Hey there IDP members, I wanted to make a post today to go along with my video review of the Think Tank Photo Urban Access 15 Camera Backpack. Like I say in all of my reviews, it is a NEVER ENDING mission to find a camera bag that has the best of everything. This is kind of why I have an office full of backpacks, and my friends assert that I have a GAS problem. Think Tank sent me this Urban Access 15 to review a few months ago. After taking it on a few trips to Walt Disney World, and other trips, I am finally comfortable to share my thoughts on this backpack. Check out my video review below.
The main thing about this bag that stood out to me is the styling. It does not scream of a typical photographers backpack. I am in love with this heathered charcoal gray that they used in the construction of this bag. Aside from my Mindshift bags which have green accents, all of my other bags are pretty much all black. I actually received a few compliments from other photographers when they saw the Urban Access. The new material is also somewhat water resistant, which is great for when we get caught outside in the rain but I would definitely use the seam-sealed rain cover included for the heavier downpours.
For air travel, this fits right under the seat of an Airbus A320/321 or a Boeing 737. It is a tall bag, so it does stick out a little bit, but I haven’t had any flight attendant raise concern over it.
The Urban Access has a couple ways to access your gear. The main compartment opens up on the backside, which helps speed you through the security checkpoints. There aren’t a million little compartments and flaps to go through when showing security the bag. We all love going through security amirite? It also has two side access doors where you can access your gear without taking the backpack off your shoulders. There are water bottle holders on these access doors which I like to use as a tripod holder. I like to do this so the bag lays flat down.
The function of the doors similar to my Lowepro Protactic, which I severely disliked. The side access was nice, but I hated the flimsy, paper-thin things hanging off the shoulder that served as straps. This brings me to my next talking point. The straps on the Urban Access are comfortable, just like every other Think Tank / Mind Shift bag I have in my possession. Straps are definitely one of my main concerns when it comes to choosing a backpack.
The backside of the bag also allows you to loop the backpack onto the handles of a roller, which is really nice for traversing through the airport. The waist straps are removable which I really like. I wished I could take the waist straps off my Backlight 26L in the same fashion.
So the interior is a different layout than most of my other ThinkTank/Mindshift bags. It did take me a little bit to configure how I’d want my gear to sit in there. The dividers are very nice and well constructed. The main dividers also have a new velcro loop so you can secure it even better to the sides of the bag.
The one thing I wished for is that this bag was a little deeper to accommodate for the gripped DSLRs. When using mirrorless, it holds plenty and has room for even more.
There is a top compartment which opens up to store your everyday stuff. I like to store my phone, wallet, batteries, memory cards and keys up there. Its nice to have a separate area where these items won’t bang around against your lens/bodies.
The front compartment expands and is able to hold a windbreaker. I often will throw my iPad pro in there as well.
I have really enjoyed spending some time using this bag and it certainly is one of the bags which will be frequently used. I really enjoyed using it in the parks and most importantly, it is super comfortable.
As always, a big thank you to my friends over at Think Tank Photo for sending this awesome Urban Access 15 for me to review.
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