A couple months back I picked up the Think Tank Airport Commuter Camera Backpack. I needed a solution for traveling that could fit not only all of my camera gear, but also my laptop, iPad and a couple other goodies while providing ample protection and be easy enough to carry on a plane. This bag was the perfect solution and I recently was able to give it a full test on my trip to Hawaii. The full review is below.
The Airport Commuter Camera Backpack is made of durable, water-repellant fabric. The first line of defense in protecting expensive camera / computer gear is the exterior and this bag is built to last. The bottom of the bag has a polyurethane coating for extra support when setting the bag out in the elements.
Functionally, the bag provides plenty of storage. The front pocket is large enough to hold many things from business cards, keys, wallet, cell phone and more. While traveling through the airport I used the pocket to place everything from my pockets before going through security then while on the plane it provided quick access for my earphones and wallet.
The center pocket included a padded pocket that fits up to a 15″ laptop and a smaller pocket for a tablet / iPad. There is even still room for magazines, paper work, etc.
The Airport Commuter fits a pro-size DSLR, 4 – 6 standard zooms, flash, hard drives, cables, batteries and more. According to Think Tank, the increased depth of the bag allows up to a 400 f/2.8 attached to a camera body or a 500 f/4 unattached, which I could easily see it doing. In addition, the inner padding is adjustable to fit various gear and the structural dividers provide plenty of protection. Two extra mesh zippered pockets add more storage options.
When compared to the Think Tank Airport International 2.0 Rolling Camera Bag, the Airport Commuter Backpack is a bit shorter by about 2 inches or the height of a business card.
Ergonomically, the bag has multiple handles for ease of handling for instances such as retrieving the bag from overhead bins. The bag’s shoulder straps are padded for comfort and the air mesh panels keep your shoulders cool. Additional air mesh keeps your back cool to prevent the dreaded back sweat. Extra adjustments from a removable waist belt, tripod/monopod mounting system and a seam sealed rain cover add versatility. There is also a side pocket that can be used for water bottles or other items. The zippers are high-quality YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) so you can have that added assurance that they will not only open easily, but also not break with all the valuables inside.
While completely filled the bag can get pretty heavy, but does provide plenty of storage for everything. I would rather overpack to be prepared for any shooting situation while traveling and the Airport Commuter Backpack provides that solution. The bag also fit quite easily under the seat on my Hawaiian Airlines flight, which gave me the option to be able to bring my roller bag as my carry-on and technically use the backpack as my personal item.
Overall, this is a very functional camera backpack. It’s built to perform while on the road in various environments and most of all it keeps your valuable camera goods safe and mobile. The design is simple enough to not stand out in a crowd, but don’t expect to be featured in any fashion blogs wearing it. The $209.75 price tag is a small price to pay to protect your photography investment.
Using the special code number “AP-902″ with any purchase over $50 will receive free gear. For more info or to purchase the Think Tank Commuter Airport Backpack follow this LINK.