Gadgets Airport International LE

Published on January 7th, 2015 | by Greg


Think Tank Airport International LE: A Lovely Accent

Ten years is certainly worth celebrating. After a decade in business, one of our favorite brands of photography bags has created a limited edition anniversary roller that takes a classic and updates it a bit. Since we haven’t checked out the original model, it was the perfect occasion to enjoy the well-regarded suitcase with classy new leather accents. And the holiday season has been the ideal testbed for a piece of luggage aimed at serious photographers, as we moved into CES 2015 when we can fill it with new gear.

The Think Tank Airport International LE Classic is modeled on the Airport International (and the updated V2), a rolling camera suitcase with room for “up to a 500mm f/4 lens, unattached, additional smaller lenses and up to 2 gripped DSLR camera bodies” plus flashes and accessories- in other words, absolutely everything you could possibly need to take with you. Designed to fit in the overhead bin and meet airlines carry-on requirements, it has a TSA-compliant combo lock on the zipper but also includes a very cool security chain on the rear for those times when you might need to walk away for a moment.

We’ve previously reviewed a variety of Think Tank gear, and they make a pretty wide range of bags. The Airport line is aptly-named, and we loved the smaller Navigator. Some features are similar, like the tripod cup and accessory straps on the side, so you can easily carry your monopod or tripod, and the very solid, replaceable wheels. Think Tank’s warranties are legendary, and if your wheels wear out, they’ll send you a replacement kit for free. Thoughtful handle placement, including one at the bottom, help when lifting into storage. Other pockets, like one for business cards and a front stretch pouch, are nice touches too.

The outside of the bag is water-repellant coated, and made from 1680D ballistic nylon- at least the parts that aren’t leather. The real leather details on the panels, zipper pulls, and handles are what sets this limited edition version apart but they are fairly subtle (though nice-looking, to be sure). Dividers are plentiful and very flexible, with tons of options for your configuration. The bag isn’t light- without gear loaded, it’s about ten pounds- and it’s not cheap either. Nor is it a hard-sided shell that offers superior protection against drops or falls or accidents. But it has the best inside of a lid that we’ve ever seen, with handy zippered pockets for various necessities, plus one of the best retractable primary handles that we’ve used (with multiple sections that expand smoothly, retract easily, and feel good in the hand). Available soon for around $450, the Think Tank Airport International Classic LE is one of the more expensive roller camera bags that we’ve seen, but feels fairly priced, with excellent craftsmanship, aimed at those who carry an arsenal of gear and want it well-protected.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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