7 Things You’ll Love About the Think Tank Modular Belt System V3.0 for Photographers

Ardent photographers all have at least one thing in common: we all need a way to carry our gear. Think Tank Photo offers a very wide variety of carry solutions, including one category you may have overlooked.

When we think of camera bags, we usually think of shoulder bags, photo backpacks and sling-type packs. These are all good options, to be sure, but they can take a toll on you physically if you are out and about for hours at a time.

I’ve always been fond of waist-belt systems—you know, like a Batman utility belt on PEDs. By their very nature they shift the weight from your shoulder or neck to a location closer to your center of gravity—i.e., your waist. The laws of physics take over from there to balance the load and preserve the spring in your step.

One strike against belt systems is that it’s necessary to remove them when you jump into a car, even as a passenger. So if you’re street shooting in a big city, it’s impractical to hail a taxi. Or take seat on the subway. Bicycles are okay, though. Horses, I’m not sure.

Another negative—some folks think wearing a belt-load of camera equipment makes them look weird. That’s a matter of personal opinion. Some other people probably think a belt makes them look professional. To each his own. Personally, I put comfort over vanity any day.

Think Tank Photo is a highly regarded manufacturer of every imaginable type of camera conveyance, including the TurnStyle V2.0 Sling Bag which I reviewed here back in September of 2017. And they have been perfecting their Modular Belt System, now on version 3.0, for years. In fact, it’s the product line that attracted me to Think Tank oh so many years ago when I first met founder Doug Murdoch at a trade show.

Here are seven (7) reasons why I think you’ll love the new Think Tank Modular Belt System V3.0.

1. Comfort Plus Access
Like many people, I suffer from DDD, Degenerative Disc Disease. It’s not a big scary thing, and in fact probably should not even be labeled a disease because an estimated 40% of all Americans over 40 are afflicted. But it can be painful—even debilitating at times—and carrying a heavy cargo of cameras can aggravate it.

A Modular Belt System shifts the bulk of the weight to your midsection, near your center of balance. The difference can be remarkable. For additional support, Think Tank offers suspender-like shoulder rig, the Pixel Racing Harness V3.0 ($42.75), which distributes a bit of the weight to your neck, back and shoulders.

The Pixel Racing Harness V3.0, used with either Modular Belt, distributes some of the weight to your neck, back and shoulders and keeps your camera at the ready position.

By spacing your lenses, flash, et cetera around your waist, your gear is instantly accessible. Reaching for a lens becomes as natural and automatic as reaching into your pocket for your car keys. There’s no need to set down a shoulder bag to dig for a flash unit. No need to remove a backpack to change lenses. Belt systems are comfortable, and you do not have to sacrifice accessibility.

2. High Quality Materials and Superb Construction
The Modular Belt System is constructed of 600D polyester and 300D diamond weave polyester stitched with three-ply bonded nylon thread. Interior portion is made of 200D polyester and durable closed-cell foam similarly stitched. The included waterproof rain covers are double coated with polyurethane. Everything is first class.

The attention to detail is amazing. You definitely don’t have to worry about components coming apart on their own.

3. Photographer-minded Engineering
In addition to the aforementioned founder, chief designer and CEO Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo was established by Mike Sturm (senior designer), Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice and photographer Kurt Rogers. They have been there, done that, and remember the lessons learned. For amateurs and professionals alike, it’s reassuring to know that the carry solution you’ve adopted for your camera system was created by someone who actually needed that solution themselves. 

4. More Than a Dozen Accessories
You can buy pouches, bags and pockets to fit any type of equipment imaginable. Download their 68-page catalog here. If you buy the Think Tank Modular Belt System V3.0 in the Essential Set kit you get five pieces: Lens Changer 50 V3.0, Lens Changer 75 Pop Down V3.0, R U Thirsty? Water bottle holder, one Speed Changer V3.0 and of course seam-sealed rain covers.


Note that the Essential Set does not include a belt. The Pro Speed Belt V3.0 is $41.75. Alternatively, you can order a Thin Skin Belt for $31.75. Both come in three sizes, S-M, M-L and L-XL and cover waist circumferences 27 through 48-inches.

The Think Tank Modular Belt System V3.0 Essential Set can carry wide angle and standard professional zoom lenses—70-200mm f/2.8 or Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 with the lens hood reversed or in position, Canon 580EXII or Nikon SB900 with an external battery pack and diffuser attached, gripped camera body (lens not attached), small telephoto lenses, teleconverters, RF Transceivers, or pro batteries. Etc.

5. 20% Savings
By purchasing the Think Tank Modular Belt System V3.0 in the Essential Set configuration at $131.25 you save 20% compared to the regular price of each component.

6. Backward Compatibility
If you own any parts of earlier model Think Tank belt systems, you can use them in conjunction with the new version 3.0 setup. It is truly a modular system and can grow as necessary now and in the future.

7. No-BS Warranty
Although the official warranty includes the language required by the FTC, the essence of Think Tank’s USA Limited Warranty is summed up in this quote from their website:

“To the original owner, we guarantee and warrant our products against any defects in material or workmanship for as for long as you use the product. If you have any problems with the product, please contact us for return authorization at warranty@thinktankphoto.com before sending the product to us.”

If you sometimes suffer from back pain after toting a camera and lens collection for a few hours, a belt system should definitely be on your radar. If you are as strong as a bull and never considered using a belt system for its comfort qualities, you can still benefit from having your equipment literally at your fingertips, protected and secure.

On the downside, it’s difficult to travel in stealth mode when wearing a fully loaded belt system, and in most instances, a belt rig cannot be worn when sitting.

On balance, the advantages outweigh the drawbacks for most people.

—Jon Sienkiewicz