Product Review: Page (1) of 1 - 08/06/05 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Lowepro Top Load Zoom I Camera Bag

Top quality camera bag for the digital SLR By John Virata

Digital SLR cameras can be expensive. These cameras start at around $799 and go up from there. The nice thing about them is the fact that they are SLRs, so you get all the benefits of a traditional SLR in a digital format. Keeping them safe and secure might be an afterthought, but for the price that you pay to buy one, you should protect it as best as you can. After all, it is your hard earned money that enabled you to buy one, so why not spend a few extra bucks to keep it safe and cozy, by investing in a decent camera bag.

When I received a Canon Digital Rebel as a gift, I did what most any other sane person would do. I demoted my Canon EOS Rebel to the closet and availed of the camera bag that previously housed the Rebel. This bag has served me well over the last 15 years, but it had one caveat; it was too big. It had four outside pockets for film and batteries and several inside compartments to house various lenses, the camera body, and any other extras you might need. The Digital Rebel resided in it for more than a year until I got tired of lugging it around, so I went looking for a new one.

Internal drawing. Image courtesy

At first I went the cheap route, going to my local Target store, and happened to find a camera bag on sale for $9.99. It was ugly black and red, but it was cheap. Big mistake. While it looked as if the Digital Rebel would fit in the bag, it did not, and upon further inspection at home, I found the bag to be poorly constructed with substandard materials and just bad workmanship. Impulse buys can be bad. So I wasted my time (and $2.50 gallon gas) and went back to Target and returned it.

My next stop was the local Sport Chalet on the way home, because I figured if they sold backpacks and such, they just might stock camera bags as well. I proved myself right. Not only was Sport Chalet well stocked with quality goods, they were also stocked with Lowepro bags. I always thought of Lowepro as a high end bag that cost a lot of money and never considered bags from them even though I knew they made camera bags.

The Digital Rebel fits perfect in the Lowepro Top Load Zoom.

But the one that I found there was just $10 more than the el cheapo bag that I had just finished returning. The Lowepro Top Load Zoom I camera bag is the one that I bought for my Digital Rebel. This bag is a compact bag that the Digital Rebel fits nicely in with the stock 35-80mm lens that the camera came with, and even was a tight fit with the 75-300mm Canon zoom lens that I use often. In the back of my mind, the Lowepro was what I wanted but I never even handled one until then.

The Lowepro Top Load Zoom I is built out of shock absorbent closed cell foam. the outer material is water resistant and the inner dimensions of the bag are 6.5-inches wide by 4.5 inches deep by 7.75 inches high. It is called a top load, because you put the camera into the bag from the top of the bag, where there are dual zippers with grab handles attached. The inside pocket is built out of baby-butt smooth fabric designed to keep your precious camera scratch free. Attached to the sidewalls are two adjustable Velcro bridges that enable you to adjust to the length of the lens for a perfect fit.

The laminated mesh pocket can hold memory cards and other flat items. When zipped, the black cloth on the zipper protects your camera from zipper scratches.

The lid of the bag features a laminated mesh pocket with zipper to store your digital media, filters, business cards, or other small flat items. There is so much attention to detail with this bag that the zipper pull features a U-shaped protective flap to prevent scratching, gouging and other mishaps that might occur when metal contacts something like an LCD display or other part of a camera body. The front of the bag features a second pocket in which you can store additional flat or small items. There is a padded carrying handle on the top of the bag, as well as a belt loop for those who prefer to have the bag attached to a belt around the waist. There is also a quick release strap for carrying the bag over your shoulder. There are additional D-Rings to attach an optional chest harness as well.

The Lowepro Topload Zoom 1 is the perfect small bag for your digital SLR camera. While it doesn't afford the capability to carry extra lenses, it is the perfect camera bag for traveling, day trips, and for storing your camera when not in use. It would be nice to see a name tag or business card insert built in the bag. For $19.99, it is the bag to buy to keep your digital SLR or large digital camera safe from the elements. In addition, Lowepro offers a lifetime warranty on all its products, which is a testament to the quality and engineering built into this bag. The Lowepro Topload Zoom 1 camera bag is available in Black, Forest Green, Navy Blue, and Red/Black.  For more information, visit

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at
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