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Monday, December 3, 2012

Think Tank Photo Airport Check In Review

Think Tank Photo Airport Check In Review

I am a Road warrior and my employment takes me out on the road frequently. I am always looking for better ways to manage my traveling and carrying the multitude of devices with me in an organized fashion. I have tried messenger bags, backpacks and computer roller bags. I was never quite pleased with any scenario and somehow always lost items among my travels.  

Being a semi-pro photographer as a hobby introduced me to the great minds at Think Tank. I have several of their products for photography use. They make a wonderful Laptop bag called the Photo Airport Check In. This unique bag also includes an organizer sleeve  to keep all things in place. 

Think Tank makes high quality, innovative products for the working photographer. They constantly improve their products by taking feedback from the field and its users. You make a critique and they listen. 

It also offers a rain cover, shoulder strap, and back pack carrying strap making this bag very multi-functional.  The straps are well padded and all hardware is strong and rugged. No skimping on parts at Think Tank. This is not really a camera bag , however it would allow smaller cameras and accessories to be carried along with a laptop. This bag would fit into the Think Tank Urban Disguise series but is not deemed part of that product family.

The front zippered section of the bag has slots for business cards, key ring strap, pen holder, 2 padded pockets for iPod, WD Pocket drive, or an iPhone . It has also has 3 see through zippered pockets. I usually put my money in one pocket before going through security, any medication, eye drops, or vitamins, and the lower pocket for other items. Everything zips up and nothing can fall out.

Did I mention all zippers are beefy and self – healing?

The next section is the middle with 2 narrow pockets for magazines or papers and a larger middle pocket that takes a Cable Management 50 organizer. This is an organizers dream come through. This see through case has 3 pockets and it holds all my items safely and neatly. I can put my Nikon P7000 camera with a SB400 flash in one side, the middle houses a Cable Management 10 bag that I use to hold earphones, charger, flashlight, cables, battery, and small items. I can slide this in and out while on the plane keeping everything neat and safe from falling out as it zips up. The other side usually holds my smartphone, a small pocket radio and my wallet. The pockets can also be used to carry a laptop power supply and mouse; however I usually carry these items in my carry-on luggage.
The back of the bag has a detachable padded computer sleeve insert and holds my laptop. I use a TSA friendly padded sleeve for my laptop and took the detachable insert out. I also will put my iPad and Blackberry Playbook and Kindle in there depending on what I am carrying or where I am going.
There is also a zippered section top allow the bag to be inserted into your roller bag handle. This bag was made for travelling in mind. No wonder they call it the Airport Check In

Also on either side of the bag there is a water bottle pouch and a zippered pouch for another water bottle (or rather a Starbucks coffee in a travel mug, or Tumi Umbrella).

This bag has made it through over 100 flights and keeps all my stuff safe and protected, fits easily underneath the airplane seat and is multifunctional. It is an excellent carry-on laptop bag, an office bag for commuting and can also be a hidden camera bag for those with smaller cameras.

Maybe they will release it as a V2.0 model with some changes. It’s an excellent bag.

I also have the Artificial Intelligence laptop bag which is slimmer and is more for the only purpose of having enough room for a laptop.

  • A full featured briefcase designed specifically for photographers using rolling luggage
  • Features:
  • Fits 15" - 17" laptops
  • Fits easily under airline seats
  • Slides onto handle of rollers
  • Lock on bottom of roller pocket
  • Incredible front organizer
  • FREE Cable Management 50 included
  • Business card holder
  • Expandable/compressible side pocket
  • Mesh pocket on side
  • Pixel Eclipse fits in rear pocket
  • Product Includes - Seam-sealed raincover, Removable shoulder harness, Curved Comfort shoulder strap
  • Internal Dimensions (Front Compartment) - 15.5" W x 13" H x 2" D (39.5 cm x 33 cm x 5 cm)
  • Internal Dimensions (Computer Area) - 15.5" W x 12.75" H x 2" D (39.5 cm x 32.5 cm x 5 cm)
  • External Dimensions - 16" W x 13.375" H x 6.25" D (41 cm x 34 cm x 16 cm)
  • Weight - 2 lbs. / 930 g - 3 lbs. 15 oz./ 1800 g (depending on accessories used)


  1. John,
    Great review. However, the web site does show this bag at all. They do display a number of airport items in three categories:Airport Backpacks, Airport Series, Airport Checkin. But for Airport Checkin the link says:"Sorry for the inconvenience
    There are currently no products to list in this category." Have you gotten to review a pre-production product?
    Lewis from Belgium

  2. I would contact them directly as It is listed in the catalog I have. shows stock so its possible that some retailers still have inventory if it was discontinued. The intelligence series is just a laptop bag for the airport rollers ( i will do review )

  3. I wonder if the Urban Disguise will work as it is similar but it is a camera bag. If the camera section can be removed and a Cable Management 50 slid in then it might work. I use the Cable Management organizers with my Victorinox backpack and North Face Base Camp duffle as well. The brilliance is in the CM 50 and the multiple pockets on the check in.

  4. John, Great review. But when I go to the website, they don't show this model as available. Were you able to review this laptop bag as a pre-production item?
    Lewis from Belgium

  5. I took a look at the Urban Disguise Series at the camera store and they will work as a replacement for the Airport Check In if one cannot find this bag. You would take the dividers out in order to use the Cable management 50. remember this is not being used as a camera bag by me except to contain my Nikon P7000 and SB-400 and Manfrotto mini tripod. These fit in the CM50 fine.


Thanks for your comments