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Review: ThinkTank's Airport Addicted

July, 2011

ThinkTank's Airport Addicted
ver.2.0 Camera Bag - $329.00

Review by Steve Douglas

I was packed and ready to fly to Kona for a short shoot when I received a phone call from a friend who moved there a few years ago. Could I go and pick up an underwater video light he had sent back to be repaired. Sure, no problem, that is until I saw the size of it. My current photo back pack was just too small to fit anything more into it and I certainly couldn't take a chance on putting his expensive light into my checked luggage. ThinkTank came to the rescue with their Airport Addicted version 2.0 Camera Bag which arrived over night. Incredible service!

I opened the bag and just knew that this one would be perfect for me. The Addicted bag appears short and squat to the eye but it can hold an awful lot of photo gear. Not only did my camera and lenses fit just fine, but also my friend's massive light went right in with plenty of room to spare. With my shoulder having had two operations within the last two years, reaching back to put my arm in the back-straps worried me a bit, but hoisting it up came easy and the comfort of the bag was something I've never gotten before from any bag I have ever tried or reviewed. The lumber support cushioned me in just the right place so that traipsing through the airports from San Diego to Los Angeles to Kona, Hawaii was never an issue. Truly, this bag felt almost weightless despite it being full to the brim.

In previous reviews of ThinkTank bags I have often mentioned the very high quality of their zippers and multitude of dividers to fit anyone's configuration needs. I have also mentioned their lifetime warranties, numerous pockets for extraneous extras, supplied rain cover, TSA lock, and how their International Bag has traveled the world with me without showing almost any wear. Having said all that, I won't repeat myself and say it again. :-)

Never the less, there were a couple of surprises in the bag for me aside from its outstanding comfort. Looking at the bag, you see a clasp and think that is what opens it. I quickly discovered that the clasp actually is for a completely separate section of the Airport Addicted ver.2.0 containing a laptop sleeve to house a 15" or smaller laptop. The sleeve has fairly firm sides, to add further protection for the laptop, as well as D rings should you want to carry it over your shoulder with the supplied strap and not place it in the bag itself. As laptop bags are concerned, this might be the best bag I have used, ever. While it also contains its own pocket for papers or small accessories, I was confident of my laptop being fully protected. No matter how much gear you might put in the photo compartment, there will still be room and protection for your laptop or iPad.

For additional protection from theft, the ThinkTank Airport Addicted Photo BackPack
supplies a strong steel cable with a lock securing your laptop to the rest of the bag.

I tend to fill bags to bursting. Avoiding air luggage charges is a priority. Usually, when I leave the mainland, I must submit my ThinkTank International bag to the airlines valet service which comes when you have to take the tiny hopper planes from San Diego to LAX prior to boarding an international flight. I beg them to put it on last so no damage can be done. So far so good on that, but I did think I could get away with carrying on the Airport Addicted 2.0 bag. When it wouldn't fit in the very tiny overhead compartment, I took out the laptop and easily slid the bag under my seat. I didn't have to push or shove, it just slid under clean and nice. Because I didn't have to open the entire bag, there was no line of people boarding the plane waiting for me to get my act together. A quick release opened the front flap for quick access to the laptop, I pulled out the sleeve and placed the bag under the seat. A few seconds was all it took.

Configure the Airport Addicted bag any way you want, you won't want for more room in this back pack.

Yes, there are many great bags on the market today and it is nice to have access to try many of them. Never the less, when people ask me for a recommendation, a bag from ThinkTank is the first one to come to mind and the first I tend to recommend. While it has been a very long time since I last reviewed an actual photo back pack design, I am effervescent in my enthusiasm and praise for the ThinkTank Airport Addicted Bag ver. 2.0. If you are in need of a new bag, one that will last a lifetime of use, and maybe even, abuse, I hardily encourage you to try this one out and see if it is not the most comfortable bag you have had on your back in a very long time.

Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 7 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and productions for National Geographic and the History channels. Steve was a feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to the Cocos Islands, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips.

copyright © Steve Douglas 2011

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