Think Tank Perception 15 Backpack Review

The Think Tank Perception 15 is a backpack designed for mirrorless cameras. It will hold a mirrorless or small DSLR body with 1-2 lenses and there’s also room for a 15 inch laptop and 10 inch tablet. Think Tank say it’s their smallest, lightest daypack designed to add flexibility to photographers’ workflows. It’s available in black and Taupe beige. Here, we took a look at the black version.

The bag is made from 600D twill fabric coated with durable water repellent coating on the outside, and has 320g airflow dry mesh on the back padding. There is an adjustable sternum strap that can be fastened across the midriff when the bag is worn. The shoulder straps are well padded and feature loops to attach small personal effects to.

There is a strong grab handle on the top seam, and on the front of the bag you’ll find two zipped pockets; the top one is plush lined for your phone or sunglasses and the bottom one can be used for extra storage or allow the attachment of a tripod on the front of the bag without impeding access to the two compartments. There’s a strap stowed away in a small velcro pocket on the front of the bag at the top to secure the tripod.

In the main compartment you’ll find two drawstring compartments, one for the and one for one or two spare lenses. there are padded detachable dividers in the compartments, to keep the camera in place and let you store lenses one on top of the other without them rubbing together. These drawstring compartments are sewn onto the back of the main pocket and underneath them there is room for a small lunchbox and maybe a raincoat for a trip out. On the inside front of the compartment there is a zipped compartment that has a stationery/small accessory organiser on the front.

The back compartment is heavily padded and has room for a 15 inch laptop. There is also an inner padded pocket providing a home to a 10 inch tablet or notepad that needs to be kept flat. The bag comes with a seam sealed rain cover that can be compacted away into an attached pouch.

The zips on the bag all have a chord with plastic grip, making them really easy to grab and open in a rush. The back pocket is densely padded and should protect the laptop from bumps and bangs well. It’s easy to slide a tablet and laptop in and out.

The two lined drawstring pockets at the top of the bag are ideal for storing your kit and keeping it out of sight even when the bag is open. However when loaded with kit they make it difficult to get things out from the underneath space, designed for your coat and other day accessories. It could also make things tight for accessing the zipped pocket on the front wall of the pocket. The zips on this section of the bag do extend quite far down to compensate for this.

On top of the bag there is a velcro sealed slot in which you’ll find the tripod securing strap. Two of the tripod’s feet go into the unzipped bottom pocket on the front of the bag while the strap is secured around the top. It’s a good idea but it renders the top front plush lined pocket difficult to access while a tripod is attached.

The back and straps are really heavily padded making it really comfortable to wear even when full of gear. The rain cover is easy to deploy and does a good job of covering the bag against harsh weather.

The Think Tank Perception 15 is available through various photographic retailers in the UK including Snapperstuff, priced at £93.50 and is also available to order through the Think Tank website. The company is based in the USA but will ship worldwide. It’s well made, tough, and appears to be relatively good value for money considering the padding and lining of some of the pockets.

Bags of a similar size include the Lowepro Hatchback 22L AW, which is available in blue and pepper red and costs £71 from Amazon. This bag doesn’t have the ability to attach a tripod, however.

The Think Tank Perception 15 is a well-equipped, versatile bag that’s comfy to wear on a day out. There is ample space for personal items and gear is well protected. It’s inconspicuous and doesn’t shout ‘camera bag’. The only thing that lets it down is the design in some places. The kit pockets can hinder your access to the personal items space below, and when a tripod is fitted on the front you lose access to the front top pocket. If these aren’t major issues for you and you just want a comfy, functional day pack then we are happy to recommend the bag.

Ben Andrews reviews the new Samsung NX500 – with a 28.2 megapixel APS-C BSI CMOS sensor, and 4K video recording, could this be the bargain mirrorless camera of the year?

This month, you could win one of 6 fantastic photographer’s bags from Think Tank and MindShift Gear.  There are a wide variety of bags up for grabs, incl…