Think Tank Turnstyle 20 V1
- Teardrop shape hides bulk
- Holds a lot but comfortable
- Well built with quality materials
- Versatile internal layout
- Good value for money (V1)
- Weak-looking main strap anchor point
- No water bottle/tripod pouch
- Right-shoulder use only
- Limited availability (V1)
Today, we’re taking a look at a very Tech Nomad friendly sling from Think Tank: the Turnstyle 20.
EDC bags are an important part of the loadout of most Tech Nomads on the go, and it’s a very personal subject for most of us. Personally, slingbags seem to work best for me, and I have gone through a whole bunch before getting to this Turnstyle being reviewed today.
Designed initially to fill the growing market for compact camera carry gear, camera bag giant Think Tank introduced their Turnstyle sling a few years back in three different size configurations: the Turnstyle 5, 10 and 20.
The bag currently on review is the Turnstyle 20 V1, the biggest available in the series.
Do note that Think Thank has recently released a V2 refresh of the Turnstyle line (which I also had the chance to look at prior to my purchase of the V1), which has a few minor differences compared to the V1 on review, which will be elaborated further later.
Even at first glance, it’s pretty easy to see that the Turnstyle 20 is built solid, in true Think Tank style.
The exterior is made out of a combination of tough 420D velocity nylon and 250D shadow ripstop nylon that is both weather proof and sturdy; complemented by YKK’s typically high quality zippers and an air mesh fabric on the back to aid ventilation. A full weather-cover is also provided, just in case.
The seams are pretty much faultless as far as bags are concerned, and there were noticeably fewer loose seam threads “out-of-the-box” on this bag then on comparable offerings from other brands I’ve tried before this.
Other straps and buckles are also of high quality, though the fabric loop and plastic hook used to anchor the main strap to the body looks to be in need of a bit more reinforcement. There is an alternative anchor point, just in case (read below for details), but the fragile-looking main anchor point is still very much a concern.
All in all I’m quite satisfied with the built of and material used on he Turnstyle 20, save for that apparent anchor point weakness.
As for the V2 refresh, there are some material and colour changes but built for the most part remains the same (at least to my eyes with my limited time with it at the shop), except for the fact that the anchor point has been changed entirely (the loop/hook has been changed to a permanently sewed strap endpoint), which does mitigate the only real “niggle” I had with the original from a build quality standpoint.
In terms of design, the bag’s unique teardrop shape gives it a compact profile that belies its spacious interior. With 4 different separate compartments (main compartment + document holder, front pocket, rear tablet pocket and that tiny external weather-cover pocket), this bag can carry A LOT of stuff. Really.
The way I have it configured right now it’s capable of carrying:
- A Lenovo Miix 510 12-inch Windows Tablet/Convertible (sans keyboard cover, in a sleeve inside the “document holder”)
- An Innergie ICE 65W laptop adapter + cable
- A Sony A6000 + SEL24Z
- An Honor AP08Q powerbank + 1TB WD Slim HDD + cables
- An LG Pocket Photo 2 + accessories
- An AKG Y45BT wireless headphone
- A Kenko Zabuton micro bean-bag (underneath the A6000)
- A compact 2 port USB charger + cables
- A COV Mega Volt + VF Cync (my vape spares)
- A 58mm CIR-PL filter + IR remote for the A6000 (both in the weather-cover pocket)
- My wallet (in an Lowepro pouch mounted on the main strap)
- A compact microfiber hiking towel + essential first aid stuff
- A bunch of keys + my spare 64GB Toshiba flash drive on the key-lanyard-loop provided
- Spare camera batteries, memory cards, Lenspens + other accessories and tools
So yeah, that’s A WHOLE LOT of stuff, most of which are individually packed inside their own small pouches for compartmentalization. Even then, with the wide tapering shoulder strap on the Turnstyle 20, I’m actually capable of carrying ALL of the above items in relative comfort.
Furthermore, I can easily shift things around with the provided dividers to set the bag up for everything from a twin camera body + lenses setup to a just carrying stuff without any cameras. With or without my Miix 510. How’s that for versatility?
The Turnstyle 20 can also be turned into a waist-bag by shifting the main strap hook to the alternative anchor point near the weather cover pocket (which also serves as a backup anchor point in case the frail-looking main unrevels).
If there is one OTHER thing I can fault the bag for, it’s the fact that Think Tank couldn’t find a way to include an external water bottle pouch on the Turnstyle line – but that’s not really a big con considering I can’t think of a good way to add one to it either.
Also, just in case you’re wondering, the entire Turnstyle series is a right-shoulder only affair, with no real way to change it to proper left-shoulder use. Sorry, lefties (and left-shoulder slingers) out there.
In the V2 version, besides changes to the anchor point (see BUILT QUALITY above), Think Tank has actually eliminated the waist-bag option in lieu of a stabilising strap (with accompanying storage pocket) for the sling (which might be preferable to some). Also, an additional mini splitting divider is provided (3 total vs the 2 on the V1) for further layout customization.
The fact that there’s already a V2 of the Turnstyle series quickly ups the value preposition on the V1 as it should be on clearance in most places. But the fact that it’s being replaced does also mean lessening availability for the V1.
Where I got it at, from a retail shop here in sunny Malaysia, the V1 is approximately USD20 cheaper than the USD115 they were asking for V2, so for me the savings were pretty much worth not getting the slight “improvements” on the V2.
As such, at the USD85-ish price I got it, the Turnstyle 20 V1 is pretty much spot on as far as pricing goes, considering similarly built sling bags of the same size from alternative brands often came at around the USD100 price point.
If you can’t find any “clearance” V1s though, don’t fret. The V2 isn’t too far behind value-wise at it’s full price either.
Finally, the Turnstyle (V1 OR V2) also come with Think Tank’s well known “No Rhetoric” lifetime warranty, which REALLY covers all factory defects for as long as the bag EXISTS, as long as you can prove that whatever issue you have is an actual factory defect (and not your fault).
Finding the perfect EDC bag is like finding the perfect shoe, there are so many factors and variables involved that choosing a bag often becomes something that’s very personal to each and every one of us.
But being able to fit a large amount of items in such a compact, well-built frame; PLUS remaining comfortable while doing so does make the Turnstyle 20 a strong contender in this niche, even if it was initially designed specifically for camera gear carry rather then general EDC.
As a veteran of multiple bags, all I can say is that Think Tank has outdone themselves here, and the Turnstyle – in any of the 3 sizes, V1 OR V2 – is worth some serious consideration if you’re looking for an compact EDC bag fit for travels needs of a Tech Nomad.
With that in mind, the Think Tank Turnstyle 20 V1 easily gets a 9.4 out of 10, which in turn qualifies it for the TECHNOMADICA CHOICE tag.
The item above has been purchased personally from YL Camera @ Jaya 33, Petaling Jaya. A quick shout out for the fine folks over there for their awesome service.