Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking at getting a new camera bag to replace my Lowepro Flipside 400AW.  The Flipside is a great bag, but ever since I bought a couple of new lenses it got a bit cramped.

I was tossing up between:
– Lowepro Vertex 200AW
– Lowepro Computrekker Plus
– Pro Runner 350AW/450AW

I needed the new camera bag to be able to carry EVERYTHING, all my camera gear and a laptop as well as filters and chargers for when I’m travelling.  The other important thing was it needed to be cabin compatible for carry-on luggage in international flights.  All those bags fit the criteria, but based on info gathered from the Lowepro site as well as nearly every forum out there, I decided to get the Pro Runner 450AW.

Here are the specific dimensions from the Lowepro product page
INTERIOR:
12.2W x 6.7D x 18.5H in.
31 x 17 x 47 cm
EXTERIOR:
13.4W x 11.4D x 19.9H in.
34 x 29 x 50.5 cm

Views
Photos taken with my LX-3

As you can see, the bag is one of the more low profile bags in the list.  The bag isn’t huge, it’s about the same size as the Kata Bumblebee and a bit bigger than the Lowepro Classified 250AW (which I also use).  One thing you will notice straight away though, is the immense depth of the bag (more obvious when you see the internal photos).  From the front there isn’t much going on, nice and simple with a couple of sliplocks for the tripod carrier.  The waist straps can be hidden away into the back of the bag, which I love since I rarely use those straps and they tend to get in the way in large crowds.  You can see one of the handles on the side view (also one on the top) for easy movement in and out of storage compartments.  There is also a laptop compartment to fit a 17in Macbook Pro, my Alienware M11x fits in there quite easily.

Inside

In a quick arrangement of the interior padding (completely customisable), you can see this bag has plenty of room for gear.  There are still a couple of spaces that I haven’t use up, and I could have easily added another gripped body onto the end of the 70-200.  This bag is designed to hold Pro bodies or gripped bodies, measuring roughly 6.5in deep in the gear compartment.

Extras

A nice touch is the shoulder strap supports which keep the bag as close to your back as possible (this is important when you carry so much gear).  You can also see the tripod holder, and the hidden compartment for the all weather cover.

With all the camera gear inside it, the bag weighed in at about 10-11kg, but as soon as you put it on your back you can hardly feel the weight.  I would gladly go trekking with a full load in this bag for a whole day.  If the zippers used in this bag was the same as those used in the Vertex 200AW it would easily rank as one of the best bags that Lowepro have ever made, but you can’t have it all for such a low price.  Overall, 9/10, I’d recommend it to anyone who needs to transport a large amount of gear for holidays/photoshoots/day-trips.

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15 thoughts on “Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW”

  1. Wow! Thanks for the detailed review and all photos. :o) This was definitely helpful in my decision in a backpack style bag. The Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW looks very functional and on any other day I’m sure it would easily meet any and all expectations. But I wish Lowepro made something in the same quality but doesn’t look so much like a camera bag. Perhaps it’s just me, but the “come and steal my bag” factor weighs heavy.

    When you travel with your Pro Runner, do you get “that sense”? … people checking out your bag with x-ray eyes? Or am I just overly paranoid?

    I’ll be travelling solo in the next few months and want to stay under the radar of thieves. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again for the wonderful review!

    Best Regards,
    Lone Pro Runner

  2. Yep I’m sure many photographers feel the same way when out and about with their gear. I generally feel “safer” if the bag makes it hard for strangers to break into without me noticing (which lowepro does a great job of). If somebody decided to roll me for the bag then that’s a different story haha.

    I think a lot of times, the person carrying the bag makes it look like a camera bag more than anything (the way you dress, act etc). There are of course many ways to help with the paranoia:
    – Insurance (this is a big one)
    – Be competent in kickboxing, Krav maga, dirty boxing etc (might take a bit more time)
    – Just act like nothing’s out of the ordinary

    If it’s staying under the radar that you’re after there are a few bags that I have and can suggest. They look less like camera bags, still extremely protective but not quite a comfortable or functional as the Pro Runner series.

