Gear Review: Think Tank Unban Disguise 60

So kicking off a series of reviews is my take on the ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60. The link goes to the version 2 of this bag – I’ve been using the v1 for over 3 years, but I’m sure the v2 is just as good as the v1. I bought it with my own money – so this is a genuine, honest review.
I travel a lot on lots of different aircraft. I needed a bag that would work as an everyday case for my 15″ laptop and that I could load up with photo gear as needed, but still carry on aircraft. I saw this bag in Stewarts in Anchorage and decided it fitted the bill. It has lots of really nice touches that you don’t appreciate until you start to use it for the purpose I bought it for.
Like, elasticated pockets on the sides – both sides. Going through security and need to stash your cell phone for xray? perfect. Need to drop your keys somewhere as they get irradiated? And once you’re through security – go buy a bottle of water and shove it in the pocket ready fo use.
How about the pocket on the back with the top and bottom zipper? The bottom zipper allows it to be used as a sleeve for your suitcase extendable handle…..drop the bag over the handle and off you trot. If the bag is loaded up, your shoulder will thank you if you’re flying into Calgary with the marathon walk from the jetway to the exit!
So can it hold enough? I think so…D700 with grip, 24-70mm, 80-200mm, 20mm, sb800, business cards, passport, ticket, Ipod, earphones, laptop, Power supply, extra batteries, medicines, receipts, flash softbox and a bunch of other little bits and pieces….including at least one paperback book, often two (just in case). The really remarkable thing is, I could carry an extra body easily, and it will fit in the overhead of a CRJ plane. If you don’t know what one of those is like…the overhead is small!
OK…so I’m a huge fan of this bag. It doesn’t scream steal me, I can carry enough to cripple myself and it’ll fit in seriously small overheads. Whats not to like? Well, not much really. The shoulder strap is big and comfortable..but is still a pain over long distances. They do make a backpack harness that works quite well – except when you need to pull your laptop for security, then it’s a pain. I ditched the rain cover – I don’t usually work in those conditions. One more feature thats really worth mentioning – it is built like a tank! Seriously! I have used this bag almost exclusively for the last 3 years as my daily work bag and it’s still going strong. One of the elastic pockets on the side has some stitching coming loose – but thats it! The bag is built really, really well. I’ve used lots of different bags from many manufacturers (haven’t we all?), but this one gets the nod for being the best all round goto bag.
I do wish there was some way to secure a small tripod or monopod to it, hanging off the bottom? Or some extra storage from ThinkTanks other lines? Oh…wait…that comes with the v2 bag thats now available!!! Damn. Seriously, this bag is by far the best out there. I wouldn’t use it to go shooting wildlife, or sports…but when you need a compromise bag that just doesn’t compromise – this one is it.
Note to ThinkTank: there is one possible improvement that would be useful. Ever tried running, climbing or doing anything but stand there with a shoulder bag? One of my old bags, a  Billingham, has a really useful waist strap that deploys quickly to help stabilise the bag when cliombing ladders, down cliffs, etc. etc.

More to come…..

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1 Comment

  1. sure..

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