Test Report: SKB Series 2011-7 Case with Think Tank Padded Insert and Lid Organizer (Model 3i-2011-7DL)
There’s a good argument to be made for using a molded hardshell case, especially one with wheels. And for starters, let’s put it out there in the photoverse… the SKB case model 3i-2011-7DL with Think Tank insert will give you a pretty good ride. But is it a perfectly smooth ride? Read on…
Test Report: Think Tank Photo's Airport Advantage Plus - Keep Camera Gear Protected and Organized in a Smaller Profile Roller
When I stand Think Tank Photo’s new Airport Advantage Plus up next to the Airport Security v3.0, the Advantage Plus looks svelte by comparison. In fact, even when standing on its own it looks slim and trim.
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).
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.