Meet my baby:
That’s a Canon EF 500mm L IS lens. It’s a big puppy and I use it for wildlife photography. I bought it a short while ago with the intention on travelling with it by flight. There is no way I was going to check it in. It would come with me as carry on baggage. I spent ages trying to find a bag that would comply with Ryanairs carry on baggage allowance (55*40*20 centimetres) and fit the lens. I found many that came close but were always slightly too big. Eventually my buddy Jimi (a pro photographer also in the IT business) told me to go to the Thinktank website.
There I found the Airport Accelerator V2. It would take my big lens, a camera, another lens (the EF 100-400 L IS), my two TCons, my image tank and my GPS. It also has a pocket for a laptop but that puts it beyond 20CM in depth. It comes with a huge array of spare padded inserts so you can configure the bag as required, and a 15″ laptop sleeve.
I flew to Scotland for the weekend with Ryanair. For the uninitiated, Ryanair is a budget airline that makes profits from catching people out. For example, they have measurement frames at the gates for carry on baggage. If your bag doesn’t fit then it goes into the baggage hold for an additional charge. I check my bag at the airport … it fit, even with all the load in it.
It’s a really great bag. There is a water proof cover inside. There are nice thick backpack straps that tuck away under velcro flaps. The back straps have elasticated pockets which are just the right size for a mobile phone. There is a transparent pocket at the top for a business card. There is another pocket under that that is the right size for a wallet and passport. These bags are clearly designed by travelling professionals. There’s even a cabled combination lock that is built into the bag so you can secure it to something solid.
Thinktank have a range of bags, not just for photographers, but for travelling professionals. Check them out if you are in the market for baggage and are struggling with carry on baggage.