Help keep this site ad free, consider buying us a coffee! Thanks!

Original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW – Tactical Camera Backpack

Original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW – Tactical Camera Backpack

The Original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW was one of the first tactical looking camera backpacks to emerge onto the market catering for those who need a rugged pack combined with a tactical look.

I bought my original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW in 2017 and since then it’s had moderate use outdoors, it regularly came with me to both rural and urban locations for photo shoots as well as being the perfect size for carry on luggage.

Now that the DSLR’s have been retired I use this pack less frequently, favouring the Direct Action Ghost pack instead however I won’t be getting rid of this tactical camera backpack anytime soon and here’s why:

Quality

Lowepro is known for its quality gear and this backpack is no different, I did however have to return the first bag I received as the top zip would not close properly. The second bag has proven tough and reliable with no problems. The zips have a great feel like they won’t break, you can be rough with them when you need to get your camera out in a hurry and not worry.

Lowepro tactical range 360aw
Lowepro tactical range 360aw

The materials the ProTactic are made from are reassuring too, the bag feels stiff but still pliable and the handle which has a superb robust grip to it has never proved to be a weak point no matter how much gear I’ve been lugging around.

Comfort

More recently I’ve been using this original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW just for hiking, the pack is actually very lightweight on its own allowing you to travel light too if you have a minimal set up. These days I’m carrying the Fuji X100v and a few accessories plus a knife and a water bottle, the pack is super comfortable although I do not use the removable waist belt as its a bit on the short side for me.

lowepro active zone
Lowepro ‘active zone’ feature

The active zone does work fairly well although in the height of the Spanish summer any breathable system on any backpack is going to be taken to task. What is outstanding is the padding and the way it sits, once dialled in, this pack is very comfortable indeed.

Design

The top loader is where you’re going to be sticking your hands in the most, it allows fast access and great protection with the solid lid. I never used the side access pockets of which there are one on each side, it was simply just a bit too tight to get my hand in to grab a DSLR.

The back folds out fully exposing the entire contents of the pack and the myriad of pockets available. On the underside of the top you have a zipped pocket which is tremendously handy for light items and there is also an SD card holder, the pockets continue on the inner side all of which are clear view so you can see what’s in there. The laptop pocket is a squeeze but you can get a 13″ laptop in there.

Original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW
internal zippered pockets
Original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW
Original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW laid out
Original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW
substantial internal padding

I use all of the pockets for at least something, charging cables, spare batteries etc, the interior is laid out well for good organisation and highly visible so no guessing what is where.

A professional camera backpack that delivers mission-critical access for two cameras and features multiple accessory attachment points.

Lowepro

When it comes to padding and camera protection you get what you might expect from a backpack at this price point. The padding is excellent, nothing cheap here, it offers you confidence that your gear is well protected and also snug. There are dozens of configurations and while I now travel lightweight there was a time when I was carrying two Pentax DSLR’s, speedlight, 4 x lenses + accessories, battery charging and external hard drive. The Lowepro ProTactic 360AW handled the lot very well.

Weight2000g
Internal dimensions27 x 16 x 38.5 cm
External dimensions30.8 x 23 x 43 cm
Laptop Compartment Dimensions26 x 3 x 33 cm
Camera Compartment Dimensions27 x 16 x 38.5 cm

Externally you have two more pockets left and right, many reviews refer to these as too small and not much good but to be honest I use them all the time – mainly for dead Fuji batteries which, if you shoot older Fuji you’ll know all about that!

There are three attachments that come with the pack and those are a water bottle holder, small external zipped pouch and a tripod holder. There are also a couple of retaining straps included. The pouch is cheap, there is no getting away from that, mine has survived but only because I hardly use it.

lowepro protactic side pockets
hard shell top load access
small side pockets for accessories

The tripod holder is where you fit one leg of the tripod into it and use a strap to secure to the pack, it works well and something I use every time I go out. The bottle holder is good enough for the job. Each accessory utilises the molle webbing to secure to the pack and its worth noting that other items can also be attached to the pack like a knife or torch etc.

At the bottom of the pack there is a zipped pocket where you will find a rain cover, handy to have but bear in mind it will only cover the pack without the above mentioned accessories attached. I have never had any issues in the rain, the pack is not waterproof but in a light shower you won’t have any issues.

Aesthetics

From an aesthetics point of view the original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW as well as the later revised version has a tactical look. The presence of a molle attachment system as well as this bag being black may be too much for some but if you like your tactical gear and are a photographer too then the ProTactic range is certainly worth a look.

How I use the backpack

When I first bought this pack I used it for lugging gear around outdoors, the pack was full, heavy and never let me down, it’s a strong bag and you know where your money’s gone when you pick it up when it’s full of cameras and glass.

best tactical camera bags
Original Lowepro ProTactic 360AW

Nowadays it’s just the Fuji I carry, no lenses, speedlights or anything like that. To be honest the Lowepro is overkill just for one small camera but where it comes into it’s own is when I go hiking as you can stuff a waterproof in there, the two way radio attaches to the molle webbing as well as a mini tripod. The waterbottle goes on there and there is enough room for additional accessories and also the phone.

For shorter hikes the pack is ideal and of course the camera is well protected

Long term condition

After five years this pack has held up great, this of course is only relevent to how much you use it, this pack does not get frequent use. The inner padding maintains rigidity well and there are no loose threads anywhere on the bag. There are no signs of wear and tear [yet] and to be honest the molle system is one the more robust I have come across.

tactical camera bag rugged and functional

If there is to be a weak point it would probably be the zip around the ‘cap’ of the backpack, it’s going to end up being the most used and suffer the most abuse especially when you’re getting the camera out quick and ripping that zip open.

What I don’t like

The only thing I don’t like about this pack is that fact that it’s a dust magnet but hey, I live in southern Spain. In fairness it washes well with a damp cloth but the pack never tends to stay black very long in the summer.

Verdict – should you get one?

If you are looking for a good bag with a tactical look for a decent price then get one, you’re not going to go wrong with a used pack like this off ebay providing it’s in good condition. They are still available new as are the newer models but they are expensive.

lowepro tactic backpacks
geared up for overlanding

For under €60,00 euros [ish] you can grab a backpack which is rugged, functional and allows you to strap on additional gear. As a main pack it’s great, as a secondary load lugger it fits the bill perfectly and it’s carry on size too when you’re flying.

Resources:

1600 900 Mac

Mac

K90overland is Mac and Gayle, they lived in Andalucia for 19 years before moving back to the UK. Overlanding since 2019 the pair have built up a 'budget rig' and now enjoy a relaxed approach to discovering Scotland and the north of England.

Mac

Leave a Reply

Check us out on Youtube

For regular videos covering short overland trips, Mitsubishi Shogun related bits and product reviews. Nothing serious, we just do it because we like to :)

DO YOU OWN A 1st GENERATION SHOGUN/PAJERO/MONTERO SPORT OR CHALLENGER?

CHECK OUT OUR OWNERSHIP REVIEW AND LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT YOU DRIVE IN THE COMMENTS

check out all Shogun Sport posts

Search K90

SHOGUN, MONTERO, PAJERO, CHALLENGER ENTHUSIAST?

//////////////////////

Wherever you are and no matter what you call it we have some handy resources for this classic old Mitzy >>>

INFO@K90OVERLAND.COM