2009-03-06

Lowepro Classified 160 AW

Just browsing through a camera shop the other day and my friend pointed out a new Lowepro camera bag to me, the Lowepro Classified 160AW. One which I have never seen before, he told me it was pretty new on the market, only released to world back in November.

Hmm, very nice I thought. Doesn't even look like a camera bag. Very stealthy, won't attract those camera theives. I opened it up had a good look at the innards, looked well padded, in a light greyish material.

I needed a new camera bag as I recently discovered that my new Nikon D700 and 14-24mm combo will longer fit into my faithful Lowepro slingshot 100.

I decided to go home and find out more about this camera bag. I found a couple of reviews both had goods things to say about it. I then found an online retailer in Sydney selling them for only $215 AUD. Nice.

I called them up and asked if we could come and check if my camera and lenses would fit. My kit consists of a Nikon D700, Sigma 70-200mm, Nikon 14-24mm and Nikon 50mm. They said no problems. Anyway, everything fitted nicely and only comes in two colours, black or sepia (looks more khaki to me). I got the sepia.


Outside - Lowepro Classified 160 AW


Front View



Back View



The outside of the bag is made from nylon, looks and feels quite tough and durable. Will definitely be able to stand up to the elements. The stitching is uniform and straight which good news. The shoulder strap is padded provides cushioning and relief for the "poor" shoulder when the bag is fully loaded.

There are 3 separate compartments, 2 in the front and one at the back.


First compartment


The opened zipper you can see is not another compartment, it is a gusset to allow for expansion if additional capacity is required.


Second compartment with memory card wallet



Memory card wallet opened


The memory card wallet can hold up to 6 CF cards.


Third compartment is around the back




Uniform and straight sticthing - check the discrete logo



Uniform and straight sticthing



Buckle for attaching the strap



Lowepro Logo - very discrete


The Lowepro logo is more discrete, which is excellent. I really hated the logos on my other Lowepro bags. It's a beacon for camera theives.

Inside - Lowepro 160AW

The interior is grey padded material, nice and soft. There are 3 separate compartments. The center one has leather trimming on the top where the camera rests with an adjustable support pad depending on the length of your lens.

The compartment on the left has 2 separate pouches on opposite sides, one at the top and other at the bottom. The one at the top contains a microfibre cloth, the bottom is empty for storage. Closer inspection revealed that the compartments can be adjusted to suit, they are held in place by velcro.


View of the inside - coat hanger used to keep it opened



Can I really fit these items in?




Sigma 70-200mm and Nikon 50mm in first



Nikon D700 with 14-24mm last to go in


With everything packed in the bag does not look bloated at all. Check both views of the bag. Still pretty streamline. Nice.


Horizontal View



Vertical View


The only annoying thing is that whenever I pull my Nikon D700 & 14-24mm out the lens cap on the 14-24mm gets left behind. This only happens when the Sigma 70-200mm is packed in. I guess the girth of the Sigma pushes the padding against the 14-24mm lens cap and holds it in place as the D700 is pulled out.

It is also a tad heavy, not sure if I would want to walk around for long periods with his across my shoulder. I bought it mainly to the carry my 14-24mm and 50mm. If I need to carry all 3 lenses then I will resort to my Lowepro micro trekker 200 which is more comfortable and less stress on the shoulder.

I have only ever taken the bag out with just the Nikon D700 & 50mm combo. It was very comfortable but that combination didn't exactly weigh that much. I will test it with the Nikon 14-24mm next time and see how that goes. I let the bag hang around waist height as it allows me access to the camera quite comfortably and easily.

Update:

I took it out on the weekend with both the 14-24mm & 50mm. It was very comfortable, my shoulder didn't get sore and I never took the bag off once in over 2 hours. It was quite handy as I was able to store the 14-24mm lens cap safely inside the bag and was able to quickly retrieved it when I needed to replaced the lens cap back onto the lens.


All weather (AW) - Classified 160 has its own built-in "rain coat"


Hidden in a secret pouch at the back



Back View



Front View



Buckle poked through the "rain coat" slot


Won't have to worry about inclement weather. You need to undo the strap and poke the buckle through the slot in the "rain coat" and put the strap back on.

Pros
Stealthy & discrete apperance
Nikon D700 and 14-24mm combo fits
Excellent build quality

Highly Recommended!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Neat review.. thanks!

lozzmann said...

Hi,

Thanks for visiting me all the way from Singapore.

cheers

rimur said...

do you know if this bag will fit a nikon d700 with the grip??
d700 with grip is huuuuuge, even more than a d3.

greetings.

lozzmann said...

Hi rimur,

I don't have a MB-D10 to try to be 100% sure but I don't reckon it will fit. I just had a quick look if it was possible but it is already a tight fit with just the D700.

You might need to keep the grip separate until needed. Hope this helps.

Thanks for visiting.

cheers

rimur said...

thanks a lot.
i think i'll be getting it anyway. using the d700 alone.
the 200 & 250 models seem to lose the shape of the 140&160 which i like more.

your review really was handy.

i salute you from mexico.

lozzmann said...

Hi rimur,

Glad to be of service.

I was going to suggest looking at the 200 & 250 as an alternative but couldn't bring myself to do it as I personally found them too big and bulky for my taste.

cheers from Australia!

Scheesem said...

Great post rimur,

Thanks for the great review, it looks like a great bag. Do you think I would be able to put a laptop in the back pocket? My MacPro is about 14.5" x 10" (37cm x 25cm) and about 1" thick (2.5cm).

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for the help,
Scott of California

lozzmann said...

Hi Scott,

No. It definitely won't fit. You be lucky to get an Asus 8" eepc to fit.

Perhaps if you get the 200 or maybe the 250.

