I have the lens stored vertically when it's opened and only open the flap to the bend (half way) That way it is a top loader. This method only works if you're not trying to fill it up... I only have the camera with mounted lens, one other lens and a flashgun. If I'm going for a stroll I'll put a small bottle of water in as well. Batteries and other junk go in the front pocket and I usually have a camcorder in the top compartment.