Tomorrow, I am taking an adventurous group of photographers to Kenya for an amazing 10 Day African Safari. This Safari offers the opportunity to capture the images of a lifetime.
What it doesn’t offer though is a large amount of space for a Camera bag.
So, I had to whittle what I wanted to bring down to what I really needed to bring.
This is what I came up with.
(2) Camera bodies: Canon 5DMKIV & Canon EOS-R (Infrared)
(3) Lenses: Canon 24-105 F4.o L Rokinon 12mm Fisheye, Tamron 150-600mm
Microsoft Surface Go, mouse, La Cie Harddrive, Samsung SSD drive, cables, cords extra lens caps, memory cards,
AND…. not pictured, 8 batteries.
If you ever travel with me, the first thing you’ll learn is I only carry one brand of camera bag, ThinkTank Photo. The reason is quite simple, they are the best quality bag on the market.
Normally I would just grab my StreetWalker Harddrive backpack and it would make easy work of this gear with space to spare, but with this trip, I need as small a footprint as possible. The StreetWalker backpack series has been around for quite a while and for good reason, they just hold up. My StreetWalker Harddrive backpack is over 10 years old, and it still functions great. So, when I spoke with ThinkTank Photo and learned they now have a version 2 of the StreetWalker series I was thrilled. I told them exactly what I was carrying and they suggested the smaller StreetWalker V2.
When the box arrived from ThinkTank I was surprised how small it was. I opened it up and there was a compact backpack. As always the design is sturdy and fairly nondescript. I hate camera bags and backpacks that scream “LOOK! I’ve got expensive camera gear”
There are very sturdy dual zippers open the main compartment. You’ll notice the word “sturdy” is often used to describe ThinkTanks bags
The inside is completely adjustable. If you were an average photographer with one camera body this would be perfect for a day trip shooting. The inside was very similar to what I was used to from my Version 1 StreetWalker, except that middle support on the Version 2 now has two spots that bend to allow you more ways to customize your pack.
Now I do admit that when I started out packing for the trip I quickly realized that there was no way everything I wanted to bring was going to fit.
Then my wife walked in, took the puppy and suddenly there was so much more space. I really wanted to take the puppy.
I tried several different ways to pack my bag and found the StreetWalker V2 is very easy to customize. The lid has two transparent zipper pouches that hold a surprising amount of little items, like Hardrives, SSDs, cables, & memory cards. The outside of the lid has a perfect spot for my passport and a pouch at the bottom to hold the rain cover that is included. On each side is a pouch that is perfect for a water bottle, but in this case, I put my battery holders in each one.
Once I got everything loaded, minus the puppy, it was a perfect fit.
Now one final test, wearing it. How is a small backpack like this going to feel on your back walking a distance?
So, I put the StreetWalker V2 on and took a walk. The first thing I noticed was the straps are nice and set wide apart. The pack itself is narrow, but the straps adjusted fine to my shoulders and I wear an XL. I could also tell they have improved the padding on the straps and there is padding design on your back that allows for good airflow. And, I love this, a lower back pad, which I need.
I took a short walk, a little over a mile, but it easy. I have no doubt this is going to be my new favorite compact backpack.
This is part one of my review of this backpack. I will do a follow up when I return from the Kenya Safari. So, stay tuned.