Lowepro Pro Roller X200: The Most Versatile Camera Bag Ever?

Lowepro Pro Roller X200: The Most Versatile Camera Bag Ever?

As a travel and wildlife photographer I find myself on all different sizes of planes with a wide variety of gear. I’ve always enjoyed working with Lowepro rollers for trips where I needed the convenience of a wheeled bag, but have been blown away by the versatility of the new .

Room Enough to Get the Job Done

The Lowepro Pro Roller X200 not only holds the gear I need for most of my trips—my Nikon 200-400 f/4, Nikon 70-200 f/2.8, Sigma 24-70f/2.8, 2 pro D-SLR bodies, Flash, Teleconverters, an 18-35 or other wide zoom, filters and cables—but still fits nicely in the overhead compartments of all the full sized jets I’ve been on, from 737s to 777s. For Regional Jets I can easily gate check the shell and carry on the removaxble backpack section with all my gear intact. For even more flexibility when I’m going on an extended safari in the bush I can leave the shell full of whatever items I don’t need during that time back in the city and take just the backpack with me to conserve weight and space. It is definitely the single most versatile bag I’ve owned.”

[img_assist|nid=324|title=David puts the Lowepro X200 into an overhead compartment|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=427|height=640]

Caption: “The first time I took my Lowepro Pro Roller X200 on a plane I worried about whether it’d fit overhead. After all I’d stuffed it full of quite a bit of gear and it was a roller. I didn’t have to worry for long though. Whether it is a large bin like you see me loading the bag into here on this 777 before heading to the North woods of Michigan or the smaller ones on a 737 hopping up to Alaska the bag fits. And it fits in the preferred orientation of wheels facing down and out of the bin to help save room for other fliers. For regional jets I simply remove the backpack and carry it on while gate checking the shell.” Photo by Annie Cardinal.

The first time I got on a plane with the entire bag I was certainly nervous since it seems so large. Frankly that is why I stopped using the Roadrunner for most of my travels. But this time I was confident that if needed I could gate check the shell and keep my cameras with me on the plane in the backpack if needed! This trip to Alaska I brought the Pro Roller X200 & the Classified 250 and both fit nicely on both of the 737 aircraft.

Two Bags in One: "Reserve" Backpack Unzips from Roller

At first I was surprised by the design. Somehow I’d thought the “shell” would be the exterior of the pack and that the interior would be more like your traditional inserts. So the backpack including the top of the bag was unexpected—not a problem in the least, just unexpected. This design certainly grew on me and of course if planning to stuff a laptop in the front then it is a must. Too bad the airlines have gotten snotty about allowing laptops in the seatback pockets. Otherwise it’d be simple to have the laptop in there and pull it out when you get to your seat—making the case that much easier to fit overhead. The zipper that attaches the backpack insert is surprisingly easy to use and so far has survived a fair amount of rough use in some dirty environments without jamming. Personally I like this design better than the new Think Tank where the backpack and roller are one and the same so when you pack your gear you need to carry the full weight of the roller. This way you only need to bring the backpack.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many of the overheads the bag has actually fit in without needing to check the shell. When I first started using it on the regional planes my default was to check the shell but I found that on some of the configurations the whole bag fit so I’ve gotten a little more aggressive about trying that option first.

Love your Moose Pack but Want a Roller? The Pro Roller X200 is for You

Many of us really like our MP-3 bags from Moose & Sharon Peterson as the ultimate lightweight camera bag that fits the Nikon 200-400. But not everyone likes carrying it. So the only way to roll it has been to use a separate wheeled dolly. Personally I've never liked that solution so I was thrilled to find that the shell of the X200 fits the MP-3 just about perfectly. The only caveat is make sure and load the MP-3 the first time when it is already in the shell or you can accidently cram so much gear in it that it won't fit nicely. On a trip with bush planes it was a simple matter to take the X200 roller on the large jets and then leave it at our jumping off point with my "city gear" in it and take the MP-3 into the bush. Obviously you can do this with the X200 and its removable backpack as well but the MP-3 is still a favorite for its low profile and flexible design.

Replaceable Wheels

One nice feature of the X200 is that it has inter-changeable wheels. The first reason that is a cool feature is that if you wear out the wheels you can replace them. Perhaps more importantly Lowepro can introduce new wheel designs. Personally I'm looking forward to one with large wheels that will make it easier to lug the bag across rickety boardwalks and dirt paths like I find in so many locations. You can get the 


12.2W X 6.6D X 19.8H in./
31 X 16.8 X 50.5 cm
15.7W X 11.2D X 24.2H in./
40 X 28.5 X 61.5 cm
Notebook Compartment Inner Dimensions:
12.7W X 1.1D X 18.1H in./
32.5 X 3 X 46 cm
Outer fabric:
1680D Ballistic Nylon
Interior Fabric:
210D Nylon, Tricot, PE Foam

Integrated Cable Lock & Laptop Slot

The Pro Roller X200 has a very nice integrated TSA-approved cable lock that you can use to secure its various compartments. Definitely handy if you need to check the bag or leave it someplace where you'd like to attach it to something. The bag also features a laptop sized zippered compartment which can hold a laptop--accessible directly from the outside. It's a great feature but does make the bag quite thick and the laptop is right at the top of the bag so you'd need to be quite careful how you stow it unless you remove the laptop first. Like the older Lowepro rollers the bag has a stand so it can be propped up for those who find that convenient for packing or for studio work.

Where to Buy

The Lowepro Pro Roller X200 has been much anticipated. and about to close for 10 days, but (list price is $399). As always if you purchase through our link or through the Amazon links or searchboxes on or it does help support our free sites & newsletter.

[img_assist|nid=341|title="Bags Loaded Ready for Travel. My bags packed for a photo safari. I typically don't take all three rollers but use either the X200 and the mini-roller when I'm weight constrained or the X200 and my older roller when I need to bring a lot of extra loaner gear for participants."|desc=|link=popup|align=|width=480|height=640]

Caption: "Bags Loaded Ready for Travel. My bags packed for a photo safari. I typically don't take all three rollers but use either the Pro Roller X200 and the mini-roller when I'm weight constrained or the X200 and my older roller when I need to bring a lot of extra loaner gear for participants. For trips with only commercial flights I pack my clothes and tripod in an Eagle Creek rolling duffel while for trips with bush planes I use a soft-sided non-wheeled duffel which is lighter and fits better in the smaller planes. The X200 often carries my MP-3 as its insert or else the provided Lowepro insert."

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