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Think Tank Airport Security

Nill Toulme

New member
Took the Airport Security out for its first gig tonight, which was also the occasion for yanking out all the dividers and stuff (it must come with 17,000 dividers!) and configuring it to hold my gear. That took a little figuring out, but I ended up with the 400 f/2.8L IS (complete with reversed hood and leather cover), two 1-series bodies, the 70-200 f/2.8L IS (with hood reversed), the 16-35L and 24-105L (both with hoods in shooting position), a 580ex in its pouch, plus a CP-E3 battery pack and both TC's, all laid in there with some room to spare. What a joy to be able to roll all that instead of schlepping it on my shoulder!

Verdict so far — nice bag. I hope to get a chance to take it to Montana in April or so and give it the real airport workout.


Nill Toulme

New member
Here are a couple of pix:


Clockwise, starting with the lens:

— 400 f/2.8L IS with reversed hood and leather cover. Note Wimberley replacement foot, but I think it would still fit handily with the stock foot.
— 1.4x and 2x converters snug in their little pouches. There's lots more room here also for the CP-E3 or what have you, but not shown for clarity.
— 70-200 f2.8L IS with hood reversed. This is the tightest fit and causes a bit of a bulge, but it works.
— 1-series body with RRS L-plate
— Another 1-series body with RRS L-plate and a couple of batteries
— 24-105L with hood in shooting position
— 16-35L with hood in shooting position
— 580ex in its pouch

There's plenty of room left for small loose stuff to be tucked here and there, and in fact, amazingly...


...my daughter's gargantuan 15" Inspiron can even be laid in there and the zipper closed, albeit somewhat grudgingly. Not ideal, but it works, and would work better for a smaller laptop. I think I'll just slip my own little 12" laptop in the outer pocket though, or more likely continue to carry it separately in the briefcase-style bag I use now.

This lot, including the CP-E3 but neither laptop, weighs in at a svelte 46 pounds. It will be very easy to end up over 50 pounds if one is not careful. Tossing in a Sidekick and strapping the 1325 and BH-55 on the side in the Bazooka tripod case adds another 11 pounds or so.


Don Shreve

pro member
I've been flying with the Airport Security and the Airport Check In once or twice a week for the past 6 months, US only. Flying out of our small regional airport on these "regional Express" jets which seat 3 across, maybe 4, but no room in the overhead bins for anything bigger than a laptop case.
SO..that leaves the Airport Security to fend for itself with the nice gentle valet handlers.
Last Friday, somewhere between Dallas & Knoxville, my old 80-200 Magic Drainpipe met its demise at the hands of an American Airlines gorilla named Bubba. When I got to the shoot, I took out the lens & it wouldn't zoom, noticed the polarizer was broken & the lens hood was broken. I brutally ground the focal length I needed for the few shots that evening (it still focused), and when I went back to the Knoxville airport for the flight home, I tried to file a claim with American. She gave me a blank look, & proceed to print 3 pages of their policies which state that in essence, they assume NO liability for ANY baggage, checked or carried on. The blank look got blanker when I asked her what was to prevent these bubbas from taking my bag & tossing lenses on the tarmac & having a contest to see who could get the most bounce out of that big ol black thing", an EOS 1DSMKII. I'm trying to beleive it was just coincidence that that flight lost my hug tripod bag. Looks like a golf club bag, but it's made by KATA, with wheels. I thought SURELY they can't lose something that big. It appears they put me on the plane & put the bag on standby. "Veee 'ave our vays of dealing with yous troublemakers", heh, heh,hehe
SO...I've tried filing a claim with my insurance company, Taylor & Taylor. No reply yet, but they've seemed pretty professional so far.
SO..the moral of the story. Think Tank makes great products, but I took some of those 17,000 pieces of padding, and beefed up everywhere there's a gap or potential impact point, which is mostly around the rear wheels. For weight distribution, that was a good place for the lens. For Bubba's football game, it was the place where the bag landed. As an aside, all the lens caps were scattered inside the case, the eyecups gone from the cameras & diopters way out of whack. No "funny" pictures showed up on the cards...
SO, gotta wait until Monday to go to Atlanta after the replacement lens gets here, and learn how to be a diplomat & get the case into the pilot's closet before everyone boards.
Doing that, I'm bound to look like a terrorist for sure.

Nill Toulme

New member
I just made my first air travel with the TT Airport Security, and it worked GREAT. I took it, with my 1325/BH-55 slung over my shoulder in a TT Bazooka case with a couple of fly rods in their aluminum tubes strapped to it, from Atlanta to Montana and back. No problems either way (other than the hour and a half wait to check bags in ATL).

And it turns out that a reasonably-sized laptop goes in and out of the drop down flap on the AS very easily, cushioned from the other gear inside by that interior floppy flap. You'd want to yank it out before you stuck the AS up in the overhead of course if you plan to use it on the flight, but other than that I found the whole thing surprisingly convenient.