The International ($350), from Think Tank Photo, is similar to every other piece of rolling luggage you’ve probably used, with a retractable handle and rolling wheels, but on the inside, instead of keeping your dirty drawers stowed, it secures treasures of a different kind: your plethora of expensive camera gear. And it does so admirably.
Space? You can’t handle the space! The International has room for two full-size DSLRs, each with a mid-size lens attached; two or so flashes; two to three more short or mid-size lenses; your memory cards; batteries; and other random accessories. I love that the International holds all my gear nicely and neatly while also being one of the most secure photo bags I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.
But as the name would imply, the International isn’t just a sit-at-home kind of bag. Its carry-on size is legal for both domestic and international flights, and its smooth-rolling wheels and extended handle allow it to traverse airport landscapes with elegance and ease.
And since the International is built for travel, it includes some clever security features you might not even know you need, like a built-in TSA-approved zipper lock to secure its main compartment. And this is handy: a built-in cable lock that lets you secure the bag to a fixed object, like a rail or seat.
It’s clear a lot of attention went into securing the International so your gear stays where you left it. I’d even feel comfortable taking this bag with me on the European train system — that’s saying a lot! [Hey, watch your mouth! -- ED)
And finally, I want to mention how impressed I am by the International's build quality. Its industrial-strength zippers and super-cushy handles make it easy to open, close, carry, and lift — and that's all dandy when your bag is filled with 25 pounds of glass and metal. A pairing of the finest ingredients, this bag looks and feels robustly constructed.
Ok, two small things.
First, while Think Tank says this bag holds two full-size DSLRS with lenses attached, the fit is very tight. In all honesty, this problem might fix itself once the bag padding has had enough time to relax and conform to my gear, but for now, it can be a hassle getting my DSLRS in and out of the bag.
And my final gripe: it can be tough to rearrange all the moveable padded walls in the International. Each moveable wall is secured with super-strong velcro, which is tough to remove, and tough reposition inside the bag. Granted, this is a problem with many bags that utilize velcro-secured walls, but that didn't make wrestling with International's padded internal panels any more enjoyable.
Yes. That's my answer to you if you're wondering if I'd recommend Think Tank's International rolling bag. If you have a lot of gear stored in several places and they need a new home; if you travel with all your lenses and SLRS; definitely check into the International. It's intelligently made, is bursting with great features, and it has the potential to be your camera gear's favorite new home.