Product Review: Tenba Discovery Photo/Hydration Daypack and Think Tank Photo Speed Freak V2.0

August 15, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Tenba's new Daypack weighs just 2.7 pounds but can fit a hydration reservoir, a digital SLR, 4 to 6 lenses, and accessories.

Tenba Discovery Photo/
Hydration Daypack
Tenba’s bags are some of the best designed out there and the Tenba Discovery Photo/Hydration Daypack is a beautiful new entry for the outdoor photography set.

First, about that name. Yes, it’s a little awkward but it describes exactly what this pack is all about. Along with providing space for schlepping your gear on your back, it has a specially designed compartment to stash a hydration reservoir. The zippered rear pocket lets you slip in a CamelBak-style hydration pouch of up to 72 ounces so you can take in those precious fluids while shooting in the hot sun. If you’re shooting indoors or traveling, the pocket can also fit a tablet computer or an 11-inch laptop. As a basic photo backpack, the Tenba Discovery Daypack gives you a decent amount of room for a light day of shooting. And at just 2.4 pounds, it’s extremely lightweight. There’s a zippered-in, pop-out padded insert that can fit any size digital SLR and 4 to 6 lenses and accessories. Tenba’s easy-to-deploy WeatherWrap covers the bag in the event of a sudden downpour. A top compartment gives you room for a jacket, your lunch, or a book about ducks. Our only gripe is that the waist belt is not removable so if you don’t want to use it, it just sort of dangles there. Did we mention that one of the color variations of the pack—sage/khaki—is absolutely lovely? No, we did not.

Think Tank Photo Speed Freak V2.0
Think Tank Photo’s bags and packs are designed by pros for pros and they never fail to impress with their understated designs and supreme usability. The Think Tank Speed Freak V2.0 is the middle-sized bag in a trio of “Speed Convertibles” from Think Tank. The Speed Convertible series is so-called because it easily converts from a shoulder bag to a belt pack, depending on your needs or shooting situation. If you want to use it as a shoulder bag, you can tuck the waist belt into two zippered openings on either side of the Speed Freak V2.0. Attach the padded shoulder strap via two metal snap hooks and you’re good to go. The shoulder strap even has a non-slip grip so it doesn’t slide off when you get sweaty. (Nice touch.) If you want to covert it to a belt back, pull the strap out of the Speed Freak and clip it around your waist. There’s also a modular rail for attaching other compatible Think Tank bags. The Speed Freak has a soft, kidney-shaped design so it comfortably hugs your body. The bag’s flip-top lid opens away from you so you can easily get at your gear. Though it’s a small bag, it can fit two standard-size DSLRs with two to three large zoom lenses.

Pros: Beautiful, lightweight photo backpack with a slot for a hydration pouch to keep you cool in the hot sun.
Cons: Waist belt is not removable.
Price: $129

Think Tank Photo Speed Freak V2.o
Pros: Comfortable bag converts easily between a shoulder satchel and a belt pack.
Cons: Not exactly exciting.
Price: $