Review: Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 10

Sub-Urban-Disguise-10-5

Think Tank just recently launched a new line of bags called the Sub Urban Disguise which is designed to be a very small option for carrying either mirrorless / compact systems or a regular sized DSLR with 1-2 lenses. I’ve had the bag for a few weeks now, and I feel that I understand it well enough to share my thoughts. Head on past the break for my review of  the Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 10.

Pros and Cons

Pros

– Lightweight

– Very small dimensions for what it actually can carry

– Despite lower price, construction is still up to Think Tank’s usual standard of excellence

Cons

– Strap is too short for tall folks (like me) to wear across the chest

– Padding is stiff and entirely not removable

– Zipper top enclosure takes a little getting used to (a pseudo-negative)

Tech Specs

Copied from Think Tank’s Product Page

Exterior Dimensions: 10.5” x 8.5” x 7” (26.7 x 21.6 x 17.8 cm)  (W x H x D)
Interior Dimensions: 8.8” x 7.4” x 5” (22.4 x 18.8 x 12.7 cm) (W x H x D)
Maximum Weight (with all accessories): 1.4lb (0.6kg)
Minimum Weight: 1.2lb (0.5kg)

Main Features

  • Flip-top lid folds away from your body providing quick and unencumbered access to gear
  • High quality materials, extra pockets, premium metal clips and hardware, YKK zippers
  • Clean styling does not look like traditional camera bag
  • Holds a standard-size DSLR with 2 – 3 small telephotos or primes. 24 – 70 f/2.8 detached
  • Great for Strobists! Fits 3 pro-size flashes with room for radio triggers/receivers

Ergonomics

TTSUD10_Front

The Sub Urban Disguise 10 is a nicely constructed bag which is up to Think Tank’s usual high standards. It is a small bag overall and zips up nice and tight.

TTSUD10_Side

On either side of the bag there are slim mesh pouches which you could use to store smaller items . They are pretty snug so you can’t really fit bulky items in there.

TTSUD10 Rear

Just like the sides of the bag, the rear has a slim pouch where you can fit papers, tickets, passports, or other small items.

TTSUD10

The strap is connected by a nice sturdy metal ring despite how thin the strap actually is.

TTSUD10

The shoulder pad is pretty thin and not heavily padded, but for a bag this light I don’t think that is going to be a problem.

TTSUD10

In the front flap there is an organizer pocket hidden behind a zipper, this can be useful for business cards, pens, memory cards or other items.

TTSUD10

Underneath the front flap is another expandable pocket which also contains the included rain cover. Yes, even these little and relatively inexpensive bags still include the rain covers!

TTSUD10

The main compartment is closed by a zipper which runs along the top. This keeps the entire bag sealed up but is not as quick to access as a typical bag with a velcro closure.

TTSUD10

Once you open the main compartment there is another velcro pouch which is perfect for batteries or other similarly sized items.

TTSUD10

Inside the main compartment there is enough space realistically for a camera body and a lens or two. This entirely depends on how large the lenses are. With this setup you can see my 5DmkII with a 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens attached. To the side underneath the memory card wallet, is my 20mm f/2.8 which you can see in the image below.

TTSUD10

You can see there is still plenty of room  for a decently sized lens depending on how you configure the dividers.

Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 10

Additionally, the bag can be configured to be a pretty handy for carrying a small audio recording setup if that’s your thing.

Build Quality

Think Tank knows how to make quality products. There’s no question about that and this little bag is no exception. It seems to be just as well constructed as their other bags, and I’ve been dragging this around with me daily. Even with all of that, there are no rips, tears, scuffs or signs of use on this little guy, though there is a little mud (whoops!). I appreciate the level of quality that Think Tank puts into even their least expensive products. To me it just speaks volumes about the kind of company they are. I’m confident that this bag will hold up just as well as every other product I have used from them.

Ease of Use

My hopes for this bag were to use it for street photography, or the days when I want to carry an absolutely minimal kit. I think this is still a feasible idea but my two issues mentioned in my First Impressions are kind of keeping this bag from being just about perfect for this purpose. With such a rigid structure, you are getting good protection for your gear, but ultimately it means you have an awkward cube bouncing along your side. Additionally, and this likely won’t apply to everyone, but because of the strap length, I can’t really wear this bag across my chest like I would normally do with a shoulder bag. Every other Think Tank shoulder bag I have used has had a much longer strap which meant I could wear it comfortably. Instead, it rides at the middle of my torso which is really awkward and it gets in the way while shooting, so I have to resort to having it hang off one shoulder.

I realize this sounds like I’m kind of bashing the bag, but all is not lost! I have indeed found a great use for the bag, and if you’re a HDSLR shooter you may want to listen up.

The SUD10 is a great small audio kit bag, able to easily carry my Tascam DR-100mkII along with full-size headphones, cables, and other accessories. Or, instead of having the headphones in the bag, you can fit a lavalier mic setup with XLR cables if you shoot wired like me, or a body pack and transmitter if you’ve got the cash for a wireless system. I think this is potentially a perfect purpose for this little bag, because suddenly the main weakness I didn’t like (the rigid structure) becomes a valued feature. The stiffer padding helps protect your audio gear, which can often be fragile equipment to tote around. It’s worth considering if you want to carry a small audio kit for location recording or if you are running audio for someone on a low-budget shoot.

Conclusions

As I mentioned earlier, I was interested in having a small shoulder bag which could carry a couple lenses on the days I just want to carry my camera on my shoulder and a lens or two in the bag. The size is just right for this purpose, but I had some concerns with the design choices of the bag. I still think the bag has value for carrying a small kit, particularly if you don’t mind a little extra padding for your gear. It’s excellent for carrying audio gear like I mentioned.

Overall I think it’s a neat little bag for carrying a light load. It’s well made and has all of the typical Think Tank features we have come to love. It may not have been ideal for the purpose I had in mind originally, but I still find it to be quite useful for my purposes. The SUD10 is part of a series of 4 bags (5/10/20/30) which are all designed for small kits and only vary in size and carrying capacity.

The Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 10 is priced at $64.75 and you can pick one up here.

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