The good folks at Think Tank Photo sent me one of their new TurnStyle 20 sling bags last week to check out and run it through the environment of a concert photographer. This bag could not have arrived at a better time as I was covering Seattle’s Bumbershoot music festival held over three-days at Seattle Center. I’ve been using their Urban Disguise 60 shoulder bag to carry my gear to shoots but on more than one occasion, I’ve found myself in a dense crowd covering a concert, and have come to realize that carrying a shoulder bag is cumbersome. I usually have to put my bag down in order to shoot and worry about its safety with so many people around. I also have a Think Tank Pro Speed Belt but wearing it for a solid three days did not seem appealing.
The things which I desired most in a camera bag were that it had a small form factor, be versatile yet comfortable, able to hold the bare essentials and most importantly be of a quality construction.
The TurnStyle 20 is the company’s largest of their three sling bags and is designed to carry a DSLR without a vertical grip (like the Nikon D800 or D600) and up to 4 lenses. For my test, I used a Nikon D3s, a 16mm, 24-70mm and a 70-200mm. With this set- up, there wasn’t much room left in the large compartment but that wasn’t an issue for me.
Living in Seattle, I appreciate Think Tank’s attention to keeping the gear within their bags dry. In addition to using water resistant materials they also add a rain water slip cover with their bags. This will no doubt come into use as the rainy season approaches the Emerald City.
There are two other zippered compartments on the TurnStyle 20, which like their other products feature double stitched YYK zippers so they do not break or split. One compartment is designated for small accessories like a memory card wallet, lens cloth and maybe a spare battery. The second compartment on the backside is designed for a full-sized tablet like an iPad. I imagine it could hold an 11inch Mac Book Air if someone wanted to be able to work on images with a very minimal footprint of gear.
Where this bag shines is in it’s ability to transition from a sling bag to a beltpack /change up hybrid bag like think Tank’s Speed Freak V2.0. The caveat with the bag in this position however is that if you have anything of significant weight in the bag and it’s around your waist, hopefully you have some back end to keep it from slipping down your hips. This was not an issue for me thankfully. With the bag around my waist I was able to transition lenses with great ease from the photo pit.
The TurnStyle 20 is a great bag for the pro-sumer DSLR market and mirrorless camera crowd. I feel it is a solid choice for photographers who like to get off the beaten path during vacations or about town and don’t want to look like a photographer among the locals. It currently retails online at Think Tank Photo’s website for $99.75.
Here’s everything I was able to fit into the TurnStyle 20 and I still had some room.