Open letter to Lowepro – how about being Made in USA?

30 12 2010

I’m on my fifth LowePro camera bag. It’s the end. No mo Lowepro.

From the Lowepro website:

Lowepro bags have traveled the world on the backs and shoulders of the best photographers on the planet. For over 40 years, we’ve worked to develop the perfect carrying system. We use superior materials and hardware, and enforce high standards for quality workmanship and construction.

I beg to differ. My most recent Lowepro bag purchase was the Orion AW, kind of a backpack hip pack combo. It’s my second one. The first was great. The second not so much. The first AW was stolen along with a Nikon camera and an 70-200 zoom lens.

I liked my Orion AW so much I didn’t hesitate to buy another just like it. I thought it would be just like it. Out of the box a clasp hooking up a shoulder strap failed. When I say failed I mean FAILED – pulled right out of the bag with the shoulder strap attached. Lucky for me it was inside the car and not repelling off of some cliff for a pic of a climber or and eagle. I don’t do those things, repel from a ledge with my hip pack but someone does and the Lowepro website encourages it.

In fairness to Lowepro, I admit I didn’t contact Lowepro to give them the opportunity to address the quality issue or repair the bag. I’m sure they would have replaced or fixed it but I needed to continue to use the bag every day.

Here’s the bigger issue.

Before Lowepro I bought Domke bags. Great straight forward solid camera bags, made of canvas, made in the USA. I wore out a lot of them. That was when I was not that interested in WHERE my camera bag was made. These days I am. I am very sensitive about buying things made in China. Every Lowepro bag I currently have (four of them) are Chinese made.

Maybe that’s why my newest Orion AW bag fell apart because it was made in China. Maybe not. I don’t like what I read almost daily about China and its human rights and its pollution and its unfair trade policies and on and on. In my small way I protest Made in China.

So how about it Lowepro. How about making camera bags even a little more greener than your website touts. How about going back to Made in the USA? Or at least somewhere in this hemisphere.

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7 responses

29 03 2011
Duncan Hill

Just wondering if you found any company who makes camera bags that are not made in China? Are Domke still made in USA?

I also don’t buy “made in China”, have just bought my first DSLR camera, but was surprised to find that Lowepro bags are made there.

I live in the UK, and don’t really mind if made in the Americas or Europe… or even anywhere else in the world, even Taiwan….. just not Red China.

29 03 2011
photosourcewest

Hi Duncan,
I think that Lowepro bags have been made in China for many years even though it’s an American company.
If your market in England is like this one in the US, you will probably find that most of what we buy is made in China. Then the problem is to find alternative goods made elsewhere.
Domke® camera bags, a division of Tiffin®, are made in the USA. They are the only camera bag I found that is not manufactured in China. http://www.tiffen.com/products.html?tablename=domke
I’d like to know if you find other camera bags that are not made in China. Thanks for your comment.
ek

13 09 2012
Chris

Better late than never; May not be the prettiest but Porta Brace has ALWAYS been made in the US! I have used there bags for pro bideo stuff for over 20 years and have not worn out a single one. I now use their DSLR bags and still have no complaints!

13 09 2012
photosourcewest

Thanks Chris.
Porta Brace® Made in Vermont since 1972. http://www.portabrace.com/about

28 09 2012
bob

China is in the same hemisphere as the US.

28 09 2012
photosourcewest

Thanks Bob. I stand corrected.

27 06 2017
Joseph

Cheers for the “even made in Taiwan”, unfortunately even if the folks over there are pride of their MIT (made in Taiwan), many Taiwanese brands products are made across the strait, in China.
Other bags made in the USA:
https://www.duluthpack.com/professional-camera-bag.html
https://topodesigns.com/products/field-bag
– Cub & Company
http://www.copperriverbags.com/
Thinktank bags are made in Vietnam.

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