photo courtesy of ThinkTank – who’s stuff really looks this neat?
Aside from my cheap Canon f/1.8 50mm lens, my favorite piece of photo gear is my ThinkTank Urban Disguise 35 camera bag.
The Urban Disguise 35 is amazing because it’s so versatile. I use it as a camera bag, a laptop bag, or both simultaneously when traveling.
This shoulder bag is divided into three main sections:
1) External Flap – this has a big outside pocket that’s great for memory cards, pens, small notepads, things like that. There’s also another pocket below the external flap I often use for an umbrella or thin jacket.
2) Camera Compartment – this is the main section of the bag where you can put a camera body with lens up to 70-200mm attached, and two other items like small to mid-sized lenses and flashes. If you’re clever, you could fit a second body in there. There is also a rain cover inside here (which I extracted for this pic) which you can pull out and wrap around the entire bag, and the UD35 comes with three dividers which you an use to arrange your stuff inside.
3) Computer Compartment – this is the back section of the bag where you can stick your computer. My Macbook fits like a glove, and sometimes I’ll stuff a book in as well.
At first, I thought the UD35 was on the small side. But then I started packing it.
I’ve managed to fit the following in my UD35, all at the same time:
- Apple Macbook w/ 13 inch screen & charger
- Canon Rebel T1i Body with 50mm lens attached
- Canon 18-55mm kit lens
- Canon 430 EX II flash
- Joby Gorillapod
- Memory-card reader
- iPod Touch
Granted, the camera wasn’t quickly accessible – but it’s great for airline travel when you don’t want to check valuable gear in with your luggage. And since the UD35 has a very thick, well-padded strap, it wasn’t too bad a strain on my shoulder. There are also optional accessories to use the UD35 as a backpack.
Quick tip – if you shorten the strap so it rests higher on you, it’s very comfortable.
One thing I really love about the the UD35 is that it’s a very good-looking camera bag that does not look like a camera bag. It’s perfect for incognito street shooters and amateur paparazzi. At first glance it looks like a plain, albeit attractive, black bag. The name Urban Disguise really fits.
And this bag is TOUGH. I’ve used it on a daily basis for 6 months running around NYC in all kinds of weather and it doesn’t have a mark on it even though I’ve never cleaned it. And no matter how much I’ve overloaded it, I’ve never seen even a hint of strain anywhere on the bag – no threads coming loose anywhere or anything like that.
I’ve also been caught in the rain many times with this bag, and the rain cover saved me every time. The bag’s fabric is robust enough to handle light to moderate rain – but you’ll want to use the rain cover if it really starts coming down. It’s kept my gear bone dry every time.
The UD35’s zippers are heavy-duty and inspire a lot of confidence. A cheap zipper is a sign of a cheap product. On the UD35, I have no qualms about picking it up by the zipper when fully loaded – there’s no reason to pick any bag up by the zipper, but the UD35 held together just fine.
The ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise 35 is not a cheap bag at $149.99. But think about this. Odds are you’ve spent a heck of a lot more than $149.99 on photo gear. So why not protect it with a proper bag, especially one that conveniently doubles as a computer bag and works great as an airplane carry-on?
With reasonable care, you’ll get at least 5 years of use out of this bag. And besides, ThinkTank is an honorable company that offers a lifetime warranty to the original owner. If it breaks (fat chance – this thing is TOUGH) send it back and they’ll fix it.
- Interior Dimensions: 10” L x 13.25” H x 4.25 – 6” D (25.5 x 33.5 x 11 – 15 cm)
- Exterior Dimensions: 10.5” L x 13.5” H x 6” D (26.5 x 34.5 x 15 cm)
- Laptop Compartment Dimensions: 10” L x 13.5” H x 1.5” D (25.5 x 33.5 x 4 cm)
- Weight 1 lb 8 oz – 2 lbs 6 oz; 1200 – 1400 grams
- Lifetime Warranty