Think Tank Airport Security

Always short of space to put things, and never one to shy away from adding to my number of bags, I recently bought myself a Think Tank Airport Security™ V 2.0 bag. This huge rolling bag (allowed onto aircraft in the USA, but too big for most of the world) now holds my lighting gear.

Not cameras or camera gear: just my lighting gear, like so:


Airport Security V2 Roller Camera Bag

That holds all my  clamps, ball heads, five Pocketwizards, three or four speedlites, cables, grids, gels, my light meter, and more. In addition, the side compartment holds the other Honl Photo modifiers, a gray card, and other small materials.

Michael's Big Lighting Bag

Michael's Big Lighting Bag

This bag is well built and has many cool gadgets. Such as three separate locks (two of which can be opened by the TSA). Emergency backpack straps. Many removable compartment sides. Two lockable cables to attach things to it, or it to things. A rain cover. Many things I will not need, like a tripod mount.

Small areas that could perhaps be improved:

  • The cutouts do not fit large Canon bodies (they are on the wrong side), so you need to remove your lenses if you are to use this as a camera bag. Quite an oversight.
  • Not quite enough internal compartment dividers for my liking: I had to add one or two dividers from another bag.
  • The lid hinges at the bottom, so things may spill out from pockets in the lid when it’s open.
  • The front external compartment is a little too small.
  • The external “laptop compartment” seems a bit of an afterthought and is rather insecure (yes, it has a cable to attach to the laptop – still not quite secure enough for me).
  • The uneven bottom made it a one-hour job to decide how to fit in all my gizmos. But that’s OK.
  • The handle that you use to roll the bag is flimsy and even has a warning, “do not lift by this handle” – that is a design flaw, if you have to warn people how not to use a product.

But those are small gripes. It’s a fantastic bag.

Michael’s Quick Judgment: recommended. This is one huge bag – where I carried two before. Anything that reduces my bag numbers is good. This bag does it in style and with intelligence. And all my lighting gear in one bag, in neatly arranged divisions: utterly fantastic.

5 thoughts on “Think Tank Airport Security

  1. Glad to see you went with one of my suggestions, Michael. Very good points you’ve brought up about the bag. Nonetheless, it definitely is helpful when you have a lot of stuff to carry and not enough muscles (or arms) to do so.

    • Yup, and they had it in stock in Oakville, Mark. Thanks for the suggestion. Great bag. (And those points I raise are not criticism: everything can be improved, and this is merely my list of suggestions.)

  2. Thanks for the positive review Michael! It’s always great to see our bags jam packed with gear. I also wanted to address a couple of the ‘suggestions’ you mentioned:

    • The cutouts DO fit large Canon bodies as we test both Canon and Nikon in our design phase. You may have the cutout backwards.
    • Just let us know if you need additional dividers. We provide them free of charge.
    • Yes, the lid hinges at the bottom so that you can partially unzip your bag and grab your bodies without the rest of your gear toppling out.
    • There aren’t too many external pockets to maximize the amount of gear you can fit in the main compartment.
    • The outer sleeve can be used to hold a laptop but you are correct in it is more of a holding place rather than a secure location. Again, this was to maximize the interior.
    • We decided to place the handle on the interior of the bag and make it a 4-tier telescoping handle to maximize the amount of gear you can place in the main compartment. Yes, it’s awkward to pack around but it’s better than the alternative.
    • The telescoping handle is perceived as flimsy because it has 4 sections. We do test the handles and they are incredibly strong. The reason we put the warning on the handle is that photographers pack these bags up to 50lbs easily. Any telescoping handle will buckle under that kind of torque and repetitive stress. Regardless, our bags have a lifetime guarantee on manufacturing defects so just contact us if you ever have a problem with your bag!

    I completely understand that these are features of our bag that you dislike. However, there is a method behind our madness and I wanted to relay the thinking behind the design.

    If you have any additional questions or concerns, just let me know!
    Best Regards,

    • Chris: good stuff. thanks. Yes, a few more dividers would be good – thanks (I had to use three from another bag). As for the cutout: have to squish in the cameras too much, regardless of which way it is in. My Canon cameras are 1-series bodies, did you test with those?

      I accept all your other points: they were not dislikes or criticisms so much as point I would have done differently: But that’s me, and that is only one data point. All said, a great bag and I am glad I have it. I took it to a shoot today – boy, those wheels are handy.

  3. Thanks for the review. I don’t think I have a need for anything quite this big just yet, I will keep it in mind for the future. I keep reading people saying how much they like think tank gear. I will definitely have to give it a look.

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