In this new year, with new (Canon) gear I thought it would be fun to do some updated gear reviews. While I do plan to do more in-depth reviews on all of my bodies/lenses, I find those to be somewhat readily available. There are lots of people out there who have reviewed every Canon camera body & lens available, which was very helpful in researching what to buy. However, what I found more difficult was thorough, informative reviews of the other, just-as-essential-but-less-sexy gear that photographers must have. Things like wireless triggers, strobes, steady-on lights, tripods, light stands, and, last but not least, bags. Back when I was a beginner & a Nikon shooter I purchased a Tenba Roadie Rolling Large (updated version) seen below – to carry everything I could possibly need on a wedding/shoot day. This bag was more than up to the challenge. It had pockets with pockets, utilized every square inch of space & could have carried two photographer’s gear if necessary. When fully loaded it carried two bodies, ten (10!!!) lenses, 3 flashes, batteries, Cybersyncs, a tripod & my 13″ MacBook Pro – it was a tank. It more than did its job. For several years it went everywhere with me & stood up to the wear & tear of professional use very well. I really have no complaints about it – my needs just changed. As I grew in the professional realm, honed my style & began traveling a bit I began sifting through my gear, trading 3 beginner lenses for one of higher quality & needed less space. In addition I found that though the Tenba was fine as a dometic carry-on, it was too big for international flights. So I started looking for an alternative.
I believe it was Zach & Jody who first introduced me to the Thinktank line of bags. They did an awesome review of their Airport Security bag & it was enough to have me perusing the site looking at the available options. I spent quite a while reading up on the Airport Security & the Airport International – comparing their different features as well as reading the other hands-on reviews that I could find.
While there are features of the Airport Security that I loved (hello, standing 70-200 & shoulder straps) I know that for me, behind Jesus & my hubby, photography & travel are my greatest loves. So, because I want to travel more & more & having my gear with me is of huge importance, I went with the Airport International V2.0.
With my Nikon gear, this bag was cramped, but only because I had too much stuff! Making the switch to Canon allowed me to start the gear acquisition process over & this time make purchases that were much more informed & specific to my needs & shooting style. Currently my bag has excess room because I am still a few pieces of gear away from my complete arsenal.
So, what is it that makes the Airport International so wonderful? Well there are a few things.
1) Solid construction but not a brick – this bag is solid, but carry-able (is that even a word). Its hefty enough to trust your gear in, but still reasonably light & wield-able (again, is that a word?). It can take the use/abuse of any professional & come out asking for more. Mine has rolled over countless sidewalks, gravel roads, fields, yards & airports & just keeps coming back for more.
2) Hefty Handles – though my bag spends much of its life being rolled, there are times when it needs to be lifted & sometimes those lifts need to happen quickly so dependable, hefty handles are a must. ThinkTank clearly put some thought (see what I did there) into their handle design & placement as there are 3 & each one is as strong & well-built as the bag itsself. They are also comfortable, which is a huge plus.
3) Extra Room – Yes there is lots of space for camera gear, which should be included in every camera bag, however, the folks at Thinktank didn’t leave any space unused & that adds up to lots of extra pockets & spots to stash stuff. If you are a photographer then you know that your camera bodies & lenses are just the beginning of what you carry on a shoot day & its SO helpful to have lots of nooks & crannies to stick stuff.
In the zipper pockets inside the flap I carry speedlight stands, my tripod key, cords for pocket wizards & battery-charging as well as extra batteries.
In the exterior pocket I stash all sorts of things – business cards, lens cleaner & cloths, pens, hand warmers & because you just never know – a bottle opener ;-).
So, there you have it. My review of the Thinktank Airport International V2.0 – in short, I love the bag, it suits me perfectly & I think most pros would find the same to be true for them!
*ThinkTank has no idea who I am or what I say. This is not a sponsored post & I only share products I use & believe in.