for me, and no wear and tear on me from the paks either. And when I took the laptop out of the front of the Pro Trekker, it would actually fit into the “carry-on” luggage tester that many airlines make you test before you get on the plane. So it was accepted for legal carry-on size, and amazingly fit so much into it!!
The DryZone is a wet bag, so it actually folds up quite small, and I could put additional lenses in there for another carry-on without the airline complaining. All three of my LowPro paks are awesome and each have a unique ability. And all of them are from Vistek!
How do you think it’ll help other people in your field?
The DryZone pak will definitely benefit photographers, and cinematographers working near water, or high precipitation areas, such as snow, or monsoon zones. It’s bright yellow colour makes it easy to spot too, and there are places to clip on safety lines and tie the pak off to something as well. The Pro Trekker 400, will be of great use to anyone like me as well. For the same reasons listed above. It’s extremely durable.
To hear more from Sarah and to see what she’s up to, check out her vlog!