Think Tank Retrospective 6 review

July 4, 2016

Think Tank Retrospective 6 at a glance:

  • Designed for DSLR kit with lenses and flash or smaller kits
  • Brand-new sandstone colour
  • Made from 100% cotton canvas with a durable water-repellent coating
  • Price: £129
  • Website:

Think Tank’s Retrospective range is fairly old and well renowned among photographers. It consists of a range of messenger-style bags that suit everything from mirrorless to DSLR kits. Think Tank has now expanded the range with a brand-new size and colour. The new size is the Retrospective 6, which sits between the 5 and 7, giving users enough space to carry a large CSC kit or a medium-sized DSLR set-up.

Think Tank states that the bag can hold a Sony Alpha 7R II with a16-35mm f/4 attached, a 24-70mm f/4, 35mm f/2.8, 55mm f/1.8 and a flash. When it comes to the bigger cameras, the company says a Nikon D4S with 14-24mm f/2.8 attached and a 24-70mm f/2.8, an SB-900 Speedlight flash and a LumiQuest Softbox III will fit. So clearly, you can pack a lot of kit into it. There’s space for an 8in tablet in the front pocket, and the rear zip pocket is great for travel documents or memory cards.

The bag is made from 100% cotton canvas with a durable water-repellent coating, and features YKK RC Fuse abrasion-resistant zips.

Think-Tank-Retrospective-6-closedThink Tank Retrospective 6 – key features

Side pockets

On the side of the bag is a small pocket which is ideal for carrying a bottle of water

Included rain cover

Although the bag is water resistant, Think Tank has included a waterproof polyurethane cover in the front that goes over the bag.

Grab handle

At the top of the bag is a handle that runs the length of the bag. This is a very useful feature, and it can be put under the flap if not needed.

Think Tank Retrospective 6 – our verdict

There’s plenty to like about this new bag, and the Retrospective 5’s features are carried over in the Retrospective 6, with the bonus of a little more space. The bag itself weighs only 1.2kg, so it’s not very heavy or too large. The pockets inside – at the front and rear of the bag – are very useful, and being able to stick a bottle of water in the side pocket is a neat little feature. The bag is quite expensive but made of good-quality materials. We’re not overly convinced by the sandstone colour, and expect it will look better once it becomes roughed up a bit, but that’s a personal preference.

SCORE: 4 out of 5

You may also consider

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Price: £129

If it’s the classic style of the Retrospective 6 you like in the sandstone colour, then the Billingham range
is worth looking at, coming in a variety of colours and sizes.

Lowepro-Pro-Messenger-200-AWLowepro Pro Messenger 200 AW

Price: £129

Overall, the Lowepro Pro Messenger 200 AW is a bit bigger than the Retrospective 6, offering some more space to those who need it. But it has a very similar design.

Domke-F-5XB-bagDomke F-5XB Medium Shoulder and Belt Bag

Price: £78-£80

Domke bags are the choice of many travelling professional photographers. The F-5XB is a star in the range. It’s smaller than the Retrospective 6, but ideal for a mirrorless camera or small DSLR kit.

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