Unfortunately, you can’t say it looks stylish as is, but Think Tank has some accessories to lend it a hand in that department, such as colorful wheels with Roller Flair, which also adds other color accents ($35).
When the Airport Advantage Plus arrived, I did more than stand it side-by-side with the Security. I immediately transferred much of my gear into the new case from the Airport Security to compare capacity. One marked difference: the Security is deeper, which means that lenses can stand on end, and that translates to greater storage capacity. But that didn’t trouble me. I actually prefer the cleaner layout with greater visibility in the new Advantage Plus.
While I couldn’t get everything that I’d originally packed in the older Security transferred to the new case, I did manage to fit quite a number of items: cameras with attached lenses, additional lenses, and several shoe-mounts, and then some. Afterwards, I removed a couple of the flash units and replaced them with lenses.
Where can I get more info/order this product?
Think Tank Photo (use this link to order direct and get a gift/priority service)
Think Tank Photo
How much is it?
If the slimmer build troubles you, think of it this way. The new Advantage Plus would be more airline-friendly in a variety of overheads. What’s more, you might find this a blessing, limiting you to only the gear you know you’ll need.
I also owned the Airport TakeOff v2.0 backpack roller. I used that case for my Photogenic monolight system (one head plus ion converter, along with reflector and cables). I of course had to move the dividers around to make room, but, once I did that, it was a great fit. Then when a friend needed a backpack roller for a trip to Australia, I emptied the TakeOff contents to another roller I had sitting in my closet and handed him the TakeOff, fondly bidding him bon voyage.
Who Should Use This?
Travel, nature, and wildlife photographers (but I would recommend a photo backpack or shoulder bag once you reach your destination, unless you’re working out of a vehicle or staying put in one location).
Thoughtfully constructed with practicality in mind; durable but not, in my view, as baggage-handler friendly as the Airport Security (so don’t stow it in baggage); fully customizable interior with movable padded dividers; holds a practical quantity of camera gear, plus laptop/tablet; also includes a handy satchel for your personal items (satchel occupies a section of the case, replacing some camera gear – if you really want to travel light).
All Airport cases are considered soft-sided luggage, in contrast to hard-shell cases made of ABS, resin, or metal. As such, they utilize a zipped closure system, but are lockable. I keep TSA-compliant combination locks on hand for this purpose. The only thing to watch for is that you don’t over-expand the case with stuffed outer pockets. One added advantage to practically any soft-sided luggage is the addition of outer pockets to stow anything from a laptop (inside a protective sleeve) to a pair of flip-flops. The flip-flops might even serve to cushion the laptop against bumps, to a degree.
Each of these cases has a weather-resistant fabric outer layer, but also comes with a rain cover for torrential downpours. With the rare exception of 4-wheelies, each is two-wheeled, offering an exceptionally quiet ride, with sturdy telescoping handle, plus additional handles to make sliding the bag in and out of the overhead easier.
Once fully loaded, no camera luggage feels light. Still, if you can shave a few ounces off your burden, it should be welcome over the long haul. While you can’t go wrong with any of the Think Tank Airport luggage, the Advantage Plus has the advantage of a more compact size that affords you greater visibility of your gear, while keeping a lid on how much you carry. The point being, you take what you need and nothing more. Makes sense to me. It’s called planning.