I got the Lowepro Pro Tactic 450AW in yesterday, and had the chance to take it on it's first job: an on location headshot session. It's truly an amazing bag. I feel like I can fit almost an infinite amount of gear in it. Yesterday I had my Sony a9, Sony a6500, 24-70GM, 70-200GM, 10-18mm, 35mm, 55mm, two Flashpoint Evolv AD200 lights with the bare bulbs, a Godox trigger, extra batteries and chargers, a rode video micro with muff and mount, a manfrotto table top tripod, and still had some room to spare. I like that it is unassuming. You wouldn't think that it was a camera bag unless you were familiar with Lowepro and saw the small logo on the back of the bag. The bag has a semi-hard shell though, which may make some people think it's a drone bag, but it's not large enough for that.
Today I got the Think Tank Shape Shifter 15 V2 in. There is not a lot of cutting edge when it comes to photography bags / backpacks, but this bag is cutting edge. It ticks every box from what I was looking for in my original post. The way that the gear is stored in this thing is genius! It uses neoprene sacks inside the backpack so your gear lays flatter than a traditional camera backpack. The sacks lay flush against the back of the bag, similar to a stocking hanging on a wall, instead of using foam compartments that the gear goes in. One might think this sacrifices space, but right now I have my a9, a6500, 70-200GM, 10-18mm, 35mm, 55mm, one Flashpoint Evolv AD200 with the flash head with barn doors, gels, and a grid, a Godox trigger, extra batteries and a charger, and a rode video micro with muff and mount. The bag is just about full, but that's a ton of gear for a smaller bag. Best part, it sits really nice on your back and makes it feel light. Right now sitting beside the Pro Tactic it's still much smaller. No one would ever know this was a camera backpack. Even if they knew the Think Tank brand, but didn't know the bag specifically, they may question if it wasn't just a normal backpack. I've not taken it on any jobs yet, but it will be accompanying my Think Tank Urban Approach 10 to NYC tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes!