here will be no suspense contained in this review. ThinkTank has produced a wonderfully flexible, durable, well designed backpack that is adjustable and most importantly comfortable. Through five flights and six airports, ( including five hours of delays ), several hours of hiking through woods and streams, and daily use in city walks, it performed beyond expectations.
During flights and urban use it held two cameras and three lenses, plus a tablet and laptop computer, with associated chargers, connections, wallet, phone and passport. While on the planes and fully loaded, I was able to slide it under the passenger seat or place it in the overhead storage bins. Even during the extended delays, I was not thinking about what a relief it would be to remove this fairly heavy pack, the padding is well placed on the shoulder straps and back making it the most comfortable backpack, regardless of purpose, that I have used.
When I reached my destination, I was able to remove the camera equipment and use the Shape Shifter as a normal backpack, reducing the depth from 9 inches to about 4 inches, which certainly justifies the pack’s name. The reduction in size is easily accomplished with a zipper that fully encloses the expansive storage compartment. The equipment storage compartment has three horizontal strips with multiple loops on each strip. Each pouch type has a strong plastic tongue to insert in a loop and is secured in place by a strong Velcro wrap. Because of the number of loops and pouch sizes, multiple configurations are possible, (pouches are sold separately, therefore the Naked name ). I settled on a configuration that placed the camera bodies stacked on one side, with the lenses across from them.
The four zipper pockets in the front of the pack are all easily accessible and well positioned for wallet, phone, tools, notebooks, pens, glasses or anything you may need. The two larger pockets contain internal zippered storage, one is waterproofed which I used for a passport, and the other is a mesh webbing that I used for cord storage. The large, camera and lens storage compartment is behind the four pockets and in the middle of the backpack – well protected. The rear of the pack is the tablet and laptop area that allowed room for those items as well as a small Bluetooth keyboard and tablet stand.
I also tested the ThinkTank Photo Belt which has same loop, plastic tongue and Velcro wrap system. Loops run along the full length of the belt which allow one to arrange your equipment as desired. I found the belt secure and protective enough to hike through dense wooded terrain without worry of damage or dislodging. The Photo Belt is very useful in many situations when you need easy access to multiple pieces of equipment.
The strength of materials whether it was, outer skin, interior lining, Velcro, zippers, tongue inserts, mesh or pull cords gave me complete confidence in the ThinkTank system. The engineering, design and flexibility in use allow me give the Naked Shape Shifter 17v2.0 and Photo Belt the highest recommendation.
Review by Jim Whiting
1 Compresses to three inches in depth when gear is removed.
2 Customizable: Attach Think Tank Skin Pouches or Lens Changers inside for a customized modular backpack. Pro Speed Belt or Thin Skin Belt (sold separately) can be attached.
3 Holds a full assortment of photo gear, tripod, 17” laptop and a full size tablet.
4 A great travel bag with extra space to fit a jacket, food, or additional gear.
5 Tripod attachment on front of bag keeps tripod weight centered and allows you to access gear without detaching the tripod.
6 Easily accessible, plush pocket fits smartphones with displays up to 5.5”
7 Roller handle pass-through sleeve to attach to rolling luggage
8 Detachable water bottle pouch.
10 Front-zippered pockets catchall for batteries, memory cards, cables, and small accessories
11 Interior-zippered pockets for tools, screws, bolts, filters, and small accessories
12 Contoured shoulder harness with air channel for all body types.
13 Included seam-sealed rain cover for downpour conditions
14 Grab handles on three sides for lifting bag in and out of a car, van, or truck.
15 Business card holder on top for identification
View more about this bag here.