Lowepro gave me one of their prototypes to take with me to Patagonia a few months ago. My mission was to put it through the wringer and see how it fared in some very inhospitable weather. That was accomplished quite easily since it rained everyday. In particular I was working with their new Toploader Pro 75 AW, using it both as a chest pouch while carrying a backpack and also in fanny pack mode with one of the deluxe Street and Field series waist belts and a few lens pouches.
Lowepro redesigned their website recently and a rotating image of me (see above) using the pack comes up when you visit the site. I just signed on with Lowepro last fall but have already had some great conversations with them on how they can improve their gear. In the course of those conversations I was amazed to hear just how thoroughly they have thought through all of the issues we deal with out in the real world as pro adventure photographers. Over the course of my career, I have accumulated a dozen or so of the Lowepro bags. I seem to have a camera bag fetish, since certain bags seem to work very well for shooting certain sports. Among my favorites are the Vertex 300 AW, Specialist 85 AW and the new Toploader Pro AW.
If you read my earlier blog post about falling into the ocean with the Toploader Pro 75 AW and my Nikon D700 and 28-70mm lens then you know part of the story. The Toploader Pro wasn’t designed as a waterproof bag so I wasn’t surprised by the demise of my camera because of the accident, but in every other way the Toploader Pro is far superior to the Topload Zoom packs it replaces, especially in rainy, wet conditions.
My good friend, Tony Hoare, shot the photo that appears on the front page of the Lowepro website, shot while on the go in Patagonia. The image above of me in a deep peat bog was shot by Mark Watson, an incredible adventure photographer from Australia who was also covering the 2009 Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race.