Thinktank or Crumpler for my 5D III kit?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by michael_h|4, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. I'm taking my 5D III kit on a trip to Iceland and my old Lowpro bag won't do. I'm looking for a way to carry my 5D III, wide zoom, telephoto, flash, and 50 mm lens. I also want room for filters and batteries. In other words, I want to take a modest full one-body kit.

    It's important to me to have maximum protection from the hardships of carry-on air travel and maximum stealth. I don't want to advertise that I'm carrying a camera kit.

    I've narrowed it down to two options: 1. Thinktank's Urban Disguise bag OR 2. Getting a Crumpler Haven XXL to put in an ordinary day backpack or shoulder bag.

    I use a Crumpler pouch for my Fuji X100 and have been very pleased-- and I've seen the Thinktank and am impressed. Opinions and experience from owners of both options would be appreciated. I'm especially interested in which would be better for air travel.
  2. I've got several Think Tank products (including one of their Urban Disguise bags, which is my general on-the-town bag, usually with a tablet and some other goodies along). It certainly doesn't scream "camera bag!" - but most people would expect that you're carrying something besides your wallet. But that bag goes out with my pretty much every day.

    I've also got a Crumpler Karachi Outpost pack. If I'm trying to look touristy without looking photographery, and need to haul a body, some lenses, a flash, etc - it's a very good choice. But it has to come off your back/shoulder to be opened. Definitely oriented around transport rather than on-the-fly shooting. But it's very innocuous.

    Products from both of those brands are in my experience very, very well made.
  3. I've never used a ThinkTank product and can't comment intelligently on the line. However, I have a Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home that I use as my purse / camera bag. It's held up very well. I can stuff a large DSLR and moderately large lens (e.g. 24-105) into it, along with "stuff." if I empty out the "stuff," there's enough room for a flash or another lens. It's the smallest of the "million dollar homes." It works well for me, because it looks more like a purse than a camera bag. It was recommended to me by a male photographer who stopped carrying his because it looked too much like a purse. ;-) Only you can say whether you could pull off carrying a super-sized man-purse!
  4. super-sized man-purse​
    My wife has long referred to my go-bag (the Urban Disguise) as my purse. I long ago stopped complaining, and now use the term myself, just because it's funny to me. "Honey, have you seen my purse?" I say it at least as often as she does. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

    Of course, I deserve it. In that bag: DSLR, two or three lenses, a flash, a tablet, my wallet, my mobile phone, a notepad, a sharpie, a couple of cables of one sort or another, a spare battery or two, some gum, usually a micro-fiber cloth, perhaps a dog treat, some gum, sunglasses, car keys, old movie tickets ... yup, it's a purse. But it really doesn't look like a camera bag, and that's the idea.
  5. Michael, just to add to the confusion, and letting you know that I don't have it (yet), you may want to consider the Kit Cube
    from Mountainsmith. It seems to be a good solution to keep a medium camera kit inside a daypack, and is quite
    inexpensive (under $20 from B&H).
  6. maximum protection from the hardships of carry-on air travel​
    Is this a joke? Carry on air travel is not very arduous I'd say, so I would not make max protection a requirement if that is all you are doing with it. I like Domke stuff and the Billingham Super Hadley is a nice bag. In my experience it's difficult to get more than one person to agree on a "good bag".
  7. I use the Crumpler Haven in a Timbuk2 messenger and it works great as a thinly disguised camera bag. It isn't as convenient to work out of my Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home nor as well padded. The real camera bag holds its shape and is much quicker and easier to pull gear in and out. With an insert, you have to massage it in back in. I suspect the non-camera stealth to the average Joe on the street would be about the same for both bags.
    The Crumpler Haven in a day pack, while great for transport, is PITA to work from. Really sucks. On the other hand, the Crumpler Haven in a Hello Kitty diaper bag with a baby bottle off the side would be true stealth and probably work okay.
  8. On the other hand, the Crumpler Haven in a Hello Kitty diaper bag with a baby bottle off the side would be true stealth and probably work okay.​
    Best idea I've heard yet! :)
  9. it


    The Think Tank stuff is the best, that why a huge percentage of working photographers use it.
  10. I've always been amused by the "Urban Disguise" name. Isn't disguising your camera as a laptop kind of like disguising your Porsche as a BMW?
  11. Check that the airlines carry on allowance includes two for your camera gear and the other for personal items. Some airlines are restricting it now as the volume and weight of passengers' carry on exceeds the overhead lockers space.
  12. The Thintank Photo UD50 is very good. I use the larger one but I am carrying different gear. But have you looked at the TTP
    ShapeShifter Backpack? I use the ShapeShifter a lot when working on travel/tourism projects. I like it because the gear stays
    unambiguously organized. My usual pad is a couple of Canon 1D series size bodies, a 70-200mm f/2.8L, 24-70mm f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.4
    and 85mm f/1.8 plus cables, extra batteries, RRS PG-02 panoramic gear, WhiBal target, etc. What doesn't fit in the inter pockets in the
    main compartment fits between the pockets.

