Think Tank Change up belt pack review

by Enche Tjin on May 7, 2010

Change up! is a very versatile camera bag. It can be a belt pack, shoulder bag and also can be a chest bag by using provided harnesses.

think-tank-change-up

Compartments

Change Up has plenty compartments: Main compartment for camera, lenses and removable rain cover, two side stretch pockets for flash or bottle, rear compartment for book or iPad, front compartment for writing tools and accessories, one hidden pocket, and two front stretch pocket for lens caps.

Front compartment has ample space for writing tools and accessories plus one hidden compartment secures your memory cards or money

Front compartment has ample space for writing tools and accessories plus one hidden compartment secures your memory cards or money

Capacity

Change Up! capacity is quite big. It has a removable padding and dividers can be configured according to your gear shape. When you use the bag for a short travel, you can fit in one digital SLR camera with short lens attached, plus two other lenses. As a lens bag, it can fit three to four lenses, including 70-200mm telephoto zoom with inverted lens hood.

In practice, I can load up to 4 kg /8.8 lbs gear (Nikon D700, Sigma 70-200mm, Sigma 24-70mm and Nikon 16-35mm) without any problem. However, I find 2-3 kg load is more ideal and comfortable to carry.

Sigma 70-200mm, Nikon D700 with 16-35mm attached plus Sigma 24-70mm

Sigma 70-200mm, Nikon D700 with 16-35mm attached plus Sigma 24-70mm

Real life experience

I find using beltpack with one shoulder harness is the best, it is comfortable than beltpack because I can distribute some weight to my shoulder and in the same time support the beltpack.

If I carry a lighter load, for example one camera and one lens, I prefer belt pack or shoulder bag style. When I use it as shoulder bag, I prefer to use Think Tank Curve Comfort shoulder pad instead of shoulder pad supplied with Change Up, because it is wider and padded.

I don’t like chest-bag style (with double harness) because it looks like military and I am not used to carry bag on the front of my belly. However, this style is the most comfortable because it distribute the weight evenly. The harnesses provide support if you carry heavy load. This style works great with Shapeshifter and Think Tank modular bags.

Combo with other Think Tank products

One thing that I like about this company is because the designer regard every bag as a system not a stand alone product. So many of their products are compatible.

Change Up is great with Shape Shifter as a lens / accessories bag. When you are in the location, just unload your gears and compress the Shapeshifter, then put extra lens and accessories inside the Change Up.

You can also lock up Change Up belt to Shape Shifter. As a result, your change up belt become a waist belt for Shape Shifter, providing even weight distribution across your torso. Change Up also has rail in the belt, so you can attach Think Tank modular bags if needed.

Combo with Spider Holster

Because Change Up belt has rail similar to Think Tank steroid belt, you can attach Spider Holster system with appropiate adapter. However, I find this combo does not work very well especially if you have heavy camera and lens.

The rail in the belt pack is compatible with Think Tank modular bags

The rail in the belt pack is compatible with Think Tank modular bags. Belt can be stowed neatly when you don't need it.

Micro four thirds and Ipads

In recent years, micro four thirds has gain some popularity. These smaller camera are perfect for this bag. You can at least carry one camera with 4-5 extra lenses. On the bag rear compartment, you can carry a book or Ipad, perhaps for backup storage or viewing image.

Overall, this is a very versatile bag that works for many circumstances. I can use it for daily walk around, and can use it as a lens bag when I am working. I highly recommend it.

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