A few weeks ago I received from the official Lowepro dealer in Israel, Quickphoto, a new birding backpack for review – Lowepro Scope Traveler 350 AW. It's a pack I have needed for a long time, as my previous photo pack, Lowepro Pro Runner, was unsuitable for both birding and photography, and could not contain large amounts of equipment. This pack is one of a new series of packs designed especially for birders – The Optics Series. Lowepro produced a very American video demonstrating this pack – watch here.
Over the last few weeks I've been using this pack on different scenarios, such as morning birding continuing to a day in the office, birding with my DSLR fitted with medium-length telephoto lens etc. In all scenarios I found this pack very useful – comfortable, easy to use and with lots of useful patents that made my life much easier.
The main advantage of this pack is its ability to contain a full-size scope (like my Zeiss 85TFL) together with lots of other gear – laptop computer, bins, DSLR cameras, field guide, and lots of other gear useful for a day in the field. Look how much gear:
The pack is neatly divided into internal compartments, which are all modular and can be removed to leave more available space for larger objects, like my DSLR with 400mm f/5.6 lens. The pack has more useful features like a comfortable back system, specially designed tripod mount, and rain cover.
I found two minor problems with this pack: 1) it offers little flexibility in rearranging the main cell, i.e. the smaller compartments can be removed but not moved around easily, and 2) when fully loaded, the main zipper closes rather tightly.
My bottom line is that this is a highly recommended pack, for birders, digiscopers and amateur bird photgraphers. I will be using it both in Israel and overseas – it's an idea travel pack.