Think Tank improves their awesome Shape Shifter
(note: this post contains affiliate links)
I've been using Think Tank's Shape Shifter photo backpack for over four years. I can say that it's the most versatile and most durable photo pack I've ever used. The internal pouch system holds your lenses and cameras. Cameras are stored flat rather than upright and there is no provision for storing a lens on a camera. This keeps the Shape Shifter flatter than any other full-sized photo pack out there. It makes it super easy for stowing in airline overhead bins or under a seat. Since I've been using the Shape Shifter, I've not had to worry about my pack fitting on an airplane. And I've not had to worry about zipper failure, which has happened in every other photo pack I've owned. The pack is also very comfortable and there's even space for a laptop, which I often use for reflectors or spare clothing.
But due to the internal pouch system, it's not the easiest or most efficient pack to work out of. With my older packs I can just grab a lens or a camera from its storage area, with the Shape Shifter, I need to extract them from the pouches. With traditional packs you have room in the main compartment for things like filters and lens hoods. Not so with the Shape Shifter. But there are ample pockets and zippered areas for storing all sorts of things.
I've gotten used to this, and the trade off between efficiency, comfort, and packability has been worth it.
And now Think Tank has improved the Shape Shifter. There are three new versions: Shape Shifter 17 v2.0, Shape Shifter 15 v2.0, and Naked Shape Shifter 17 v2.0.
Added to the laptop compartment is an area for a tablet. There's also a new small zippered outside pocket for phones or other small personal item. They've also added attachment points on the side so you can add a water bottle or other pouch and a roller handle pass-through sleave.
The internal pouches have been redesigned too. One pouch has been replaced by velcroed flaps, making accessing a camera easier.
The Naked Shape Shifter version has no internal pouches. Instead it has attachment points so the photographer can configure the interior any way he or she wants, using a variety of Think Tank accessory pouches.
I really like the improvements I'm seeing with the new Shape Shifter. I just wish Think Tank had a trade-in program!
To see the new Shape Shifter packs, visit the Think Tank site (affiliate link).