Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 Camera Bag Review . . . continued

The Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 has a small-to-moderate size profile which carries relatively small on most people (male or female) over 5'4" and a moderate profile on anyone shorter. Ground insulation is very good and the odd bit of standing water won't get through the bottom seams. The sealed-stitch top zipper closes tightly to prevent weather and dust from entering. General weatherproofing is very good. Rain-proofing is very good also. You can get caught for short periods of time in fairly heavy weather without having to worry, although I wouldn't make a habit of deliberately soaking any camera bag for any longer than ten minutes (which is why the bag is supplied with an all weather cover). Padding is generally good. The internal partitions are moderately easy to move around but the slimmer profile of the bag means you may be fiddling with partition adjustments a bit longer than normal in order to get things just right. The bottom pad is thin and low density, but because it's relatively long and narrow, it distributes the force of moderate bottom impacts quite well. Note however that the loaded bag is not meant to be dropped heavily onto hard surfaces.

The Urban Disguise 40 is a snug fit for a Nikon D700 full-size SLR with any attached lens. If you add a grip to a full-size SLR body, it won't easily fit in the bag with an attached lens. You'll physically be able to get it in, but the top opening will gape sufficiently to prevent the zipper from closing unless you push the camera deep into the bag (which of course also means you can't keep anything bigger than a 24-70 f/2.8 attached). The bag was designed to carry a pro body in the front body pouches which provided a comfortable fit for a Canon 1Ds MKII and a Nikon D700 with grip attached. Smaller SLR bodies with a wide variety of attached lenses fit into the main compartment with ease.


The stretchy side pockets can be stuffed with anything you like. The material is extremely durable, sheds light rain and other precipitation quite well. We stuffed the side pockets with everything from bulky flashes (e.g., Nikon SB-600, SB-800, Canon 430EX II) and small prime lenses (50mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2.0), to a red POD bean bag and a small street map book.

The Urban Disguise 40 has lots of thoughtful little features. Look in the front compartment and you'll find a short, tough, nylon ribbon with a velcro loop that can be used to hold a cleaning cloth, pocket knife, keys or whatever you like. There are two other ribbons as well, both with polycarbonate clips so you can move them to different loop locations in the bag. The full width/full height, zippered rear slot compartment is a traveler's dream because it's protected against your hip and is big enough to carry all travel documents, visas, passport, tickets, boarding passes, itineraries and so on. The secondary/outer rear slot compartment has a bottom zipper and is mainly useful for slipping over the extended handle of a rolling bag.

Cons: The shoulder strap is excellent, and clearly as wonderful as the rest of the bag. But it could be the best strap on the market if Think Tank used a sliding instead of fixed-position shoulder pad. Purchase your Urban Disguise bag carefully because the compact ones (read: models 10, 20, 30 and the tall 35) have to be stretched very wide to get a pro-size SLR in & out with lens attached. Basically, the incremental sizing of each bag in the line makes it easy to choose wisely, so do it. Think Tank has devised a nifty velcro silencing system for its Skin Set modular component bags, and it should add the simple and effective system to the Urban Disguise front flaps. In our opinion the bags would be darn near perfect as a result.

Pros: The Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 is a well-designed, very well made, versatile, slim profile shoulder bag which is ideal for carrying almost any SLR with any of a wide variety of wide angle zoom, medium zoom or prime lenses attached. The small size increments of each model in the Urban Disguise line mean you can purchase a bag sized precisely for your needs, never again having to settle for a bag that's a bit too big or a bit too small. The Urban Disguise 40 is the same depth as all the bags in the line, but its width provides a larger top opening overall, so a large SLR body with attached lens can go in & out without any fuss. The front body pouches swallow most pro SLR bodies. The bag is just tall enough to accommodate detached 70-200 f/2.8-size lenses with hoods reversed in the main compartment as well as smaller lenses. General carrying capacity and load bearing capabilities are excellent. Excellent weatherproofing protects your precious gear. Either of the top-mounted carry handles can also be slipped over a rolling suitcase handle. Multiple attachment points for the shoulder strap. Upper and lower rear d-rings for attachment to the optional Think Tank shoulder harness. Think Tank has built a reputation based on quality, suitability for purpose and good general usability and ergonomics. The Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 is an excellent mid-size shoulder bag that might end up being the only bag you'll ever need. Excellent for photojournalists, photography amateurs and enthusiasts, and for everything from hard, professional outdoor use to walkabouts, trail hiking, events and travel of all kinds. The Urban Disguise 40 is fully international airline/airport carry-on size compliant (check with your airline anyway). Highly recommended. Get it here or here.



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