ThinkTank “Urban Disguise 70” Buyer Review

I’m not in the habit of reviewing everything I buy, but it does give me something to post. I picked this up from Progear in Newmarket for $219 (NZD), so it’s not a cheap bag but not absurdly expensive either. Note that I did actually purchase this with my own money and buyers are never totally impartial, but I’m certainly not being sponsored by the manufacturer/distributor/retailer either!

The last bag I bought to hold all my gear (a backpack from trademe) cost $79, so it was a cheapie but excellent value for money, more so than this (since the Urban Disguise 70 cost me 2.5x as much). This time around I wanted something that was durable, looked nice but didn’t scream “camera bag!”. And this seemed to fit the bill.
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First a shot of the bag and the gear I have to fit inside. It’s a fairly modest kit, small enough that I can carry everything most places:
Urban Disguise 70

Like most bags aimed at photographers the internal layout is completely re-arrangeable, and a good number of spacers are included. This pic shows how I’ve laid out mine (albeit not very well as the zipper doesn’t allow it to open very wide):
Urban Disguise 70

The bag has a generous number of pockets. This is one of the side pockets where I chose to store a couple of filters:
Urban Disguise 70

This next photo shows the pouch which holds the rain cover:
Urban Disguise 70

However this is one feature that I can’t really see myself using. Here’s the bag with the rain cover on:
Urban Disguise 70

Unless you’re in the habit of leaving your camera bag outside on a rainy day, or don’t mind carrying it like a cardboard box, this is a rather useless feature in my opinion. But it does add a bullet point to the marketing materials. If I ever use it I will be sure to update the review!

Update: As noted in the comments below, you can actually use the rain cover if you attach the strap to the clips on the “back” of the bag rather than the sides. Maybe I will use it after all.

Also included is a memory card wallet which attaches to the bag via a velcro ribbon:
Urban Disguise 70

There have been a couple of times when I’ve been concerned about memory cards slipping out of my old bag, so I think this is a great idea. It’s one of those nice extra touches that really makes this a photographers bag, and wasn’t something I was expecting to find (or had even considered). It’s a shame about the gaudy colour though, and the bright blue ribbon it attaches to makes it worse (what’s wrong with gray/black?).

Finally a shot with all my gear inside:
Urban Disguise 70

As you can see it’s a comfortable fit. The DSLR has a 10-22mm lens mounted with its hood facing outwards and there’s heaps of room. It also fits with the 70-200 on and hood reversed. I could comfortably fit another medium-large sized lens or another body, but probably not both.

You may have noticed that you can’t see much of the gear that’s either side of the DSLR (the 70-200 and flash are on the right and the 17-85 and 50 are on the left). Due to the narrow opening they aren’t that easy to access either. I could possibly remedy this by putting the DSLR on one side, but then the camera would be harder to access which somewhat defeats the point. To be fair, allowing a wider opening would compromise the look of the bag somewhat, and it’s only an inconvenience when I want to change lenses and quick access isn’t very important.

Conclusion

This is a sharp looking but understated bag that is very well made. It blends in well and is a perfect size for my needs, so I’m happy with the purchase.

Pros

  • Good quality materials and construction
  • Plenty of pockets and spacers
  • Holds a good amount of gear
  • Doesn’t look like a camera bag

Cons

  • A little pricey, but not exorbitant
  • Narrow zipper opening makes gear on the sides hard to access
  • Rain cover has questionable utility value
  • Dorky name, but it describes the mandate well

For more info see the manufacturer’s site.

6 thoughts on “ThinkTank “Urban Disguise 70” Buyer Review

  1. M289

    Hello and thank you for your buyers review of the ThinkTank Urban Disguise 70.

    It’s been very helpful making my buying decision :-)

    Reply
  2. Antonello

    Thanks for the useful review.
    I bought an Urban Disguise 70 after reading your review, and I am satisfied with it. It’s top quality and can carry a lot of equipment.

    I share your doubts about the utility of the rain cover, that yields impossible to use the strap.
    I was unable to find on the web any suggestion about how to carry the bag when the rain cover is applied. Did you find out any hint?

    Also, I’m curious about your arrangement of the spacers. I use only the bigger ones, because the little spacers seem to me too flimsy to protect valuable gear.

    Best wishes, Antonello

    Reply
    1. Alex

      Hi Antonello,

      Glad you found the review useful.

      I did use one of the small spacers to separate two of my smaller lenses. The main problem with them is that they don’t go all the way to the top, which does limit their usefulness in my view.

      The rain cover however continues to mystify me. I think they were just adding another bullet point – it’s one of those things that looks great in a brochure, but in practice is rarely (if ever) useful. I just use it to pad the bottom of the bag – it gives me a bit more piece of mind when I put the camera in there with a lens on it face down!

      Regards,
      Alex

      Reply
  3. A Sender

    The rain cover is no mystery… You must connect the strap to those metal hinges at the back of the bag. The rain cover must be fit “from the front”, not from the top (like on your picture). Essentially, it must cover the front, top and the bottom of the bag.

    When you walk on a street with umbrella, the occasional rain drops/splashes will hit the bag, this is where the rain protection comes in handy (the zippers are not water proof). It also adds protection from sand on a windy beach.

    Reply

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