A few months ago we booked another trip to Africa.
It’s been something we’ve wanted to do again since our first life-changing visit in October of 2012.
This time we are heading to the Maasai Mara region of Kenya, for some incredible wildlife encounters on an eight-day private photographic safari.
We are again going into the wilderness with our friend and guide Mario Moreno.
Also a few months ago, I bought 400mm f/2.8 lens for wildlife photography — actually, for this trip. On the last trip, I took my 300/2.8, which was comfortably accommodated by my Lowepro Mini Trekker AW backpack.
Unfortunately, the 400/2.8 is a much larger lens, and the Mini Trekker AW cannot accommodate it. Well, it can (barely), but there’s insufficient room for everything else I need.
In researching camera bags, I had two criteria:
- it had to accommodate the gear I need and want to take; and
- it had to be airline cabin-friendly.
I was pointed in the direction of the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW, and looked into this bag. When I contacted Lowepro to enquire into whether it would accommodate a 400/2.8, I was told it would not.
Fortunately, that answer was wrong, as it very comfortably accommodates such a lens.
Today I headed into town with the lens and tried it out. It was a perfect bag for my needs.
I brought it home and packed it with the gear I’m taking to Kenya:
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II;
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM;
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM;
- Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM;
- Canon Extender EF 1.4x II; and
- Canon Extender EF 2x II.
It all fits!
My 17″ MacBook Pro even fits into the laptop compartment, albeit somewhat snugly. This means I will only need one bag, whereas last time I had a camera backpack and a laptop bag, which isn’t ideal when travelling internationally.
I am very pleased with the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW. The build quality is excellent, as indeed it is with all Lowepro bags/cases I’ve owned; and the padding and straps in the waist area really make the fully-packed bag seem much lighter.
Here is a photo of the bag, packed with the bulk of the gear I’m taking to Kenya:
This bag will certainly make travelling internationally with bulky and heavy camera gear a much more pleasant experience. It will also serve me well locally and on domestic trips, as since having the 400/2.8, I’ve not had a suitable method of carrying it.
I cannot wait for the Kenya trip, and to being in the wilderness for some incredible wildlife experiences.