When I wander with my camera I am usually very happy with my f-stop backpack but as I walk near home during this very snowy and slippery winter I've felt the need for something smaller. Somehow shrugging out of a backpack when I'm wearing layers and layers to promote warm walking isn't as quick (or natural) a movement as it is in warmer times, and the size of a full pack isn't really warranted when I am only carrying a camera and single lens.
Knowing that I'm not happy with weight hanging from a single shoulder and thinking that even a sling bag wouldn't be ideal I started looking for something else. I love that the belt on my backpack pulls much of the weight into my hips; that led me to explore the availability of belt packs.
I found (and ordered) a Lowepro Inverse 200 AW.
A word of warning: this pack sells on the Lowepro site for almost twice the price of the same pack on sites like Amazon and B&H Photo. I'd recommend buying this from a site other then the manufacturer's.There are two sizes available, the Lowepro Inverse 100 AW, and the Inverse 200 AW. While I was leaning toward the smaller of the two I'm glad I listened to the little voice in the back of my mind telling me it would be too small. The Inverse 200 AW fits my Canon 7D with lens attached with no problem.
I have to admit that I was concerned about having the weight of a dSLR strapped around my waist. I ordered it anyway and now that I've had a chance to use it I'm happy that I did.
The magic of this bag is the combination of a wide and very padded belt with compression straps that pull the contents in closer to the belt. This makes it quite comfortable to wear, easily absorbing the weight of the camera. The main compartment opens easily with a single pull of a strap on the top, and the bag also has an integrated rain cover.
The addition of the Lowepro Inverse 200 AW to my camera carrying bags gives me another option for simpler wanders. It's always good to have a carrying choice that matches my selected activity level.