Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Think Tank Photo CityWalker 20 Blue Slate
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Camera bags can be highly subjective choices, and in many cases it takes buying two or three over a period of time to settle on the right one for your individual needs. And sometimes those needs can and will change with the ever-evolving camera gear that we use. It's the nature of people and our changing needs.

First saw this Think Tank CityWalker 20 at PhotoPlus Expo 2012 in New York City in October, and after looking at this bag for less than five minutes, subjectively found it to be the best designed and engineered combination of a camera & messenger bag rolled into one that I had seen. Picked this one up in blue locally as soon as it was available, and haven't regretted it for a moment.

This is a very subjective and personal review from one who has gone through a number of bags over the years as I looked for perfection, and why I rate this CityWalker 20 as the best. Hope that my search and experiences can help others looking for that ideal DSLR bag. Here's the short version for those who want the highlights, followed by the details.

Pros:

+ Discreet messenger bag appearance; doesn't announce "I'm a camera bag."
+ First-rate cushioned shoulder strap; non-slip, soft and very adjustable
+ Generous interior; 13" wide x 8¾" high x 5¼" deep
+ Compact overall exterior size; fits easily almost anywhere
+ Carries an iPad or Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet; dedicated pocket inside
+ Excellent construction; 420D high-density nylon with DWR coating, wears well
+ Seam-sealed rain cover; offers protection against the elements when you need it
+ Carries a full-size DSLR with lens; room for extra lenses and additional gear
+ Organizer section under front flap; holds batteries, LensPen, notepads, etc.
+ Removable carrying handle; great for grabbing bag when exiting taxis and such
+ Velcro 'Sound Silencers' on the front flap; reduced noise while opening the bag
+ Clear business card holder under front flap; a place to store emergency supply

Cons:

- None at all; a first in a camera bag

General Observations:

For personal use with the gear that I have, this CityWalker 20 proved to be the perfect size with its generous interior that measures 13" wide x 8¾" high x 5¼" deep. It's a comfortable bag to carry and "wear" for a long day out in the field, and it has a coated nylon seam-sealed taffeta rain cover in case one gets caught in inclement weather, which has already happened. So far, this is what I currently have stowed in this bag:

◆ Nikon D5000 with attached battery grip
◆ Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens (on camera)
◆ Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5 lens
◆ Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5 lens
◆ Nikon P7700 compact digital camera
◆ Nikon SB-600 or SB-400 Speedlight
◆ Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet w/cover
◆ Think Tank DSLR Battery Holder 4 (w/6-8 batteries)
◆ Think Tank Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket w/SD Cards
◆ Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom Tripod w/BH1 ball head
◆ AmazonBasics Wireless Remote Control
◆ Nikon MH-23 Quick Charger
◆ LensPen NLP-1
◆ Microfiber cleaning cloth
◆ Leatherman Multitool
◆ PowerPax Storacell "AA" 4-pack battery caddy
◆ Compact USB charger (because you never know)
◆ Coast A25 Focusing LED Flashlight
◆ Maglite "AA" Mini Flashlight
◆ Misc. filters, pens, notepads, BlackBerry batteries and utility items

In Use:

What surprised me the most was how much gear this CityWalker 20 bag could carry, there's still a bit of room for more. One of the best parts is that there's a fully removable padded insert that can be taken out in seconds, leaving the photo gear intact and converting it over to a messenger bag. The versatility of this became apparent shortly after I got this bag, and Hurricane Sandy hit the NYC and NJ areas in late October. We were without power for days in Lower Manhattan, and the CityWalker 20 bag became invaluable for picking up batteries, food and essentials for those who couldn't get out during this disaster.

It quickly became apparent that this bag could carry far more weight in emergency supplies for neighbors than the designers at Think Tank had considered, as a bag full of canned goods and C-cell batteries weigh far more than one might think. It's also worth noting that the nonslip shoulder strap, which is well-cushioned and nicely padded, made the task of walking many city blocks for hours quite a bit easier when there was no available transportation. Not the best way to put a camera bag through its trial-by-fire, but it was proof to me that this is one versatile and sturdy bag.

Back to its key points: the CityWalker 20 has two wide Velcro strips to secure the top flap, along with a dual cross snap buckle attached to an adjustable strap. The Velcro strips also have some ingeniously designed 'Sound Silencers' on the front flap to completely eliminate noise while opening the bag, and if you've ever been shooting inside a quiet location such as a church or museum, you know how handy this can be. The padded interior dividers, are adjustable enough to be customized to so many types and shapes of photo gear, and will keep your gear from getting banged around, even when traveling down a bumpy rural road. You can configure this bag the way that it best suits your needs.

