I’ve been looking for a camera backpack for a couple of months now, and I’ve looked at a lot of websites and reviews. I saw the Flipside at a local store about a month ago and kind of liked it, but since I’m going on a 3-day field workshop soon I needed to just get something. So today I took my camera gear to the store and tried out a few bags.

I was thinking I might want a bag for everything – my Olympus Evolt E-510, three lenses (one is a 600mm equivalent monster), filters, little odds and ends, my 17″ laptop and power supply and tripod. But this proved to be unfeasible – the bag I really liked online, the LowePro Compurover AW, was a great bag but heavy and just too much for me as a fairly casual nature-focused photographer. I needed something smaller.

My gear (not the computer, but everything else) fit easily into the Flipside 300. And it was comfy to wear with a chest strap and removable waist belt. Here are the interior and exterior views.

Flipside 300 Exterior

Flipside 300 Exterior
Flipside 300 Interior

Flipside 300 Interior
Flipside 300 with Tripod

Flipside 300 with Tripod

An important point was the capability of carrying a 23″ tripod. A lot of the bags I looked at didn’t have any straps or any other point of connection. The Flipside has a tripod pocket at the bottom that tucks away when not in use, but supports (along with a buckle and strap) my tripod very solidly. When I’m wearing the pack, it doesn’t move around at all. Although since it’s on the very back it does stick out quite a bit.

There’s a mesh pocket for a waterbottle on one side and a pocket for small items like memory cards on the other. Inside, besides the adjustable partitions, there’s a large zipped pocket for a manual or other flat items, and a zipped compartment at the top for a cell phone, etc.

One thing I like – the camera section opens from the back of the pack, not the front. So when you have to get your stuff out the part that goes against your back is up, not on the ground. However, when the tripod’s attached I’m not sure how you’d actually lay it on the ground… I’ll have a lot more experience with this bag in a week, after my trip, and will share more details then.

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