Home TripsAll Over the World Grant’s New Pack – Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW

Grant’s New Pack – Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW

by Grant
Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW Review

We just got back from our first international trip with our new backpacks and I am excited to share my thoughts on the Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW.

The Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW is outstanding! It easily handles the weight, has room for just about everything I could need and has extremely well thought out features.

Grant's new pack is the Lowepro HighLine BP 400 AW.
Grant’s new pack is the Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW.

(Disclaimer: When we link to places you can buy our stuff or places we stayed, we are using special codes which earn us commissions on the sales at no additional cost to you. Please see our Review Policy  for more information.)

In order to properly review the pack, I am going to go through each of the features. Let’s start at the front:

Front Compartment

The front compartment has ample room to store essentials for the flight. The JumpKit (one of my favorite innovations of the Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW) is stored in this compartment, along with a mesh pouch perfectly sized to hold the toiletry kit. The toiletry kit is a heavy-duty, clear plastic resealable pouch which meets TSA standards for liquids.

The front compartment of the Highline 400 has room for the JumpKit, the Toiletry Kit and additional gear.
The front compartment of the Highline 400 has room for the JumpKit, the Toiletry Kit and additional gear.

Tucked in below the JumpKit is room for my daypack, and, on this trip, my fleece. This makes for very easy access to most of the things I would need while flying: electronics, a daypack for when I arrive, toiletries to freshen up after a long flight and a fleece for a cool Milan morning.

The Lowpro pack comes with some nice accessories: a packing cube, a TSA-style toiletry bag and the JumpKIt.
The Lowpro pack comes with some nice accessories: a packing cube, a TSA-style toiletry bag and the JumpKIt.

Main Compartment

Next, we move on to the main compartment, which is not quite a standard carry-on size but has some nice features, including two zippered mesh pocket.

The pack handled eight days worth of clothes and gear, but was stretched. Five to six days would be a more reasonable load.
The pack handled eight days worth of clothes and gear, but was stretched. Five to six days would be a more reasonable load.

The larger compartment is perfect for my packable raincoat. The second zippered pocket runs along the side and I use it to hold cables, plug adapters and the travel router and cable since I won’t need them while on the move.

The side mesh pocket is perfect for loose cables and adapters. The pack also has clothing straps if you need them.
The side mesh pocket is perfect for loose cables and adapters. The pack also has clothing straps if you need them.

It also has clothing straps, which I don’t use since I use packing cubes. I am able to fit four of the eBags Slim Ultralight Packing Cubes, but only just barely fit them. Do not overload the cubes as the pack will have a hard time closing if you do. I can also fit the camera bag along with a couple of other odds and ends at the top.

Extra Compartments

There is a small, zippered pocket on the front perfectly sized to hold keys and loose change.

The Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW has several well=placed pockets, including this one for keys and loose change.
The Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW has several well=placed pockets, including this one for keys and loose change.

There is another pocket on the very top which is perfectly sized for a glasses case. I use this to hold my glasses, sunglasses and other small items.

The Highline 400 has a really good handle and top pocket, which is great for glasses and sunglasses.
The Highline 400 has a really good handle and top pocket, which is great for glasses and sunglasses.

On the sides, there are two mesh pockets, which easily hold my Kleen Kanteen Water Bottle, mainly due to its slim shape. Underneath one of the pockets is is the pouch for the built-in rain cover, which puts the “All-Weather” in the Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW.

The laptop sleeve easily handled our 13" MacBook Pro and the mesh pockets on the side are perfect for my Kleen Kanteen.
The laptop sleeve easily handled our 13″ MacBook Pro and the mesh pockets on the side are perfect for my Kleen Kanteen.

On one side, there is a laptop slot, which could have easily handled a larger laptop than our 13” MacBook Pro. The laptop slot has a zipper lock.

Construction

It comes with a waist belt and sternum strap. The waist belt is easily tucked away. I cut the sternum strap off pretty quickly. I have never liked sternum straps on non-technical packs.

The straps are nice and wide and provide great padding. There is mesh padding on the back of the pack, which is very comfortable.

Grant wearing a fully-loarded Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW.
Grant wearing a fully-loaded Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW.

The pack is very tough, with Cordura Nylon on the bottom and an almost rubberized material everywhere else. There are two large and conveniently placed carry handles, one on the top one on the side with the laptop slot.

In all, the pack could have stood to be a tad bit bigger, but is so full of outstanding features, I am willing to pack a little less just to use the bag. I can’t find another bag with so many smart features in such a rugged, compact package. It is advertised as a pack for an adventurous weekend, but, with good packing, you can go much longer with this pack.

Packing for Eight Days in Italy with the Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW

Packing for any international trip is a challenge, especially in the spring. The weather is just finicky. Sometimes cold, sometimes hot.

Our gear for the eight day trip to Italy. The gear on the left is Bonnie's and the right is Grant's.
Our gear for the eight-day trip to Italy. The gear on the left is Bonnie’s and the right is Grant’s.

We chaperoned an eight-day trip to Italy for our school, visiting Verona, Venice, Pisa, Florence and Rome. The temperatures for this trip ranged anywhere from the 50s to the upper 70s, presenting a real difficulty in packing and a departure from our normal methods.

