This rolling carry-on incorporates security features for the photographer on
There are times when the order of the day is to carry as much gear as possible, comfortably, and with quick access. On these days, a bag like the Think Tank Rotation 360°, LowePro Slingshot AW300 or Tamrac Velocity 9x is just what the doctor ordered.
Other times, transporting gear on planes, buses and trains with limited stowage space is of utmost importance. And then there are hotels, photo assignments, and semi-secure media rooms where it is not always practical or possible to keep a watchful eye to make sure your laptop, spare camera body and telephoto lens doesn't "accidentally" walk away while you're deep in the weeds of a major assignment (or simply out sightseeing with a smaller day bag).
If you think you'll be in any of the above situations any time soon, you'd be wise to give the Think Tank Airport International ($319, street) rolling bag serious consideration. It meets international airline carry-on regulations, features a TSA-approved 3-digit combination lock for the main compartment, and a built-in steel cable beneath the retractable roller handles which, with the lock of your choice, should keep the bag from "accidentally" rolling away during your photo adventures.
Think Tank doesn't just sell bags to help you get to far-flung assignments with your gear safely packed. Check out their website for travel tips, first-person accounts of their products in action, and other helpful advice from road warrior photographers.
As with the other Think Tank products we've reviewed, the build quality is first-rate. The zippers and pulls are satisfyingly chunky. The inside of the bottom-stitched main compartment flap has a number of large flat pockets for holding small accessories, business cards, or a Pixel Pocket Rocket. The outside of the zippered main panel has a single large pocket that stretches and takes up pretty much the entire front of the bag. It is big enough and flexes enough to carry a 17-inch laptop in a standard carrying case, such as the Think Tank Artificial Intelligence 15" or 17" computer case. The 'blade style nylon wheels roll smoothly, even over chunky pavement. The telescoping pull handle locks smoothly in place once extended, but does have a little play in it -- Think Tank recommends against lifting the bag with the roller handle, and we have to agree with their suggestion. Use the top or side strap to hoist the bag instead.
The main compartment is wide-open, about 18 percent gray, with no stitched-in dividers, to allow for complete customization of the hook and loop dividers depending on your specific gear-hauling needs. And if you want total security and peace of mind, it's possible to purchase an auxiliary set of low dividers ($49) that feature several rigid pieces, which creates an interior space to accommodate a 15-inch laptop. Think Tank recommends their Artificial Intelligence 15" computer bag, but I opted for the Think Tank Cable Management 50 bag to keep the computer padded during transit. This slim, clear-topped bag perfectly fit my Dell Latitude D620 computer, although probably not with as much padding as the computer manufacturers would recommend.