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As a wedding photographer, I often travel around the country for weddings and pre-weddings. Over the years, a tip that I have been telling people is to invest in a good camera bag. A good camera bag acts as a mobile station for all of your equipment. The size of the bag depends on the amount of gear you take. For photographers that travel frequently (not only limited to air travel, but also local travel), a roller bag is essential. Bags with wheels are just so much more convenient to move around. I use a Think Tank Airport International V2 to carry my equipment when I travel for pre-weddings. This bag is designed to international carry on standards, so you can take it on board on most airlines.For those who live in the US and do not need to travel internationally, Think Tank’s biggest roller bag Airport Security V2 is sized to the US domestic carry on standards which allow slightly bigger bags on board. For those who prefers 4 wheels, Think Tank has the Airport Roller Derby for you. I have listed the different sizes of Think Tank roller bags below.
Biggest, US domestic carry on standards
US domestic carry on standards with 4 wheels, slightly less internal space than Think Tank Airport Security V2
International carry on standards
International carry on standards with backstraps, slightly less depth than Think Tank Airport International V2
Slightly smaller than International carry on standards, 10cm shorter than Think Tank Airport International V2
The main reason I have chosen the Airport International V2 is because it meets the international carry on size. In terms of size, it is in the mid range, not the biggest compare to the Airport Security and Roller Derby but it gives me a peace of mind knowing that it can be taken on board on most airliners. The Airport International V2 has a very robust wheel system just like any other roller bags, I have dragged it across some tough terrains and it is still going strong. The operation of the wheels is very smooth which makes it effortless when you are rolling the bag. Last thing you want is a fully packed camera bag that twists and wobbles when you are rolling it.
On the front of the Airport International V2, there is a front zipped pocket and a stretch pocket. The front zipped pocket is where I keep my passports, travel documents, pens, etc. It is handy for quick access of your travel items . The stretch pocket fits a large size laptop, but you might want to use the Artificial Intelligence 15 V2 or 17 V2 laptop bags to protect it first, since the stretch pocket offers minimal protection. Normally, I would take the laptop bags out of the Roller to make it look smaller before going through baggage checks. The last thing you want is to make the Airport International V2 looks oversize. The stretch pocket is surprisingly useful because I can take the laptop out without opening the camera bag, a very useful feature to keep your camera gear out of the public eyes.
Speaking of waiting in the airport, the Airport International V2 features a rear security cable with padlock which you can chain your bag to table, poles, even your leg to prevent it from being stolen. This cable and lock system is a saviour when I am on my laptop at the airport and I can’t keep an eye out on the camera bag. Also when I am taking a nap in the airport which happens often enough, I would chain the bag to my legs and put my legs on its so it won’t get stolen while I take a nap. The bag also features a TSA combination lock to secure the main compartment zipper, make sure this is locked to prevent people from opening your bag.
One the side of the Airport International V2, it has a tripod holder which you can tie you tripod to the bag. I don’t really use this unless I have nowhere to put the tripod. I like to keep the tripod in the check in suitcase to minimise the footprint of my carry on luggage. However, It is a useful feature if I am only carrying the Airport International V2 bag.
In the bag, there is a panel of transparent pockets on the inside cover of the camera bag. I use the pockets to hold accessories like cables, chargers, batteries, cleaning kit, etc. In the main compartment, I have my core equipment of camera bodies, lenses, RF triggers, filters, speedlights.
Here is a list of the gear that I take in the Think Tank Airport International V2 roller bag. I do have other lighting equipment such as light stands, monopod, Elinchrome Quadra or Ranger which are packed in a separate roller bag.
What’s in my Think Tank Airport International V2 Roller Bag?
- Nikon D4
- Nikon D3s
- Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8
- Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
- Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII
- Nikon 85mm f/1.4
- Nikon SB-910
- Pocketwizards Plus III and Flex TT5
- AA batteries
- Camera double shoulder strap
- Think Tank pixel pocket
- DSLR raincoat
Where can I find the equipment seen on this site?
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