Think Tank Airport Essentials Bag – Camera and Laptop now easily transported

April 10, 2013

The cat thought I was crazy when I covered the entire kitchen table with laptop gear, camera equipment and all sorts of cables, cloths, memory cards, lenses and assorted detritus. Little did she know, I was about to make the most significant and grown-up luggage move of my adult life. I was taking three bags worth of electronics and optical tech and relocating it to my newly acquired Think Tank Airport Essentials case.

Please note, the bag is only newly acquired because we are smack dab in the middle of a birthday month. Mine. And I’ve been prohibited from buying myself any gifts in 2013 as I’m pretty difficult to please when it comes to presents. SO, this bag would have been in my arsenal of gear since CES 2013 if I had my druthers – or even my exciting coverage of SXSW 2013 in Austin Texas…but at least now I have it for a spring and summer full of business training travel across the globe.*

So, let’s figuratively jump right into this bag – actually a backpack. It’s the Think Tank Airport Essentials – you can see all their bags right here. Here’s their video review as well…

You can buy the backpack at any reputable camera shop for about $175. You might think $175 for a little piece of luggage is a lot, but here’s what you get – and this is what I’ve seen after just loading the thing up and carrying it around the office…

An amazing amount of space. I have loaded it so far with my four lenses, a Canon 7D camera body, recording gear, some business cards and straps and other gear. There’s still room inside for additional lenses, a flash and more. See how I have it packed (photo is after I pared it down for travel as I didn’t need my 11-18mm lens which was in a slot on the right.

The size is actually astonishing. I was tired of carrying both a sling-style camera backpack (in which I couldn’t even fit the 150-500mm lens) and my laptop backpack AND my carry-on luggage. Now I’m down to two pieces. This one is seriously compact and easy to tote around. See photos below – that cat is an eight pounder for reference. I’m a 180 pounder – also for reference.

I apologize for the sideways photo of the cat – had to take it fast before she moved.

So, I guess the only questions you have to ask yourself when considering this backpack over others (and Tamrac, Lowepro and many companies make great bags) are…

What do you need it for? Will you use both the laptop and camera capacity? Do you prefer to have quick access to your camera? What size lenses do you have to carry?

For me, it’s a perfect solution to my three-bag problem. Now I can carry two bags to the airport and on any size plane. Even the ones that require me to check my hard-sided carry-on will allow me to keep this compact backpack with me when I fly.

What do you use to carry your gear? Leave your thoughts and comments in the…wait for it…comments. Thanks!

*As I alluded to above, I do a lot of travel related to training. And when I have to be at a university, business or news outlet to deliver my social media training or keynotes, I need to have all my gear with me. I could probably leave the monster lens behind, but the rest of it is part of my content creation and training gear – so this bag is a real solid solution for me professionally. And because I love to be able to bring the monster 150-500mm lens with me on vacation, it’s gonna work well for those trips too!