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Designed to make international and domestic air travel easier for photographers, the Airport Essentials backpack has it all: Carry-on size, Comfort, Capacity. It fits a standard DSLR, 4-6 standard zooms, and iPad and up to a 15" MacBook Retina laptop.* Fits up to a 300mm f/2.8 lens attached to a standard camera body.

Enjoy integrated, quick access pockets for both a laptop and iPad, a top pocket for boarding passes and three robust handles, ensuring easy placement/retrieval from overhead bins. The light, adjustable, contoured harness provides comfort along with lumbar support and air mesh paneling to keep your back cool. The height adjustable sternum strap allows for the perfect fit. A removable waist belt, side water bottle pocket, tripod/monopod mounting system and seam sealed rain cover extend the versatility of this line. For increased functionality, these backpacks can be used with our Pro Speed belts for additional support and they're fully compatible with our Modular Component line for even greater capacity.

Key Features

  • International and domestic carry-on size compatible*
  • Cable lock & locking YKK® RC Fuse zipper sliders for added security
  • Holds your laptop and iPad in a separate (lockable) zippered compartment
*Check with your air carrier to confirm current size restrictions

Gear Profile

  • Fits a standard DSLR, 4-6 standard zooms, iPad and up to 15” MacBook Retina laptop*
  • Accommodates a 300mm f/2.8 lens attached a standard sized camera body

*Check laptop pocket dimensions below as some larger 15" laptops may not fit.

Technical Specifications

Exterior Dimensions: 11.5” W x 18” H x 7” D (29.2 × 45.7 × 17.8cm)
Interior Dimensions: 11” W x 16.3” H x 5” D (27.9 × 41.4 × 12.7cm)
Laptop: 9.8” W x 15” H x 1.2” D (25 × 38 × 3cm)
Weight: 2.9-3.6 lbs (1.4-1.6 kg)


Exterior: For superior water-resistance, all exterior fabric has a durable water-repellant (DWR) coating, plus fabric underside has a polyurethane coating for superior water-resistance, YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) zippers, 1680D ballistic nylon bottom panel, 600D polyester, 420D velocity nylon, 3D air mesh, ultra stretch pockets, Y-buckles, antique nickel plated metal hardware, big hole air mesh, honeycomb mono mesh, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Interior:  Removable closed cell foam dividers, 210D silver-toned nylon, polyurethane backed velex liner, 2x polyurethane coated nylon 210T seam-sealed rain cover, Belly-O mesh pockets, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

No Rhetoric Warranty on all Think Tank products

Feature 1 Perfect for travel – does not look like a traditional camera backpack. Security cable & combination lock allows you to lock the laptop case or to immovable objects. This security cable is very effective when you have to leave your gear for a period of time in a media room, wedding hall, hotel room, or other open area.
Feature 2 High capacity:holds a standard DSLR with 4-6 standard zoom lenses. Quick access pockets hold a 15" laptop and iPad.
Feature 3 Holds your 15" laptop and iPad in a separate, integrated, locking zippered compartment.
Feature 4 The removable waist belt allows the Pro Speed belt (shown) or Thin Skin Belt to be used which increases carrying capacity, stability and functionality.
Feature 5 Contoured adjustable harness with lumbar support and Air Mesh paneling to help keep your back cool.
Fetaure 7 Robust handles on three sides ensures rapid and easy retrieval from overhead bins, car trunks, etc. Airport Commuter backpack pictured.

The included lock and cable allow the backpack to be secured to an immoveable object or can be used to lock the zipper sliders on the main compartment.


Seam sealed rain cover helps protect your gear. Stows away inside backpack when not in use.

Fits AI 13V3

 Compatible with Artificial Intelligence™ Laptop cases.

Feature 8 The inside flap has see-through mesh pockets for various accessories such as note pads, energy bars, memory card wallets, instruction books, and other items.
Feature 9 Includes tripod/monopod mounting system.
Feature 10 YKK RC-Fuse zipper and highest quality materials throughout. Lockable zipper sliders for additional security.

