A great minimalist bag for hiking


The Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120 is a low-key sling or waist-style bag. It accommodates a full-frame camera with attached lens and one or two more lenses in a slim profile. We were sent one for review. How does it stack up in real-life usage? Find out in our full review.

As the Trekker Lite name implies, this bag is ideal for the photographer who is hiking or walking around a lot. It’s a great size for bringing a camera, a couple of lenses, some small accessories, a water bottle, and either a tripod or a jacket strapped to the back. The bag does not scream, “I’ve got an expensive camera here!” Lowepro’s aesthetic and compartment spaces have an appealing sense of minimalism while still having enough storage to get the job done.

If you are looking for something that has tons of individual compartments, mesh pockets, and organizational elements, this is probably not the bag for you. Those features are great for some purposes. However, if you are not carrying a lot of cables, SD cards, and accessories, you might find this simpler design more appealing. This is a lower-profile lightweight bag that appeals to photographers who want to throw a few things in the bag and not be weighed down while on the go. I could probably use one or two more mesh pockets on the interior orange-colored bag, but really, the bag is fine the way it is.

Pros

  • Useful size for hiking, street photography, walking around, and utilitarian purposes
  • Sturdy solid build while still being lightweight
  • Configurable as a sling or waist-pack
  • Large attachable water bottle pocket
  • Padded sleeve for 10.5″ tablet
  • Padded air-mesh back for breathability
  • Cinch-straps for attaching tripod or other items

Cons

  • The shoulder pad is not fully padded when used as a sling
  • Could use one or two more organizational elements inside the small zippered pockets

Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120 — Technical specifications

Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120

All specifications for the Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120 are from the B&H website.

  • Exterior dimensions: 11.8 x 9.4 x 5.5″ / 30 x 23.9 x 14 cm
  • Interior dimensions in total: 11 x 8.7 x 4.3″ / 27.9 x 22.1 x 10.9 cm
  • Interior dimensions of camera compartment: 10.6 x 5.9 x 3.5″ / 26.9 x 15 x 8.9 cm
  • Weight: 1.12 lb / 0.51 kg
  • Materials: Exterior: Polyester; Insulation: Foam, Polyethylene
  • Single Compartment: Fits 10.5″ Tablet (10.6 x 7.5 x 0.6″ / 26.9 x 19.1 x 1.5 cm)
  • Main Compartment: Adjustable Dividers (Hook & Loop)
  • Carry/Transport Options: Handle, Shoulder Strap

Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120 – Ergonomics and build quality

Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120
Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120

The Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120 immediately feels solid and durable while weighing barely more than a pound (1/12 lb / 0.51 kg). This includes the YYZ zippers as well as the fabric.

Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120 – In the field

The main compartment has padded dividers that can be removed. The pocket and dividers are soft and well-padded, so there’s no worries about your equipment being scratched. You can easily configure this for a variety of equipment.

You can access the main camera compartment by opening the top zipper. This also gives you access to the tablet compartment directly in front.

Straps configured as waist straps, Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120

I found the bag to be generally comfortable when I used this for night photography. Because I am a skinny guy, I always want more shoulder padding.

Waist-style bag or sling-style bag in the field?

I found that for my purposes, the bag was more functional and comfortable as a waist-style bag than as a sling-style bag. The strap also isn’t completely padded all the way across. When wearing a T-shirt, I found this to be uncomfortable after walking around for a while. With a jacket, it was not an issue.

Regardless, you can easily reconfigure the bag to suit your needs. You may easily do this by releasing the strap from the Velcro located behind the breathable mesh, pulling it out, and pulling it back in as a sling bag or back to a waist-pack.

One evening, I used it with a Nikon D750 DSLR and Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 fisheye lens. I preferred using this as a waist-pack rather than a sling bag for long periods of time.

More uses in the field

Another evening, I used it for carrying two CP110 two-way radios, which we used for communication. I carried it around for about an hour before meeting up with my friend and letting him use one of these radios. After that, I was able to fit my lighting equipment and snoot in its place. It was comfortable and provided easy access the whole time I was in the field. I was also able to carry a large bottle of Gatorade on the outside of the pack using the included water bottle holder.

Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120 – What gear can it hold?

Main compartment

Inside the main compartment, you can store a full-sized DSLR camera with a lens attached and one to two other lenses.

To be more specific, I was easily able to fit a Pentax K-1 full-frame DSLR, which is a large, heavy camera with an attached 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens and a Nikon 28-300mm. f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens, which is a relatively large lens. I could have easily fit two smaller prime lenses instead of the zoom lens. Or four or five Lensbaby lenses! This was comfortable in the field and worked well. For this amount of weight, I strongly preferred using the bag as a waist-style bag, even more so than with the Nikon and fisheye lens.

Lowepro advertises it as fitting a mirrorless full-frame camera, but even the very large Pentax DSLR will fit. However, the internal flap will not completely fold over when doing this. I do not consider it to be an issue at all.

Other storage pockets

Lowepro Trekker Lite SLX 120 — both compartments

The tablet compartment is large enough that you can fit some snacks as well as the usual photography accessories. There are also a couple of small black organizing pockets inside. I was able to keep my phone there. In this sleeve is also an orange-colored zipper that opens, giving you access to an orange-colored pocket. In the field, I liked this for storing my wallet, keys, glasses, and other small but valuable items.

Lowepro put one more orange-colored pocket on the front exterior. I found that I could stuff a small drink bottle inside if absolutely necessary although its probably not really designed for that.

The bottom of the bag has adjustable straps. You might use this for a small tripod, backpacking supplies, stuff sacks, jacket, or other gear.

Water bottle storage

Finally, the bag comes with a black attachable water bottle pocket. This is separate, and arrived inside the main camera compartment. I was easily able to slip a 28 oz (828 ml) Gatorade bottle inside, and felt that there was room for a larger water bottle. This has loops so you can attach it to the waist belt. The location of the water bottle might be one more reason why I find the bag to be more functional and comfortable than a sling bag.

Sometimes it’s the little things

One of the things that I immediately liked about this bag was visibility. You can see your contents a little easier than dark-colored interiors that many bags, utilizing yellow zipper pulls, the orange-colored interior zippers, the light gray interior, or the orange-colored pocket. Very nice.



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