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Think Tank Airport Security V2.0: The Ultimate Rolling Bag for the Nature Photographer

by Maxis Gamez | May 27, 2011

Think Tank Photo Airport Security v2.0 reviewTravelling photographers from around the globe have a need for a rolling bag to carry expensive and heavy photography equipment with them on domestic and international flights. Backpacks and shoulder bags can be difficult and uncomfortable to carry with such heavy loads, and small carry-on luggage cases don’t do the job well either. Fortunately, with the introduction of the new Think Tank Airport Security V2.0, this challenge has finally met its match.

I recently got back from a wonderful and successful trip to San Diego, California. Because I didn’t want to miss any opportunities during my trip, I carried all of the photography gear I own including two DSLR’s, two flashes, all of my lenses, support equipment (see full list below) and more. As you can imagine, such a trip requires a reliable, durable and yet practical rolling bag to get the job done.

The Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 performed beyond my imagination, and far surpassed the large Tenba rolling bag I used in previous trips. I thought I had the “best” rolling bag out there but, boy, what an eye opener the Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 was!

Let’s learn more about the Think Tank Airport Security V2.0.

Overall Size & Specifications:

  • Internal Dimensions: 13W x 8D x 21H – 33 x 20 x 53 cm
  • External Dimensions: 14W x 9D x 22H – 35.5 x 23 x 56 cm
  • Base Weight: 11- 13 lbs (Depends on number of dividers used, rain cover, straps, etc.)

The Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 will fit loaded nicely in the overhead compartment of a regular size jumbo airliner based on the current TSA legal carry-on size.

Inside the overhead bin © Maxis Gamez

Build

The Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 build quality is excellent. Here are few key points that I think are important to mention:

  • Heavy duty zippers: ideal for those whom will use the bag constantly and daily
  • Comfortable yet durable handles
  • Stylish, quiet and heavy duty rolling wheels
  • Heavy duty main handle

Design

The Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 was specifically designed to carry a large amount of photography equipment safely on a plane as a legal carry-on size bag based on the current TSA carry-on requirements. In my opinion, this feature alone is worth the investment, as I absolutely have no worries about having my check-in bag end-up at a location other then my final destination.

Another important feature I find extremely useful is the fact that you can keep your photography equipment secured with the included safety “kit” available. We all know how busy airports are and with a blink of an eye, it is possible that you could find your rolling case open and with equipment missing. The locks prevent this from happening!

The Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 also offers a front personal laptop “pocket” outside the bag for easy access. I used the pocket with my laptop during my trip and found it very useful. With the current and demanding TSA Security Rules and Regulations, there is no problem opening the pocket and pulling the laptop out of the bag during the check-in process.

The Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 also offers emergency shoulder straps for circumstances, such as stairs and gravel, when a roller does not perform well. Although this roller bag is not intended to be used regularly as a backpack, the straps are there for these special situations. They are removable, allowing you to store them in the main compartment.

Both monopods and tripods can be attached two different ways, either by putting two legs into the stretchable pocket or by using the Tripod Cup that comes with the roller. A seam-sealed, waterproof rain cover (like an outdoor jacket) is also included. An expandable section fits over a tripod when one is attached to the bag.

Another very useful feature is the inner panel that moves forward to expose the interior of the roller. This means you can access your gear without having to lay the bag completely on the ground, and is a great feature when you are in a rush!

New Features of the 2.0 Model

  • Wider front stretch pocket which will accommodate one laptop, up to 17″ screen size
  • Front security cable, with included three digit combination lock, to tether a laptop slipcase to the roller while it is stored in the front pocket
  • TSA approved combination lock for rear security cable is now included
  • ID Plate with unique serial number now attached to the rear of each roller allowing photographers be able to register their Airport Security for recovery in case of theft

Interior gear configuration © Maxis Gamez

Inside Storage

I loaded my Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 with the following equipment:

  • Canon 7D with grip
  • Canon 5D MKII with grip
  • Canon 800mm L f/5.6 IS (no hood attached)
  • Canon 400mm L f/5.6
  • Canon 70-200mm L f/4 lens
  • Canon 17-40mm L f/4 lens
  • Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens
  • Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
  • Kenko Extension Tubes
  • Canon 580EX II Flash
  • Canon 550 EX Flash
  • Cable and Flash Brackets
  • Better Beamer
  • Filters
  • Cable Release
  • Memory Cards
  • Batteries
  • Tools
  • 15″ Laptop

As you can see, the internal area can carry a large amount of professional equipment while the small packets handle the small items like filters, flash brackets, Better Beamer, extra batteries and such.

Overall, the new Think Tank Airport Security V2.0 is an excellent roller bag designed to meet the needs of discerning photographers and built to last. I highly recommend this rolling bag to anyone that is looking for plenty of space, durability and comfort.

Shop the entire line of Think Tank Photo pro camera bags and cases in the NatureScapes Store.

About the Author

Maxis Gamez is for the most part a self-taught photographer. He started photography as a hobby, but has now decided to devote his time and energy full time to photography. He has discovered that with photography, he has found a medium that enables him to express his creativity and use his abilities to teach and educate others with his workshops and programs. Viewing the world in a different way, he is capable of capturing wonderful images. These images have been featured in local galleries, published in nature magazines like Audubon, Shutterbug, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Nature Photographers Magazine and now published in National Geographic. To learn more please visit his website at www.gvisions.org.

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