Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 Review

Think Tank Photo’s new Urban Disguise series camera bags are a versatile line of shoulder-carry bags that make it possible to carry a lot of gear in a compact and inconspicuous manner.

Think Tank Photo offers several different versions of the Urban Disguise bags, which lets find a bag that serves your own needs. At the bottom end, you’ve got the Urban Disguise 10, which holds a DSLR with lens attached (along with some extra space in the front pocket), to the Urban Disguise 70, which holds 2 pro-sized DSLRs with up to 70-200 f/2.8 lenses attached, plus several lenses and a couple of additional bodies.  Additionally, the Urban Disguise series features bags like the Urban Disguise 60, which holds pro-sized DSLRs, lenses and offers a 17″ widescreen laptop compartment.

The Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 has been on my shoulder for the past few weeks with a number of different gear arrangements inside.  For a lot of folks, the Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 will serve as the perfect single-shoot bag.  It’s also a fantastic photo walk or day trip bag.

The Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 looks and feels like a professional briefcase.  It doesn’t stick out in a crowd and draw attention to you like “Hey, I’m carrying a few grand in camera gear.”  This is a camera bag that just lets you blend into the crowd, but still functions like a sexy camera bag.

With the Urban Disguise 40 V2.0, you can carry either:

  • One pro size or regular size DSLR with 24-70 f2.8 attached, plus 2-4 additional lenses
  • Two regular size DSLRs with standard and wide angle zoom lenses attached
  • Two pro size DSLRs (BODY ONLY) in padded front pocket, plus 3-6 lenses in main compartment

You can still mix and match to get a lot of other gear in there as well.  The UD 40 has stretchy pouches on the sides, which work great for hot shoe flashes if you have the standard cargo compartments full.  Additionally, you can fit a crap-ton of stuff into the external zipper pouch.  There are several other pouches and pockets (including some pen or lens pen pockets) inside the zippered compartment that provide more organization options.

As a bonus, the UD 40 includes the Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket, which holds 4 CF cards and 3 SD cards, and has a tether to attach directly to the UD 40 so it doesn’t get lost in your travels.

The first thing you always recognize with Think Tank Photo gear is that it’s tough.  The fabric is a ballistic nylon for added durability under extreme conditions and the standard YKK zippers are the best zippers in the world.  I’ve put some Think Tank Photo bags through the ringer and those zippers are just ridiculously durable.  Even for a bag with the professional appearance of the Urban Disguise series, it maintains that trademark bulletproof build quality we’ve come to expect from Think Tank Photo.

The V2.0 moniker only applies to some of the Urban Disguise bags and offers nice extra touches like genuine leather handles and compatibility with the new Urban Disguise Attachment Straps, Modular, Skin and Multimedia Think Tank Photo components.  Additionally, the bigger V2.0 bags, like the UD 40, have a zippered panel that lets you slide it over the handle of most rolling luggage.

You also get a rain cover with the bag, which I’ve used on a few occasions and it works great.  This is a pretty common feature for Think Tank Photo bags though.  I don’t know that I’ve ever used a bag from Think Tank Photo that doesn’t come with a rain cover.  The great thing about these rain covers is that they are made specifically for a given bag – so they fit perfectly.  Additionally, the rain cover includes a built-in tether to keep it from blowing away or otherwise getting lost in the midst of bad weather.

Finally, a word about comfort.  I’ve used several satchels – from fancy leather file briefcases to laptop cases and book bags – and in most cases the strap just plain sucks because it digs into your shoulder when you weigh the bag down.  The UD 40 has a massively thick, padded shoulder strap with a non-slip surface and a countered design.  This is one shoulder bag that’s actually comfortable to carry.  The contoured pad makes it work for either shoulder (i.e., hanging off one side or cross-carrying it).  And, in the end, this is what seals the deal on the Urban Disguise 40 V2.0.

Conclusion

As with every other Think Tank Photo bag that I’ve tried out, the Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 gets it right.  Most of my thoughts on the UD 40 can be applied across the board to other Urban Disguise bags – with the obvious distinction that different models are made for holding different types and amounts of gear.

If you don’t like a camera backpack or want something that looks professional yet remains functional, the Urban Disguise series could be just what the photography-doctor ordered.  You can find the Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 and other Urban Disguise series camera bags on Think Tank Photo’s website.

Special Deal for Photography Bay Readers

As a special offer to Photography Bay readers, when you order $50 or more of Think Tank gear by clicking through a link from Photography Bay, at checkout you will be able to select a bag or accessory to receive for free. You can use this special code as many times as you want and share it with friends and colleagues. Enjoy the free bag!

All images credit: Think Tank Photo

 

Comments

  1. Lightwriter says

    This is a boon to walking around NYC and not look –so mucb– like a tourist.
    I hope I’ll selected!

    Lightwriter