Review Think Tank Urban Approach 5 Shoulder Bag


There and back again and again
Dec 3, 2011
Los Angeles
Real Name
John M
The Think Tank Urban Approach 5 Shoulder Bag is a small shoulder bag good for two or three(or more) small lenses. It has the very good Thinktank photo build quality. It's discontinued but you can still get them at the moment for the blow out pricing of $29.
Think Tank Urban Approach 5 Shoulder Bag - $29

It's made of DWR coated ballistic nylon and has a leather accent in the front. It'll fit a mini iPad or tablet. The dimensions are:
Interior: 9.1 x 7.1 x 3.9"
Exterior: 10.2 x 7.9 x 5.5"
Tablet Pocket: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.5"

Equipment featured is the G85, PL15mm 1.7, PL25mm 1.4, Sigma 56 1.4 and Flashpoint mini(TT350).

It comes with five inserts. Two main and three for halving and stacking.

Halving would require a couple of pancakes laid sideways probably.

I like stacking.

And stacking caps. Both methods work for me. I guess I'll figure out which I like better.

Here it is with G85 and lens mounted on it's side and one stack of lenses.

Here's what it looks like with one stack and face down in case you have a longer lens.

And in a more traditional format.

It has the sound silencers and a small buckle in the front.

The front pocket has an organizer for memory cards, a pen and a few small items. It also expands and can fit a small speed light like the TT350.

And also how it looks closed on the TT350. Not bad. Not too much bulge imo.

There's a removable hand strap. I like them and mine is staying on.

Here's the shoulder pad. It slides on the strap and is nicely padded. I like it.

The hardware. The one thing that caught me off guard as out of place. It's a very generic finish. Not bad or good. It'll definitely last.

I would not have looked to buy it at it's msrp(maybe why it's no longer available?)
It has the build. It's well thought out and very functional. Maybe the styling?
Maybe the competition.

For $29? Go now. ( :
Last edited:


There and back again and again
Dec 3, 2011
Los Angeles
Real Name
John M
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Just bought one of these a few minutes ago. I'm kind of excited it and hoping it might replace my current every day bag. I'm a little worried about non-camera storage but I'll update here after I get it.
How are you liking it Mark?

My two week update:
Very comfortable. Very easy to work out of(medium sized body with three small prime lens kit)..
It gives me the impression it will last forever.

Conclusion: If the size works for you, this is an outstanding deal.
Jan 19, 2018
Columbus, Ohio, US
Real Name
Takeaway short version. This is a fantastic camera bag and is going to get a lot of use. It's less useful as a purse/man-bag/EDC bag because the organizational sections are very tight and the expandable pocket that says it fits a water bottle doesn't really.

Mine has arrived and I've put my stuff in it. To be clear, my purpose for purchasing this is more for a man-bag/purse than a camera bag so my requirements and what I'm looking at will be different. I also purchased this as a way cheaper alternative to the Think Tank Retrospective 5.

What goes in my bag is:
EM10ii with Panasonic 20mm
2 spare batteries in the Think Tank SLR battery holder
FL-LM3 flash
Swiss Army knife
Travel pack of facial tissues
Travel pack of baby wipes
Band-Aids (plasters)
Anti-biotic spray
Small container of ibuprofen
Lip balm
Notepad and pen
Occasionally I'll put in the Panasonic 14mm and Olympus 45mm on back-to-back caps

My current bag is a Nutsac Mag Satch and I've always thought it was ALMOST perfect. It has only a 2.5 inch depth which makes the camera a tight fit so I wanted something deeper. The external dimensions between these two bags in width and height are less than an inch different in both directions but the Think Tank bag is 5 inches deep which makes the camera a MUCH more comfortable fit.

As a camera bag, this is the perfect size for my camera and any additional lenses that I would want to take. I could easily fit the camera, the 3 primes, the FL-LM3, and a Godox TT350o plus cards, filters, etc and maybe have extra room for another lens.

As a purse, it leaves a little to be desired. I've got all the flat stuff (notepad, wipes, facial tissues) in the tablet pocket. The knife, anti-biotic spray, and lip balm are in the front pocket organization. The camera with 20mm and FL-LM3 fit in one third of the bag, the two stacked lenses go in the middle, and keys and sunglasses are in the other third of the bag. This arrangement is a little tight in the organization parts but great in the camera portion of the bag.

The other thing I was excited about was the expandable side pockets which the description says will hold a water bottle. You MIGHT be able to get a taller, small diameter water bottle in the pocket but it's going to be a TIGHT fit. I've compromised by putting a collapsible water "bottle" with a clip on the top in it. It fits collapsed but I'll have to clip it to the bag when it's got water in in.


Mu-43 Veteran
Dec 28, 2012
Real Name
I'd just like to add that I picked this one up to and am really impressed as to what it can hold. Its size is deceiving. For an everyday bag that I need to be able to get things in and out of easily while it's on my person, it easily holds a camera body and 2-3 lenses (This includes larger bodies like the G9). If I remove the tripod collar, I can even get the Olympus 40-150 2.8 in there, which is pretty amazing. The dividers are great, and I really appreciate the option to not use the velcro on the flap. This week, however, I'm using it to pack my camera gear for a trip- and I've got it loaded down. Granted, I don't keep everything in there each day when I'm out and about, but here's what I've got in there when I'm traveling in the car (and keep in mind it closes and looks perfectly normal with all of this in there):

Olympus E-M1.1, Panasonic GX85
Olympus 12-50, Olympus 14-150ii, Panasonic 12-32, Panasonic 20 1.7, Olympus 45 1.8
Godox TT350
4 spare batteries & 4 rechargeable AAs
Peak Design Leash & Cuff
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