Lowepro Flipside Sport Backpack review

Introduction and price

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Front of the backpack is almost completely smooth with an exception of trekking poll loops and 2 small pockets.

For many years I was looking for a good, light, comfortable, durable and capacious backpack or bag that I could use during my travels, which often involve walking or hiking for 20 or more kilometers a day. You could even call me photo bags collector as I have a lot of them.

In late 2013 I found a backpack that seemed to satisfy all these conditions – Lowepro Flipside Sport. Even though the model is unfortunately no longer produced it can still be easily obtained and as it is the best backpack I’ve ever used I still decided to review it. I will focus on 20 liters version but will also mention 10 liters edition in a few places

This backpack comes in a few sizes:

  • 10 liters,
  • 15 liters and
  • 20 liters

Additionally two color variants are available: blue and orange.

At the moment I own 2 of them: 10 liters and 20 liters, both blue. First one is small and extra-light – great for one camera and one additional lens (although I managed to pack 2 cameras into it plus 1 additional lens) and nowadays is more often used by my girlfriend for her camera and GoPro (with its accessories and stabilization system). 20 liters edition is perfect for a big DSLR (or two) with a lens and 3 – 4 lenses plus additional accessories like filters, tablet or even small laptop.

At the time of writing prices are:

  • 10 liters version: 90 USD
  • 15 liters version: 115 USD
  • 20 liters version: 150 USD

Design and build

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Tripod mounting system on Flipside Sport backpack is the best I’ve ever tried. Access to the backpack is fast and during the walks tripod is well secured. Breathable mesh material on the back and shoulder straps make wearing the Flipside Sport backpack much more comfortable even during long hikes.

 
The backpacks are very lightweight but also seem to be made of very good quality materials what make them look & feel very durable. Despite using the backpacks in a few challenging conditions (in the rain, by the ocean, in the snow, etc.) even after 3 years they still look good without obvious symptoms of tear down.

Backpack uses a lot of breathable mesh in its design what makes it comfortable even during long and exhausting hikes (and makes you sweat a little less).

On the outer side of the backpack there aren’t many straps or pockets. Its front is almost completely smooth with a tiny exception of loops for trekking poles and two small pockets.

The main compartment is accessible from the back of the backpack meaning that you can flip it and access it. You don’t even need to take it off thanks to the waist belt. Main compartment can be completely removed (to make packing easier).

I also love tripod mounting system – tripod can be mounted on the left side of the backpack. It’s fast to use and seems to be very secure. I used it both with very light travel tripods and also with heavier ones – in both cases it works like a charm.

Capacity

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20 liters version has very capacious main compartment (which can be taken out to make packing a bit easier) that will fit 1 – 2 bodies with several additional lenses, flashes or other accessories. There is also another smaller compartment that will easily fit tablet (or small laptop), memory cards, filters or batteries.

 
In smaller version of the backpack you will fit one camera with a lens plus 1 – 2 additional lenses. In larger one – 2 camera bodies with lenses, additional accessories and even a tablet or small laptop.

Bigger version is full of small and larger pockets which are fantastic to store additional gear like filters, extra batteries or memory cards. Unfortunately smaller version doesn’t have many pockets so you won’t fit much additional gear there.

Both big and small version also include extra zippered pocket designed for holding water bladder but more often I simply put bottled water there.

Summary

For me Lowepro Flipside Sport is almost a perfect backpack. If you’re active outdoor photographer you will really love it. Even after 3 years I like both backpacks I own – smaller one is nowadays more often used by my girlfriend (for her own cameras as she is photographer too) and she is happy with it as well.

But note that this backpack might not be for everyone. I owned backpacks and backs which had bigger capacity, more pockets etc. But as I said this backpack was mainly designed for outdoor photographers.

Note, however, that while it’s perfect storage for your photography equipment, you won’t store much more in it.

Pros:

  • Perfect choice for active photographers like travel or landscape photographers
  • Excellent durability
  • Very comfortable even during long walks
  • Excellent tripod mounting system

Cons:

  • Not enough pockets in small version of the backpack
  • There could be more external features to make it not only photo but more general hiking backpack