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Think Tank Shape Shifter: Instant Organization And Economical Heft

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Photo credit: Think Tank

Think Tank Shape Shifter ($264.75)

I came across Think Tank’s products when their Think Photo StreetWalker ($169.75) made Tech Rader’s “Best Camera Backpack: 10 Tested” list back in 2012.

Tech Rader’s observation that the, “Build quality [for the StreetWalker] is supreme, and there are neat design flourishes” inspired me to look into other aspects of the company’s product line. While the StreetWalker’s 969 cubic inch exterior was not going to meet my needs as someone with a lot of gear, their Shape Shifter looked like a good candidate to handle what I needed.

The Shape Shifter, which expands from 750 to 1750 cubic inches with the depth range of 3” to 7”, achieves the specifications that I want.

If only dress pant waistbands were this flexible.

In short, the outside fabric of the Shape Shifter has a surface area that is 1.8 times larger than the Photo SteetWalker. This translates into a backpack that can simultaneously carry my laptop, Xbox One, GoPro camera and various accessories while still providing plenty of room to breathe. The bag has sturdy zippers that can take a licking, even when crammed with way more gear than is reasonable.

I also liked the sheer number of small and medium-sized storage pockets inside that accommodate everything from GoPro hinges to laptop chargers to game system controllers. The bag dutifully fulfills the maxim, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”

In short, the Shape Shifter helps me to be a more organized person.

Unfortunately, padding for a laptop, camera, or tablet is nonexistent. This is a heavy pack at 3.75lbs. At this weight, the inner padding should be more ample, especially because Hama was able to produce the Bormio backpack with cushioned notebook and tablet sleeves despite a feather-light 1.5lb pack weight.

The Shape Shifter is worth pursuing for those that want to carry camera equipment, laptop(s), or a game console all at once. The abundance of inside pockets makes it easy to keep small accessories on hand and not buried at the back of a drawer somewhere.

Highly recommended.