Given the increasing popularity of smaller, mirrorless cameras, it’s been surprising and often frustrating how difficult it is to find bags customized for them. Fortunately, the forward-thinking minds at Think Tank Photo have given us the new Urban Approach 15, a mirrorless camera backpack with all the security, versatility, and convenience of a top-notch DSLR bag.
A traditional camera backpack in function, the Urban Approach 15 takes advantage of mirrorless cameras’ compact size to keep the overall size of the bag smaller and more streamlined than a comparable DSLR backpack. The main compartment (Interior Dimensions: 9.4” W x 16.3” H x 3.9-5.3” D or 24 x 41.5 x 10-13.5 cm) includes more removable padded dividers than the typical DSLR bag, permitting you to configure smaller storage spaces and a greater number of compartments for your gear. Even after I packed in two Sony camera bodies and every lens I own, I had enough space left over for my Uniqlo jacket, a variety of accessories, and other necessities.
Two internal mesh organizer pockets provide additional storage space for batteries, memory cards, and similar items, and a padded outer zipper pocket gives you a safe, accessible place to stash your cell phone or sunglasses . Unlike many camera bags, the Urban Approach 15 incorporates both a laptop compartment large enough to accommodate a 15″ notebook and a separate pocket for a tablet computer. I especially appreciated these features since I like to have both my 11″ laptop and my iPad Mini 2 along when I travel. Now I don’t have to squeeze both devices into the same narrow slot!
The bag’s construction is of the high quality that we’ve come to expect from Think Tank Photo. The backpack’s ballistic nylon exterior is treated with a durable water-repellent coating, and it includes a seam-sealed rain cover for further protection from the elements. Special contouring on the back panel cushions the bag for greater comfort and encourages air flow to minimize perspiration. The elastic side pockets serve as a tripod holder or can keep a water bottle or small umbrella within easy reach. Think Tank thoughtfully added a handle pass-through on the back of the bag so you can slide the backpack onto your extendable suitcase handle for easy transport through airports and train stations.
The Urban Approach 15 enabled me to carry all the gear I needed for a recent weekend at Joshua Tree National Park. Although I didn’t do any hiking on that occasion, I did take my Jeep off-road and stopped for several pictures along the way. In a few weeks, I plan to take this backpack with me to Yosemite for some real hiking to give it a good workout. It will be a refreshing change to take along an extra camera body and my 70-200 f/4, which I could never fit in the small camera backpacks I’ve used in the past. As I use mirrorless cameras more and more, I have a feeling Think Tank Photo’s Urban Approach 15 Mirrorless Backpack will become my bag of choice.