LowePro Ridgeline Pro BP 300 AW long-term review

I’m a bit of a backpack aficionado – not that I own many, but I much prefer them over other types of bags, and always do quite a bit of research before buying one. I couple of years ago, I bought a LowePro Ridgeline Pro BP 300 AW as backpack for my commute.


The backpack has three main compartments. The one closest to the wearer’s back has suspended sleeves for a 15″ laptop and a 10″ tablet. My (quite thick) Dell Precision M4800 would not fit into the sleeve, so could not be carried suspended. My thinner HP Omen 15 fits. The second compartment is a general-purpose compartment with only one additional pocket. I use this for my lunch box and water bottle. The third compartment, closest to the front, has organizer pockets and straps, and I also use it for my laptop power supply.

It doesn’t end there: there are two vertical front compartments, above them a hardshell compartment for glasses, and a hidden compartment for e.g. passports. Other features are a mesh pocket for bottles, a loop for a bike light, and straps for attaching karabiners. Both shoulder straps also have loops for sunglasses or other things that can clip onto them. There’s even a strap that lets you attach the backpack to the handles of a wheeled trolley or suitcase. As the AW designation indicates, there’s also an integrated rain cover.


The many compartments mean that it is easy to organize your stuff. The extra sleeve is very useful for tablets or e-readers. The center compartment offers enough space for a larger lunchbox or a couple of A4-sized magazines. Sunglasses are well protected.

The backpack and the zippers are of good quality, I have yet to experience a zipper failure, and there are only a few wear marks on the glasses compartment (I have the blue version, it would probably not be visible on the black one). I have yet to use the rain cover, but it’s good to know it’s there. Wearing comfort is Ok, depending on the weight of the stuff you’re carrying.


My main complaint is the weight – empty weight is around 1.3kg. Add a laptop and a water bottle, and you’re quickly past 5kg. A hip belt could help here, but is absent.The shoulder straps are reasonably well padded, but not the most comfortable ever. The thin handle without padding is a bit of a letdown in this regard, too.

My second complaint is with the flexibility of the bag. Three different compartments help with keeping things organized, but the downside is that there is no single large compartment in which one could fit larger items, such as a pair of shoes. That’s probably the reason why most backpacks these days do not use a separate compartment for the laptop, but have the sleeve inside a larger compartment instead.


If you need the amount of compartments and the (very complete) feature set that this backpack offers, and don’t mind the weight (e.g. because you’re using it with a lightweight laptop) I can recommend it. It is well made and has several smart solutions, and I still like the looks of it. I have however decided to go looking for a different backpack for daily use, one that is lighter and uses a single large compartment. I may however continue to use the LowePro when packing things for vacation, as it easily holds all the electronics that I need there.

I’m not sure whether this backpack is still available – it is listed on LowePro’s website, but difficult to find elsewhere. Another backpack that offers a similar division into three main compartments is VauDe’s PETimir II.

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