The workmanship and stitching are exceptional, and the quality of construction makes it stand out from most of the competition. Even with the loaded with gear, its dividers are smooth enough to allow for easy removal when you need your camera or a lens quickly. Opening the various compartments is easy, as Think Tank uses the premium YKK RC Fuse abrasion resistant zippers, and this coil zipper has a decent and secure pull on it, allowing for one-hand operation. There's convenient handle strap for lifting the bag when going from place to place, and it's cleverly detachable. It's very handy when you're taking a cab during inclement weather, and need to grab the bag quickly.

There's an expandable front pocket protected by the top flap, with sections for pens, small notepads and the like, and it also has a seam-sealed rain cover. Important for many of us, it also has a dedicated 10⅓" wide x 8" high protected pocket inside to carry an iPad or other tablets, and I found that it will carry a Kindle Fire HD 8.9" even with a cover. It may even carry a small notebook computer, but measure yours first. The unobtrusive logo is very small and stitched to the top flap, and there are expansion pockets at each end of the bag that can be used for water bottles, a cell phone, battery holders, flash units, etc.

From personal experience, I cannot say enough about the first-rate cushioned shoulder strap on this CityWalker bag. It has a non-slip cushioned pad that works, and the strap itself is flexible, soft and very adjustable. It's wider than most on the market, and one that doesn't feel like it was chewing through my shoulder with each step. The antiqued nickel-plated metal hardware used is excellent and designed for the long haul.

For my general, everyday photographic needs, this CityWalker 20 has all of the space and features that I need. Also have a black Think Tank Retrospective 10 for those times that a smaller, more compact bag is needed, and that has proven to be quite good and shares some of the features with this CityWalker series, though in a more formal-looking bag. Yet the CityWalker 20 weighs in at about 2 lbs, which is lighter than the Retrospective 10 at 3 lbs.

It's worth noting that Think Tank offers an out of the ordinary lifetime guarantee that they call their "No Rhetoric Warranty." I read it completely; they're not kidding.

Summary:

The Think Tank CityWalker 20 is efficient as a camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag, and is clearly designed by and for photographers. It's inconspicuous and subtle design allow you to blend in instead of being labeled by your gear. This bag blends great styling, excellent ergonomics and a large carrying capacity for the gear I use most. It's a 5-star product for those who want a bag that works for you instead of against, and is highly recommended.

12/2/2012
44 comments| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 30, 2013
I like taking my camera to work with me and this bag perfectly fits the bill. Where I work, most folks walk around with a leather portfolio orat most, a shoulder or messenger bag. If you want to bring some camera gear to work but don't want to stand out as the guy that always wears a backpack, then this is your bag.

This is not a bag for carrying everything you've got. The people who are considering this purchase and willing to spend a Ben and a half on a camera messenger bag are likely experienced photographers with a good bit of gear. This is a perfect bag for those photographers who are comfortable with two, maybe three lenses max, plus some flash gear.

Since I use this as my daily work bag, I need to reserve some space for non-camera gear. Often, I'll remove the lightsphere and replace it with my protein shaker cup. That takes up on full lens spot (of three in the divider section). There are elastic banded pockets on the exterior of the bag but I don't like how it makes the bag look and feel bulky. There is still space for magazines or other paperwork on the outside - or you can put it in the ipad pocket if you don't carry an ipad. For me, the capacity of the CityWalker 20 is perfect.

My typical daily contents include:

Nikon D600
Nikon P7700
24-70
50 prime
sb-700
Slik minipro 3 tabletop tripod
Yongnuo RF trigger x2 with shutter release cable
Gary Fong lightsphere collapsible

Ipad2
20 oz SmartShaker cup (for mixing protein shakes)
The usual stuff that otherwise would go in my pockets
& various little things

I also want to point out that the shoulder strap is a lot more comfortable than I expected. Looking at the various pictures online, it's hard to tell how thick the pad is and I was a little worried about this aspect. My old bag had a leather pad that while curved, became uncomfortable after just 15 minutes or so of use. The pad on this bag is great and the thick strap makes the non-padded areas more comfortable along the chest when you wear it cross-shoulder.

