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Field Review: Think Tank International Airport Roller V2 (Day 3)

by Nigel Paterson on 05/02/2011

I’ve said before the Think Tank Airport Roller V2 can hold a lot of gear, and here’s my list:

Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN

Canon EOS 5 Mark II

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

• EF 300mm f/2.8L ISM USM

• 1.4x and 2x converters

• 580EX flash with Canon external battery pack

• Filters, lens cleaners, memory cards, batteries etc

• Tripod (strapped to the side using supplied accessories)

15-inch Macbook Pro (in a sleeve then slid into the front pocket of the Airport Roller).

For practical purposes, I’d probably never use the bag so heavily packed. I’m guessing it would weigh in excess of 20kg configured like that, and would be cumbersome to use, too. The bag, however, is constructed so well that I think it would cope, so if you did need to get that amount of equipment across New York on the subway I reckon it might be the way to do it.

Not on a plane though – too heavy. Even without the tripod it’s way over the weight limit for carry-on luggage, and with more and more airlines starting to weigh bags, that’s a problem.

When traveling with a colleague recently he carried the 300mm f/2.8 in his backpack which allowed me to redesign the interior of the Airport Roller to accommodate my laptop inside the bag (Think Tank offer a low divider kit if you’re going to do this regularly or have a fat laptop, but the skinny MacBook Pro will squeeze in) and only bust the 10kg weight limit a little bit.

The Airport Roller, however, doesn’t scream ‘camera bag’ with its design and therefore you’re less likely to have airline staff want to weigh the bag…

Here’s another idea for the Airport Roller I’ll be trying soon: using it as roller luggage but not specifically as a camera bag. I’ve got a writing/riding assignment in Darwin, which is two flights and about six hours away, so I’m planning on using the Airport Roller to carry my Multi Media 20 camera bag loaded with a basic shooting outfit as well as computer and general travel luggage. In my hotel room I’ll be able to leave it locked to something immovable with whatever I don’t want to carry locked inside. The locks won’t stop every thief, but hopefully they will stop the opportunistic criminals.

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