Knowledge Base - FAQ's

What size bag should I take?

Airport Check In – Medium Size Briefcase Holds Essentials

The Airport Check In briefcase is an excellent travel complement to our backpacks. This rugged briefcase lets you transport your laptop, cords, cables, and other essential items safely from one location to the next.

This medium-size briefcase comes with an attachable shoulder harness, which can be a lifesaver when you have to walk (or run!) long distances, such as from one terminal to another.

As airlines increasingly enforce carry on bag weight limits, one strategy photographers employ is to use a smaller backpack—keeping it below the stated carry on weight and then putting all of their batteries, laptop, cords, cables, and paperwork into the briefcase so that each piece of luggage is under the weight limit. In fact, some photographers are removing the free Cable Management 50 that comes with the Airport Check In briefcase and putting even more photo gear into the briefcase’s front section.

Click here for more info on the Airport Check In briefcase.

Glass Taxi - Small Shoulder Bag or Backpack?

The beauty of this product is that it looks small and holds a lot. When non-photographers looks at this bag, they would never know that it can hold up to a 500mm f4 lens (wow!). This is especially useful when trying to create the impression that you are traveling light.

Some airlines, like KLM in Europe and Africa, have a carry on limit of 6 kg per bag (13.2 lbs). Most photographers moan when they hear that, considering that a large lens by itself can be 7 kg. With most airlines randomly checking passengers for weight, a shoulder bag like the Glass Taxi can help you create the perception that you are traveling light, even though it may be quite heavy. Click here for more info on the Glass Taxi shoulder bag/ briefcase.

Accelerate Through Airports With the Airport Acceleration

This backpack meets all international airline carry on requirements and will still hold large lenses and pro-size SLRs.

Many photographers are concerned about carrying ALL of their gear on the plane. Since some airlines now check for compliance with maximum weight limits, the decision between bringing a roller and a backpack becomes critical. Most rollers are 10 to 13 lbs (4.5 to 6 kg) which, when packed with gear, can push you over the weight limit of certain airlines. The base weight of the Acceleration backpack can range from 3.4 to 7 lbs (1.5 – 3 kg) depending on how many dividers you use, the raincover, extra straps for a tripod, and other items that ship with the backpack. This means a photographer can save 4 to 9 pounds alone just by choosing to bring a backpack. Click here for more information on the Airport Acceleration backpack.

Travel Around the World with the Airport International Roller

Traveling internationally to multiple countries via several different airlines with different carry on requirements can be one of the most challenging situations for photographers. Visually, this roller “looks” small, meets all international carry on size requirements, and will not attract attention to yourself as “looking like a photographer.” And yet, it will still hold a 400 2.8 lens!

Although this roller solves the carry on size problem faced by most large camera bags, photographers still need to be aware of weight requirements. Often, when fully loaded, it is possible to exceed stated carry on weight requirements. In those situations it may be best to pull out some gear (a body and lens) and wear it on your body, since items that are worn are not counted as carry on.

Click here for more information on the Airport International roller.

For Those Addicted to Airports

At 9” x 14” x 22”, the Airport Addicted backpack is the largest carry on backpack allowed for many airlines (check your airline for its carry on requirements). This holds a huge amount of gear, including your laptop.

From Asia to Europe to North and South America, we have had hundreds of photographers travel around the world with this backpack without few reported problems. That being said, when there have been problems getting this backpack on board it is often because the size of the plane or the destination. For example, in small commuter airplanes, like a regional CRJ, the Airport Addicted will not fit in the overhead compartment. Or, for example, on flights out of Africa, KLM enforces the 6 kg rule. Most issues photographers have concerning airline travel is not the size of the backpack, but the weight. So you do need to carefully choose which aircraft you fly and the airline’s size and weight restrictions. Click here for more info on the Airport Addicted backpack.

Is Security An Issue For Your Gear?

The Airport Security roller is actually the same size as our Airport Addicted backpack, except it has wheels and feet on the bottom. (Airlines and luggage companies measure the size of the bag excluding the additional length created by the wheels and feet.) The well built roller fits inside almost all aircraft overhead bins.

This roller is also excellent for wedding and commercial photographers who travel to locations by car. Not only does it carry a ton of gear, but the ability to roll it saves your back. The security cable and locking mechanism are big bonuses when you have to leave it unattended!

This is a photo of Vince Laforet at the airport. If you are concerned about carry on size, please read the notes on the Airport Addicted, since they are the same size. Click here for more info on the Airport Security roller.

Photo courtesy of Vince Laforet. For more information, go to


« View All FAQs
Become A Friend - Join Our Facebook

The rotation180° professional from MindShift Gear will change the way you shoot! Learn more about MindShift Gear.

© 2015 Think Tank Photo, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  Website Optimization by Blast Advanced Media