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Lowepro PhotoStream SP 200 Review: A Carry-on That Protects

Lowepro
SmarterTravel

As a travel writer and photographer, I never go anywhere without my DSLR. But that isn’t always easy: Professional cameras are awkward objects. They’re often large, inconveniently shaped, and heavy. On top of all that, they’re also easy to break or scratch if you’re not careful.

This is why a lot of professional camera crews transport their equipment in hard-sided cases that must be checked at the airport. These enormous cases are virtually indestructible, but not the best option for the casual traveler.

LowePro PhotoStream SP 200 Review: 

For the professional photographer who’s also a carry-on-only traveler, the LowePro PhotoStream SP 200 is a streamlined spinner bag that features customized dividers for storing camera equipment. With dimensions suitable for all airlines and a lightweight frame (9.68 lbs), you won’t have to worry about checking your valuable equipment when you’ve got it in this bag. It also features mesh pockets and a laptop sleeve for easy organization. In total, this luggage is capable of holding 1-2 Pro DSLRs, one with up to 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, up to 8 lenses and speedlights, a 15-inch laptop (though mine was a tough squeeze with a padded case on it), or a tripod and accessories.

Price and Where to Buy: $299 at B & H or on Amazon

How the LowePro Photostream SP 200 Rates:

  • Usefulness: 8/10. If you need to pack this much camera gear, then it’s extremely useful. If not, it’s still pretty useful: With the customizable dividers, I was able to make space for my equipment and then fill the rest of the suitcase with clothes to make the most of the space.
  • Value: 6/10. When it comes to protecting thousands of dollars worth of equipment, you’ll have to pay a high price to feel comfortable. This price is similar to other products on the market, but if you only have one camera, it might not be worth investing in a case as large as this one.
  • Portability: 10/10. This carry-on luggage rolls smoothly, and is nice and compact. I had no trouble toting it around the airport or fitting it in the overhead bin.
  • Cool Factor: 9/10. When it comes to camera gear, you don’t want to draw a lot of attention to yourself. I like that this luggage isn’t flashy and looks like a regular bag rather than something full of expensive gear. The streamlined jet-black material is also very chic.

 Final Verdict: This wouldn’t be a bag I’d bring along for every trip, especially if it were the only one I was bringing. However, if I was going away for a week or more and wanted to bring all my cameras and accessories with me, I’d definitely take advantage of the safety and convenience of the LowePro PhotoStream.

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Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

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