Ease of Use, Performance: 4/5
Look & Feel: 5/5
How much I enjoy: 5/5
Recommendation: 5/5 Stars
The Lowepro Urban Reporter series of messenger bags is a set of camera bags designed around photographers needs to carry both camera gear and other essentials. The Urban Reporter line of bags come in three sizes with each more roomier but essentially the same.
The Urban Reporter 250 can fit a 13 inch laptop and is 16.3 inches wide, 6.9 inches deep and 11.2 inches high with a removable inner case. The inner removable case has a top flap and is padded with movable Velcro dividers but does not have a carry handle.
The messenger bag without the padded case would be great for text books or as a day bag with enough room for a change of clothes. The padded case can hold a DSLR camera with a regular or long lens and a flash with a couple extra lenses with plenty of room for gear.
While not a large bag the case does have room for plenty but I also found out the narrow width of the messenger bag does cramp my DSLR when I have a battery grip attached. My Canon DSLR has a battery grip that increases the cameras height by a couple inches which does make it too wide to fit in the Lowepro Urban Reporter while attached.
While using the messenger bag it was easy enough to remove the grip when storing the camera and the case had plenty of room for the camera body and the grip with a lens and more. I fit the camera with lens, two lenses and a large flash along with the battery grip in the case while reviewing the bag easily.
The Urban Reporter 250 has a carry strap with a removable pad but the main flap has two snap closures that are a bit of a surprise in this age of quick release buckles. The flap closes just fine and the snaps do keep it secure while the angled edge where the flap connects to the body keeps gear inside the bag.
The side pockets have a snap closure while each side pocket also has a mesh divider for keeping things secure inside like water bottles when you want to use the pocket open to hold something tall. The front zippered pocket has a smaller zippered pocket on the front flap and another on the back with two pockets without a zipper and a business card pocket.
Inside the main compartment the tablet or laptop pocket is padded and has a soft velour like material to prevent scratches and keep your laptop in great condition. The carry handle that is on the top of the bag is adjustable which is a nice feature that Lowepro includes on several of their bags.
The Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 is a great camera bag with the one exception that it is not wide enough for a camera with a battery grip in place. The Urban Reporters width is only 6.9 inches but with the padding this equates to about four inches which is the width of the dividers.
The dividers inside the case are four inches wide while DSLR cameras are usually about this width when measured from top to bottom without a grip. This is not much of a problem and only requires removing a grip if you commonly use one to fit the DSLR in the bag easily.
The materials and stitching are all high quality and the bag does come with a unique feature in a loop made from the back pocket that fits over a handle for roll around luggage. This loop is created from the rear pocket that has a zipper on the bottom instead of the top to create either a pocket or a loop to hold the bag on a roll around.
I have been using the Urban Reporter for a few weeks for meetings where I have been taking pictures as well as carrying a couple tablets and other gear. The Urban Reporter makes a great laptop bag for smaller laptops as well as a general messenger bag to carry stuff to meetings and other events.
The bag looks to be a good one for a wide variety of uses as well as tough enough to withstand years of use so I highly doubt this will be needing any repairs anytime soon. The Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 is a tough and good looking messenger bag designed with the photographer in mind.
I highly recommend the Lower Urban Reporter as a durable and versatile messenger bag in three sizes to fit your needs both in photography and gear.
Removable inner case, adjustable carry handle
Padded laptop/tablet compartment
Plenty of room for gear
No rain cover
Not wide enough for DSLR w/ Battery grip installed