There are a few brands that have become synonymous with camera bags. ThinkTank is one of those brands. Founded nearly 15 years ago, they’ve built an established following due to the quality of the bags they produce.
I don’t think you’ll find many photographers who don’t currently own or haven’t previously owned a ThinkTank item of some sorts. It’s almost like a rite of passage for being Protogs. I have a couple in my quiver, some of which I forgot to tell my wife about.
Today’s review is focused on perhaps the best camera backpack in their range called the ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0.
Within the Streetwalker range, there are four different size backpacks. The Streetwalker Pro v2.0 is the second smallest with the two larger models both offering laptop storage which the pro doesn’t have.
The V2.0 offers indicates the second iteration of this bag, or the “new and improved” version in marketing speak.
Table of Contents
ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 Specs
- Back padding and straps
- Storage capacity
- Thin dividers
- Front opening meaning back padding could get wet or muddy
- No luggage strap
- Carrying/Transport Options: Backpack Straps, Top Handle, Waist Belt
- Camera Support Strap: Tripod
- Laptop/Tablet Compartment Dimensions: 7.7 x 10.4 x 0.4″ / 19.5 x 26.5 x 1.0 cm
- Exterior Dimensions: 9.8 x 18.5 x 8.3″ / 25 x 47 x 21 cm
- Exterior Material: Nylon, Polyester, Polyurethane
- Type of Closure: Zipper
- Interior Dimensions: 9.4 x 17.3 x 7.5″ / 24 x 44 x 19 cm
- Interior Material: Polyethylene, Polyurethane, Nylon, Foam, Polyester
- Weight: 3.5 lb / 1.6 kg
Build & Appearance
Unlike some of the modern-day designs that have the form over function approach, the ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 is a professional camera bag, first and foremost, and it looks like one.
There are no compromises to make it a trendy hipster bag to take to your local coffee shop and sip lattes.
The ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 earned the ”pro” moniker, so it’s a work horse not a show horse.
The upside with camera bags like this is the styles don’t date. The downside is that you’re a bigger target if walking with gear in high-risk areas. You will also find photographers talking to you because the brand is recognisable.
The quality of the bag is very high when you consider the price range. It is on a par with far more expensive bags in both the construction and quality of materials used.
The bag itself is made from ballistic nylon which is very durable and can last a lifetime of abuse.
While it doesn’t have a solid outer frame, the exterior padding is rigid, and I think the ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 is more likely to survive a substantial drop with the camera gear and lenses unscathed. It’s far more robust than many of the camera bags we see today.
One of the things I have always liked about ThinkTank is they also include a rain cover with most of their bags. It isn’t to counter any substandard weatherproofing; their bags are as good as any other on the market.
If you get stuck in a torrential downpour with no shelter in sight, most people would want a rain cover if they had one.
Being a backpack, you’ll find the usual assortment of shoulder straps and grab handles along with a waist and chest strap.
The back padding incorporates a gap for the ThinkTank Speed Belt if the standard waist strap isn’t good enough, or you want to load it up with accessories. Given the potential capacity of this bag, I think there are times when you may want something more substantial.
On the exterior of this bag, you’ll find almost every conceivable surface area covered with a pocket or feature of some sort. The bag is really about maximising the surface area.
On the sides, you’ll find flexible pockets for water bottles. Under these pockets are additional expandable pockets for extra storage, whether it’s a larger water bottle or other accessories.
On the front, there is plenty of storage for camera accessories, pens, phones or speedlights and a hidden tripod attachment that comes out of pocket on the bottom of the bag. The tripod straps are provided inside a pocket in the bag.
For a computing device, you’ll find a small iPad pocket on the rear of the bag. It’s tiny so don’t expect to put your iPad Pro or laptop in there. It isn’t one of those cases where they say it will fit an iPad, and it fits something larger.
The one thing missing is a luggage attachment. It’s a backpack, but having to carry it on your back when you don’t need to is an unnecessary inconvenience and it’s something I like to see on every bag.
The ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 is a bag dedicated solely to camera storage so you won’t find a lot of space for non-photography items in the bag.
There are three shallow pockets with clear covers, but you won’t be storing anything bigger than a mobile phone or wallet.
The real feature of the Streetwalker Pro v2.0 is the ability to carry lots of gear and to do it with a relatively compact frame.
The storage capacity will be covered in the next section, but the interior is expansive.
ThinkTank include a thick major divider and thinner dividers. While the main divider in the bag is relatively thick, I’m not a big fan of the thinner dividers they include with the bag. I feel they are a little too soft for my liking.
If you’re going to use thin dividers, I really think they need to be a higher density foam version like those offered in the Shimoda or Wotancraft bags.
If you looked at someone walking with the ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a medium-capacity bag. The depth of the bag is far more expansive than any backpack I’ve used to date.
In part, it would be a benefit of having no laptop compartment, but the bag itself is still one of the deepest bags I’ve encountered. It’s even deeper than my Airport roller.
From a depth perspective, the ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 will accommodate a Sigma ART 135mm f/1.8 upright with space to spare, and that’s the longer Sony version with the built-in adapter.
It’s only about 5cm short of carrying a 100-400mm upright.
To put that into perspective, this bag could carry seven or eight 135mm lenses, along with a gripped body and 24-70mm f/2.8.
If you know how much weight that is, you’ll agree that it’s about as much as you would want to carry on your back without having a Sherpa there to do the carrying for you.
For most people, this will be a positive feature, but if you have lots of tiny lenses, be aware that you may want to wrap them before putting them in so they don’t bounce around.
Ease of Use/Comfort
There is one area on the bag that ThinkTank hasn’t compromised on and that’s on the comfort, in particular, the back padding and straps.
The ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 has some of the thickest and well-padded shoulder straps I’ve seen on a bag.
It also has a thick back pad so your back won’t be suffering. The pads are raised by about a third of an inch (1cm) to ensure that you get good ventilation when you’ve had the bag on your back for hours.
The padding and ventilation are on a par with the best camera backpacks I’ve seen. Unlike many bags that are designed to load up occasionally, it seems ThinkTank made the assumption their customers would load it to the maximum every time they go out.
As mentioned in the exterior features section, this backpack unfortunately lacks a luggage strap to attach it to luggage, which means you will have to carry this on your back in airports.
While the padding is good, I’d still prefer to have a strap available when I need it. Some airports these days require hundreds of meters of walking.
The other thing I am not a huge fan of is the front opening. This means you have to put the bag with the padding facing down. Whilst it may seem minor, going out on one wet and muddy day will show you the importance.
Value for Money
The ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 retails for around $200, which is very reasonable given the construction quality and capacity of this bag.
The quality is really on par with bags that are $50-$100 higher in the price range.
For around $200, you’re getting a high capacity bag from a reputable brand with great construction and best in class shoulder and back padding.
I always try to guess the price of any bag before writing this section to see the perceived value for money.
The priced I guessed was higher than the actual price, which is a good reflection that you’re getting a good bag for your money.
ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 Review | Conclusion
The Streetwalker line is one of ThinkTank’s most popular lines of backpacks, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s a bag that provides a high level of quality at the price point ThinkTank have given it. It could be priced $50 higher and it would probably still sell.
I think the ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro v2.0 shows what a company can achieve when you invest the time to make a photography bag with a “no gimmicks” approach that focuses on what is essential – quality and comfort.
There is a lot to like and not much to complain about at all. Those who are worried about the lack of laptop sleeve have two other models in the range that offer it.
The other issues mentioned are relatively minor gripes and ones that are unlikely to push away prospective buyers.
With that in mind, it’s hard not to give this bad a highly recommended rating.