Product Review: Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive Camera Bag

Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive

I’ve had the Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive camera bag for almost two years now and have put it through its paces. It has gone all around the world from here in Toronto to Japan to Fiji. It’s a bag that’s as rugged as it looks. And it has yet to disappoint.

Product Review: Think Tank Streetwalker Harddrive

Product Review: Think Tank Streetwalker Harddrive

The Bag

The great thing about this bag is its slim footprint, which allows you to walk around without having to worry about your bag possibly hitting something on its side. At just 11.5″ wide, it holds all my gear in place, yet doesn’t bulge out on either side. At just 8.5″ deep all around, it allows for full gear storage wherever you want inside the bag. This is a little different than other typical camera backpacks that may taper at the top, preventing you from storing larger items near the top of the backpack.

This rectangular size of the bag may be a little bulkier than those tapered backpacks, but I prefer to have this added space for the sake of functionality.

The inside of the bag is completely configurable to your liking. It comes with enough padding to suit most people’s needs. As seen below, here’s a typical configuration that I use for whenever I go out to shoot local events and festivals here in Toronto.

The bag filled with the contents shown in the other photo

The bag filled with the contents shown in the other photo

I always have one of my lenses attached to my camera. That lens would be the one that I would be using the most of, for that particular day. The photo above shows the 24-70mm f/2.8 with an ND filter attached. I would carry the rest of my lenses in their respective areas. I have the 14-24mm f/2.8 on one side, and the 70-200mm f/2.8 just below the camera. My accessories fill in the rest of the available slots.

The cover also has compartments and pockets that makes it easy to carry pens, batteries, memory cards, and other camera essentials. One section is water resistant, allowing you to keep important documents or other paperwork if needed.

If I need to bring a flash or two along, I would simply replace some of my accessories, and put them in the other pockets all around the bag. To get a better idea of the contents of the bag, here’s a flat lay of everything that went inside the bag, pictured above.

The basics of what I carry in my Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive bag. Additional accessories like batteries, cleaners, etc. are not shown.

A flat lay of the basics of what I carry in my Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive bag. Additional accessories like batteries, cleaners, etc. are not shown.

The bag has two very deep zippered pockets, one on each side of the bag. I love them because they’re capable of fitting in so much. I usually carry my iPhone accessories in one pocket while holding other necessities in another. Just outside these pockets are “ultra stretch pockets” which allow you to put in whatever you need to readily have access to.

Side view of the Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive bag with stretch pocket, deep zippered pocket, and  the laptop side pocket.

Side view of the Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive bag with stretch pocket, deep zippered pocket, and the laptop side pocket.

The shoulder straps of any backpack are a crucial component as it is what holds all of your gear on your back. Thankfully, I find this Think Tank Street walker HardDrive strap one of the most comfortable straps I’ve tried so far. With thick cushions and padding throughout, it makes carrying a heavy load for an extended period of time very comfortable. Some days I find it hard to believe that I’ve been carrying so much all day long.

Shoulder Straps

Shoulder straps

Shoulder strap is heavily cushioned for comfort

Shoulder strap is heavily cushioned for comfort

The chest strap is small, but don’t let that fool you. It makes a big difference in weight distribution easing some of the stress off your shoulders. There’s also a waist strap that can be easily hidden within the bag itself, or taken off when not in use. This helps the bag from swaying left and right when you’re on the go.

 

Chest strap is sturdy and helps distribute weight of bag

Chest strap is sturdy and helps distribute weight of bag

The bag also comes with a removable seam-sealed rain cover, which does a great job of keeping your bag and contents dry. And for those days that you don’t have that cover on—and there will be those days—be assured that the bag itself has a water-repellent coating that will keep your gear nice and dry.

Rain cover comes in handy to protect your gear

Rain cover comes in handy to protect your gear

If you like to carry a tripod with you, like I do, you’ll be happy to know that there is a dedicated tripod pocket to this bag as well. The outside pocket opens up to carry the legs of your tripod. If you have a larger tripod, inside the pocket is another pull out pocket that drops down. These come in real handy, freeing your hands from carrying the tripod everywhere, like I used to with other bags.

Gitzo Explorer tripod attached with the extended tripod holder makes carrying full sized tripods a breeze.

Gitzo Explorer tripod attached with the extended tripod holder makes carrying full sized tripods a breeze.

I can attest to the effectiveness of the mesh back lining and airflow channel that this bag has as I tend to get very hot during the summer months when I shoot many events. They keep the back of this bag (and your shirt) from getting all wet and sticky. And who wants that?!

The back cushion provides ample air flow and cushion to fit your back. It is one of the most comfortable bags I have tried to date.

The back cushion provides ample air flow and cushion to fit your back. It is one of the most comfortable bags I have tried to date.

And finally, this bag is big enough to fit a 15″ Macbook Pro with room to spare! I love the fact that it has its own zipper and the Macbook Pro just slides in with ease.

The 15" Macbook Pro (2008 model) halfway in the pocket.

The 15″ Macbook Pro (2008 model) halfway in the pocket.

Final Thought

Just about the only thing I don’t like about this bag is the fact that it fits so much of my gear! In fact it may fit too much that I end up packing way too many things, making it heavier than I may need it to be in some cases. Apart from the straps that dangle about, the footprint of this bag is compact and tidy.

All smaller pockets are zippered with a fabric pull, making it easy to pull and perhaps even making it a little lighter?! I will note that there have been several cases where I wonder what happens to these pockets when I wear it outside in crowded areas. ie. There’s no easy lock that will thwart thieves from trying to pickpocket you when you least expect it.

I somewhat recall my Crumpler backpack had zipper covers to hide the zippered areas, which may/may not have been too effective in deceiving thieves. Nonetheless, it’s a bag that has protected my gear well up to this point, even in the worst of weather like during a freezing rain storm. And that’s what you buy a bag for!

Camera bag and tripod covered in freezing rain

Camera bag and tripod covered in freezing rain

1 reply
  1. Ed
    Ed says:

    All that gear and a 15 inch MB in such a small profile pack. … I have to check it out. Thanks for the review

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