Not About Fashion
I know I’m not the only one who has been in the field and seen birder’s and wondered “Do I look that much a dork?” Sadly, my answer is always yes. So, let’s dispense with the notion that the Lowepro Field Station is something you’ll wear to attract a suitor. You’ll wear it because it will ultimately help make your birding easier and more enjoyable. I’m glad we got that out of the way. Now, let’s proceed.
In The Field
The first time I wore this waist style field pack out it was at Radnor Lake. Radnor Lake is a local preserve that allows Nashville area outdoor types to do everything from walking to extreme hiking and everything in between. This all in the space of roughly 1200 acres. I had previously sized the pack at home so I wouldn’t have to fool around with it too much when I got there.
Because I found it a little cumbersome to wear it on the front(I have head forward posture problems), I belted it in so it was like a low back pack. It was much more comfortable to me this way. We’ve had 90 plus temps in Nashville for about 3 months so wearing anything against your body is going to cause more sweating. This was definitely the case with me. I’m not saying the pack is unusually warm to wear because it’s not. I’m just reporting on my experience in the field here.
I had brought a field guide, binoculars, water, video camera, cell phone, some snacks, writing tablet, pen, keys and a small refrigerator. OK, I’m kidding about the refrigerator. But you get the idea. I was very pleased at how easy it was to bring this stuff along. I think what made the biggest difference to me was the secondary securing strap that allows you to snug the pack again after you’ve loaded it. So you have it against your waist and this second strap keeps it from tilting from the top. I should also point out the pull out writing area will secure an iPad as easily as a field guide.
The real value of this pack becomes clear when you get positioned to do some serious birding. Then, you can bring the pack around to the front, pull out your guide/iPad/tablet, binoculars and just wait. If you get hungry or thirsty there’s no reason to make grand movements as they are easy to get to and remove. Again, allowing for the reverse fanny pack appearance, I found this pack to be very comfortable, convenient and incredibly capable. It’s looks deceive you. It carries more than it looks like it does. Plus, it has a ton of compartments, most of which zip or fasten in some way. It even has a snap keyring holder. This makes it very unlikely you’re going to be able to mark your trail with dropped equipment. Oh wait, that’s a good thing-LOL!
All in all, I would recommend the Lowepro Field Station to anybody who’s going to be doing birding without high-powered scopes, tripods or elaborate photo equipment. If you can get over how anybody looks carrying a fanny pack looking equipment case, I think you’ll be very happy to have this companion in the field with you for many years to come. Lowepro’s reputation for building quality photographic bags and accessories guarantees that you will.