What's in the bag:
Canon 5DMII attached to 70 - 200 f2.8 ISII USM, 24 - 70 f2.8, 85 1.8, Blue Rain Cover, Canon 5DMII body, DSLR Battery Holder 2 stacked on top of spare AA batteries, Gray Camera Strap V2.0, Pixel Pocket Rocket, Strobe Gel Wallet, Two 82 MM Filters, two 580EXII flashes stacked one on top of the other, two Pocket Wizard +II


What's in the bag:
Canon 5DMII attached to 70 - 200 f2.8 IS II USM, 16 - 35 f2.8, 24 - 70 f2.8, 85 1.8, 100 macro, 580EXII, Blue Rain Cover, three filters, Media Card Reader


What's in the bag:
Canon 5DMII attached to 70 - 200 f2.8 IS II USM, 24 - 70 f2.8, 85 1.8, 300 f4, 580EXII, Blue Rain Cover, Gray Camera Strap V2.0, Pixel Pocket Rocket, Strobe Gel Wallet

Nikon CE Laylout

What's in the bag:
Nikon D7000 attached to a 18 - 105 VR, 70 - 300 VR on top of blue rain cover, Battery Charger, SB-700, headphones, Gitzo Tripod Head, Gloves, SD Pixel Pocket Rocket, 50 1.4, Marmot Rain Coat

Nikon 300 2.8

What's in the bag:
Nikon D700 with TC-17EII attached to Nikon 300 f/2.8 VRII, 50 1.4 stacked on top of D700 battery charger, 70 - 200 f2.8 VRII, Blue Rain Cover, DSLR Battery Holder 4, MB-D10 Battery Grip

Nikon Light Wedding Kit

What's in the bag:
Nikon D700 with 70 - 200 f2.8 VRII attached, 16 - 35 f4, 24 - 70 f2.8, 82 mm filter, Blue Camera Strap V2.0, Blue Rain Cover (underneath flash and charger), Nikon D700 Battery Charger, Nikon D7000 body, Pixel Pocket Rocket, SB-700, SB-910

Overall Product Rating:     

I've got the Airport Ultralight, and I wanted the notebook and tablet computer capacity of the Airport Essentials. In most ways, the Essentials backpack is nicer than the Ultralight. And, not really mentioned by ThinkTank, the outer pocket in which the computer slots reside is actually a full-depth and full-width pocket, with an organizer panel on the inside -- it's all very handy, and gives you much more room for "stuff" than the Ultralight backpack does. However, there is one MAJOR disappointment with the Essentials backpack -- instead of the wonderful, wonderful, extraordinarily comfortable WIDE shoulder straps that made the Ultralight so comfortable to wear, the Essentials backpack has much narrower straps, perhaps only half the width. The Essentials backpack simply isn't anywhere near as comfortable to wear as is the Ultralight backpack, and given the computer compartments, you're probably likely to have a heavier load in the Essentials backpack. I can't imagine why ThinkTank made this change -- the Ultralight was just WONDERFUL, but the Essentials backpack just isn't nearly as comfortable, and it tends to flop around back and forth across my back. Let's hope for an Essentials 1.5 with wonderful, Ultralight-style wide shoulder straps. In the end, it's not a deal-breaker for me, but it's definitely a disappointment, thus I have deducted one star from my rating.

I just wanted to note, for those on the fence: This holds my 15" MBP perfectly. I see they list it as only holding a 13" laptop and that almost stopped me from ordering it. Seeing it in person and giving it a go, it held it no worries, plus my ipad and gear. I can't speak to its functionality, etc. because I just picked it up, but I wanted to pass this info on as it played a large role in my purchase and couldn't find any info one way or another elsewhere online.

I just took this backpack on editorial assignments to Hawaii and Bhutan. This is my 3rd Think Tank backpack and I love that the company continues to improve them. Each has become less mushy and much more taut and streamlined - for instance, the handles and the backpack straps have become very flat and minimal. This makes it incredibly easy to slide into important places, like under plane seats. I would echo the previous review - my 15" Macbook Pro can fit into the front compartment. It does require some improvised padding though, as the 15" sticks out quite high and is vulnerable when the flap is flipped opened (it would be the point of impact). I've put a small Moleskin-like notebook on the flap to cushion the impact.

This a great bag. I do not like to check in anything when I travel so I wanted to get a small backpack to use with my piggy bag. I have all my photography things in my thinktank airport essentials and my personal items in the piggy bag. An important issue Is that I can fit my Nikon D600 w the grip if I put it on its side w the lens on. I love it. Roomy, but small enough at the same time.

My birdwatching bag fits spotting scope, binocular, mirrorless camera plus adapter etc. Small and beautiful and the compartment for laptop + tablet is a nice features! My favorite backpack so far!

Mine holds a Hasselblad 500C/M body, a 50mm lens, an 80mm, a 120mm makro lens, a 180mm, a set of 3 extension tubes, hoods for all lenses, four 120 backs, a stack of 62mm filters with adapters for B50/B60 lenses, either a Luna Pro SBC or a Sekonic L488 light meter, cable releases, film, a Swiss army knife, miscellaneous stuff and still has room for one more short lens or small digital camera. A very impressive product!

