Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW Review


Final Thoughts


What the Photo Hatchback lacks in organization, it certainly makes up for in sheer space and versatility. Those without the urge to keep a tidy kitchen sink of gadgets and tools will have no trouble at all using the backpack as a daily hauler. There aren’t any concessions to be made when using the Photo Hatchback as a dedicated camera bag either. Everything in the camera compartment can be accessed without completely removing the bag from your shoulder, and the positioning of the equipment ensures the best possible weight distribution and safety from theft. The inclusion of the all-weather cover and tablet pocket is just the icing on the cake to make this bag ready for any task or environment that you can throw at it. If you happen to be heading off to college with a DSLR in hand, the Photo Hatchback 22L AW could very well be the last backpack you ever purchase.


The Good


The Bad

  • Not one, but two water bottle pockets - a must for any backpack.

  • The already handy tablet pocket can double as a hydration bladder holder.

  • There’s no need to remove the entire pack to access the camera hatch.

  • The ability to transform into a standard backpack greatly increases the bag’s usefulness on a day-to-day basis.

  • All-weather cover could have a better fit.

  • Slender tripods and monopods tend to topple out of the outer mesh pockets.

  • The bag pays for itself, but a $100 MSRP would seem a bit more reasonable.


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# Ofir 2013-03-26 14:16
Excellent review! I'm using this bag for around 4 months now to carry a 5D Mark II along with a few prime L lenses and the best part of it, aside of it not being so apparent as a photographer's bag, is the way it distributes the weight - I can barely feel it on me!
By the way, the front pocket can hold a 13" Macbook Air, at least that's how I carry mine... :)

Loving this bag, after going through 3 different Lowepro backpacks, I finally found my comfort-zone.
# John 2013-05-06 22:14
Do you think there is enough room to fit a non gripped DSLR with kit lens + 2 lenses and a canon 430 ex flash in the camera compartment? The pictures ive seen seem quite misleading. Any information is much appreciated. :)
# Ofir 2013-05-07 06:53
In addition to my comment (if it got posted), here's a picture of the gear in my bag - plenty of room left, fit also a 135L, can easily fit other common gear.

# John 2013-05-07 19:48
That was very helpful. Thank you so much. I just ordered it. :)
# Mike 2013-07-15 07:45
Would it be possible for you pop up a picture of the front pocket with the 13" air inside? This is the only deciding factor for me purchasing this bag :)

# Ofir 2013-07-15 10:15
Unfortunately I sold my 13 inch Macbook Air a month ago. I can tell you tho that it just about fits (wouldn't fit with any case tho), I would add that it's better to use it in that front pocket when the Macbook Air has "Invisible Shield" applied to it to protect it from bumping from the zipper when taking it in or out.

But as I said, it just about fits - wide wise. Depth wise, that's not even a question, and there is double layer of protection (inner layer+outside layer).
# Mika 2013-08-16 02:04
Ofir, sorry to jump in so late, but I am wondering whether I should get 11" or 13" MBA and since I already have Lowepro Hatchback 22, I am interested on why you got rid of your MBA 13?

I tried 13 MBA in the store and found additional means to get it into hatchback: I took out divider from the inside and slided the MBA 13 behind the camera compartment. Seemed to do the trick, although I would need to use the back like that for a while before final conclusions.
# Ofir 2013-08-20 04:20
Hey again,
I sold my Macbook Air only because I needed the cash at that time. To me, it is the best ultrabook by far and I wouldn't consider any other computer to take along with me, not even the Macbook Pro Retina (at least until it gets AS thin as the Air series".

Referring to your method of storing the Macbook Air in this bag, I wouldn't recommend it and as I said, the Air fits fine in the front compartment where the zipper is. It fits and can be pulled in or out easily (after one or twice of training, and is protected by 2 layers.
# Mika 2013-08-23 23:43
Thanks for the reply.. I have to start training then, as soon as I get the 13 MacBook Air.. if I'm lucky, ill have mine before the end of the next week ;-)
# Ofir 2013-03-26 14:21

The backpack DOES come with elastic bands!
# Ofir 2013-05-06 23:30
Quoting John:
Do you think there is enough room to fit a non gripped DSLR with kit lens + 2 lenses and a canon 430 ex flash in the camera compartment? The pictures ive seen seem quite misleading. Any information is much appreciated. :)

Hey John,

The answer is yes. From my experience, it can hold a 5D Mark II (I don't have any battery grip) with a 35L attached, a 85L and a 50mm f/1.8 on the left and a 580 EXII on the right - all in the camera compartment. And I have no idea how is that, but I don't feel the weight on my back.
# John 2013-05-07 06:52
That's perfect. Sounds like the right bag for me :) thanks a bunch!