Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L

The new Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L outside view with full-sized tripod attached.

Who doesn’t love great gear? I’ll be the first to admit – I’m a gearhead always on the lookout for something better, innovative, sharper, stronger, lighter… you get the idea. I just added the new Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L pack to my burgeoning collection of photo packs and I’m really happy with the purchase. I’ve been using a Lowepro Orion clamshell-syle pack for day hiking (which is a very good pack) and was looking for a backcountry-ready pack with back panel access that would carry a body, 3 lenses, full-sized tripod, water, snacks, jacket, and filters without breaking my back. With the Flipside Sport 15L, I found the right pack for the job.

Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L open view with full backcountry kit.

This pack is built rock solid; with padded, ventilated straps and back panel to prevent over-heating, waist and sternum straps, a burly tripod sleeve, hydration sleeve, and built-in rain cover. My first hike with the pack was the Howard Eaton Trail in Yellowstone – fully loaded, I hiked for three hours or so with three lenses and photographed a badger in the backcountry. I really like the flexibility and have carried super lighweight DX gear up to kitchen sink FX, pushing the limits of carrying capacity. The 15L is streamlined, and while I don’t jam in too much, I know I’ll have great coverage with a wide angle zoom (or two), macro, and one of my heavier telephoto lenses – a 80-200mm, 70-300mm, or 80-400mm. The pack sits nicely in the middle of my back and doesn’t swing from side to side. It rides well for a minimalist.

A closer look inside the Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L

Lowepro calls the 15L a “minimalist and technical carrying option” so there aren’t a bunch of outside pockets to add weight and bulk to this pack. In Yellowstone, with skies threatening, I easily lashed my shell to the outside of the pack and stuffed a snack in with the full water bladder. The 15L is a great tool that I highly recommend for backcountry travel.

8 thoughts on “Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L

  1. Now that looks like a nice backpack and for someone with a bad back it may perfect pack for me. (Is there such a thing?) I bought the Photo Sport 200W last summer and enjoy it. It is a minimalist pack for sure. I can carry my 18-70 zoom and 70-300 zoom and cram the top section with all kinds of stuff. This 15L pack will hold more camera gear but is actually smaller in exterior dimensions. So, if I end up buying one, know that it’s your fault.

    1. I’d consider a fast and light pack, with potential to go long if you don’t overload it and don’t plan on lots of clothes. For a mountain morning, with just one extra layer, no problem. If it’s one of those days where you’re stripping multiple layers, it will be hard to find places to stuff the stuff. The Yellowstone scenario is fairly typical in the warm months, just a shell lashed to the pack in case of a passing rainstorm.

  2. Nice review! I always admire people that look critically for only the perfect gear there is available. I haven’t made my choice yet between the Flipside 10/15L or Photo Sport 200, but this always helps to get a better idea about one of the three possible contenders.

    Where did you leave your jacket? If i’ve seen the pictures correctly there is no separate storage compartment for personal gear, right? And is the tripod a 3 Legged Thing (looks like one) or another brand?

    1. Hi Daniel and thanks for your comment. You’re right, there’s no separate storage compartment, but you have options. Although it’s not pictred, I rolled up my jacket and lashed it to the outside of the pack. I have a few different sizes of Gitzos, all with three legs, and I’ve carried a small, lightweight tripod and the full-sized one in the photo very comfortably. I do all sorts of shooting and like to have a lot of flexibility with gear transport. The Flipside 15L fills a niche for lightweight travel.

  3. Dear Sir, Would you please tell me where can I buy the Flipside Sport 15L (the blue one) in Hong Kong?? Or I need to order from overseas??

    Please advice

    thanks

    Dennis

    1. Hi Nick, You can carry one of the 80-400mm (Nikon) or 100-400mm (Canon) zooms with no problem. A 400 2.8 would be too large and I think a 200-400 would be a stretch. You’d also want to consider how much weight you want to haul in a pack that’s not designed for a heavy load. I did carry a 200-400mm Nikon lens in the Lowepro Rover Pro 45L on an all day mountain hike and it did great. That pack is outstanding for versatility, carrying capacity, compartmentalization, and it’s designed for a burly load.

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