Packing and carrying equipment for travel adventures is always a challenge. With increasing airline restrictions and not being willing to check your gear, you need to find the best possible alternative for your needs. Like most of my peers, I covet several bags. Usually when going abroad I take a bag with all the equipment and a smaller, second bag for everyday outings once on location. As I tend to travel lighter and lighter every day, I was on the lookout for a bag that could serve dual purposes for my recent Italy trip. I wanted a bag that could carry my two Fuji X bodies, some lenses, a filter kit, and my iPad. The other important consideration was that the bag needed to be easy to access and work from.
After much looking around, I settled on the Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 30. As you may know, Think Tank products are legendary and they carry their well-known “non-rhetoric warranty.” This bag is one from their compact series, designed for small kits. There are four different models and the 30 is the biggest of them all, the one that features a separated iPad compartment.
The bag is constructed of high-quality ballistic polyester, treated for water resistance. It features YKK® zippers, stretch pockets on the sides, two-ply bonded nylon thread, and a removable shoulder strap. The interior comes with removable dividers and a rain cover that fits in the main outside pocket.
Besides the main compartment, the Sub Urban Disguise 30 has multiple pockets. There is a front organizer pocket on the front flap that can accommodate personal items. Under the main flap, there is a large pocket that is roomy enough to store bigger accessories, like battery chargers, cables, or perhaps a travel book. There is also a mesh pocket inside the main flap for smaller accessories. The exterior stretch side pockets can fit a bottle of water or a flash.
The bag dimensions are:
- Exterior: 12” x 10” x 7.3” ((W x H x D)
- Interior: 11” x 9.5” x 5” (W x H x D)
- iPad pocket: 10.7” x 8.5” x .8” (W x H x D)
According to Think Tank, this bag can fit a standard-size DSRL, two to four zoom lenses, a regular iPad, and a 70-200 f/2.8 lens unattached. As I am shooting mirrorless, my use was a little different, and I was able to fit two Fujifilm X-T1 bodies with lenses attached, three separate lenses, a full-size filter kit, the iPad, and accessories, and I had room to spare.
As you can see, I loaded mine by layering the interior in two tiers. I placed lenses on the bottom of the bag, which I separated from the top with the provided dividers, and then placed both camera bodies on top for easy access. On the side I had the filter kit. As explained above, one of the things that I was looking for was to have easy access to the gear, and this way I had both bodies with the most used lenses within very easy access. The bag is very comfortable to wear as the shoulder strap is solid but very well padded.
One of the best things about this bag is the way it opens. There is a flip-top lid that folds away from your body, and that really helps you to reach the camera fast. This top lid is zippered and totally separated from the main Velcro exterior flap that accesses the bigger pocket. In the end, the bag was everything that I expected, so I will continue to use it on future trips, especially the ones around cities with lots of walking, and where I need quick access to the cameras, to take a shot and put it away again.
Obviously, how much you can fit in the bag will depend on the type of configuration you use and how you divide the bag internally, but if you want something relatively light for urban walks or travel, this is really a very good option. If you don’t need to carry a tablet, you can also consider this bag’s smaller siblings with three more models to choose from. There is probably one that will suit you well. The price for this bag starts at $49.75 and this particular model is $84.75, a price that I believe is more than reasonable for all these features and quality.
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