The Retrospective 50 Duffel is an interesting bag, seeing as Thinktank says they’re on the lookout for photographers.
We love camera bags here at The Phoblographer. In fact, we have one of the largest camera bag review sections out there. So, it’s easy to say that we usually get very excited about new camera bag announcements. Still, an email that arrived at our virtual doorstep this morning stumped us. Think Tank has made some solid camera bags in the past. They pride themselves on studying how photographers work and developing inventive new carrying solutions to meet their needs. The Retrospective 50 duffel, though, has members of the team here scratching their heads. We’ll take a closer look at the bag after the break.
The Retrospective 50 Duffel Specs
- Durable water-repellant (DWR) coating
- Sand-washed 100% cotton canvas
- YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) zippers
- Antique plated metal hardware
- Ribbed nylon webbing
- Full-grain Dakota leather
- 3-ply bonded nylon thread
- 21.5” W x 13” D (54.7 x 33 cm)
- Capacity: 50 Liters
- Weight: 2.9 lbs. (1.3 kg) including all accessories
Overall, from the specs, it’s a great sounding bag. I will say this off the bat about the new Think Tank Retrospective 50 Duffel bag: Think Tank does not claim that this is a camera bag. (At least none of the marketing I have seen calls is a camera bag.) I’ll also say that I actually like the way it looks as far as duffel bags go. I love the color scheme. I like the overall styling, the fixtures, and the fact that it is bad-weather friendly. The Retrospective 50 Duffel is even reasonably priced at $149.75. Still, I’m not sure how this bag fits in with their current lineup, which is targeted directly at photographers.
Who’s It For?
This is a tough question, really. It’s definitely not for photographers. In fact, it’s an anti-camera bag. If you’re looking for an actual camera bag, you’d be better off looking at the other bags in the retrospective lineup. You can even look at duffel options from WANDRD, Shimoda, and others. Apart from an outer zipper (pictured above) that shows you can store an external hard drive, among other things, the Retrospective 50 Duffel has no place in a photographer’s collection. This is most definitely a bag for those who want a lifestyle bag that will match an existing Retrospective backpack or messenger bag. Still, I suppose you could use it to carry lighting gear. However, this bag is more about everyday life than a day in a photographer’s life.
So, in summary. For us, this is an odd bag to have been released by Think Tank. They have exclusively made solid camera bags up until this point. The Retrospective 50 duffel is a major outlier here. It looks like a nice bag, don’t get us wrong. Still, we’re not sure why photographers or creators would reach out for this bag. Unless you have a sand-washed Retrospective camera bag and you want an identical set, we just don’t see it. The new Think Tank Retrospective 50 duffel is available now from Amazon for $149.75.