My favorite backpack company has released a new bag series here recently called the Streetwalker. It features three varieties:
- Streetwalker - 2 lbs and 9.5” W x 17” H x 6”D - Simple and compact
- Streetwalker Pro - 2.6 lbs and 10”W x 17.5” H x 7.5” D - Slightly larger in between a full size and small backpack
- Streetwalker HD - 3.8 lbs and 11.5” W x 19” H x 8.5” D - Full size backpack with room for a 15" laptop
In this article I'm going to compare the Streetwalker Pro with the Glass Taxi that I know and love. As a point of reference my Glass Taxi is 2 lbs and 17” H x 8.5” W x 9.5” D. Officially ThinkTankPhoto states that the Streetwalker series is not a replacement for the Glass Taxi, but rather a different offering. In addition, size and weight wise the basic Streetwalker is most like the Glass Taxi, but since I use my Glass Taxi so much and long for a little extra space I decided to step up to the Streetwalker Pro.
The first thing I noticed when I got the Streetwalker Pro was that it was light and super deep (2" deeper than my Glass Taxi). I've tried to show the difference in the photo of both bags below with my Glass Taxi in the front, but it is hard to get the full impact from just a photo.
However when loading the Streetwalker Pro I noticed that my 1D Mark III fit very comfortably in the bag even with its L-bracket on (something that was a challenge in the Glass Taxi) so I immediately decided it would be my new sports camera bag. My Glass Taxi is now the 5D Mark II studio/landscape bag.
Inside I found the bag to be a little disappointing because the dividers are much thinner than those used in previous ThinkTankPhoto bags I've owned. I've always considered the dividers and zippers to be the best features of these bags, so a change was a little concerning. However, I quickly discovered that the thin versions seem to work almost as well and have the added benefit of creating more space in the bag (always a plus).
However, one really great thing I noticed about the interior is that it finally has good pockets! As you can see on the right hand side in the picture above it now has two big nice zipper pouches versus the one useless velcro pouch in the Glass Taxi. The same holds true for the exterior - there's tons of wonderful pockets with places to hold pens, model releases, keys, and so much more. This is one place where the Sidewalker Pro is a clear winner!
Just like all other TTP bags, the added rain protection for a heavy storm comes in the form of a "shower cap" as shown below, so sadly there's still nothing built-in.
From the exterior the new huge size pockets (show below) and the big pockets on the front (shown at the beginning of this article) make the Sidewalker Pro a very desirable bag to own. I've always found you can't have enough pockets, and this is one bag where I've got more than I need (for now) and that's a good thing!
Overall, I'm very pleased with the Sidewalker Pro but it is not without some faults that concern me. For one, I've found the new zippers to stick a little more and feel more like a Lowepro bag than the great ThinkTankPhoto style zippers I have on my other bags. I also hate the top handle as it feels weak and flimsy compared to the beefy one on the Glass Taxi (one of my favorite features of that bag). Last but not least, I'm a little concerned that the new thin dividers might compromise the safety of my gear when running to an event compared to the thicker style found in the Glass Taxi. It's abundant pockets, better support for pro bodies, its adjustable height chest strap (WOOHOO), and new support for tripods make it desirable enough that I'll trust that the team at ThinkTankPhoto knows what they are doing. I look forward to using this bag in the field and giving it a good workout, and if you are on the fence as to which to get I'd say let the pockets be your guide. If you can live without the extra pockets, then go for the Glass Taxi (assuming its size is big enough for you). If space is a big concern, then choose the Sidewalker bag that fits your size requirements.
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