    I am 6'5" and I find the ShapeShifter a comfortable fit. When I'm shooting and much of the gear is deployed the bag can be zipped down
    to a lower profile which is great for walking around in crowded streets and markets. I have had no troubles flying with it on even small
    commuter planes.
  13. FWIW: I just finished a two week photo vacation and used a Lowepro Mini Trekker Classic and was very pleased with it. I packed my 5DII, 70-200 2.8 IS, 24-105, 50 1.4, a Zeiss 28 2.0, batteries, cards, filters and cleaning supplies. The bag is not too large considering the load. It looks like an ordinary backpack. When I fly I always carry my camera gear into the cabin, so it doesn't need a lot of protection. So, I recommend that bag. It was cheap too. I got mine used from B&H for about $50.
  14. Almost forgot to mention it: I have a Think Tank Digital Holster 20 and although it's nicely made it has not been durable, even with minimal use.
  15. Regarding the protection needed for carry-on transportation, I agree you don't need a lot of padding just for that (although
    some passengers may hit your bag while trying to fit their stuff into the overhead bins). The real problem is the size of the
    bag, and the possibility of a small bag ending in the cargo area of an aircraft due to a full flight. Another problem in remote
    destinations is the weight (all passengers are asked to stand on a scale with their carry-ons before boarding a Nature
    Air's Dehavilland DHC 6 in Costa Rica, which, by the way, doesn't have overhead bins).

    In my experience, the largest bag I would try to travel with is my Kata FlyBy 74, which fits perfectly (removing the trolley)
    in the overhead bins of the Embraer ERJ 145, the smallest aircraft used by the airlines I travel with (Aeromexico, and the
    United routes previously operated by Continental). Something important to consider in this respect is that airlines sometimes ask
    their passengers to do a valet/gate check-in when a flight is completely sold, most of the time allowing only the "elite"
    passengers to keep their bags with them during early boarding. The point being, don't plan for the largest bag that fits in
    an airplane if you plan to fly on a regional aircraft during the summer vacation months, unless you are a frequent flyer with
    elite status and arrive early to the gate.
  16. The real problem is the size of the bag, and the possibility of a small bag ending in the cargo area of an aircraft due to a full flight. Another problem in remote destinations is the weight (all passengers are asked to stand on a scale with their carry-ons before boarding a Nature Air's Dehavilland DHC 6 in Costa Rica, which, by the way, doesn't have overhead bins).​
    There's always the space under the seat in front of you, provided you're not seated in a bulkhead row. You "own" that space, and nobody else can claim it. However, to use it safely, you need good padding (might get kicked) and a good, waterproof skin (spilled drinks). Also, because you can't stretch out your legs, you need to stand up and walk around occasionally to prevent deep vein thrombosis.
  17. There has already been a lot of words, so I'll be brief: Nothing at all against Crumpler, but ThinkTank is aptly named because it is built like a tank and really holds up while seeming unobtrusive and never screams "camera bag." I've had one in the past with my big lenses (300mm and up), and now use the Urban Disguise to house my 5D Mark III, 85L and 35L. They are excellent.
  18. it


    FWIW, I did a short vid recently showing what I could fit in my Urban Disguise 70. Think Tank just emailed me to ask if they could use it on their site but they haven't posted it yet.
    I think the important thing is to find a retail shop with all the bags, take your gear and try them out in person.
  19. I am certainly more partial to backpacks. Far less telling than shoulder bags, methinks.
    I just hauled the following gear during my most recent odyssey, in the relatively obscure Quiksilver "Shutter Speed" photo backpack, which I acquired in the most unlikely of stores, for a song!
    - Bodies: 5D Mark II, 7D, 60D
    - Lenses: 17-40L, 17-85, 85 f/1.8
    - 4x LP-E6 battery chargers (don't ask :))
    - Memory cards
    - 15.6 inch laptop with power cord
    - 2x external hard drives with USB cables
    - Notepad
    - Sundry items, Sunglasses, snacks, water bottle, etc.
    I was thoroughly impressed. I usually don't travel with so much gear but on this occasion I had bought a lot of this kit Stateside and had to find a way of carrying it back home with me.
    The kit admittedly weighed a ton but the bag has excellent padding and support, and swallowed my gear whole, as it were.
    It also has an integrated rain cover, and reverse zippers as firstline water repellant. It has seemingly endless storage too, for filters, mem cards and all manner of other items. it also features cleverly concealable straps, so that it can beome totally inconspicuous.
    I did extesnsive research on photo backpacks and this one is far and away the best value for money and the most well-appointed I have come across in its price range (100-200USD)
  20. Great video, Ian! I enjoyed it. :)
  21. That was fun, Ian. It's the clown car of camera bags!

Share This Page