Thanks for visiting.

cheers

Anonymous said...

G'day - Just purchased this bag after trying out so much other ones in the past (bought 10 over the last 12 months). This is by far the best bag ever for a walkabout. It si great looking (handsome I might say) and is very versatile. Like you I manage to fit the 70-200, 10-20 and a 17-50 Sigma lenses with a D90 along with 2 SB600s. This bag is GREAT! Thanks for a great review and it is very accurate. Oh by the way - I managed to fit my Sony Vaio TX (10.1") at the front when I am travelling without the 70-200 lens. from Pickles of Oz

lozzmann said...

Hi Pickles from Oz,

Glad to hear that the review was useful. Hmm I think that you have a serious camera bag fetish. I agree with the Classified 160AW is very "handsome" looking case.

I think that you will be happy with this bag for awhile.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I would like to get one for my D3s. Do you know if this bag will fit one with 24-70?
thank you

lozzmann said...

Hi,

It is a pretty tight fit with just the D700 so I doubt the D3s would fit. The D3s is much taller than the D700 so you really need to try it out to know for sure.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi.

This was a really helpful review of the bag. Also lots of nice fotos where you can see wath can be packed in there!
Two questions left: Do you think a small Canon Eos 1000D (Rebell XS) with battery Grip fits in there? And is it possible to pack a 18-55mm Canon and a 28-75 Tamron in a row?

Would be glad if you could help me.

greetings and always good light.

lozzmann said...

Hi,

Thanks for visiting and your kind comments.

Well, the D700 with grip will definitely not fit as its too tall! However,I reckon that the 1000D and grip will fit as the 1000D's body is as tall as the D700.

As for the lenses, according to the specs I googled, the tamron 28-75mm is 5.34" and the 18-55mm is about 70mm or approx. 3.0".

The depth of the compartments in the 160 AW is approx. 9.0". Based on those measurments it should not be a problem.

Double check the length of both your lenses and if they add up to less than 9.0" you are in business.

Regards
Lawrie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your fast answer!

.O mnie said...

Thank you very much!
Very nice review !
I'm lookinf for ideal bag and I thing that im almost sure ... Yes - lowepro classified 160AW:)
Kiss
Anna

lozzmann said...

Hi Anna,

Glad you found the review useful! Thanks for stopping by checking out my blog. You won't regret getting the Classified 160!

p.s. Thanks for the kiss!

Cheers
Lawrie

FL said...

Hello, thanks for this very nice review !

I can't find the information on the web, do you think an A4 document folder would fit in the front pocket (the one with the keyring attachment) ?
I intend to fit some papers (21x29.7 cm) and/or magazine along with my lightweight kit gear for day-to-day work at school.

As for the questions about gripped/pro bodies, I read somewhere the expansion zip was designed to accomodate a pro body, giving more "thickness" to the top of the bag, but you would have to leave it consinuously "open" I guess.

Regards :)

lozzmann said...

Hi FL,

Thanks for visiting and your feedback.

I managed to fit an issue of Photography monthly (same size as A4) into the front pocket, it doesn't sit flush with the pocket, about 42mm sticks out the top but doesn't interfere with the flap.

The magazine is approx. 6 mm in thickness. However, you'll need to remove the CF card wallet as it gets in the way.

As for fitting a dslr body with grip or a pro body. I just realised it is dependant on the lens you have attached to your body. With either my Sigma 70-200mm or Nikon 14-24mm, the body sits higher up making it harder to zip up.

I just tried it with my Nikon 50mm and there is plently of room so dslr body/grip or pro body with a small lens attached should not be an issue.

The gusset or expansion zip is always undone on my bag.

Thanks again for dropping by and hopes this helps.

Cheers
Lawrie

zleon said...

lozzmann, hi!

I found your blog via google search. After reading your review of classified 160 I realised it's also possbile to ask you something. Do you think it's possible to fit in the 160 two bodis? Two bodies mean: D700+Nikkor24mm/2.8, and D300+Nikkor 70-210/4. I could not have a chance to try these in local shops so maybe you could advise?

lozzmann said...

Hi zleon,

Thanks for stopping by..

A friend of mine managed to fit his two 5D (Mk. I&II) bodies in after some rejigging of the foam inserts. However, he only had relatively short lenses, I think he said it was his 85mm f/1.2 and a 50mm f/1.4.

I reckon you could fit both the D700 & D300 in, for sure, if one of them did not have the lens (e.g. 70-210)attached. Not so sure if you want both lenses attached. Since I don't have the D300. I cannot test it out for you.

I am worried the 70-210mm might be just a bit too long. I might be wrong, you really need to try it out at the shop and see for youself!

Regards,
Lawrie

zleon said...

lozzmann, thanks!

I want to use two bodies attached with their lenses, don;t want to change lens in the field.

After reading your reply I checked lowepro website, and found the interior size is 22.5 X 16 X 28.5 cm, which means difficult for two bodies as you said. I think the width is the problem, from the spec the interior is just 1.5cm wider than the shorter edge of an A4 sheet, altough the exterior 34cm wide. This makes me to think twice before buying, otherwise it will be difficult for the D700 to come out of the bag, but so far this is the best looking bag I've saw.

Fritz said...

i also bought this bag to use with my D700 and 14-24. I use an MBD-10 battery pack on my D700 and it did not fit. it was just too wide. I took it back. it was a very nice bag, but a bit more expensive than my lowe pro stealth reporters. if i find a good deal i may repurchase for other purposes.

lozzmann said...

Hi Fritz,

Thanks for visiting, always good to see another Nikon buddy. Too bad it didn't fit. Have you checked out any bags from the Think Tank range? They make some really nice stuff.

Regards,
Lawrie