Outdoorsy photographers should give Whistler backpack a shot

Name: Lowepro Whistler BP 350 AW

What it is: A rugged, all-weather camera backpack designed by Whistler photographer Paul Morrison. It’s designed to carry a professional digital SLR camera, up to four lenses and a tripod along with skis or a snowboard, trekking poles, ice tools and similar equipment. The Whistler’s detachable, all-weather cover adds even more protection from rain, snow, dust or sand. Lowepro’s MaxFit dividers in the main compartment let users customize the pack for specific gear, and the hinged back makes it easy to grab equipment in inclement weather. For carrying comfort, the backpack has Lowepro’s ActivZone System that targets support at the shoulder blades, lumbar spine and waist. The top compartment offers easy access to a primary camera and lens. External dimensions are 11.61 x 11.81 x 20.87 inches and it weighs 6.53 pounds.

The good: Hands-down the best camera backpack I’ve tested. It has toted my Canon Rebel T4i, two lenses, three action cameras and mounts, my MacBook Pro, my iPad 4, a day’s worth of clothes and more. It protected my cameras and gadgets in drizzle and downpours in Alaska last summer. And its wet compartment is great for stashing a swimsuit or sweaty clothes, making a last-minute swim or hike hard to resist. With more than 10 built-in straps and loops, it’s easy to attach all those extras — from a tripod to running shoes and a water bottle — with a carabineer.

The bad: A slightly narrower and lighter version would make the bag even better for smaller torsos like mine.

Cost: $349.95

Available from: http://store.lowepro.com/whistler-bp-350-awwww.bhphotovideo.com and Best Buy.

(Originally published in Chicago Tribune Travel on Feb. 9, 2016)