One of our friends here at Photofocus, ThinkTank Photo, recently sent me a bag to review: the CityWalker 10 in blue. Because I had recently purchased the Fuji X-T1 camera, I am on the prowl for the “perfect” bag to carry around on a daily basis. I thought that the CityWalker 10 would be a worthy competitor, and I was right! After using the bag regularly for a few solid weeks, I decided to write up a review to share my findings.
I will definitely start off by saying that I have many good things to say about this bag. To make it easier to follow, here are some of the pros about the Think Tank Photo CityWalker 10:
- Well padded. One thing that I love about this bag is that it has a removable camera insert. This creates a nice “home” for the camera gear, and protects it quite well. And, a bonus is that you can remove the entire thing and use the bag as a “normal” messenger bag.
- Great side pocket space. I rarely carry my phone in my pants pocket. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, but I typically will have some type of purse or bag that I want to stash my phone away in. This bag has perfect mesh pockets on both sides of the bag on the OUTSIDE that hold phones and other items. I use one for my iPhone, and the other for my lip-gloss and hand sanitizer.
- More pocket space on the inside, too! There are several pockets inside and around this bag. There’s a big flap in the back for papers (or something skinny), a large zip pocked on the inside, two small pockets on the inside-side areas, and a large pocket in the front (great for a wallet, pens, etc.).
- Has a dedicated tablet pocket. Tablets are becoming more and more important to photographers, especially with the recent update to Lightroom Mobile. I’m not sure if I would travel overseas only with my iPad, but it is worth taking along with me on daytrips (especially if I know I will have some time to kill). The tablet pocket on the CityWalker 10 is well-padded and right in the front (no digging to the back of the bag to find your tablet).
- It fits laptops, too! It isn’t advertised with their product description, but it does, in fact, fit laptops up to 13″ comfortably. It’s not a dedicated or padded spot, but you can fit a laptop in-between the iPad slot and the padded camera insert. (Note: My 11-inch MacBook Air fit inside of the iPad slot. Take a look at the photos below for some examples.)d
No camera bag is perfect. With this bag, there are only a handful of things I wasn’t too thrilled with, and I have them listed below:
- The shoulder strap-pad could be larger. Ironically, the shoulder strap pad is both a “pro” and a “con”. While it is very nice, and much better than most bags in its class, I really wish that this bag had a thicker, longer pad for the shoulder strap. If it’s anything like the Retrospective bag series, then I can only assume that the larger versions of this bag have a pad that is comparable to the size of the bag. But in my opinion, they could all stand to be very large padded straps. A bigger pad means a more comfortable bag, and it will allow us to load it a little bit heavier (on the occasion we “absolutely need” that extra lens). As it is, I can only stuff it so full before it gets uncomfortable and I need to either remove things, or just go with a different bag altogether.
- Not great as an “all-in-one” carry-on for travel. I was fully planning on using this bag as my main carry-on during a recent trip to visit family. I had it all packed and ready to go, but when I put it across my shoulder I knew that it would be too heavy. (BTW, the gear I had in the bag consisted of my Fuji X-T1, two small lenses—Zeiss Touit 32/1.8 and 12/1.8—iPad, 13″ MacBook Pro, and other miscellaneous gear, such as wallet, iPhone, and chargers.) So instead I opted to use my ThinkTank Photo Shape Shifter backpack. Running around a crowded airport is uncomfortable as it is, and having to carry a heavy messenger bag that digs into my shoulder just makes it worse.
- It’s mostly black. Ok, so I have this “thing” against black camera bags. Why must all camera bags be black? I’m not trying to hide in a dark corner when using my camera, so why does my camera bag look like it’s trying to disappear into the shadows? ThinkTank does have a beautiful “colorful” line of bags, the Retrospective series (another bag I would highly recommend), but for the most part, all of their other bags are a boring BLACK. I don’t want hot-pink or baby-blue, just something that is NOT black. (Ok, sorry, rant over.) :)
What is this bag good for?
- Small cameras, such as mirrorless systems.
- A one-camera-one-lens setup.
- Day-trips with light camera gear.
- Use as a basic messenger (the camera insert can be removed).
- Everyday bag to carry a small camera/lens setup (so that you can always have your camera with you!).
Would I recommend this bag?
Yes! Absolutely, without a doubt, I would recommend this bag to anyone looking for a compact messenger bag for their camera gear. This bag is as close to perfect as a messenger bag can get. ThinkTank really does things right, and I have been a fan of their products for years. You can really tell that they take their designs seriously and truly know what photographers need.
Also, if you need something bigger, this bag also comes in different sizes! I opted for the smallest of this series, but they have larger bags as well. Please take a look over on the ThinkTank Photo website to find out about this bag and more.
Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer living in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of several print books and eBooks, and runs her own online store for photographers, the “Nicolesy Store“.
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