One question almost every photographer has to answer is, "how will I carry my camera?" In many instances you can just drape the camera strap around your neck and go. Occasionally you may want to have your camera with you, but not hanging around your neck. The most obvious solution is to buy a camera bag.
Lowepro camera bags have long been recognized for their usability, ergonomics, robust construction, and quality materials. The diminutive Lowepro Adventura 120 is a prime example. The Lowepro Adventura 120 is an attractive, minimalist camera bag that shouldn't attract too much attention - which can be an important security consideration in our uncertain world.
Build and Design
The Lowepro Adventura 120's black (also available in blue) exterior fabric is super-tough 600D "ripstop" Polyester - the fabric is stiff and heavy and feels like it should have some serious longevity. The contrasting high-visibility orange interior makes it easy to access and see your gear even when the light is poor. The interior fabric is a soft close-weave 200D polyester Tricot.
Stitching is consistently smooth with no bunching or "straggler" threads and padding is evenly distributed and thick enough. The bag features a zipper closed main compartment with rainflap cover which provides a teeny extra bit of security in bad weather. There is a pinch-clip style quick-release closure which provides speedy access to the bag's contents and some extra protection when the bag is closed.
Two pleated elastic-top side pockets offer sufficient room for a photo notebook, a cell phone, and/or an MP3 player, but they aren't big enough for a bottle of water or most small snacks. There's a shallow zipper-closure front compartment with a tiny interior Velcro closure pocket for an extra media card - which is a nice touch since I like to carry two media cards, one for still images and a second for recording video clips. There is also a rear slip pocket for guidebooks, maps, tickets, or the camera user's manual.
The bottom of the Lowepro Adventura 120 is hard-padding and flat, so the bag will stand nicely, without tipping, when set on the ground or any relatively even surface. In terms of exterior construction, the Lowepro Adventura 120 is more than tough enough to meet the needs of its target audience. The bag is durable and water resistant so moderate bouts of bad weather shouldn't present any problem. Zippers are well constructed (not flimsy) and move smoothly with large, easily gripped pulls - they don't snag or jam.
Cargo Space and Capacity
There are three bags in Lowepro's Adventura series - the 120 is the smallest. Size-wise the Lowepro Adventura 120 is mid-way between a DSLR holster pack and a daypack. The bag is designed to carry a compact DSLR with a kit lens and a few small additional accessories/necessities. I tested the bag using a Canon EOS 450D/Digital Rebel XSi with a Canon EF-S 18mm-55mm/f3.5-f5.6 IS kit Zoom which fit as if the case had been designed for it.
The Lowepro Adventura 120 is comfortable to carry. This is an ideal small bag - the perfect size for three day weekends, short vacations, family events, urban shooting adventures, or daytrips to nearby attractions. The Lowepro Adventura 120 has adequate/sufficient padding for the job it was designed for and a well designed "grab" style carry handle. The adjustable shoulder strap is well designed and distributes the bag's weight evenly in either over the shoulder or over the head (cross-body) carry positions. Any of the three transport methods provides quick and easy access, without setting the bag down, to the contents.
It is amazing just how many options camera bag purchasers have in the highly competitive photography accessories marketplace. Camera bags are available in many different configurations, materials, sizes, colors, and styles - including over-the-shoulder, backpack, holster style, daypack, belt pack, and professional soft-case and hard-case designs. There are camera bags for every type of photographer, from neophyte to seasoned professional.
Camera bags should be judged on how conveniently and securely they allow the user to carry and protect stored gear from bumps, thumps, and moderate impacts and how well they shield stored gear from weather, dust, and moisture. Also important is how comfortably and efficiently they allow the user to transport gear from place to place. The Lowepro Adventura 120 camera bag meets or exceeds every criteria outlined above at a reasonable price - in addition the bag is attractive, well designed, nicely constructed and will very likely outlast the camera it was purchased to transport.