The holiday season is upon us and one thing that every photographer needs (yourself included) is a solid camera bag. One that will withstand the abuse of daily life, be comfortable to carry when loaded with equipment, and most importantly, one that is stylish, yet understated and discreet to keep your gear safe while traveling. Our regular readers know that we are fans of Think Tank Photo’s products as they are quite often the best option in their respective categories. To make things even better they are offering free shipping on orders from now until December 31st, and on top of this, when you order through us, anything over $50 is going to get you a freebie from Think Tank as well.
Definitely take some time to browse through their extensive product list here, but in the meantime these are some of my recommendations from some of their various categories of products.
Think tank produces 5 different types of shoulder bags, with numerous options in each type. You can see the main types here. The following are some of my suggestions based on my personal experience with them, but it should be known that all Think Tank products are of exceptional manufacturing quality, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
My first recommendation goes to the Retrospective line, I personally have the 10 and the 7, but you have a plethora of choices in sizes depending on how much gear you want to carry in the bag. I really like the 10 particularly because you can easily fit a pro-sized DSLR with a lens mounted, and another 2 larger sized lenses. As with most Think Tank bags you can very easily reconfigure the inserts to accommodate whatever gear you’d like to carry. The 7 is very similar in size, but there are a couple major differences. It is not really easy to carry pro-sized body in the 7, and it has a built in pocket for an iPad or 11″ Macbook Air (or equivalent notebooks / tablets).
So my top two are:
The Retrospective 10 – Available in Black / Slate Blue / Pinestone – $157.75
The Retrospective 7 – Available in Black / Slate Blue / Pinestone – $154.75
You can see all the Retrospective Bags here
Next up we have the brand new CityWalker bags which JUST became available for purchase. I have had my own for a few weeks now and I am really appreciating the subtle differences between this bag and the Retrospective series. I am using the 20 personally, and I think it is going to be the most useful size of the three. While the physical shape of the bag is awfully similar to the Retrospective line the three major differences are that there is an internal iPad sleeve, the equipment section is a quickly removable “bucket” which converts the bag into a regular messenger bag, and the material is a very soft and pliable type of nylon over thick canvas which makes it lighter.
My choice is the CityWalker 20 – Available in Black or Black w/ Blue accents – $139.75
The rest of the CityWalker line can be viewed here.
Think Tank makes multiple types of backpacks as well, based entirely on what you need to carry, and how you need to carry it. My personal favorite is the Shape Shifter because it is relatively thin when loaded, and can be compressed to be super thin when unloaded. It is mainly a transport bag (meaning you’re going to unload your gear when you arrive and just start shooting, vs working out of the bag) and this does put some people off because you can’t leave a lens attached to your camera inside of the bag. I find it to be a great bag for travel as well as I can bring along my laptop quite easily. It will easily carry 2 Pro-Sized DSLRS (think Canon 1Dx or Nikon D4 size) and 3 pro-size lenses, or 1 body and 4 lenses. Other than the shape shifter their most popular bag has to be the Streetwalker series which are fairly slim and have three separate sizes to choose from. Lastly there is also the Glass Taxi line, and the new Glass Limo, which is designed for BIG glass (think 400-600mm lenses) but they can also be reconfigured to carry a ton of “regular” sized lenses as well.
Shape Shifter – Black – $249.75
Streetwalker Pro – Black – $189.75
See all of the backpack lines here.
Rolling bags are the back-savers of the camera bag world and I absolutely, positively love mine. I went with the Airport International V2.0 a while back as I felt it was the best compromise between portability and storage capacity. Think Tank offers many different sizes ranging from the very small Airport Navigator, up to the enormous Logistics Manager. You can browse through all the of the sizes here.
As I mentioned I chose the Airport International V2.0 because it meets both International and Domestic flight restrictions (as long as you are conscious of the weight limits on your specific flight). With a bag like this you are able to carry multiple camera bodies and lenses, or lighting, or heck just about anything you like. They are supremely well constructed and roll very easily thanks to the roller-blade type wheels and smooth rolling bearings.
Airport International V2.0 – Black – $369.75
Another choice worth considering is the Airport TakeOff which is both a rolling bag and backpack in one. It is quite capable of holding a good deal of gear and can be easily carried on your bag when needed.
Airport Takeoff – Black – $349.75
Sometimes it’s the little things that are the most helpful, and Think Tank has definitely considered those details in designing these accessories. From memory card wallets to cable organizers to battery holders, they have considered those little pieces that disappear into the bottomless pits of our various bags and came up with ways to keep them organized.
Some of my favorites are:
The Pixel Pocket Rocket memory card wallet – $18.75
The DSLR Battery Holder 4 – $16.50
The AA Battery Holder – $9.50
and The Cable Management 20 – $21.75
There are plenty more options as well, but these are just some of the ones I have found most useful for organizing the little bits. Thanks for taking the time to look through this list, I hope it helps you out with some gift ideas (even if the gift is for yourself!), and a very happy holidays to you all!
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