Think Tank Airport International V 2.0
|Price:||$389.75 & FREE Shipping|
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- Meets ALL airline carry-on size requirements
- TSA combination lock secures main zipper sliders
- Front cable & lock secures laptop case
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Roller meets INTERNATIONAL and USA domestic carry-on size requirements. Although passengers are rarely asked to put their roller into airline test "frames", photographers can travel with the peace of mind knowing that this roller is designed to fit. Shown is an AIR CANADA luggage test frame. The Airport International V2.0 has also been tested in BRITISH AIRWAYS, KLM, UNITED, and other major airlines' test frames. Actually, the most important feature is that this roller "looks" small and is visually within legal carry-on requirements. It does not call out to be questioned by airline attendants on major flights.
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The interior has a lot more room than my similarly sized backpack, with adjustable dividers. What I carried in the bag: Canon 5D Mk II, 7D, T2i, 17-40 f/4, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 24mm tilt-shift, 1.4x extender, 2x 580 EX II, remote shutter control, 2 pocket wizards, one eTTL cord, memory cards, batteries, etc. The bag was very heavy when loaded with this, but fortunately they don't tend to weigh carry-on luggage.
There was a period when the telescoping handle wouldn't come out all the way and this was irritating, but it worked itself out. The only other problem I've had (and this is very minor) is that one of the zipper pulls had the plastic at the end of the cord come off - the zipper is fine, but if the cord comes out then operating the zipper could be a pain.
The only time I haven't been able to carry it on the plane was on a commuter flight with very tiny overhead compartments. In that situation, the bag was gate checked and brought my gear through safely, though I was nervous.
Overall I'm thrilled with the purchase. It's a fair chunk to throw down for a bag you've only seen online, but it's carried all my gear well. I would recommend it to anyone who carries much photo gear and travels.
That said, everything else about this item is top notch. It fits in the overhead bin like a dream (my biggest concern since I wanted no issue or fuss about having to check it with $10K worth of equipment inside.) It is well made, offers plenty of flexibility for multiple configurations with all the dividers they supply, and just inspires confidence once you pack your gear and zip it up.
I found it filled faster than I had anticipated, however. Some gear was double stacked (using supplied dividers or the original case, such as the 580EXII flash), which is perfectly acceptable to me, but I was surprised at how small it got with 2 bodies and 5 lenses, plus misc, stuff. I didn't want to go as large as the TT Airport Security so while there is no doubt about the size of that particular piece, the Airport International fit my needs like a glove. I have no doubt that if I chose to reconfigure the bag from scratch that I could fit even more but I'm sort of an isolation freak when it comes to having things touching or rubbing together regarding my camera gear, so those dividers worked quite well - and I still had leftovers!
Bottom line - extremely pleased with my decision and offer an emphatic "highly recommended." For the record, I packed the following gear:
70-200 f/2.8L - hood reversed
135L - hood reversed
50L - attached to the 5DII - hood reversed
16-35 f/2.8L - hood in separate slot
misc. odds & ends (chargers, Lumiquest prod., QR plates, etc.) tucked into spare crevices and whatnot.
So you see it does hold a LOT of gear very safely and securely. I hope this helps - Think Tank makes an incredible product.
I've tried backpacks and wheel-less bags, but camera gear is so heavy that I much prefer a wheeled bag. It makes sprinting from gate to gate and wandering around the airport during long layovers so much easier.
This bag is sized for European carry-on standards, which means it's slightly smaller than the maximum US carry-on size. I like that, even for domestic travel, because it means I can tuck a laptop in the stretchy front pocket without going over the limit. (You can buy shorter dividers if you want to put a laptop inside the main compartment, but that won't work for me; I have some lenses that take up the full depth of the bag, like the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Telephoto Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras.)
It fits easily under the seat or in the overhead bin in a normal plane. Not sure about commuter planes; I think it would have at least fit under the seat, but I was never given a chance to try. They made me check it at the gate every time with commuter jets. The bag is solid enough that I didn't worry my gear would be damaged. That was when having my laptop in the front pocket was convenient, because I could easily remove it and carry it on the plane.
Like others, I don't care for the handle very much. It's difficult to get out; it fits into the bag so tightly that it's hard to get a grip on it, especially if you have small hands. It does seem rather flimsy compared to the average retractable handle. And I, too, have problems getting the handle to stay at the height I want it to. Given the price, you'd expect better. But all in all, a minor annoyance. It doesn't keep me from using this bag whenever I fly.