Remarkable options for transporting your camera gear.

A few years ago, I started actively using a DSLR as my ‘main’ camera option. I still use my iPhone’s camera for a lot of smaller photography jobs, but when it comes to major projects, I turn to my Canon. Here are MacSources we use Canon DSLRs for both our video and still photography needs. We have a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Canon 70D. I typically use the 70D while Nick shoots with the 5D Mark IV. It’s a good way to maintain excellent coverage no matter what the situation calls for.

The problem we are constantly fighting is how to transport our gear. We have tested out several different camera bag options in the past year — backpack style, rolling bags, messenger style, and even sling — but have yet to really find “the one” that will work for both of our needs. I tend to prefer a bag that is more compact while Nick likes to have one bag to rule them all so that he can pack all his essentials into it. After some discussion, we decided to look at the Think Tank StreetWalker series of bags because they have a wide variety of styles to suit individual gear needs.

Think Tank Photo Streetwalker REVIEW

For this review we are going to focus on two bags — the StreetWalker Backpack v2.0 and the StreetWalker Rolling Backpack v2.0. The ‘2.0’ is an important distinction because there is also a StreetWalker, StreetWalker HardDrive, and StreetWalker Pro. I will first talk about the main features that both bags share, list what items each bag can hold, and then I’ll summarize our opinion of the bags.

Main Features
The two bags are both built on the Legendary durability and award-winning comfort of the StreetWalker series. The bag is constructed with premium materials including water-repellant (DWR), polyurethane coating, 1680D ballastic nylon, YKK RC Fuse abrasion-resistant zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 550D polyester, 320G air mesh, ultra stretch pockets, Y-buckles, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread. The bags can withstand most daily use cases and a lot of weathered environments. The interior is designed so that you can take your gear with you anywhere safely. Like many camera cases there are Velcro-ed dividers that allow you to adjust them as needed to fit the different sizes of your gear. There is closed cell foam & PE board reinforced dividers. Each bag also has laminated clear mesh pockets for smaller accessories and a 2x polyurethane coated nylon 210T seam-sealed rain cover.

Think Tank Photo Streetwalker REVIEW

When you look at the two bags side-by-side, you can easily see the difference in their sizes. The reason for this is pretty clear — one can hold a laptop, while the other can’t. The Rolling Backpack is designed to hold up to a 15-inch laptop (slim style) in an interior pouch and the Backpack only has a pocket for a 10-inch tablet (on the outside). The dimensions of each bag are as follows:

ROLLING BACKPACK: 12.6” W x 21.9” H x 9” D
BACKPACK: 9.8” W x 17.3” H x 7.1” D

Another big difference between the two bags is their weights. The Rolling Backpack is 8.2 pounds and the Backpack is only 3.3 pounds. The almost 5 pounds difference between the two really makes a big impact when you are on a shoot. I believe the main reason for this is the addition of the wheels and handle on the Rolling Backpack. It’s an added mechanism that the Backpack does not have. There are also more materials used to make the Rolling Backpack because of its size.

Think Tank Photo Streetwalker REVIEW

What Can It Hold
To me, this is probably the most important thing to look at when you are researching camera bags. If you have specific needs, you want to see what the bag can hold. One thing to remember, especially with the StreetWalker series, is that the interior can be configured, almost customized, how you need it. The entire liner of these bags are Velcro-ed dividers and you can move them at will. Think Tank actually uses a strong, but flexible Velcro that will pull apart a lot easier than some other camera bags. While Think Tank analyzes there bags for what it can hold, this doesn’t mean that this is all they can hold.

StreetWalker Rolling Backpack StreetWalker Backpack
  • Holds 1 gripped DSLR, 1 standard DSLR, 5–7 standard zoom lenses and a 15” laptop
  • Holds 1 gripped DSLR, 5–7 standard zoom lenses, a flash, and a 15” laptop
  • Maximum lens size: 200–400mm f/4
  • Holds 1 standard DSLR, 1 gripped DSLR, 3–4 standard zoom lenses, and a 10” tablet
  • Holds 1 standard DSLR, 4–5 standard zoom lenses, and a 10” tablet
  • Holds 2 large mirrorless cameras, 4–5 lenses, a flash and a 10” tablet
  • Maximum lens size: 300mm f/2.8

Think Tank Photo Streetwalker REVIEW

I’ve been very impressed with the designs of both of these bags. The Backpack is really more my style though. It’s compact and lightweight nature suit me well and I can easily carry the 70D and some accessories in it. For me, it’s a big step up because I’ve been using a consumer-grade camera backpack. It’s been a good little bag and has kept my camera safe, but I’ve been due for a upgrade for a while. I really like how the Backpack feels when I wear it. The straps are solid and it’s contoured to fit a person’s back really well. I loaded it up and walked around a bit to see how it would feel to transport the gear. It was very easy to carry. This is a really big selling point for me. I do wish that the Backpack had a laptop pouch on the inside. The tablet pouch is a nice touch, but with it being incorporated in the back panel, it is a tight fit and not very easy to use. A laptop, or at least a tablet, pouch on the inside like the Rolling Backpack, would make all the difference for me.

Think Tank Photo Streetwalker REVIEW

The Rolling Backpack is a really great example of this style of camera bag. I’ve tried out other rolling backpacks, but they have a few design flaws. One BIG thing I love about this bag is that it came with the backpack straps tucked away. I recently looked at the Pro Runner RL x450 AW II from LowePro and while it’s a very nicely made bag, it’s backpack straps are a little difficult to pack away so that you can use the rolling part without any trouble. This bag is a rolling bag first and a backpack second and that’s how it was designed. I feel like some rolling backpacks sort of have an identity crisis because they are trying to be both styles at one time.

The feature that is a real stand out to me is the flexible interior dividers. They are SO easy to work with and in other bags, this can be a real frustration. When I was packing these bags up, I was able to pull the dividers out and replace them in just a few seconds. Some times you fumble with the Velcro dividers for minutes at a time. Think Tank designed this element really, really well.

Think Tank Photo Streetwalker REVIEW

If you are looking for a solid camera bag, you can’t go wrong with either of these options from Think Tank. The company knows what they are doing when they are designing bags and what it comes down to is what your particular needs are. For me, I like the Backpack, but I have to admit that if I was going to be transporting gear for a job that required a lot of walking, I’d probably choose the Rolling Backpack. The StreetWalker bags definitely make my list of top recommendations for camera bags.

For more information, visit StreetWalker Rolling Backpack v2.0 or StreetWalker Backpack v2.0.
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