Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 13L

First blog post of the year! And the best way to do this is to out a ThinkTank Photo bag review!

ThinkTank Photo makes great camera bags. And one of my all time favorite is the Retrospective 7, a camera and iPad bag. I like this for so many reasons but the best reasons for me are the capacity of the bag and its anonymity: it doesn't look like a camera bag.

Then, ThinkTank Photo produced the Retrospective 13L, a laptop bag. Yes, there are no camera compartments on this one. Just a plain, old laptop bag. But, as with all ThinkTank Photo bags, this ones a beaut!

The bag that I have fits a 13-inch MacBook Pro. But, it has plenty more room for other stuff, like a mouse, the laptop charger, and, but not limited to, a point-and-shoot camera. There is a front pocket where you can put an iPad, pens and some magazines. Of course, you don't need to have a laptop with you to enjoy this bag. You can use the laptop compartment for books and magazines, making this a great bag on campus or in the office.

At the back of the bag is a zippered pocket. Here, I was able to put a full-sized iPad also. However, you should exercise some caution when putting your iPad here for the pocket has no thick padding.

If there is one thing I can suggest, I wish that there is a dedicated, padded compartment for an iPad, like the one found in the ThinkTank Photo Airport Essential. I believe that, at this point in time, it is no longer inconceivable for a person to have a laptop and a tablet.

The back of the bag has a smooth cloth that will reduce the wear that your clothes might have whenever the two rub against each other. It was so nice of the designers in ThinkTank Photo to think about what we wear. :)

The wife and I visited the Chicago Public Library on The Loop while doing this review. One of the best thing about this bag especially in such a place is the silencer: with the hook-and-loop tapes on the "silent" position, the bag didn't produce any sound whenever I opened the front flap. This is a great feature to have whenever you desire silence not just in a library, but also, say, when you are in a meeting.

After the library, the wife and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago. As in all museums, if you have a backpack or a large bag, the museum people would want to have your bag deposited. However, the slim profile of the 13L means that you can bring your bag inside the museum. I prefer this because I would like to have my precious gadgets with me at all times.

And of course, being in the same line as the Retrospective Series, this bag has one of the best paddings out there. And when the weather turns nasty, the bag comes with an all-weather cover.

So what can more can I say about this bag? Well, if you don't need the camera compartment that came with the other great Think Tank Photo bags, then consider getting the 13L. This bag, just like the paintings that I viewed inside the museum, is a classic!

The ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 13L is Highly Recommended!

Special thanks to Brian Erwin of Think Tank Photo for providing the bag.

Special thanks to the photographer-wife for braving the sub-sub-freezing temperatures when we did the shoot.

#TheShyPhotographer's note: When we did the review, the wife and I were wondering why we were having such an unusually cold spell: we felt it was not normal to have daytime temperatures in the low teens. Then we had this Polar Vortex! We had a -14F temperature with a real-feel in the -30s! Now we can't wait to just be in the positive temperature zone...

Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)

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