ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive Backpack Review
ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive Backpack
$229.75/~£137 | thinktankphoto.com
A good photography backpack is capable of stowing essential elements like a full-size camera body, small family of lenses, laptop, tripod, and all necessary accessories. A truly great backpack can carry all of that while being carry-on friendly and providing a high level of comfort and adjustability. The minds at ThinkTank strove to bring that full package with the StreetWalker HardDrive photo backpack. Backed by the company's alluring 'no-rhetoric warranty', the Streetwalker HardDrive looks like a popular model amongst a veritable wealth of photographers. But does it provide enough bang to justify its $229.75 price tag? Let's find out.
- Carry monopods and tripods in the bottom front pocket
- Additional tripod cup for larger tripods
- Thin Skin Belt, Pro Speed Belt or Steroid Speed Belt (sold separately) can be attached
- Unisex contoured harness with air channel
- Holds a pro DSLR with 70-200mm F2.8 attached and hood in position, ready to shoot plus room for an additional 3-5 lenses
- Two side pockets and 2 stretch pockets
- Fits up to most 17" laptops when using a standard body. Holds a 15" laptop when using a pro body or gripped standard body
- Interior Dimensions: 11" W x 19" H x 6–7" D (28 x 48.3 x 15–18 cm)
Exterior Dimensions: 11.5" W x 19.8" H x 8.5" D (29 x 50.3 x 22 cm)
Laptop Compartment: 13.5" H x 11.25" W x 1.5" D OR 15.25" H when not using the bag with a Pro DSLR (34.3 H / 38.72 H x 28.6 W x 3.8 D cm)
- Weight: 3.8–4.6 lbs (1.7–2.1 kg)
The ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive backpack excels when it comes to structural integrity and water resistence. The bag is manufactured with YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) zippers, a 1680D ballistic nylon bottom panel, composed mostly of 420D velocity nylon, 550D polyester, 3D air mesh, ultra-stretch pockets, Y-buckles, nickel-plated metal hardware, nylon webbing, and stitched together with 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
The main compartment zippers have eyelets for adding a small lock for security. In addition, all of the fabric has a durable, water-repellant (DWR) coating and the underside is coated with polyurethane. If that's not enough to protect your prized equipment, the StreetWalker HardDrive comes with a removable 2x polyurethane coated seam-sealed taffeta rain cover.
On the inside, the StreetWalker HardDrive features removable closed cell foam dividers, 210D silver-toned nylon, polyurethane backed velex liner, clear mesh pockets, and all again held together by 3-ply bonded nylon thread. Like all ThinkTank products, the StreetWalker HardDrive is backed by ThinkTank's 'no rhetoric' warranty, which means the company guarantees their gear against any defects in material or workmanship for as for long as you use the product.
While the StreetWalker HardDrive is tough as nails, it's also quite intuitive in design. One caveat is that this is strictly a photography backpack, and there's really not much 'day pack' room for clothing and lunch, etc. If you're okay with that, and are looking for nothing more than an all-out photo equipment bag, the StreetWalker is your answer.
Zipping open the backpack's main flap reveals a configuration of nylon-coated foam strapping. The strapping is of course modular, and can accommodate a variety of camera equipment. ThinkTank says the StreetWalker HardDrive can fit a pro DSLR with 70-200mm F2.8 lens attached and hood in position. I was able to fit a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with 24-105mm lens and battery grip attached, flash, transceivers, hard drive, Gary Fong diffuser, battery chargers, and Canon 14mm prime lens.
|ThinkTank says the StreetWalker HardDrive can hold up to a 15" laptop, but my findings were a bit more generous.||Clear mesh pockets hold accessories like filters and memory cards.|
The fact that I was able to fit the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with battery grip was huge, considering there are only a handful of bags that are deep enough to accommodate the height of a pro DSLR body or one with a battery grip. This all has to do with the laptop compartment located right behind the main equipment compartment. When using a pro DSLR, there is a section of foam strapping that depresses downward to provide more room for the height of the camera. As a tradeoff, the laptop compartment is truncated by about three inches, thus reducing the maximum laptop size. While ThinkTank claims the largest laptop size the StreetWalker HardDrive can fit is 15", I was able to fit my 17" Apple MacBook Pro. I also found that I could fit a 14" laptop when using a pro-size DSLR, so ThinkTank's estimates were a bit conservative.
The inside of the main compartment flap features two large 6" x 9.5" clear mesh pockets, which I found ideal for thin items like memory cards and filters. The outside of the main compartment flap is a bit more intricate. It has an organizer configuration with bungee mesh pocket, variety of small pockets of different sizes, Velcro key strap, and a large zipped pocket. This I found was great for business cards, notebooks, more memory cards, maps, and other small items. Below the organizer compartment is yet another zipped pocket that can accommodate even more small items. The pocket is pleated, so it can extend to accommodate slightly bulkier objects, but it also doubles as a tripod pocket for carrying smaller tripods.
|The organizer pocket.||The zippered pocket below the organizer pocket. This is where the tripod extension pocket lives.|
|Zippered side pouch no. 1.||Zippered side pouch no. 2.|
In order to fit large tripods, ThinkTank designed a pop-out tripod pocket that lives inside the aforementioned zippered pocket. By pulling the Velcro tab at the bottom of that zippered pocket, a nylon tripod pocket pulls out and provides an extra 5" of length to supports larger tripods. Two modular nylon straps with buckles ratchet down on the tripod, keeping it securely in place. All of this can be seen in the feature image at the top of the article. To add even more storage capacity, the ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive has two identical pleated side pouches, both featuring mesh supports and stretchable outer pockets for water bottles or other accessories.
From a comfort perspective, the ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive has contoured shoulder straps with elastic sternum strap that buckles across the chest and can be moved up or down along the blue piping. The shoulder straps have d-rings for connecting compatible camera support straps, as well as stretchable pockets to hold phones and business cards amongst other small items.
The back padding has an airflow channel with breathable mesh liner to minimize contact with the back, as well as a lower back pad. All material touching the back is plush foam covered by breathable mesh fabric. There's even a removable waist strap that can be replaced by other ThinkTank aftermarket waist straps. The top of the backpack has a foam reinforced grab handle, and features a translucent mesh business card holder for identification.