*****UPDATE*****Since my last review of this bag, it has accompanied me on many overseas assignments, and whilst everything I previously said still holds true, the one serious issue I have found is that although it’s dimensions are correct for airline carry-on, it garners a lot of attention due to it’s size, and I’ve been forced to have it weighed as a result. Not a good scenario as it comes in at 7kg over the max allowance when fully loaded. This has caused many an entertaining if mentally draining argument at check in desks and boarding gates. Therefore I have just purchased the Think Tank Retrospective 50 shoulder bag for my upcoming trips (starting tomorrow), in the hope that my carry-on bag of choice becomes less noticeable. I’ll post a review on my experiences, complete with pics of the bag, when I get back. I’ve got 12 flights over the next six weeks, so it should be a good and thorough test of this bag.
(original post 08/04/12)
One of the key factors we face when traveling to any photo assignment is the ability to safely transport our camera equipment. For us, this means never letting it out of our sight, and for that reason we never check it at the airport. The problem we face is the reduced hand luggage allowance the European airlines will entertain! Hence the reason we love Think Tank’s Airport International V2.0. I won’t go into a detailed review of the bag as there is already a terrific review to be found here. This is more about why we chose the Airport International over the Airport Security, and any other manufacturer’s roller bags. In one simple word: Dimensions. This bag is the only one I found which complied with both RyanAir* and Aer Lingus’ baggage restrictions. As you can see from the photos, it is still large enough to accommodate a Canon 1DmkIV, 5DmkII, 16-35mm, 70-200 2.8, 85mm 1.2, and 24-105mm plus a Quantum Turbo, 2 x 580 exII speedlights, RF triggers, and a 13″ Macbook Pro. One thing to note is that the tops of the cameras’ protrude a little and therefore cause an issue when putting the bag into the airline’s baggage tester. This is not an issue if using Canon’s 5DmkIII or Nikon’s D800 without the battery grips. You also need to have the low dividers fitted in order to carry a laptop, but when fitted, It will easily accommodate a 15 laptop. So, if you are in the market for a professional roller bag that doesn’t scream ‘Professional photography gear inside’, and you need the flexibility of being able to fly on various airlines around the world, then I would recommend this bag above all others, just for the piece of mind, never mind all the amazing features it possesses.
*I don’t fly RyanAir, but they are a good airline to check your restrictions against based on the fact that if you can successfully fly within their perimeters, you are guaranteed success with every other airline in the world!