Lowepro Flipside Backpack 400 AW III review: innovation for innovation’s sake?

Is Lowepro’s latest Flipside 400 AW III backpack one to bag or should you send it packing?

Lowepro Flipside BP 400 AW III
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Lowepro's third iteration of its popular Flipside backpack is by no means a bad photography bag. It has however, lost the spark that made it so special in its previous two outings, and is now rather run-of-the-mill. It gets the job done and is made from premium build materials, it also has some of the most storage space for accessories and electronics we've ever seen in a camera backpack and it's comfortable to wear on long journeys too. But, if you're upgrading from the Mark I or II versions you might find yourself longing for some of the features that have been left on the cutting room floor this time around, which is a shame as it had the potential to be a great backpack, rather than just a good one.


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    Roomy interior

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    Loads of space for accessories

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    Premium build materials

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    Storage space for 15" laptop and 10" tablet

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    Tips onto its back when placed down

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    Has lost its ‘flipside’ function

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    No dedicated water bottle pocket

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    No central tripod lashing point

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    Rain cover now takes up space inside your bag

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The Flipside Backpack 400 AW III is Lowepro's third crack at the Flipside range and has big shoes to fill after the award-winning Flipside Backpack 400 AW Mark I and II.

The new iteration is the 400 AW III which we tested here, though there's the smaller 300 AW III option too. Which you go for will depend on both your capacity and budget requirements. Whichever model you choose however, both make several noteworthy departures from its predecessor, that we’ll get into over the course of this review and discuss whether you should part with your cash for one.

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FeaturesThe backpack does have some useful features but has lost many of the key specs that made its predecessors so great★★★
DesignThe premium build materials and comfort is good but the internal dividers are thin and there isn't much dedicated space for smaller accessories like SD cards★★★
PerformanceThe Flipside 400 AW III is comfortable to wear on long hikes but the rain cover now takes up space in the main compartment and the single tripod lashing point prevents a water bottle from being stowed★★★
ValueIt's relatively well priced for photography backpack but we'd have loved to have seen it packed with more features that would have enhanced its value★★★
Lowepro RunAbout BP 18L

Lowepro RunAbout BP 18L
If you’re an avid camper and your main camera rucksack has a GearUp insert, the RunAbout is a no-brainer. It’s a well-designed folding daypack that’s easy to stow and should appeal to photographers and dedicated hikers alike.

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Dan Mold
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, Dan also brings his technical wizardry and editing skills to Digital Camera World. He has been writing about all aspects of photography for over 10 years, having previously served as technical writer and technical editor for Practical Photography magazine, as well as Photoshop editor on Digital Photo

Dan is an Adobe-certified Photoshop guru, making him officially a beast at post-processing – so he’s the perfect person to share tips and tricks both in-camera and in post. Able to shoot all genres, Dan provides news, techniques and tutorials on everything from portraits and landscapes to macro and wildlife, helping photographers get the most out of their cameras, lenses, filters, lighting, tripods, and, of course, editing software.