Photography News Issue 49

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

44

First tests

ThinkTankStreetWalkerProV2.0 £194.99

Long-beloved by working pros, Think Tank’s StreetWalker series is back with an update (or three). There’s the basic V2.0, the Pro V2.0 and the Harddrive V2.0; it’s the middle of the three on test here, but the others use identical materials and vary mainly in capacity. The StreetWalker Pro V2.0 has external dimensions of 25x47x21cm, and a single, large internal compartment of 24x44x19cm. It’s slightly thinner at the top and really quite compact-looking overall. In fact, at first glance, it looked to me too small to be useful – that all changed when I started packing it. The Pro V2.0 can actually fit a lot in. This is partially to do with its depth. At nearly 20cm, you can easily fit a typical pro-DSLR body, or in my case a D810 with a grip attached. It’s a better fit at the bottom due to the extra space there, but works either way. It also means you can stack small lenses if required; handy if not really best practice. The inner has a largemaindivider that’s hinged and made of a thicker material than the small slot-in ones. Its shape allows you to stow bodies with a large lens attached, and in testing I quickly modified it to take a NikonD810with 70-200mmf/2.8; if youmirror the placement, you could fit another large lens-mounted body next to it. The smaller dividers are thin but don’t feel flimsy, and their slimness means more space for gear. They can be moved around simply enough and grip well; for instance, they supported my 24-70mm f/2.8 vertically without movement. The sides of the bag are well padded, doubly so on the bottom, and I couldn’t find any weak spots there.

In testing, I also stowed a 16-35mm f/4; a D800 body; a 105mm f/1.4; a bag of screw-in filters; and a Manfrotto Befree tripod – pretty much all I needed. There’s scope for other kit, too. The dedicated tablet pocket will take a 10in model, and I fitted a cased iPad 2 with a keyboard attachment, though it was a bit of a squeeze. The main flap has inner and outer pockets: inside, there are two – useful for small items; outside, the lower pocket is pleated to allow thicker items; the top pocket is thinner but with plenty of sections. Neither front pocket is padded, so you need to keep breakables in the main compartment. Capacity is aided by two side pockets on each side, one zippable and the other stretchy mesh. The former are also pleated and I managed to squeeze in a lightweight jacket, but couldn’t zip the pocket up. If you want to attach a tripod, it can be added to the main flap using a combination of two (included) straps, the lower front pocket, or a tripod shoe that pulls out from the bottom of the bag (this last feature is for longer models). It all works well, with the straps clipping neatly and securely to well-stitched loops. That they can be removed makes them more likely to be mislaid, but also streamlines the bag. With tripod attached the flap can still be opened, and there’s webbing on the straps, and two D-rings if anything else needs attaching. Fully loaded, I took the bag for a good hike around town to see how comfortable it was. The StreetWalker Pro V2.0 weighs 1.5kg itself, and I had about 8kg packed.

Specs

Material Poly-coated 1680D ballistic nylon outer Tripod holder Yes Sternum strap Yes, adjustable Laptop pocket Yes, 10in Waist belt Yes Zips YKK Dimensions (exterior wxhxd) 25x47x21cm Dimensions (interior wxhxd) 24x44x19cm Weight 1.6kg Contact snapperstuff.com

With that in mind it felt pretty good on the shoulders, thanks to the width and thickness of the padded shoulder straps. Adjusting them with the bag donned was easy, and the sternum strap is adjustable in height which is helpful. Properly fitted, movement was minimal. The contact points of the bag are well padded and breathable, though they might be a little stiff for some. There’s also a stitched lip which meets the lower pad above the bottom of the bag and this felt a bit uncomfortable when I was wearing a t-shirt; switching to a thick jumper helped. It’s also worth noting that, while the bag’s depth is welcome, it does shift your centre of

gravity backwards, something that’s more noticeable when you attach the weight of a tripod. There’s a simple waist belt, but it’s not padded or particularly comfortable (it’s removable, so you can upgrade it to something like the Pro Speed Belt, £35, if required). The bag’s materials used are first- class throughout, from the 1680D water-repellent outer to the closed- cell PU foam dividers in the main compartment. The YKK-branded zips are high-quality, with a good, smooth pull and a lockable clasp. There’s also a seam-sealed all- weather cover, but it’s not stitched in – at the point of going to press I hadn’t lost it, but there’s always time.

It felt pretty good on the

shoulders, thanks to the width and thickness of the padded straps

Verdict

The Think Tank StreetWalker Pro V2.0 is a high-quality backpack with an excellent range of features, but one that also comes in at the top end, price-wise. Bar some gripes, it’s pretty comfortable in the carry; gear is easy to access and you can pack a lot in it. If you can stretch to the price, it delivers, and the durable material used shouldmake it value for money in the long term. Pros Build quality, space, features and operation Cons Hefty price, belt, lip on lower back pad

Images At first glance, the StreetWalker Pro V2.0might look too small to fit much in, but start packing and its impressive storage capacity becomes apparent. The main compartment is deep, accommodating an impressive array of kit, such as two DSLRs with grips and large lenses attached.

www.photographynews.co.uk

Powered by