If you're looking at this product, you probably already know that Thinktank has a solid reputation for quality and I highly recommend this to any photographer who wants to carry all their daily essentials plus a small camera kit.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 11, 2013
If you're looking at a Think Tank bag, you probably already know why you're here. These are great bags designed by professional photographers. The attention to detail on how to make a bag easy to use for any level of photography ranging from amateur, semi-pro to professional.

This bag easily carries my 5d3 body, 70-200f2.8, 50L mounted, 24-105L, along with all of my camera accessories like memories, extra batteries, and lens pen and rocket blower.

One of the best messenger bag I've used, I don't leave home without this bag.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 29, 2013
After an exhaustive search I bought the Think Tank StreetWalker Hard Drive so I could take all of my recently purchased photo gear and laptop on a trip. I was so pleased with how it performed that when the time came to buy a new bag for day-to-day use around town, Think Tank was the only brand I considered. My old Domke bag from college, while still intact if not a little worn, was simply too small for my Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-105mm lens attached and my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Plus I like to carry a few other things like my flash and light meter. So I ordered the Think Tank CityWalker 20 sight unseen. Naturally I checked it out at the Think Tank web site first. After a couple of months of use I can say that I am as happy with it as I am with the StreetWalker. They are both well-constructed and well-thought out. The CityWalker fits all my gear, has a comfortable, non-slip shoulder strap, two outer compartments that are easily accessible and an inner compartment where you can neatly store things like your keys, business cards, pens and other smaller items. It also has a rain cover included which I haven't had a chance to try out, but then again, I live in L.A. I'm sure I will get many years of use out of both Think Tank products.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 4, 2015
Dangerous for your equipment. I have two problems with this bag. 1) the case lacks sufficient structural integrity to sit securely on its bottom. It can easily roll forward if not loaded with all the weight in the bottom. Coupled with scant padding, when it rolled forward and the 24-85 on my D810 crunched - repair cost just under $200. 2) the rubber pads on the shoulder strap peel off and pad becomes slippery. I contacted Think Tank customer service and they said they hadn't encountered it and perhaps I could send photos. Interesting that a review on their website shows the same problem and the customer was offered a replacement (at his shipping cost). My last product from Think Tank.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 8, 2013
Nice bag, the build quality is what you'd expect from ThinkTank. My only problem is that its not big enough. I carry a timbuk2 medium messenger with an old lowepro SLR holster that that works just fine for me. I like to bring my 5Dmk2 along with me all the time so having a messenger bag that I can bike with really helps. This bag is just not designed for that kind of use. If I were carrying my full kit with lenses, flash, etc. then this bag would be great, but for my use its too small. I could put my holstered camera and a jacket but that was about it without the bag looking swollen and bulging.
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on February 17, 2013
I agree with the previous reviewers on the quality and usefulness of this bag.
I was looking for a bag with a little more room then the Retrospective 10 which I already own. This Retrospective is great for day outings but I was looking for a little more room for use while traveling. You know the type of traveling where you need to carry your equipment (Fuji x-e1, flash, batteries, extra lenses) as well as cables, battery chargers, iPad, iPad accessories, filters and cleaning supplies. Add to that your Kindle, earphones, boarding pass and all of the other paper you have to carry in today's paperless environment....eh you get it. This bag has a separate slot for an iPad and has sufficient stretch in the slot on the back for a Kindle. Yeh, I know you can you can use the Kindle ap on the iPad but why be that smart!! There is also the pocket on the front flap that allows you to store all of that "paperless" paper. Regardless, this all makes for a heavy bag. Now, the big selling point for me. This bag weighs about one pound less then the Retrospective 10 and has a larger capacity. Add less weight to what the previous reviewers have written and put this product on your consideration list.
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on October 20, 2014
I like this bag.
It has been loaded with Fuji XT-1, three primes, F42 flash, couple of extra batteries, a flash sync cord, the charger, extra AA batteries and Mac book 13".
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on March 7, 2013
Likes
Very well designed bag has lots of pockets to carry differnet accessories.
Also the lens divider is flexible and you can change according to your need.

Dislikes
The color of the bag (Blue) is not the same as pictured. The blue color is very light but in picture or in the manufacture websites the color is very dull.
Expensive
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on October 4, 2015
Great storage, lots of compartments. The camera is very well protected.
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