Review: Lowepro CompuDay Photo 250

Written by:

The last time I reviewed a Lowepro product, my pool table was my studio. I thought I would continue in the grand tradition. It lends an air of authenticity to it, don’t you think?

I recently took a 10-day trip that included three legs of travel. That’s twelve hours of flight time, eight hours of layover time, five different airplanes, two different cities, two tourist attractions, one home tour, one giant slobbery dog, nine days of rain, three time zones, and fifteen hours in a rental car. All with my camera gear in tow.

What I look for in a travel camera bag is room for all of the gear I deem necessary, adequate protection of said gear against bumping and under-seat storage, weight that is reasonably light given my proclivity to pack more than I need, and reasonable comfort when carrying it (see previous statement). Enter the Lowepro CompuDay Photo 250. This slick little number is about the size of a traditional student’s backpack. For all that it is compact, though, it can certainly store quite a bit of gear.

This is everything I took with me – my DSLR with a 17-55mm f/2.8 (my Canon Digital Rebel and kit lens are pictured here for visual reference, but I actually took my Canon EOS 7D), a telephoto lens in a case, my 15″ laptop with power cord and mouse, my Kindle 3G, my wallet, my cell phone (which I forgot to put in the picture), a card reader and extra memory cards, a LensPEN and a microfiber cloth, extra batteries, and a battery charger. And I still had room left over if I wanted to stuff more gear in there.

The CompuDay Photo 250 has a dedicated laptop pocket, a collapsible fast access side pocket from which to withdraw your DSLR without opening the whole pack, an accessory pouch, and various interior pockets and sleeves for accessories and personal media devices. It also has a “trolley sleeve” on the back for slipping over the handle of a rolling suitcase for convenient transportation. (Click on each image for larger versions.)

In order:

- View of the back of the bag with trolley sleeve
- Interior of the bag with easy access compartment expanded
- Interior of the bag with easy access compartment collapsed
- Unzipped front flap with accessory pockets and sleeves
- Expanded easy access compartment with no camera
- Expanded easy access compartment with camera, lens pointing down

Overall, I liked the bag. It fit comfortably on my back, was very light once I removed the laptop (I left it in my room as I was schlepping about), and the easy access compartment came in very handy. I used it a lot, alternating between wanting my hands free to deal with crowds, lines, and lunch; and wanting to grab my camera quickly when something interesting was happening. The covered zipper closures kept my gear dry despite freezing rain and wind in Chicago, and constant drizzle in Maine.

I only had three complaints about the CompuDay Photo 250. One, the easy-access camera compartment does not fit a DSLR that has a battery grip or lens hood attached. This means I would have to do without the grip and store extra batteries in the bag. Two, it does not fit the larger telephoto lenses when attached to the camera. I would have to forgo using the compartment if I were using a larger telephoto (such as a 70-200mm f/2.8L) as my primary lens. Three, the laptop compartment does not fit my 17″ primary laptop, only my 15″ backup. Since I prefer to do my photo editing on the larger laptop, this is a bit of an issue for me.

So, these three issues make this bag something that I, personally, would not use as my primary gear bag. That honor still goes to the Lowepro Fastpack 350. But for a person that doesn’t need to consider these issues, they will find this a great lightweight gear solution for day use or travel. It is especially exceptional for new DSLR users looking for their first camera bag.

Check out Lowepro’s full catalog of products at Lowepro.com.

Photo credits (all): Tiffany Joyce

*The Author received complimentary products in exchange for mentioning the Provider’s products and/or services on this website. Such compensation received did not and will never influence the content, topics or posts made on this website. We will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement.

Previous Post:

  • Anonymous

    Testing comments …