    – Lowepro Classified 250AW (Great bag, looks nice, not very comfortable at max capacity since it’s a shoulder bag)
    – Billingham Classic 550 (similar capacity to the Classified 250, EXTREMELY good looking but also extremely expensive, approx 440 pounds)

    If you’re traveling solo and don’t have much gear then the classified might be the go, otherwise Pro Runner is great just for comfort and functionality. I’ve taken mine to a lot of places since I wrote this review and I don’t know what I would have done without it.

    Hope that helps 🙂

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks to your detailed review and suggestions, I bought my Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW. I LOVE IT! It’s far more comfortable than a standard camera bag. I have to admit, I was a little uncertain when I had it on at store. It didn’t feel right. When you put it on empty it feels awkward but once you load it up, it feels like BUTTER! You really forget how big and heavy the bag is once you have it properly fitted to your body. Thanks Chris!

      All the best! 🙂
      Lone Pro Runner

  3. Thanks for the detailed review. I am currently working in Afghanistan and have spent the last 2 days researching various bags for my gear. I am an amatuer photobug, (for now anyway!!), and I currently use a small bag to carry my Nikon D60, 18-55 and a 55-200. I have to carry my laptop in a seperate satchel type bag PLUS a backpack to carry a change of clothes when going to, and returning from, the U.S. It’s a pain having to lug all that in 3 seperate bags. I just purchased the 450AW which will allow me to carry all my camera gear, (including a 70-300 lens I have at home), my laptop, and all the other necessities we all have these days. (iPod, cell phone, passport, etc…)
    I can’t wait to get mine so I can finally keep all my stuff in one spot. Now, I just need to buy more glass to fill up the empty spots and I’m good to go!
    Thanks! 😉

    1. Hey

      Thanks for the feedback, I’d say you’ll definitely love the bag considering the amount of different stuff you want to carry in it. 🙂

  4. Hi,

    Thank you for your review. Very helpful.

    Did you guys ever traveled via plane with the 450 ? I have a shoot in India but I am a little bit worried about the size of the bag as a carry on…

    Any experience ?

    Thanks !

    Cedric

    1. Hey Cedric,

      Yea I’m always a bit worried when flying with the 450AW. It is actually a bit too big for certain airlines to carry on, so definitely double check on their web page as far as the dimensions that they allow. Last time I went on a photographic trip, I knew the bag was too big so I packed it in my check in luggage empty and put my camera gear in a smaller Stealth Reporter D200AW to carry on. I knew I would make use of both bags in different situations so the fact that I had to bring 2 bags didn’t really worry me.

      Chris

  5. Thanks for your reply Chris !

    Yeah I don’t feel comfortable with the 450 as a carry on, but i love the bag… I got a pro runner 300 too for my travel. Can’t take that risk 🙂

    great review, thanks !

  6. Hello everyone,

    Did anyone get a chance to carry this bag in the cabin airplane, especially in India. I have a shoot and need to carry this bag (Pro runner 450 aw) in the cabin of airlines. Please advice what should i do.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi,

      I’ve never tried to carry this bag into the cabin, mostly because I haven’t traveled far since getting the bag. The biggest bag I’ve traveled with is the Classified 250 which is only about 2 inches shorter than the Pro Runner 450AW. If you call the airline with the dimensions of the bag, they should be able to tell you if you can bring it though 🙂

      Hope that helps

  7. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for taking time out for reply.

    I had checked with air lines, the outcome of conversation is not encouraging 😦 they do not seem to be sure of if the bag will fit in the cabin. Still figuring out how to take all my kit with me.

    -D

  8. So, finally, I took the risk of taking the bag in the cabin as carry-on. I prepared for a plan-B too, if, just in case, airline personnel had not allowed me to carry that bag into the cabin.

    Coming to the point, I took this into the cabin and it sat well in the overhead bin. Though, it becomes a tight fit for the overhead bin if the shoulder straps are pushed under the back padding of the bag. I guess, in newer airplanes this bag will fit.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Hey Dweep,

      Thanks so much for the feedback, I’m glad to hear you went through with no troubles! Definitely valuable feedback for all those who were considering traveling with this monster of a bag

      Thanks again!

  9. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your blog.

    It seems like some of the text within your content are running off the
    screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This may be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Cheers

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