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Review: Think Tank Turnstyle Sling Bag

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From messenger bags to suitcases, camera bags today come in just about every shape and form. After spending years tinkering mainly with backpacks and belt packs, I decided to try out a relatively new type of camera bag: the Think Tank TurnStyle sling bag. With its unique body-conforming design, and the rugged durability that comes with all Think Tank products, the TurnStyle has quickly become my new favorite camera bag. Here’s why:

ThinkTank TurnStyle Sling Bag Review

Think Tank TurnStyle Sling Bag

First off, it’s important to know that the TurnStyle bag comes in two colors (charcoal or slate blue) and three sizes. TurnStyle 5 is the smallest, meant to haul compact mirrorless camera systems, while TurnStyle 20 is the largest, capable of carrying a standard DSLR with a 70-200mm f/2.8 attached, plus another lens. Right in the middle of these two bags is the one I opted for: the TurnStyle 10, which could purportedly hold a standard DSLR with a 24-70mm f/2.8 attached. This is where I had a bit of a gripe with the bag off the bat.

ThinkTank TurnStyle Sling Bag Review

What Fits in the TurnStyle 10

While the TurnStyle 10 is definitely a roomy bag, it couldn’t exactly hold my Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70mm f/2.8 attached. The camera with lens does fit into the bag, but it won’t even come close to zipping up. (Note: I figured out I can make it fit if I take out all the dividers).

What does fit, albeit on the snug side, is my Canon 6D with the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached; in this setup, there are two more lens compartments open that can hold small or medium-sized lenses or a Canon Speedlite. In the above photo, the configuration shows a Canon 6D with 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens attached, a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, and a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

What definitely will not fit in this bag is a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, unless it’s the only thing the bag is carrying. This makes the TurnStyle 10 a perfect travel photography camera bag, assuming you’re carrying a smaller DSLR body, and relatively few accessories. If you intend to carry a heavy-duty DSLR kit, the TurnStyle 20 will be a more accommodating size.

ThinkTank TurnStyle Sling Bag Review

Best Features

Body-Conforming Design

By far the best part of the TurnStyle bag series is its body-conforming design. Initially, the idea of the bag only having one strap may make it seem like you’ll end up carrying too much weight on one side of your body, but that is far from the case. The thickly padded single shoulder strap does indeed contour your body nicely, making even the heaviest gear bag feel relatively lightweight. This overall design makes the TurnStyle bag by far the most ergonomic camera bag I’ve ever used.

Suzi Pratt_Turnstyle 04

Converts into a Belt Pack

Another positive design feature is the ability to easily rotate the bag from your back to your chest, for quick access to your gear without having to take the bag off. You could even adjust the strap’s length, and turn the bag into a belt pack for better accessibility.

Made of Quality Materials

Similar to all other Think Tank products, the exterior components of the TurnStyle are highly durable and visually appealing. The bag’s exterior is made of rip-stop polyester with a water-repellant coating, and all zippers are abrasion-resistant. That is the say, this bag holds up even when you expose it to the elements, making it perfect for taking on your next photo safari vacation.

ThinkTank TurnStyle Sling Bag Review

Many Dedicated Pockets

The TurnStyle’s main compartment for holding your camera gear, comes with removable foam dividers so that you can customize the interior padding, based on what you’re carrying. There is also has a padded back pocket for holding a tablet or paperwork, and a larger zippered pocket on the front of the bag for holding essentials such as your wallet, cell phone, memory cards, etc. Finally, there is the signature component that accompanies all Think Tank bags: a dedicated rain cover that shields your bag from the elements.

Over to You

So is the Think Tank TurnStyle bag right for you? Honestly, it comes down to how much gear you want to carry with you. While you could combine this bag with a waist pack or shoulder bag to hold more gear, you experience the full benefits of the TurnStyle bag when carrying minimal gear. In this sense, it’s best suited for travel or street photographers, shooting with mirrorless or smaller DSLR cameras. If you plan to carry a longer telephoto lens, you’re probably better off with either the larger TurnStyle bag, or a different style altogether.

Have you tried out a sling-style camera bag? What were your thoughts on it? Do you have another favorite bag? Please share in the comments below.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Think Tank TurnStyle sling bag
Author Rating
4.5

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category

Suzi Pratt is an internationally published freelance event, concert, and architectural photographer based in Seattle. Her photos appear regularly in Eater and Getty Images. When she isn't shooting photos, Suzi can be found designing websites and marketing strategies for creative clients and working on her blog.

  • CT

    I have one and like it. However, I only wish that the strap could split in two (by means of a zipper or something like that) for those occasions (after a long day of shooting and walking) when you want to distribute the weight on both shoulders.

  • That’s a great point! I find that I usually trade shoulders throughout the day to distribute the weight, but that would be a nice alternative as well!

  • Sam Smith

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  • Jo Anne Canapa Lefebvre

    I have a ThinkTank Streetwalker backpack, but I find it VERY heavy for a long day out. Thinking this would be a great hiking bag for my D7100 and 2 lens.

  • Yes!! This is a perfect little bag for day trips. It’s pretty flexible and lightweight on its own and could even pack inside of a larger bag or suitcase 🙂

  • surya

    It would be nice article

  • Alexis Horn

    I have the TurnStyle 10 and was able to fit a Canon 7D with a 100-400mm attached and my 17-85mm wedged above a divider (the reverse also worked with the 17-85 attached, resting on top of the 100-400); and I still had room in the front zippered area for a spare battery, cleaning clothes, and a phone.
    I use it regularly for work where I have to hike in for photos, and just got back from lugging it around Australia for 2 weeks. It’s made me cut down on all the crap I used to carry. It’s very comfortable and durable. I’d highly recommend it!

  • Does the bag really add that much weight? Or is it mostly the gear?

    The single shoulder strap puts me off as all the weight is on one shoulder, however I also carry a tripod (which can’t be attached here) and a couple more lenses with my D7100.

    I’d recommend also having a look at the Lowepro Fastpack BP 150 AW II and if you’re set on one strap the Slingshot Edge 250 AW.

    The vertical layout of this ThinkTank effort really appeals, though.

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