Photography News 84 Web

First test

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PRICE: £259


Think Tank Essentials Convertible Rolling Backpack

Think Tank’s latest case offers the convenience of a roller case and the versatility of a photo backpack

SPECS ›  Price Think Tank Essentials Convertible Rolling Backpack £259 ›  Features l Size compatible with most airlines l 80mm wheels, with quiet running bearings l Reinforced telescopic, four-section handle l Grab handles on three sides l Deep front pocket with organiser for personal stuff l Two mesh-fronted pockets l YKK RC Fuse zips l Dedicated 16in laptop compartment l Seam-sealed rain cover l One side pocket, suitable for a water bottle l Adjustable dividers l Reinforced rear panel l Contoured harness system with adjustable sternum strap l Tripod/monopod mounting system included l User-replaceable components ›  Exterior l Durable water-repellant (DWR) coating l Polyurethane coating l 600D poly l YKK RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) zippers l High-performance 80mm wheels with sealed bearings l Rubberised laminate reinforcement l Nylon webbing l 3-ply bonded nylon thread l 210D silver-toned nylon l Polyurethane-backed velex liner and dividers l 2x polyurethane-coated nylon 210T seam-sealed rain cover l Closed cell foam and PE board reinforced dividers l Clear mesh pockets l 3-ply bonded nylon thread ›  Laptop pocket 25.5x36.5x2.5cm ›  Interior dimensions (wxhxd) 31x42x11-15cm ›  Exterior dimensions (wxhxd) 32x48.3x21cm ›  Weight 3.3kg Contact

THINK TANK’S EXTENSIVE product range includes bags and cases that cater for compacts up tomulti-bodied camera systems. Its latest solution for carrying photo gear is the Essentials Convertible Rolling Backpack and, in true Ronseal tradition, its name tells you exactly what it does: it’s a roller case. That makes it perfect for travel hubs, shopping malls and anywhere with smooth walkways. And when the terrain gets rough, it converts rapidly into a backpack. In terms of size, it’s not the biggest roller around, but there’s still plenty of space for a two-bodied DSLR/full-frame mirrorless outfit and up to six lenses, depending on lens type. I managed to fit a

couple of Nikon Z bodies, both with lenses on the front, as well as four more wide and standard lenses and a Hahnel speedlite. If I were to pack a fast telezoom, obviously lens numbers would drop accordingly. So, while it’s not a large roller, it still boasts impressive capacity and, if you are going to exploit and enjoy this bag’s versatility, you don’t want a bag that’s so heavy fully laden that it’d be torture to have on your back. Typical of a Think Tank product, a good number of adjustable dividers are supplied as standard and it’s fully lined, so you can configure the interior precisely to suit your kit. It is also protective – exactly what you need as your gear is being wheeled around. There are two mesh-fronted pockets on the interior flap secured by zips that are perfect for memory cards, cleaning cloths and a few batteries.

them from the zipped storage pocket and you’re ready to go. The straps are padded for comfort and there is a sternum strap, too. For me, I’d prefer the sternum strap to be slightly lower, but that’s not a deal breaker. It’s certainly comfortable to carry. As you’d expect, a dedicated backpack would be more comfortable but you’re not buying the Essentials as a bag to tote up and down the dale. It's a duo purpose bag with the emphasis on smooth floors. In that respect, it's a very good and practical product. WC

As part of the bag’s lid, there’s a dedicated laptop pocket that accepts a 16in model and there’s also an array of smaller pockets for business cards, pens or a notebook. The extendable four-section handle feels reassuringly sturdy and it’s a good length, too. It suits shorter and taller photographers alike. The transformation from roller case to backpack takes no time at all and, unlike similar cases I have tried, there is no need to hook or unhook the shoulder straps before using them. Simply release

ABOVE You can accommodate a two- bodied camera system with lenses and a speedlite easily in the Essentials Convertible Rolling Backpack

PROS Generous handle, capacity, protection levels, shoulder straps attached and ready to go, smooth running wheels CONS A lower sternum strap would be better Verdict Think Tank products are typically made from quality materials, have good capacity, offer levels of high protection and perform brilliantly. The Essentials Convertible Rolling Backpack delivers on all those counts and it looks great, too. So, what’s not to like? Heartily recommended.

ABOVE The wheels are smooth running and – together with key components, such as the handle– can be user replaced, if necessary

ABOVE The shoulder straps are stored in a zipped pocket and they are attached ready to go

Issue 84 | Photography News 35

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