"When I get to a place
for the first time and know it like home, this is when I know my journey
will be over"
"There are always two
people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."
"I was born lost, and take no
pleasure in being found"
- John Steinbeck
"The strongest reason for the people to retain
the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect
themselves against tyranny in
- Thomas Jefferson
"If I am
fortunate, I will live 80 years on this amazing planet, so I will throw
caution to the wind, strive to make a difference, and seek out adventure
with every breath, as I am far more afraid of regret than failure!"
- Scott Brady
realize our insignificance in this world,
it some how relieves the
pressures from society to succeed -
Cindy Bonish 04/07
ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive Review
just got a brand new ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive photo backpack and
thought Iíd do a short review on it. Iíve yet to use it on any long
hikes as we just got it this week and Iíve spent the last few days
learning where all the pockets, accessories and features are on it, but
that extended review will come in time as we log more miles with the
pack. Iíve also loaded it and unloaded it multiple times to see how many
different ways I can pack the gear and feel confident this bag will get
a ton of use.
A Little Intro about the
ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive:
Taken from the
ThinkTank Website: Mission Statement: ďWe are a group of
designers and professional photographers focused on studying how
photographers work, and developing inventive new carrying solutions to
meet their needs. By focusing on ďspeedĒ and ďaccessibility,Ē we prepare
photographers to Be Ready ďBefore The Moment,Ē allowing them to capture
those historic moments that reflect their personal visions and artistic
talents. For some companies, it is only about the product. For us, it is
more: It is about supporting photographers doing their job. If we can
design products that help photographers travel easier, take pictures
faster, and organize their gear more efficiently, then we will have
accomplished something beyond the bags themselves."
The Streetwalker HardDrive is designed for use in urban and crowded
environments, this slim, lightweight backpack also holds a 15Ē laptop,
as well as a Pro-size DSLR and a 70-200 2.8 with hood attached in the
shooting position. This bag will also hold one of the big primes like a
300f/2.8 or the 400f/2.8 (with hood reversed), but still allows a pro
sized body to be attached.
Why I bought this bag:
Cindy and I already own a Tamrac CyberPack 6 which is a large backpack
that will hold almost all our gear while traveling or hiking and still
allow us to bring a laptop if we need that option. Its carry-on legal
and has treated us well over the last few years.
I like that backpack a lot, but there are tons of things I donít
like about it so I wanted to try one of ThinkTankís products to compare.
Iíve read rave reviews from working professional photographers, and when
you read the companies Mission Statement, it says a lot about the
beliefs we look for and like to support when buying new products.
had also asked for suggestions on one of the photography forums I
frequent on which bag to buy to lug the 400mm lens around. Numerous
people replied back with the ThinkTank GlassTaxi but when looking over
their website, I noticed they were advertising a brand new bag theyíd
just released that had all the features the GlassTaxi did plus a host
The main reason we purchased this bag was to carry the new Canon
400f/2.8 lens we recently bought. That lens comes with its own aluminum
carrying case, but thatís useless to actually hike with the hefty 11lb
lens, so we started looking for carrying options that make it more
comfortable to bring along on hikes.
That's me shooting the 400mm, but without a bag to put it in, you have
to carry it around with you the entire time. This gets old and
uncomfortable very fast.
We wanted something that would allow us to carry the lens with a body
attached figuring one of us would be wearing the backpack while hiking,
and if we needed quick access to the camera/lens combo, all we would
need to do is walk up to the back of whom ever is wearing the backpack,
unzip and be ready to shoot. We figure the more accessible the
camera/lens combo is, and the more comfortable it is to bring along, the
more weíll use it.
I would have loved to have a bag that would allow the hood to be in the
shooting position, but once we started thinking about it, that would
make the pack so long, we thought it would be uncomfortable to hike
Best part about this bag was its price. To find a product from such a
well respected company and have the cost be under the $200 mark was like
finding money in an old jacket pocket. The bag retails for $179 and
compared to similar long lens bags, weíre talking a few hundred dollars
in savings. The Streetwalker HardDrive also has more pockets and
accessories than many of the competing long lens bags and will allow me
to carry one of our laptops if we are traveling overnight or just need
it along for that days photo shoot.
Another reason we chose this ThinkTank bag besides being able to carry
the big 400mm was if we were leaving that lens at home, the bag can be
restructured unlimited ways to carry almost any or all of our camera
Last reason we chose the ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive (As if you
cant already tell itís a great bag) is it doesnít look like a camera
bag. If you donít have the tripod carrying attachment out with a tripod
on the outside of the backpack, most people would think Iím just some
guy with a standard bag on my back. The solid black color and
streamlined design will go unnoticed anywhere except a camera show. Most
photographers would see the ThinkTank logo and know right away Iím
loaded down with camera gear.