This bag is simply AMAZING! I received the bag today and I love it. I can fit all my gear in the bag easily including: Nikon D300, D200 and D3100, Tamron 70-200, Tamron 17-50, and the Nikon 50mm. Also, 3 Nikon SB-700s. I can highly recommend this bag to any photographer out there. The bag is very sturdy and great for traveling as well. I love the built in security lock, it will come handy a lot of times. Shipping was also fast. I am very impressed! Thanks!

I purchased the bag to use on a three-week trip that included several flights, hours in an SUV and multiple overnight locations. I was not disappointed in its compactness but able to handle 18 lbs of equipment, including a tripod, 13-inch laptop, and iPad and a Kindle. It fits comfortably as a backpack, and swings around nicely with balance when moving around in tight aircraft quarters. Yes, if does indeed fit in the overhead compartment, and under the seat. This has become my photography go bag.

A truly amazing backpack: from the outside it's so compact and discreet, but inside it can be organized to carry an incredible load of equipment. In my case, it holds my whole video&audio kit: 2x Lumix GH4 bodies (one with a Varavon Armor cage) 1x Kamerar QV1 loupe 4x Lumix assorted lenses 1x Zoom H5 recorder with stereo mic 1x Sennheiser MKE600 shotgun mic with Rycote suspension and Softie windshield 1x GoPro + AC power supply 1x MBP 15" 1x iPad mini 3x ND filters 1x magic arm 1x table tripod 1x Manfrotto 84 LED light + charger 1x GH4 battery charger 1x big blower Cables, spare batteries, accessories... ...and it's not full yet, so it could carry more stuff!

As a working pro, I own a lot of Think Tank bags, including roller, shoulder, and backpacks, plus belt systems, I bought the Airport Essentials to carry my entire Fuji kit on international flights on performance tours, with carry-on ability a must. In the main compartment I carry a gripped Fuji XT-1, the "big" 50-140 f/2.8, 10-24, 18-135, and 35 f/1.4. Also, my Fuji X100s, three Battery Holders, a Pixel Pocket Rocket, and a Power House cable organizer. Because Fuji batteries are small and usually don't last all day (especially with high volume shooting), I have a total of six batteries, and five chargers that take up a lot of space, relatively speaking. I've ditched the cords, and replaced them with Mac plugs that come with MacBook wall chargers, an ingenious solution recommended by David Hobby. As mentioned by others, I can put a 13" MacBook Air and my iPad in the lid compartment, but I choose to carry them separately in a Think Tank Artificial Intelligence, which is my "personal item" on the plane, and more easily accessed while seated on long flights. Fully loaded, the Airport Essentials easily fits in an overhead compartment or under a seat, and can be lifted literally with one finger. It's very comfortable to wear on my back. For these performance tours, which usually involve some walking on uneven, cobblestone, or landscaped terrain and frequently on steep staircases, this lightweight backpack replaces my beloved Airport Airstream, which I still use whenever I know I can roll my heavier Canon gear around.

I have a mirrorless system in this bag and its a dream come true to talk all you gear and have no disappointments of any kind. This bag had FujiFIlm X-T1, 35mm, 55-200mm, 10-24mm, two 18-55mm's, 2 extenuation tubes, E-X1 body, Ef -42 Flash, and two other compact flashs, two charges 5 batteries, filters, lens, 15" Apple mack book pro, iPad air 2 and there chargers, Bose QC25 head phones and a rain coat stuffed inside a R U Thirsty and a iPhone charges, and additional rechargeable batters and chargers. What more do you want and at a spectacular price. All of this plus the Think Tank Quality and service. Love It !! This bag travels on small planes with no problems and gets my gear where I travel safely!
You can make your purchase directly from Think Tank Photo. We ship directly to all U.S. states. When you place your order into the shopping cart and enter your zip code, you will be presented with a variety of shipping methods and their costs. Please select the one that best fits your requirements.

Alternately, you can visit our U.S. retailers. All Think Tank Photo authorized dealers who sell on the internet, sell at our MSRP ( Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price ). Please choose the dealer that you feel will give you the best service.

We have established distribution in many countries worldwide and are prepared to assist you in every way possible so that you can receive your product. To save shipping costs for each of our customers, we recommend to visit our Store Locator page to find the closest International Retailer in your location for your Think Tank Photo purchase.

Airport Essentials Camera Backpack

Product: TT483
This high capacity camera backpack meets domestic and international carry-on size requirements. Fits up to a 300mm f/2.8 attached to a camera body.
Customer Rating:
(11 reviews)
Quantity: In Stock

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