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Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 30 review (Updated)

August 24, 2009

I don’t think I’m the only one that is always in search of the perfect camera bag. I would be embarrassed to tell you how many camera bags I have acquired over the last ten years. The problem is that a bag that is perfect for one situation might be totally annoying and difficult to use in another. I thought I had found the perfect bag last year when I got a Rotation 360 backpack from Think Tank Photo. This thing is roomy, versatile and easy to carry. It has served me well from Costa Rica to Mexico to the Nevada desert (Read my review HERE). Then I was planning a trip to NYC for a long weekend… In the context of a busy city, the Rotation 360 seemed like overkill for size and capacity. The hunt for a “city bag” began…
UD30_1 Enter the Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 30. On paper this bag was exactly what I was looking for, and my experience with other Think Tank products has been nothing short of stellar. The first thing I noticed was the quality I’ve come to expect from Think Tank Photo. From the zippers and handles to the stitching, this thing just feels like a sturdy bag. The UD30 looks like a small messenger bag, although you don’t have to open the flap to get to your gear. The flap covers the expandable front pocket and has a handy zippered pocket for pens, pad, filters etc. The interior of the bag has plenty of movable, padded dividers. In fact, I can’t imagine how you would use all of the dividers the bag comes with. It also includes a nice long shoulder strap and a fitted rain cover.
The interior of this bag holds more than you would think. I was able to carry a D700 with a RRS L-bracket and a Nikon 24-70 2.8 lens attached, a Nikon 70-300 VR lens, and an SB900 flash in the main compartment. I kept extra batteries, CF cards and filters in the pocket on the front flap. In carry-on mode, I carried my battery chargers in the expandable front pocket, then left these items in my room when I was roaming the city.

The UD 30 proved to be very easy to carry and provided easy access to any of my gear when I needed it. This little bag truly does not look like a camera bag, and with practically everyone carrying some sort of bag or briefcase, I definitely felt like my expensive gear was under the radar.

I grew to love this bag on an afternoon of nasty weather in Manhattan… It was threatening rain when I set out that morning, so I packed a rain jacket in the UD 30 in the slot where the camera with attached lens would go. I carried the bag on one shoulder and the camera on the other for most of the day. When the rain finally came that afternoon, I packed my camera in the UD 30 and pulled out the rain cover. I put on my rain jacket and walked the few blocks back to my hotel. I was soaked to the bone, but my gear was completely dry! Thank you Think Tank!

I liked the Urban Disguise 30 so much that I bought an Urban Disguise 50 when I got home. It’s everything the UD 30 is, but with a bit more room and a laptop pocket. I carry that bag pretty-much every day. Think Tank Photo’s bags are obviously designed by photographers. I don’t find some of the novelty features I’ve seen in other camera bags;  just bags that carry my gear and don’t get in my way.

For more information visit Think Tank Photo.com.

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