LowePro has recently released a very well designed camera backpack for outdoor photographers that combines safe camera transport with capacity for additional cargo, all in a comfortable and lightweight design. Most camera backpacks were either designed just for a camera system with little thought given to pack weight and carrying comfort, and they were not useful as outdoor travel backpacks since they always had huge amounts of velcroed in camera compartments that left little room for other needed gear. The new Rover Pro solves this problem by using removable modular pouches for camera and lenses. These padded pouches are big enough for a pro dslr and a few lenses. What is great is that they can be quickly accessed by an outer zipper on the pack or through the top of the pack.
The pouches nest behind the front zipper panel and are easy to access without having to take all your gear out of the top of the pack. I do a lot of photography while skiing and hiking, so I always need to carry extra outdoor gear when out in the field. This pack lets me pack food, clothing, etc in the top compartment of the pack and in the top flap. A tripod can be placed in the tripod pocket on the side of the pack.
What I also like is that the shoulder straps & hip belt are very well designed and of the quality you would find on a high end hiking backpack. You can adjust the shoulder straps and hip belt so they are snug and move with you when skiing. The panel that goes next to your back is ventilated mesh material that is breathable, which is a must when hiking. Best of all this pack is not the heavy old camera pack of old that weighs 10 lbs without anything in it! These old camera packs had so much velcro and camera padding that they became beasts to carry anywhere farther than a half mile from the car. The Rover Pro is one of the lightest camera packs I have seen thanks to the innovative modular camera pouches.
One side pocket has a secure tripod carrying system, and the other side has a pocket for a water bottle or hydration pack. This helps balance out the weight on both sides of the pack. There is also a pocket in the pack that can easily hold a laptop. There are plenty of exterior accessory straps for attaching things to the outside of the pack. Lowepro is also generous with the accessory pouches and other storage compartments included with this pack.
I plan to use this pack for air travel in addition to outdoor photo treks. It is the right size to fit in an overhead bin on an airplane. It will also double as a daypack for sightseeing, and can even be converted into a full on dedicated backcountry backpack for multi-day hikes. They definitely had someone who actually hiked and was a photographer designing this pack. There is also a nice waterproof cover included that tucks underneath the bottom when not in use.
LowePro has done a fabulous job of providing a state of the art backpack for landscape / adventure photographers who travel on hiking trails and skis to their destinations. Often we feel a little left out with all the packs designed for the more auto oriented or studio bound photographer, so it is nice to know they are designing products with us in mind. Great job LowePro and thanks for making my efforts to get where I need to with my camera a little more enjoyable.
You can see a video and more details on their website at