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Lowepro Photostream SP 200 & m-Trekker BP 150 test

Posted on Oct 9, 2018

Lowepro Photostream SP 200
Go to any travel hub and you’ll see that almost every case will be of the wheelie variety, but not all wheelies are created equal. Most are two wheels and of course two is better than none at all, but they are pulled along and that can be hard work compared to the four-wheel jobs that can be really easily pushed as you walk along smooth floors, and then pulled when you get to carpeted areas.

The PhotoStream SP 200 is a four-wheel case and ideal for photographers on the move, and suitable for full-frame, medium-format as well as serious mirrorless outfits. It is spacious enough for a camera kit together with a portable flash kit; its 8.8in depth means many lenses can be stood on their ends.

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This case’s wheels run very smoothly and the extending handle comes up to a good height, locking firmly into position (there are two heights). A solid ‘armoured’ front panel made from moulded EVA feels strong and firm, and the base has extra (removable) padding so protection levels are impressively high. The supplied divider set with Velcro flaps offers plenty of layout flexibility, and dividers stay put once positioned.

The picture (below) gives you an idea of load potential and flexibility. Two cameras, lenses, filters and flashgun fitted nicely, so the SP 200 certainly has all the capacity I’d need.

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Verdict:
Lowepro’s PhotoStream SP 200 is a top case, really well put together, featuring a first-rate wheelset and plenty of storage space, plus high levels of padded protection. It rates highly in use and I had no issues with the wheels or the case’s protection skills. It’s not a cheap unit but its build quality makes it very good value.

Pros: Great wheelset, high level of protection, plenty of dividers supplied
Cons: A secure front pocket for documents would have been nice

Price £269.95
Colour Black
External dimensions  55x36x21cm
Internal dimensions 46x32x17cm
Tablet compartment dimensions

38x31x4cm

Handle height Max extension to 104cm off the ground
Weight 4.4kg

Lowepro m-Trekker BP 150:
The lower profile of mirrorless cameras and the typically smaller lenses means the bag you had for your DSLR outfit is probably no longer suitable. That’s right, downsizing your camera is a good excuse for a new bag, and here’s a backpack designed for a decent-sized mirrorless outfit. It is available in Black Cordura or Grey Canvex, and an integrated all-weather cover is fitted as standard.

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This is essentially a two-section backpack, although the floor of the top compartment can be folded down to give one larger storage area. Access to the camera storage bottom section is via the back panel only, which gives good gear security but does mean getting at your kit takes longer, although this can be mitigated by swapping stuff in the two sections around. So I used the bag by putting my camera and a spare lens in the top section, and moved snacks, drink and a waterproof jacket down to the lower section. A travel tripod can also be stowed under the bag.

Comfort rates highly thanks to the padded back panel and wide shoulder straps: it’s comfortable to carry even when fully laden. However, I would have liked a sternum strap.

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Verdict:
The m-Trekker BP 150 is a great value slimline backpack with impressive capacity for a decent-sized mirrorless imaging outfit, including a laptop.

Pros: Thin profile, capacity, two side pockets and one front pocket
Cons: No sternum strap

Price £114.95
Colour Black Cordura or Grey Canvex
External dimensions  29x15x45cm
Internal dimensions 27x12x42cm
camera compartment dimensions  27x12x29cm
Tablet compartment dimensions 24x11x4cm
All weather cover fitted
Weight 900g

As featured in issue 58 of Photography News.

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