Gear Talk: ThinkTank Photo Bags for Travel

By now if you know me, you know I am a big advocate for the ThinkTank Bag line.  Yes, I do have and always use other bags for specific purposes, but for my rolling bag, ThinkTank is it.  As a Chicago Wedding Photographer, and Destination Wedding Photographer, there really are few times when I do not utilize these bags.

I was at the WPPI on the Road Conference here in Chicago, IL, and questions kept coming about the specifics of what ThinkTank rolling cases fit in overhead bins, etc. here in the United States.

SO. Let’s break it down!  (and be sure to check out the bottom of this post for a Free w/ Purchase Promo Link!)

s21. ThinkTank Photo Airport Security V. 2.0:  This is the bigger of the two Airport Roller Bags.  This typically holds 2 bodies, 4 speedlites, and the usual kit of lenses and accessories.  The Security of course can also hold larger telephoto lenses if need be. It will swallow up a 300mm f2.8 with no problem.

The Security will fit on most of what the Domestic Airlines consider “standard” size planes.  A320’s, 737’s, and larger will all hold the bag in the overhead just fine.  Anything smaller than that, and you will run in to issues.  This bag is best used if you do not travel internationally, or fly on any smaller regional jets.  Personally I use this bag as a day to day roller, and for most of my wedding photography shoots here in Chicago.


S32. ThinkTank Photo Airport International V. 2.0: The smaller of the two Airport Roller Bags.  ThinkTank designed this to fit in smaller overhead bins when traveling internationally, and on smaller jets.  In my personal experience I have been able to fit 2 Pro Bodies, 70-200 2.8, 16-35, 24-70, 50, 15, 3 speedlites, and 2 gary fong lightsphere collapsables.  That is a great amount to fit, and should get you through any shoot, anywhere in the world!  If you don’t need that much, and want to fit a larger lens, a 300mm 2.8 will still fit!

The International will fit in international airline bins, and conform to their tighter restrictions on bag sizes (via the cubic inch method of measurement.)  In my experience, it will also fit in some regional jet (RJ) bins.  Canadair and Embraer are the two big manufacturers of jets, and typically I find that it will fit on any of them with more than a 1-2 seat configuration.  2-2 configurations work just fine.  When you get down to that 1-2 type, you will most likely have to check at the gate.

My good friend Kenny Kim ( gave a lecture on packing for Destination Weddings at this year’s WPPI on the Road, and he had a great tip.  When traveling and you do not know if you will have to check or not, bring a small fabric grocery bag to carefully pack your vital gear in and walk on the plane with, if necessary.  Your gear may bump around a bit, but at least it is safe, and in your possession.

The ThinkTank Photo bags are immensely popular, and with good reason.  Built in security cables, locking zippers, ballistic nylon construction, all keep your gear protected, and secure.

ThinkTank Photo is running a great promotion right now, where you will receive a Free 15″ Laptop Case when purchasing an Airport Roller. They also are offering Free Shipping as well.  Check them out and click on the Photo!:

ThinkTank Photo Roller Promo Code

Happy Travels to All!

Collin Pierson is a lifestyle and destination wedding photographer as well as fashion/editorial photographer based in Chicago, Illinois. After working for newspapers, professional sports, and in his own studio Collin created a style that is both candid and dramatic. Collin's passionate and personalized approach toward his profession and clients is reflected in the images he captures of their life-defining moments. When he isn't traveling the world taking photos and finding new inspirations, he loves to photograph horses and take in all that Chicago has to offer.

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