Well I've just returned from 5 weeks of traveling with all my gear so I thought it might be useful to give a short review of my bag and strap that got everything where I needed to get it! We traveled from Melbourne to Thailand, then England where I spent 5 days walking around London, and a further 3 weeks driving all over England and Scotland. Then returned the car, went by the Eurostar train and spent a few days in Paris and back to London to fly to Thailand where we spent a few days and finally home. So the gear got a good test in a variety of situations. Many places I went had warnings of pickpockets and the like so security was also important.
My Lowepro Fastpack 350 housed my gear:
70-200mm F2.8L IS with hood
24-105mm F4L IS with hood
Canon HD Camcorder
6 camera batteries and plenty of AA's
Memory cards, filters, cables
And still had room for a drink on the side, and munchies, book, wallet etc in the top section.
The back section could have taken a laptop, but we decided to put that in a separate bag and carry our passports and travel documents here instead as it was very secure.
The bag all up weighed around 10kg depending on munchies! I found it very easy to carry for long periods of time, and made the comment to my wife that it was like having my turtle shell on as it fit so nicely. The waist and chest straps added to the comfort and made the bag fit me well. The waist strap could also be used to sling a jacket over to free up your hands as well. I found that I could easily wear the bag and have my R-Strap on as well to carry the camera.
Access was good in that I could keep it on my back and my wife could access the side pocket to get lenses in and out etc with minimal effort. I could also swing it around in front of me and get them myself if need be.
Security was also good as you can house the zips underneath the big flap at the back so for someone to get in, they would have to undo the two clips to even see the zips and then zip it open. That would have proved difficult to do all that without me noticing. There are also little tabs on the zips that mean you can put a small padlock on them if you feel the need. On the top section and laptop pocket I did just that just to make it harder for anyone should they try and get in.
Wearing it in crowded areas and flying with the bag was no problem, it was small enough to sit nicely on my back and I didn't feel I was wiping people out when I turned around. It fit nicely in overhead plane lockers and it's configuration meant that I could easily access the top section for munchies and my book etc and my camera gear was securely packed in the bottom.
The camera compartment was very customisable and I found it help my equipment very nicely. Camcorder and flash fit nicely sideways, 24-105 and 10-22 fit in their own spots and the 7D and 70-200 connected along with R-Strap still connected fit easily yet snugly into the centre area. This was handy because you can whip it out all in one go without fear of the other lenses falling out and be ready to shoot in no time. Filters and spare batteries etc fit nicely in the flat pocket on the front and covered by the flap for some security and weather proofing.
My only complaint was that to store my camera in the bag I would have it on the 70-200 lens but my most used lens while on the trip was the 24-105 so I tended to have it connected and out of the bag a lot. It would have been nice to be able to just slip that set into the bag easily without having to disconnect. Minor inconvenience really and I'm not sure how easy it would be to have a bag that could accommodate both situations.
The shoulder and back padding on the bag was a concern to me before the trip as it isn't has big and soft as other non-photography bags I have used, but after using it, it really isn't an issue. I would however like a better handle on the top of the bag if you are carrying it as a bag not on your back. It is sturdy enough but could be wider and offer more comfort. Adjustment of all the straps was very good and made the bag very comfortable even carrying for a full day of city walking.
Overall I would rate a 9/10.
Hopefully people find this review useful. Please feel free to add comments or ask questions. Finding a bag you like is difficult because it isn't really till you use it for a while that you find out what works for you.