In this day and age, everyone has at least one mobile device: the smartphone. However, it is no longer unusual to find a person have an iPhone, an iPad and a MacBook - or variants of such. Add to that the various camera gear that a dedicated photographer would need to bring. All of those things summed up could be a great cause for a headache when you want to move around.
So, if you want to bring a lot of stuff, you need a sturdy bag that will be able to handle all the beating! A bag that has a sturdy construction, with strong zippers, and a means to secure the contents, just to name a few...
Enter the ThinkTank Photo Airport Essentials camera backpack!
It is an understatement to say that you can put a lot inside this bag. To give you an idea of what it can hold, ThinkTank Photo provides all customers with a picture of what the bag can carry. And the bag can carry a lot! Just to give you a comparison, I put the ThinkTank Photo Airport 4-Sight beside and behind the Essentials. As you can see from the pictures, the two bags are almost the same! So what you can put in the 4-Sight, you can essentially put in the Essentials. And the 4-Sight can actually hide behind the Essentials and only the former's handle will show. It is that big! (And yet the Airport Essentials is not the biggest bag in the series; if you want to carry more, you can get the Commuter, Accelerator or Takeoff).
However, despite the size and the capacity, the Essentials can still fit underneath airplane seats, a boon for those who fly a lot but who do not want to check in their expensive camera gear.
The shoulder straps are thick and you can even attach some small accessories to them. There are handles on three sides in case you don't want to put the bag on; the handles can also be helpful if you have a full bag and you want to stash the bag in the overhead bin on an airplane.
There are sternum and waist straps to distribute the weight of the bag. It has a contoured back enabling air to flow - this is especially helpful during summer or if you are gonna make memories somewhere in the tropics.
There are removable straps that will enable you to attach a full-sized tripod. And of course, there is a lock built into the bag so you can secure your precious stuff. However, there is only one lock so you choose to secure either the front compartment or the main compartment.
And what can you put in the front compartment? A 13-inch MacBook Pro and a full-sized iPad! Yes! Both! Now you don't need to think about using a second bag to put your "other" gadget in: all your gadgets can be stored in one bag! Very nice!
And of course, the construction of the bag is top-notch and the bag is very sexy. I expect nothing less from ThinkTank Photo. Really, you cannot go wrong with any of the brand's products. Everything is well-made and expertly designed.
Just a final note: if you are going to fill this bag, make sure that you have the upper body strength to lift it and to walk around. Say you are going to bring two DSLR bodies, four lenses, two speedlites, a 13-inch MacBook Pro and an iPad, that's a whopping 20 pounds or so! Not to mention chargers, chords, etc. These things can add up! So make sure you hit the gym constantly if ever you want to lug around a full bag. Otherwise, get the roller. Your back will thank you for it. (For my review of the 4-Sight, check out the link below.)
This bag is Highly Recommended!
Special thanks to Brian Erwin for providing the bag. Much obliged!
And extra special thanks to the wife for assisting with the photos. Can't do these review without you, literally and figuratively. :)
Get yours here:
To see how I made the product photos here, check the technique I used in this post.
Gear used to make this post: