I’ve taken to carrying all my writing, video and photo gear with me wherever I go because the few times I’ve been without my trusty old Canon EOS 1D Mark II or Macbook Pro, I end up getting sent to a big news story where I need both. That’s where my Lowepro Fastpack 250 comes in. Though I look like an astronaut about to go on a spacewalk when I’m wearing it, it keeps every single piece of equipment I need neatly organized.
The Fastpack 250 is divided into 3 sections. There’s a zipper running along the rear of the pack, which accommodates my 15-inch Macbook Pro. In the camera compartment on the bottom portion of the bag, I manage to fit my my aforementioned 1D with a wide lens attached, a Canon 70-200 2.8L telephoto lens, a second standard or short telephoto lens and a lensless Canon Rebel T2i or flash. The third compartment is for the rest of your stuff–chargers, sync cables, batteries, notebooks and the like. I also cram a small Canon Vixia camcorder and shotgun mic in an internal zipper pouch in that compartment.
The entire bag is padded and structured, so I can sling it around without worrying about damaging the $8,000 or so worth of kit I’m carrying around. On the downside, this means that the bag never gets thinner than 10 inches, so if I’m in a crowded area or small press room, I invariably bump people behind me. At $130, it’s not the cheapest (or prettiest) camera/laptop bag you can get, but if you need to carry absolutely all your gear, it’s not a bad choice. Lowepro also makes a DSLR video model of the Fastpack 250 that has a couple straps capable of holding a tripod.