ThinkTank Speed Demon Beltpack Review
As a working photographer, my needs seem to always be changing when it comes to how I'm carrying my camera gear. The Events, Weddings, Model Shoots and day to day photography is always demanding a different situation and requiring me to carry a mix of various equipment to get the shot.
At one point, I had a closet filled with camera bags that all filled various needs. That was till I found ThinkTank and their line of camera bags. I've now narrowed the collection down to 3 specific bags that are all different, but fill a specific need I've come to require in my style of shooting.
I've done reviews on the Street Walker HardDrive backpack, which was my first piece from ThinkTank. You can read that review here
if it's something you're interested in.
My next piece which has been used on almost every shoot I've done since owning it was the ThinkTank Modular Belt System
. It can be added to or adjusted with different pouches and items for each shoot and it should be winning awards for it's design. I've yet to find a flaw in this rig other than when wearing it for extended periods, it would put the weight of the belt on my hips which I'd never notice at the time, but the next day I'd feel like someone had smacked me on each side of my waist with a baseball bat.
This was solved with the addition of the Pixel Racing Harness™ V2.0
that pulls the weight of the belt system off your hips and allows the shoulders to distribute the weight of a fully loaded belt. Problem solved and it's the best system for weddings, event coverage and shoots that require you to have everything within reach at a moments notice.
I still had a void I kept running into on certain occasions which was recently solved with the addition of the ThinkTank Speed Demon Beltpack
. There were situations where I didn't need to be carrying around excess gear in the backpack, I only needed one or two camera bodies each with their specific lens so I wouldn't be needing to strap on the belt system, but I might need some extra batteries, a flash or two depending on what I'm shooting and I didn't want to draw attention.
One thing I've found with the Modular Belt System is the comments and attention it draws. If you're trying to wear it at anything other than a event where they understand why you have it on, plan on answering lots of questions about it from curious onlookers who might have never seen one before.
The backpack is great when needing to bring lots of gear, but if I'm simply shooting a model for a quick session or walking around a park for the afternoon, sometimes I dont want to lug all that gear or draw any attention to myself.
The ThinkTank Speed Demon Beltpack fills that void perfectly. It's small, blends in very well and has so many ways to carry it, I'm still figuring out new ones.
It can be worn as a belt around the mid-section with the included waist belt. This is the most comfortable way to carry it and I've found that if I need to bring any of the Modular Belt Components, they can be strapped on to increase the carrying capacity.
With the Waist Belt out
With the waist belt tucked behind the padded back portion
It's almost embarrassing to say, but since I've got this latest bag, it's become my Man Purse. The shoulder strap has a padded section that is very comfortable and has a piece of sticky material on it that keeps it where it should be on your shoulder. This keeps you from always having to adjust the strap due to sliding down. It stays put and is super comfortable to wear for extended periods.
The padded Shoulder Strap
The Speed Demon is the perfect size to throw a bottle of water in one of the two outside mesh pockets, a granola bar in another, keep a note pad and some pens in one of the other interior pockets, a stack of business cards at the ready, the flash with some extra batteries and a spare lens or two.
What I like best about it, is the ability to carry it so many different ways. I can keep it slung around my shoulder while walking around. I can strap it to my waist if I'm going to be hiking, climbing or riding the bike. If I want to hide the waist belt system, they simply tuck behind the padded section on the back and it takes on the look of a small black purse/bag that totally blends in if in an Urban environment.
The Padded Carrying Handle on the front of the bag
It has a nice padded handle that allows you to carry it like a very small duffle if you were flying and didn't want it to be swinging from your shoulder while boarding the plane. Dont be one of those guys/girls that has the bag slung over their shoulder and smacks every person on the shoulder while walking down the isle.
The padded Shoulder Strap has quick release buckles so taking it off to board the plane or stow it take seconds. The attachment points are built stout and look like they'll last a lifetime.
Carrying the bag around your shoulder, it hangs perfectly at your waist and like I've already mentioned, unless you're a Camera Know-It-All, you'd never pay it much attention that it's a camera bag. It can simply blend like you're wearing a shoulder bag or a purse (If you're a woman, I guess it's a Man Bag if you're a male)
It's really a jack of all trades and has become my number one bag that goes with me everywhere. I've found that I simply keep it loaded up with one of my Flashes, a few sets of extra batteries, one of the Pixel Pocket Rocket
™ holders that carries extra Compact Flash Cards and I always have a small bag to grab at a moments notice.