The Flipside is far superior to the Lowepro Slingshot series, Tamrac Velocity series, and lumbar packs like the Moutainsmith Photo Tour. The most significant difference is the level of support provided. Ergonomically, the Flipside maintains symmetry throughout your body. These sling bags, which are growing in popularity and receiving a huge advertising push, will hurt your body. Take the slingshot on a photo walk or a hike and your body will pay to the toll. Our bodies are meant to be symmetrical, and these bags are putting more emphasis on one side of your body over another. I do own over the shoulder bags by Timbuk2 and Overland Equipment, which is somewhat hypocritical, but the main difference is weight. The more weight in the pack like camera equipment, the more the probelm is magnified. In the case of lumbar packs, camera equipment adds to much weight to make the lumbar feel adequate in its support. What you need when it comes to hauling heavy camera equipment is a plain old backpack. Ergonomically correct, and made to be carried for miles and miles, the backpack is where it’s at.
Prior to purchasing the Flipside, I’ve been using the Canon Deluxe Photo Backpack with fantastic results. The price shatters Loewepro with a $46.94 pack. It’s roomy. It carries everything. It has support straps around the hip and across the sternum, which is mandatory for carrying a backpack over long distances. It has straps at the bottom for carrying a tripod horizontally. I love this pack, so why get the Flipside?
A few weeks back while photographing Blue Herons on the beach at Birch Bay, WA, I needed to switch lenses and I couldn’t put my backpack down. In the process, I dropped the pack onto the sand and water. Fortunately, was able to snatch it back up again without my lenses getting dirty, but it was a close call. I knew I had to pickup a bag that I was able to access all my equipment without ever taking it off my body. I had already experimented with the Slingshot and lumbar packs and knew they weren’t viable options. And then I stumbled onto the Flipside.
You simply unhook the sternum strap and flip the back around to your front and that’s it. Check out the video. There’s also no way to access the pack from behind, you must swing it to the front, which adds security. If the difference in ergonomics between the Flipside and the Slinghsot don’t convince you of the superior bag, check out this video of the Slingshot. Comparing it to the video of the Flipside do you see another major difference? You can only access your camera with the slingshot on your body, you can’t get to your lenses! With the Flipside you have access to your body and lenses!
In addition, I wanted a narrower bag than my Canon, and I wanted a bag that holds my tripod vertically. Walking the streets of NYC with my tripod attached to my Canon bag, I was hitting people left and right. The Flipside achieves both goals. The final incentive that pushed me over the top was the $20 Shutterfly credit you receive when ordering the bag through Amazon through May 31st. This helped a great deal in paying for an expensive Lowepro product. If you have any questions about the bag please let me know.