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Lowepro StreetLine SH 180 Messenger Bag Review

We take a closer look at the messenger bag from Lowepro's latest collection of urban-inspired bags designed to protect your gear but also make you look stylish while commuting.


|  Lowepro StreetLine SH 180 in Bags, Cases and Straps
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StreetLine SH 180
 

 

Thanks to their 47 years of experience in the industry, the name 'Lowepro' is well-established as a brand photographers can trust. Since the beginning, they have committed themselves to producing innovative bags that also offer excellent protection and with their latest SteetLine collection, it would seem the brand is still firmly on this path. 

The new StreetLine collection features a backpack, sling and two shoulder bags that are designed to look after both photography gear as well as personal belongings. Plus, the bags have an urban, fashion-inspired feel to them which should make them popular with younger photographers. On test, we have the StreetLine SH 180 messenger bag which we've taken out-and-about to see if it's as practical as it is stylish. 

 

StreetLine SH 180
 

StreetLine SH 180 Messenger Bag Features

The StreetLine SH 180 messenger bag is, actually, a very stylish bag that doesn't scream: 'I'm a camera bag' and can just as easily be used as an everyday bag for commuting as well as a camera bag you take on day trips. 

As well as all the usual accessory pockets and pouches you'd expect to find in a bag of this style, a stand-out feature is the low-profile FlexPocket, of which there are two of in the SH 180, which features collapsible bellows so the pockets can be pushed back and stored when not needed, giving you more room for everyday items. If you are carrying photographic gear, the pockets simply pull back out and offer your lenses, as well as other items, an extra level of protection when in transport.

 

StreetLine SH 180
 

The StreetLine SH 180 is designed to be worn over your shoulder or across the body and it features an adjustable shoulder strap with a larger shoulder pad for added comfort. Multiple pockets offer easy access to quick-grab items and a stretch side pocket offers enough room to store a compact brolly on wet days. Plus, the bag features a 3X PU weather and abrasion coating to help keep moisture at bay. 

The main compartment can be found under a large flap that's secured with buckles and Velcro, plus various zip pockets can be used to keep small items safe and a trolley sleeve / panel can be found on the exterior. 

Key Features

  • FlexPockets
  • Can be used as a day or photo bag
  • Fits a DSLR and plenty of other go-to items 
  • Room for a 13" laptop and tablet 
  • Plenty of pockets for personal effects 
  • Brolly pocket for rainy days 
  • Constructed from premium materials 
  • Carry-on compatible with airlines 

 

StreetLine SH 180 Messenger Bag Handling & Performance

The messenger bag is very comfortable to wear and thanks to its design, it's very easy to access kit and belongings without actually having to take the bag off. This is handy in busy locations where you may want to access items while on the move, plus it also means your equipment is always safe and secure against your body.  

 

StreetLine SH 180
 

The shoulder strap is very strong, easy to adjust and the added shoulder pad stops the strap from digging into your shoulder when wearing it. Two clips keep the large flap that covers your gear secure and to further increase security, Lowepro's also included several sections of Velcro. The top carry handle will make it easier to remove the StreetLine SH 180 from overhead compartments on planes, of which it's the perfect size for, and there's also a trolley sleeve so you don't have to carry 2 bags separately around the airport. This trolley sleeve also doubles up as an extra protective layer that stops the gear inside the bag banging against you when walking. 

 

StreetLine SH 180
 

Zips feel robust yet smooth to operate and seal well to stop moisture getting inside the bag on days you happen to find yourself in a rain shower. Also, as mentioned, the StreetLine SH 180 is constructed from moisture-repelling material, however we'd avoid getting it soaking wet. 

The StreetLine SH 180 feels well-built and the colour of the bag makes it rather trendy as well as practical. It's constructed from 600D Oxford poly / cotton and features a tarpaulin base that's robust and wipeable should it become dirty. Although, there's no feet on the bag which would further protect it from wear. Zips are finished with leather trims and the woven tech-fabric used as well as the bronze lining give the bags in the StreetLine range a premium feel. 

 

1/40 sec | f/2.8 | 10.4 mm | ISO 160
 

The FlexPockets are a really nice touch and because of how they work, you're actually getting two bags in one: camera bag and day bag. Even with the FlextPockets in use, the SH 180 is super-roomy and it's actually surprising how much gear you can get in this slim, urban-style messenger bag. There's plenty of room for a camera and lens in the two FlexPockets, plus other accessories can be fitted around these pockets in the main compartment, too (depending on the size of the camera and lens you're carrying in the FlexPockets). You don't have to worry about kit banging around either as the FlexPockets in this bag offer a secure and snug home for your equipment. You'll also have room for a 13" laptop, tablet and other accessories such as keys, pens, notebooks and travel documents. In fact, these can be stored in the quick front-access pocket that's found on the front of the bag under the flap leaving more room in the main compartment for gear and other personal items. There's also a strap with a keyring on it which is a nice touch. 

 

StreetLine SH 180
 

Value For Money

The StreetLine SH 180 is available for £132 in Charcoal Grey which when compared to the price of other shoulder bags we've reviewed, is actually about right. The Vanguard UP-RISE II 38, for example, is available for around £119 while the Vanguard Vojo 28 can be picked up for around £100, although the finish doesn't look as good as it does on the StreetLine. The Interceptor Messenger Bag comes in at under £30 for the medium version and it's waterproof. Although, its overall design isn't as pleasing to look at as the Streetline from Lowepro. 

 

StreetLine SH 180 Messenger Bag Verdict

Overall, the StreetLine SH 180 is an ideal bag for the photographer who's looking for style as well as practicality. Gear's easy to access while still being secure, plus there's ample space for kit, as well as personal belongings. On days you're not carrying photography equipment, the FlexPockets can be folded away which is a great feature as it gives you even more room for items. The bag is slim and compact while still being robust and finished to a high standard. Plus, the two bags in one concept makes it even better value for money. 

Lowepro has always been well known for creating good quality camera bags and this theme has certainly continued with the StreetLine SH 180 and as a result, we're more than happy to highly recommend it.

StreetLine SH 180 Messenger Bag Pros

Versatile 
Comfortable 
FlexPockets
Premium finish 

StreetLine SH 180 Messenger Bag Cons

No rubber feet on bottom to protect from wear
 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

 

The StreetLine SH 180 is stylish yet practical and the FlexPocket design makes it perfect for photography as well as everyday use.

 

Lowepro StreetLine SH 180 Specifications

ManufacturerLowepro
Bag type
StyleShoulder Bag
MaterialPolyester
Dimensions
Weight800g
Width416mm
Height135mm
Depth353mm

View Full Product Details

 

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