The Bag Itself:
Waiting for the bag to arrive was agonizing and when I saw the UPS truck
pull up, the guy probably thought I was a tad crazy when I ran out the
door to meet him in the driveway.
I was surprised by the sturdiness and solid feel of the bag as soon as I
pulled it out of the box. The Streetwalker HardDrive looks like itís
built to last and the construction of the backpack is some of the best
Iíve ever seen.
You can tell
ThinkTank bags are designed by photographers because of all the
little hidden features I keep finding when looking over the bag for the
first time. Cindy was teasing me because I kept getting more and more
excited every time Iíd find a new feature or hidden pocket.
We own bags from Canon, Lowepro and Tamrac and all have a few cool
features that make them unique. The ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive has
every feature the competing brands have plus about 10 more.
I love the fold up rain cover incase you get caught in an unexpected
downpour on a hike. The clear Business Card holder at the top will keep
your bag personal and let others know whose bag it is at a glance. Plus
it stretches a bit so I can throw 20 cards in there to have them
available and within reach without having to dig through the bag.
I havenít had a chance to use the bag other than loading it up and
my body, but the heavily padded shoulder straps, cushioned back with
lumbar pad along with the air channel all make this backpack feel like
you could wear this sucker all day long and not get fatigued with a
The shoulder harnesses have D-Rings to add camera straps and pockets to
keep extra compact flash cards handy or keep the cell phone close
without needing an extra holder to add weight to the pack. The
lockable zippers look like theyíll outlast the entire bag and pull
smoothly throughout their length.
The waist belt nicely tucks away for those times youíre using the
backpack as carry-on luggage and dont want to have straps or buckles
being caught in overhead bins or taxi doors. ThinkTank also makes a belt
system that has unlimited quickdraw pouches to keep lenses and
accessories accessible at a moments notice. The back lumbar pad
flips open to allow their belt system to fit perfectly with the
tripod holder folds away nicely for those times youíre not lugging the
extra support around with you and is probably one of the coolest of all
the features. But thatís hard to judge because theyíre all so neat and
well thought out.
Little items like this are what
makes the ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive such an Exceptional Backpack
Itís a toss up on which is my favorite feature? The tripod holder, the
air channel on the back or the adjustable sternum strap so men like me
with a wimpy chest can have it adjusted to fit properly, or women with
well developed dairy pillows can adjust the strap to their liking.
Setting the Streetwalker HardDrive up could take hours if youíre like me
and like to try various options. I counted 11 dividers not including the
two large main dividers that run the length of the pack. This bag is
truly a work of art and all the useful features and extremely good build
quality truly makes this bag a joy to use.
Iím thinking the bag can hold so much of my gear, that I could easily
overload it and make it uncomfortable to carry for long periods. Iíll
have to remember that and not bring everything just because I can.
good to know that if weíre going on a trip that we do need to bring
everything including the laptop, we could load up the Streetwalker
HardDrive and at least use it to transport all the gear till we reach
our destination. Once there, we could just unload what isnít needed per
day and know we have the option to bring it all with us.
we shoot 90% of the time from the truck. This bag will be perfect to
keep loaded up with the 400mm, a few accessories and be ready to go at a
moments notice. Weíve missed a few shots already having to unpack the
lens from the Canon aluminum case and get it set up. Knowing its in the
bag, ready to shoot and all we need to do is grab the ThinkTank and go,
itís like having insurance knowing you wont miss those once in a
have more to report after we take this backpack on a few long hikes and
I finally figure out how I want it set up. Iíve already packed and
repacked it numerous times to the point Cindy is starting to wonder if
Iíve got some OCD with packing camera gear in a bag.
Conclusion: Iím really kicking myself for not finding
ThinkTank and their amazingly designed products earlier. Iíve already
added a few more of their products to the wish list and know Iíll be
using them more in the future.
I cant wait to try the Streetwalker HardDrive on a long hike to see how
it compares to our other backpacks. I know the Tamrac is great to carry
the gear to and from a shoot, but spending the day with it on your back
makes for a rough night sleeping.
Just wearing the
ThinkTank around fitting it feels like a world of difference. If
youíre in the market for a new backpack, and want one that can bring it
all with you, the Streetwalker should be on the top of your list.
ThinkTank also makes 3 different sizes of the Streetwalker depending how
much gear you have or think youíll be carrying with you.
I promise to report back after Iíve used the bag for a few months to see
if Iím still glowing as much as I am now. Also, if you're in the
market for a new camera bag,
this link and enter Promo Code = 329 If you purchase any products
over $50, they'll throw in a free camera bag.
Miles A Memory
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