As a huge fan of their Retrospective shoulder bags, I was so excited to learn that they were releasing this style into a Backpack. The functionality, space and craftsmanship are really top notch and something I’m definitely going to take with me during my travels. Read below for more in depth thoughts and ff you find my review helpful, please use my affiliate link below! It helps me continue to open up opportunities of working with awesome companies like Think Tank Photo. Thank you so much!
Materials & Quality
The craftsmanship of their Retrospective line has always been something I’ve found to be nothing short of amazing (I also own the V1 Retrospective 7 and V2 Retrospective 30). It’s streamlined durable water repellent (DWR) coating canvas is perfect for those rough elements, but at the same time feels somewhat delicate but sill rugged. It’s soft and form-fitting with a minimalist outer appearance.
I have a few bags at the same price point, but they don’t compare when it comes to quality. Zippers feel sturdy and secure. The padding is of high quality materials to insure your gear stays protected. Straps are comfortable yet strong and the stitching is top notch.
I’ve taken the Retrospective 7 to Iceland and it braved the elements just fine even without using the included rain cover. Granted, our trip was more misty vs pouring rain, though the mist and constant sprinkling of rain seemed to soak into my clothes just as much as a down pour would.
Storage & Function
At a capacity of 15L for gear, the Backpack has enough storage for a full day of shooting. The bag is packed with so many features that I’m going to list this out from the PDF that Think Tank Photo sent me:
- Soft and form-fitting with minimalist outer appearance
- Top and rear-panel access to camera gear
- Dedicated pocket fits up to a 15” laptop
- 20L of total storage: 15L enclosed space plus 5L additional for personal gear in the front pocket
- Configurable main compartment for camera gear or personal gear
- Tripod attachment on side or front panel
- Two collapsible water bottle pockets
- Compatible with Think Tank Modular pouches
- Organizer pocket
- Zippered pocket for valuables and small items
- Adjustable sternum slider
- Removable webbing waist belt
- Seam-sealed rain cover included
For me, its the perfect pack for taking my on-the-go, travel essentials. Enough gear and tools to get me through a trip without feeling like I’m lugging around too much stuff. There are so many compartments so you can keep things tidy and neat eliminating the need for me to pack a smaller bag that I usually use for chords, batteries, SD cards and other miscellaneous items.
There are two things, however, I personally don’t like. The first is that the adjustable sternum slider on the shoulder straps are not removable though the waist belt is. I never use those straps in a backpack so I wish the top part was removable as it can be somewhat clunky when just hanging there.
The second thing I would change is how the front flap works. In their shoulder bags, they use a velcro system that makes it so easy to open, close and grab gear quickly. Instead for the Backpack, it uses a leather loop and brass clasp that takes some time to hook and unhook. So when you want to grab your camera quickly from the top quick access area, it’s not necessary “quick” which a bummer. On the positive side though, it’s more secure and theft-proof when traveling.
Aesthetics & Comfort
As a guy who loves fashion, functionality and all things minimal, the Retrospective line is one of my favorite styles of bags when it comes to carrying camera equipment. Not gonna lie, my closet is filled with around 15 other camera bags, but these are the bags I’m constantly going to for work, leisure and travel.
They’re so versatile not only in function, but also in style. In my opinion, the aesthetic of this line goes well with wedding attire, comfortable travel clothing, and every day life.
This Backpack is one of the most versatile bags I have in both form, style and function. You can even configure the main compartment for personal gear/clothes over camera gear if you wanted to. It also works with a lot of Think Thank’s modular pouches. You can hold everything from a tripod, to 15″ laptop, to huge water bottles and more.
This Backpack is literally for everyone. The modern professional, the backpacker, the traveler, the hiker, etc. It looks minimally modern and cool but at the same time rugged and outdoorsy. Those aren’t two things that necessarily go together when it comes to style and aesthetic. And because I consider myself both minimal and outdoorsy, it’s probably why I love the Retrospective line so much.
And the best part of these bags for me, is that in my opinion, they get better with age. And that’s amazing especially when the aesthetics of the bag are classic enough to last forever.
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out in the comment section below!
And if you found my review helpful, please use my affiliate link below! It helps me continue to open up opportunities of working with awesome companies like Think Tank Photo. Thank you so much!