I started looking for a new bag about two months ago, I currently owned at the time a Think Tank Retrospective 30 and Calumet RC1188 Rolling Camera Case. Both bags have got there specific purpose the Retrospective 30 is a messenger style bag and I used as a landscape bag and lens caddy when covering events and weddings. This search was for a bag that I could walk with for extended periods and carries all the kit for location and landscape trips.
The Retrospective 30 bag is capable of carrying 3 full frame lenses with one on the body. So the bag is capable of taking a wide, mid and long lens. (16-35mm, 24-120mm, 70-200mm). On landscape trips I carry my D810 with grip and 16-35mm with additional 50mm or 24-120mm. I also bring a set of Lee filters in there field canvas carry case. The filters and holders in their case fit nicely in the front pockets and allow me to dip in and out of the bag as required. The limitation of the messenger style bags was that it only has a single shoulder strap or carry handle this means the bag is on one shoulder or across your chest. This means that the majority of the time the bag is on your hip so going over fences and stiles it is swinging around you and potentially getting caught.
The Calumet rolling case is a great piece of kit and is very spacious, tough and robust. I use this bag to move my kit from A to B for weddings, events and when working in a studio. The bag is a take everything bag, I regularly fit 2 full frame gripped bodies in it with 70-200mm, to mid zooms and 2 prime lenses with flash and flash triggers. The real benefit is the case rolls and over flat paved ground it is great but once it gets lumpy it is have and awkward and heavy just because you have brought all the kit.
Key features I was looking for
This led me to start a search for a new bag which is able to carry a full frame gripped body and a set of lenses to do a model location shoot and long distance landscapes. When shooting on location I like to have a wide angle, tele-zoom and one or two primes, then some room for some accessories, filters and triggers and be able to carry a tripod. The other consideration was good straps and padding to spread the weight across my back and to have the tripod mounted vertical as not to get in the way going through gaps. I also tend to have an additional bag for lights and accessories so I wanted the bag to be secure on my back and allows free movement.
Now noted carrying a laptop is not on that list, but when you are looking for a full frame DSLR with grip attached you are sort of limited to the selections.
I did the usual thing of searching the internet and looked at reviews but then I narrowed it down to three bags that I could try and fit my stuff in. The three bags that is physically considered and tried to stuff was the Manfrotto Professional Backpack 50, Lowepro Pro Runner BP 450 AW II Backpack and the Think Tank Streetwalker Hard Drive. So with my roller case full I ventured to the shop to try them out.
Well there was only really one contender in the end and that was the Streetwalker, the rest were just too small but bulky with it. The dividing system and the support offered in the Think Tank was far superior and you got many more dividers to break up the space as required.
In the field
This was a baptism of fire for the first outing for this bag, the shoot was in the Welsh Brecon Beacons shooting with a model at one of many waterfalls. The final shoot location was one and a half miles from the car and over very rugged terrain with lots of steep assents and descents. This same location was done with my Retrospective 30 and fewer lenses and kit and no tripod, with 3 days back soreness after.
In short the bag worked really well, nothing moved while in the bag and it was comfortable and not too hot on the back as the padding is very open and breathable. I really like how I could open the bag by me and access everything just like my roller case, then flip the back panel over and zip and move. The only limitation was the tripod strap are detachable so they hang loose when the tripod is not attached and they mount to the main body of the bag so you have to undo the tripod to access the main compartment.
The Think Tank Streetwalker Hard Drive is a great bag and fitted all my criteria, being able to carry a Pro DSLR with grip, a range of lenses, accessories and triggers. The ability to carry a tripod without noticing it, rather than on an extra strap is quite refreshing. The build quality is great and the attention to detail is good. Just like the Retrospective 30 everything is considered and worked out. Great bag!