Normally, when flying internationally, we only take four to five sets of spare clothes. By doing laundry on the trip and only packing enough to make it those five days, we are able to pack very lightly. Indeed, we typically only carry a carry-on backpack for the entire trip weighing around 20-25 pounds each. Hitting this weight is essential for travel on discount airlines which charge for heavier bags.

For this trip, we were with a tour group. We were unable to do laundry, other than the occasional wash in the sink, forcing us to carry a lot more than we normally do.

That said, the new pack was up to the test. While it was a bit stretched, it managed what I needed for this trip nicely.

Here’s What I Have in My Pack

Clothes

Once everything was placed in it's compartments, all I was left with was my clothes, camera, medicine, water bottle, travel pillow and small towel. the eBags packing cubes made quick work of packing my clothes.
Once everything was placed in its compartments, all I was left with was my clothes, camera, medicine, water bottle, travel pillow and a small towel. the eBags packing cubes made quick work of packing my clothes.

Gear

REI Flash 22 Daypack – I recently picked this up to replace my Flash 18. It is just slightly beefier than the Flash 18, but it has mesh pockets for water bottles and a water bladder sleeve, making it more versatile.

What I Wore on The Plane

In addition, I wore a Columbia Declination Shirt, Columbia Silver Ridge Pants, an Eagle Creek Money Belt, Under Armour Boxer Jocks, Smart Wool Socks and Merrell Moab leather low cut shoes on the plane.

In addition to all of those clothes, I also have a small Cocoon Inflatable Travel Pillow, a MSR Hand Towel, a 27-oz Kleen Kanteen, toiletries and medications. These are basics I carry with me everywhere.

Since we are blogging on this trip, we are also carrying a hefty amount of electronics.

Inside the Main Compartment

In the JumpKit:

The JumpKit allowed me to store gear I would want on the flight in an easy to reach manner.
The JumpKit allowed me to store gear I would want on the flight in an easy to reach manner.

All told, my pack weighs in at about 25 lbs, which is a bit heavy. It was not as heavy as Bonnie’s, which tipped the scales at 30 lbs. I ended up taking the laptop on the flight back to take some of the weight off of her.

Final Thoughts on the Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW

I was really impressed by the pack by the time I got back. The pack is easy to use, comfortable to carry, even when overpacked, and the features of the pack were incredibly well thought out.

I highly recommend this pack.

Traveling overseas on a weeklong trip with the Lowepro Highline BP 400 AW: a rugged and thoughtful travel backpack for anyone with a lot of electronics.
Enjoy this story? Be sure to pin it on Pinterest and share it to Facebook and Twitter!
Share This

You may also like

6 comments

Avatar
Mat April 2, 2019 - 6:43 pm

Dear Grant,
Thanks for this review, it is very useful for me, I just found this model BP 400 AW from Lowepro. I usually travel a lot by plane for work and also for pleasure, that’s why I am an geek man for all travel stuff. Nowadays I use the Eagle Creek Universal Traveler RFID backpack, which is a good product but I am a little doubtful of its durability and its construction quality, in spite of its great features. If you know this Eagle Creek backpack I really appreciate your comments for comparison with the Lowepro BP400AW, because I am really impressed, and It could be a replacement option for my current backpack. Thanks a lot ! and Good trips! Mat!

Reply
Grant
Grant April 3, 2019 - 9:22 am

Mat,

I have not used that particular pack but Eagle Creek makes a really good product. That said, the Eagle Creek pack seems to be more of a laptop bag with extra space rather than a backpack for at least a week. The Lowepro has so many smart features, like the JumpKit and rainfly, that it really exceeds what the Eagle Creek is capable of.

Also, while protecting your gear against RFID interception is important, you can get a wallet that will do the same thing. Even so, most travel security folks will tell you its unnecessary.

Reply
Avatar
Fabiano May 25, 2019 - 2:37 pm

Nice review!
What about the notebook compartment? How big is it? My notebook is 14.5 inches long (it’s not the screen size). Do you think i can fit it in this backpack?

Reply
Grant
Grant May 25, 2019 - 4:11 pm

Thanks Fabiano!

I just pulled out my measuring tape and this bag can accommodate a 15-in wide laptop. You might have to angle it in a little but a 14.5-in wide laptop will slide right in.

Reply
Avatar
Beatrice June 15, 2019 - 7:55 am

Hi Grant
Just read your review and I’m looking forward receiving this bag. The only still unanswered question I’m having, have you ever took som hiking ie trekking pools with you and did you fix them in the bag? Even if not, any idea how it could be done?
Thanks and kind regards from oversea
Beatrice

Reply
Grant
Grant June 16, 2019 - 4:12 pm

Beatrice,

We have not taken any trekking poles with us in the Highline. I would put them on either side inside the pack to add some structure to the pack. Alternately, you could use some velcro straps on the daisy chain on the front panel of the pack. I think three small velcro straps on each daisy chain should secure the poles nicely.

Reply

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Accept Our Policies

Privacy & Cookies Policy