To be clear, I just made a suggestion and it’s probable that many other people have thought of a similar product. Furthermore to take my simple suggestion and to engineer it into a final product is a grand task. So I cannot take any real credit for such a product, but I can give kudos to Think Tank for being open to ideas from photographers. The product in question is the new Think Tank Trifecta series backpack. It comes in two models: a large one for big DSLR’s (“Trifecta 10 DSLR Backpack”) for $159.75 and a smaller version for mirrorless systems (“Trifecta 8 Mirrorless Backpack”) for $139.75. Since my current primary camera is the Sony A7R, I purchased the smaller Trifecta 8 mirrorless backpack directly from the Think Tank website which offered free FedEX ground shipping. The following is my review of the bag and my impressions of it after two months of near constant use.
When the Think Tank Trifecta 8 arrived in the mail I was surprised at how light the empty bag was (2.2 pounds/ 1 kilogram). Furthermore the external fabric was a lot softer, smoother and thinner than my previous bags, which seem to be made of a coarse synthetic canvas like material. The Trifecta’s fabric is a covering for the outer shell which is made of a polyurethane foam. This material offers fine protection, but it does limit the size of what it can carry, because you cannot overstuff this bag beyond its intended capacity. The overall shape is tall and narrower than most bags and in a way it reminds me of a duffle bag that is standing on its end. The Trifecta’s top is slightly curved and the whole package has a streamline appearance that give it an esthetic that differs from a camping backpack. In my opinion its modern style is more in keeping with an urban look than gear made for wilderness use, which frankly suits me fine.
As I describe this bag, it would behoove me to clarify the orientation nomenclature that I will use. Assuming you are wearing the backpack, when I say the “front” of the bag, I mean the surface that is pressed flush against YOUR back. The “left side” of the bag is the side you will touch if your reach your left hand backwards and touch the bag when worn. The “right side” of the bag is the side you will touch if your reach your right hand backwards and touch the bag when worn. The “back” of the bag is the side that is seen by others, if they are standing directly behind you, when you wear the backpack. The top of the bag, is the uppermost side when it is being worn. And finally the “bottom” of the bag is the underside of the bag when it is worn.
The bag has a standard type of adjustable shoulder straps with decent padding that make it comfortable to wear. The straps also come with a sternum strap that connects the two straps against your chest. A common feature that can come in handy if you have to run or are on a hike in uneven terrain. High on each shoulder strap is a metal “D-Ring” which allows for the attachment of various accouterment. The front of the backpack is well padded for comfort with an extra thick spot near the lumbar region. The top of the Trifecta has a simple top strap made of a doubled up nylon ribbon. This top strap is not padded, which I actually prefer because it makes it easier to hang the bag from the weight stabilizing hook that is on the center column of some tripods.