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Monday, June 10, 2013

@thinkTANKphoto Airport Navigator Bag Review: Best Bag Ever

by Tina
We love camera bags.  Whether we create our own DIY camera bag on a budget or splurge on a stylish red hot Epiphanie bag, this piece of photography accouterment is as essential as a great prime lens.  Great bags store, transport, protect and organize our gear which is key to a photographer.

I recently got my hands on the thinkTANKphoto Airport Navigator to take on an upcoming trip.  In the past I stored my equipment in a very nice traveling backpack.  But with multi camera bodies, big lenses and accessories my back was beginning to shout obscenities back at me.  Or maybe that was actually coming directly out of my mouth - OUCH!

Not anymore.  It's clear this bag was designed by photographers for photographers.

Rugged Design - Easy to Travel
First, check out the nice lean design.  With a smooth telescoping handle that has 3 levels of adjustment, it glides nicely and feels extremely rugged for the most uneven terrain.  Whether you're pounding the pavement, rolling across an airport aisle or the mojave dessert, this bag will withstand the shock.  At least it performed well in my trial run outside our brick and bumpy sidewalk.

About half the size of a rolling suitcase, the size is perfect for storing in an airplane overhead bin.  That's essential because you never want to check your photography gear when you travel.   No way.

In addition to the telescoping handle you have a suitcase handle and a well-padded shoulder strap.  This bag definitely thought of every possible scenario you'd need to carry your bag wherever you go.

Camera-Ready (Rapid Access)
This bag is definitely camera-ready.  What does that mean?  It means it was designed to store your camera gear with the lenses intact so you can quickly get your gear out and use it within seconds.  I was amazed that I could easily and conveniently store two camera bodes attached to (1) 24-70mm lens and, (3) 70-200mm lens, my two work horses.  Plus I have room for my (2) 580EX Speedlite.  There's room for two smaller lenses (my Lensbaby Spark and 50mm nifty fifty.  I also carry spare batteries, rain gear, extra CF cards and a battery charger.

Easy Access
The Airport Navigator has two openings. The one above and this one, from the top looking into the bag.  Here you can see the two camera bodies neatly tucked away protected by thick foam dividers that can be shifted to suit your varying needs.  There's plenty of the velcro-foam protectors.  I had 4 pieces left-over once I configured my gear.  In the top of this photo note the two mesh pockets where I keep my extra CF cards and extra battery.

Attention to Detail
It seems thinkTANKphoto thought of everything. When you open the lid there are two security straps that allows access but prevent the lid from opening fully.  This is super convenient when you have your laptop and/or iPad and don't want to accidentally have it spill out.  But you can detach the strap for full access when you need it.

There's a velcro latch in the laptop compartment to double protect it from falling out.

Super rugged zippers, a shoulder strap that has a "pass-through" to insert the telescoping handle, and lift it to piggy back with your other rolling luggage is a cinch.  There are also two external side pockets where you can fit a water bottle and a Speedlite.

Wheels of Fortune
The thinkTANKphoto Airport Navigator smoothly glides across the terrain with these durable custom in-line skate wheels.   They are quiet, rugged and glide so smoothly it will make you want to upgrade all of your luggage to wheels like these.  These wheels are replaceable should they become damaged.  Also the fabric is water resistant with an polyurethrane undercoat to provide even more weather-proofing.

These wheels are carrying your photography fortune so invest in the best protective gear you can.

I am excited to be an affiliate for thinkTANKphoto.  If you're going to invest in this bag or one of their other great bags be sure to click on this link or the photo below to get a free gift if you spend $50 or more.  Also be sure to check out "Share the Moment" where you can submit a photo of yourself with thinkTANKphoto gear in action and get a 'thank you' gift from thinkTANKphoto.

thinkTANKphoto bags to protect your photography investment.

Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

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