Think Tank Photo TurnStyle 20 Review
Photo by Daryl Meek

Many other photographers and websites have reviewed the new sling bag from Think Tank Photo. The TurnStyle 20 is small, lightweight and yet it holds a lot of stuff.

Now, if you’re a regular reader of my blog then you know I have a bad back and typically the only comfortable bag style for me is a backpack as it keeps me even.

However, when Think Tank Photo announced the new sling bag I knew I had to try it.

Why?

Well, sometimes there are days where I want a small bag to carry very little. For example, going to Photo Plus Expo in New York City. In the past I’ve walked around the expo with a full backpack and it gets to be too much at times.

So before packing the TurnStyle 20 for PPE (2013) I filled it to the brim to see how much I can fit.

Before I get into that, check out the video from Think Tank Photo.

So as you can see, the bag is small – very small. Yet it packs a punch. There is a pocket for an iPad or similar size tablet. A rain cover is hidden inside and ready to use on the whim. The sling strap is extremely comfortable and sits nicely across the chest.

So as I said earlier, pre-Photo Plus Expo I loaded up the TurnStyle 20 with a lot of gear to see how much it can hold, comfortably. So inside I put:

  • Nikon D800 w/ Really Right Stuff L-Bracket
  • Di-GPS Eco Pro F
  • Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to the D800
  • Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II
  • Filter pouch w/ Lee Filter kit and filters
  • 3 Batteries
  • Holdfast Gear Wrist Strap
  • Nikon Cable Release
  • Think Tank Photo Pixel Pocket filled with memory cards
  • Holdfast Gear Business Card Wallet

Now after all of that the bag was heavy yet still comfortable. The problem came when I wanted to fit my iPad into the back pocket. It was SO tight that it wouldn’t just fit easily. In order to get the iPad in I had to remove the D800, then put it in. Once the iPad was inside the bag I put the D800 back inside and zipped it up.

However, when I packed the bag for Photo Plus Expo I kept it light:

  • Nikon D800 w/ Really Right Stuff L-Bracket
  • Di-GPS Eco Pro F
  • Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to the D800
  • 3 Batteries
  • Holdfast Gear Wrist Strap
  • Trigger Happy cable for use with Trigger Happy & Triggertrap
  • Think Tank Photo Pixel Pocket filled with memory cards
  • Holdfast Gear Business Card Wallet

With less in the bag my iPad fits nicely in the TurnStyle 20 without having to remove anything first.

Photo by Daryl Meek

I attended two days of Photo Plus Expo in addition to Shoot NYC and a small photowalk with friends. By the end of the first day I was doing ok, but I definitely started to feel the effects of a sling bag that can only sling across the chest in one direction and sitting on the left shoulder only.

After a few hours I could definitely feel pain in my shoulder. It wasn’t bad enough to not wear the bag. I could have easily switched the bag from a sling to a waist bag (because it does that) but I decided to stick it out until the end.

Now, what I just said doesn’t mean the bag is uncomfortable, because it’s not. I think it’s the simple fact that I had heavy equipment in a compact bag that can only sit on one shoulder – and did it for two extremely long days in a row.

I would totally recommend this bag to anyone looking for a compact bag that is not a messenger bag style. It holds a lot including a tablet, and can convert to a waist bag if you want to give your shoulder a break.

I would not recommend this as a travel bag as you are limited for what can fit inside.

If the TurnStyle 20 is intriguing you please head over to the Think Tank Photo website to check it out further or to pick one up. The TurnStyle series comes in multiple sizes, which is awesome.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

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