Think Tank Photo 10th Anniversary – Roadtesting the Urban Approach

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We’re heading out to Santa Rosa, just north of San Francisco to join the Think Tank Photo (TTP) team in their 10th anniversary celebrations and looking forward to catching up with all their team on their home turf.

Deciding upon public transport to get to the airport, the big question: what bag or bags to take?!

Airport Security & Urban Approach 15

For me I decantered my lighting equipment and stripped the dividers out of my Airport Security roller, then filled this with clothes and personal gear for the hold. Thankfully the built in TSA zipper lock for the main compartment saved me scrabbling around in search of a padlock at home.

Now for hand luggage I’d normally take my Canon DSLR gear, laptop, tablet, chargers, and other gadgets and utilise the Airport International roller for all this. I like to give my body a rest from carrying gear whenever I can, and one bag also means I’m less likely to loose stuff enroute…

Flying with British Airways this roller fits perfectly in their carry-on bins, and even when heavily laden with big glass I’ve yet to exceed their 23kg carry-on limit with it. Also having the ability to put the laptop inside the roller (utilising the low dividers) gives peace of mind and ease of access for security checks.

  • Airport Security & Urban Approach 15

However, as this trip is a short one I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to road test the new Urban Approach 15 (UA15) backpack and Urban Approach 10 shoulder bag… oh and take less stuff!

It’s not until I try out each bag that I really appreciate the little nuances that really make the TTP bags stand out from the crowd.

Gear wise I opted for my Fuji mirrorless system, Lee filters, iPad, Bose music system, chargers of course, and last minute thankfully remembered my plug adapters for the USA!

The UA15 backpack, with its tapered front, is incredibly deceptive in size and I was really surprised at just how much gear can be comfortably configured in this slim, smart, neat little bag.

Urban Approach 15

The big bonus with this is the ability to slide it over the extendable handle of a roller, thanks to the addition of a fabric strip across the back of the bag, which doesn’t affect the comfort when wearing it. This made my walk to the train station and the change to the bus pretty smooth running.

Breaking with habit I also packed the Urban Approach 10 (UA10) for the small bits I was likely to want quick access to on the flight, and also for fitting the Fuji gear and iPad in when wandering around the town. Like the back back this is incredibly light and surprisingly capacious.

Urban Approach 10

The UA10 combines the features of several shoulder bags in the Think Tank Photo range:

=> the lightness and strength of the CityWalkers with the ‘X’ clasp to secure the front flap and padded shoulder strap
=> the Retrospective Velcro fastening also on the front flap along with the silent feature for added security and quick access to the main compartment, grab handle allowing you to slide this over the roller handle, and expandable front pocket
=> the Urban Disguise Classic clutter free smart exterior with leather accent along the front flap, with rear pocket for small papers or accessories
=> the Mirrorless Mover expandable side pockets for a small water bottle and perfectly sized interior to fit 10″ tablet and mirrorless or micro 4/3rds gear

Urban Approach 10

Now my fellow traveller and  business partner, aka my Pa, opted for one bag as carry on and a small Stuff It pouch on the belt for necessities.

His choice bag was the Airport Accelerator – a rectangular backpack equivalent size to the Airport International roller and fits the BA luggage bin perfectly, yet fits so much more as there’s no extendable handle to cater for. Weighing in at 2.3 kg (check this) prior to packing and having dedicated pockets for both 15″ laptop and 10″ tablet, this provided the perfect solution for him to maximise his carry-on.

Airport Accelerator

Pa finds this bag extremely comfortable to wear, and the easily adjustable straps make for best fit and easy to get on and remove without having to contort your arm. Oh and it’s cool and he likes it!

As well as these bags, the Travel Pouches both small and large make for great toiletry and clothes carriers, and the new CF/SD & Battery wallet keeps the small camera bits together.

Small Travel Pouch

CF/SD + Battery Wallet

So, prior to catching up with the TTP guys we’re heading to the the Schultz Museum and a pit stop at Willy Bird’s!

Stuff It! Pouch

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