Airport Advantage Plus in Kansas
Thanks to my affiliation with Think Tank Photo, I get notifications about new products to share with you guys. Sometimes it's a product I already have, a product I don't need based on my work flow but share with you in case it's suits you, knowing that everything they produce it well thought out and high quality. Last week you may remember when I posted about the Airport Advantage Plus, well I couldn't help but get one myself!
To be honest, it was this photo that piqued my interest. The shoes!!
This past weekend, I had the special treat of visiting Colin's mom's hometown of Beloit, Kansas (about 30 miles south of Nebraska) to spend some time exploring and experience the Isle of Lights. Amazingly, ALL of his mom's five siblings, their children, and their children's children and her mother (Colin's grandmother) were able to come together. Colin's aunt and uncle who were gracious enough to turn their property into central gathering place asked if I would take a family photo, knowing it will likely be some time before EVERYONE will be together again, and I of course said yes!
Generally when I travel for pleasure, I try to limit my photo equipment. One camera body and a lens, maybe two. Having no idea what the situation would be for this family photo (and the pressure of being the newest member of the family, wanting to do a good job), I wanted to bring a wide (if we were going to be squeezing in somewhere and I couldn't back up), a zoom (general flexibility), and my fixed 25mm f/1.2 (because it's the best) along with a flash (ya never know if 8pm is the only time they'll be able to gather everyone) and a tripod (because I wanted to be in the photo too!).
This isn't enough gear to justify bringing my Roller Derby bag (or figuring where to store all my other lenses in the meantime) and I couldn't get away with my other method of packing my camera in a belt pouch system and rolling a lens in t-shirt, enter the solution: Airport Advantage Plus!
No surprise to report this was the best bag I could have bought for this trip, and others in the future.
I love the streamline sleek design of it. Not as bulky as your typical roller.
The packing pouch that came with it is awesome. You can pack all your clothes in your bedroom in your fancy packing pod, and just place inside the camera bag. This and the Cable Management (which I also packed for my laptop accessories) are two things that many non-camera bag companies make, but Think Tank Photo simply does it right.
It fit in the overhead bin the domestic flight from SFO to KC.
The velcro pouch is great for stashing my laptop, toiletries, (along with a book, a journal and some snacks, always snacks) that I can easily pull out for security. Apart from a small purse that fits my wallet and cell phone, this was my only bag for the trip.
The inserts of course. If my gear set looks different each time I use it, I can adjust accordingly.
I'm so used to 4 wheel rolling, I did miss that at times, but it's not worth the extra space you lose to have four completely exterior wheels.
I also missed the strap that I normally hook my keys onto in my Roller Derby.
I love bringing a thermos/water bottle with me, pretty much everywhere. I generally toss a water bottle on carabiner and hook it around the tripod holder, but when you actually bring a tripod, that means water bottle has to be hand held or you have to bring another bag. 99% of the time I MacGiver a tripod, so I will probably do that in the future, but I wouldn't mind a backpack style pouch or perhaps a drawstring on the pocket for the tripod so I could have other squeezed my water bottle in there.
Consensus: I will definitely use this bag for all future trips whether I'm packing one camera or a full set of gear. Once you've used a ThinkTank Photo roller, you really can't use any other bag, for camera equipment or otherwise. The quality of materials and construction, these aren't good camera bags, but good bags that also happen to do a great job at safely transporting cameras. I look forward to it loosening up with more use so I can really start cramming more things in there ;)
Consensus on the photos: I'm bummed because I meant to pack the body with my fisheye body cap on it, and I didn't. Would have come in handy downtown. Ultimately I ended up only using the 25mm, the other lenses were effectively safety blankets.
I could have taken more photos, I could have taken less photos, I could have taken different photos, but I wanted to make sure my focus was being present with family. Ya know, riding around on dirt bikes.
Consensus on the trip: I feel so fortunate to have married and been welcomed into a great big family. Grateful for the exposure to a community of people who daily lives and realities are quite a bit different than mine in the bay area and being reminded of how much we have in common. I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore, but I look forward to going back!
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