Bag Review: Think Tank Street Sweeper

July 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The bag that can hold a ton of sh*t

Ever since I started photography a decade and a half ago, I've been always on the hunt for the perfect bag to haul all my stuff around and just like how my gear evolves over time, my requirements for the perfect do-everything bag changes as well. I started with one those ugly obviously-a-camera-bag boxy shoulder bags during for my Nikon D70s era. I upgraded to a what I thought was cool, a Think Tank Sling-o-matic 30, when I had my D7000, Tokina 11-16, 17-55 and 70-200 VR 1 combo and now that I have a Canon 5DmkIII and a random collection of lenses, I wanted a bag that can carry ALL of that plus my laptop so I ended up looking like a Ninja Turtle with a Crumpler Karachi Outpost. I never really liked how awkward it looked but hey, it carried everything plus a mini bottle of Jameson. 

So one day, I was hanging out Alex Wong of Emotive Image talking about the previous night's drunken shenanigans when he pulled out a Think Tank Shapeshifter. And like a circus clown car, proceeded to unload a hilarious amount of gear out of a relatively small looking amount of physical space. What I thought was black magic was actually the clever design of the bag; instead of storing gear upright in partitioned slots, you put them in pouches. "But that doesn't make any sense?" you might ask, so I took some snapshots of my fully loaded shapeshifter and one with it emptied it out.

 

Hey, it looks like a normal backpack loaded with heavy overpriced textbooks! That's the beauty of this thing because no one wants to steal a backpack full of heavy overpriced textbooks.

 

 

Now lets open it up:

Looks pretty normal and uninteresting that anyone passing by you while you have your bag open and laid wouldn't look twice to what looks like an overprepared camping trip.

 

But then take out the lenses and all of the sudden you realize there's still a little bit of storage space left for a mini Jameson bottle next to the 50mm f/1.2.

 

And once you have all that gear pulled out, you can collapse it into an even thinner backpack:

 

And here's what I've manage to fit in this bag:

 

  • Canon 5DmkIII gripped and L-plated
  • 16-35mm II
  • 24-70mm
  • 70-200mm II
  • 35 f/1.4 art
  • 50mm f/1.2
  • 2x 600EX-RT
  • 15" MacBook Pro retina
  • MacBook Charger
  • Magic Mouse
  • 2tb external HD
  • memory card case
  • Filter pouch
  • 5x LP-E6
  • LP-E6 charger
  • 2x Sharpies
  • lens cloth
  • safety vest

 

Likes

  • Does not look like a camera bag, which is a plus if you're travelling or want to be stealthy
  • Looks physically smaller compared to bags that hold the same amount of gear
  • Hold a ton of stuff and still look discreet. Fully loaded, it looks like a school bag full of Calculus books. No one wants to steal calculus books
  • Awesome back support and shoulder straps. Feels better than the padding on the Crumpler Karachi Outpost and that bag felt great lugging around heavy gear while hiking
  • Compartments and pockets everywhere. You can easily store a whole bunch of small things in here like USB cables, headphones, portable hard drives, batteries, etc.
  • Collapses down into a thin laptop backpack
  • Think Tank build and quality

 

Dislikes

  • Very light amount of padding. I wouldn't feel comfortable leaning on a wall or chair with this bag on. Also, this makes the bag collapses on itself (which is part of the design)
  • Compartments and pockets everywhere. You can easily lose small things in here like USB cables, headphones, portable hard drives, batteries, etc.

 

 


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