I now travel with a Fuji X-Pro 1 and a series of prime lenses, but by the time I put a 17" laptop and iPad into the case with the accompanying adapters and connectors, I can fill this bag easily. Always remember, when you are looking for a camera bag, consider how much extra stuff you are going to want to carry rather than consign to the baggage hold in checked luggage! I highly recommend setting out on a table everything you would want to travel with - try to trim it down and only then begin to think about what size of bag you want. We often forget about all the extras we carry including power adapters, spare batteries, spare camera body, lens and sensor cleaning supplies, filters, cables, paperwork, etc. This all adds to the weight you will be carrying and quickly takes up a great deal of room.
If we are going to fly someplace where we intend to stay for a period of time, my bag is packed ridiculously full for the plane ride and then is emptied upon arrival at our final destination. If we will be flying somewhere and then moving around quite often, I will really lighten up on the accessories and then carry everything in the camera bag all the time. If we are travelling by car, I usually just put a steamer trunk of gear into the trunk and hope the backseat will hold our luggage.
So, with all this in mind, I thought I would post this update just in case you were looking for a great and versatile camera bag.
Photographers spend a great deal of time looking for the perfect camera bag hoping it's available on the next trip to the store. Every bag is a compromise unless you have found one that folds the space-time continuum in such a way that a small bag holds a lot of gear and all of it doesn't weigh very much. Sadly, I haven't seen that bag available at my local camera store, so I have had to make some sacrifices and select a bag that obeys the laws of physics.
One of my first camera bags for my digital camera equipment was the now discontinued Bob Krist Travel Bag sold by L.L. Bean. It had the distinct advantage of being taller than wide, thus allowing for a full size camera with a mounted long telephoto to be dropped into it. At 14" X 12" X 5" and with a vertical configuration, it always felt a little awkward to carry. While it had some endearing features including the ability to transform into a backpack, after a couple of years I was back to looking for a different bag.
Years later my over the shoulder travel camera bag is still a ThinkTank Urban Disguise 40. Into this 13" X 10" X 4" black ballistic nylon bag goes as much gear as I would normally want to carry. Typically I can put a Canon 5D Mk II body with grip and separate 70-200 f/2.8, 24-105 f/4, 2X extender and a digital derringer of some sort. Without the grip on my 5D, I usually store the camera with a mounted 16-35 in the middle compartment, a 70-200 f/2.8 on one side and a 300 f/4 on the other. Again, this still leaves room for a digital derringer to be stored in the central compartment giving me more than enough equipment for almost any circumstance.
As with most other camera bags, the inside can be configured in many different ways by attaching various partitions and platforms using hook and loop attachments. The folks at Think Tank provide a huge selection of these partitions with the bag so there is no shortage of ways to configure the inside.
The rear zippered compartment holds my netbook and power cable. The two expandable front pockets can hold portable hard drives, small prime lenses or an external flash. This still leaves another zippered compartment between the main one and the front pockets. Here there are pockets for pens, paper, lens cleaner and cloth as well as a "Pocket Rocket" - a folding wallet that will hold CF and SD cards and clips to an lanyard mounted in the bag for security. Soft, stretchable outside pockets on each end of the bag allow for water bottles or the like to be stored where they can be easily accessed.
It's really the little extras that set this bag apart and shows that photographers were involved in the design and testing of this product. While most bag hardware is now made of plastic, all clips, rings and zipper pulls on this bag are of metal to stand up to the most severe wear and tear. The zippers are weather resistant and the bag comes with its own rain jacket that can be installed over the bag on rainy days. There is an open pocket on the back of the bag that can be used to hold paperwork or, with the bottom portion open, it becomes a sleeve that will fit over the upright handle of a rolling suitcase.
The adjustable, curved and well padded shoulder strap makes this bag relatively easy to carry even when loaded to the max with gear. The zippers are lockable with any luggage lock you would care to use. Most importantly, this bag is airplane friendly and will fit under the seats or in the overhead bin on the tiny CRJ's that fly in and out of Saskatoon.
As the name of the bag implies, it is meant to be nondescript rather than shouting out that it's filled with expensive cameras. Short of carrying around a converted diaper bag to discourage thieves (I've done that, by the way), this bag will limit unwanted attention during your travels.
The best indication that a bag works is how long a photographer uses it and this one has been my primary travel bag for ten years now. The bag still looks great - as the photo above will attest - and is large and flexible enough to carry all manner of camera gear. If you are still looking for that perfect bag, this one - or another in the Think Tank lineup may be in order.