Previous news story    Next news story

Think Tank announces 'pilot's case' and messenger-style camera bags

By dpreview staff on Sep 18, 2012 at 20:09 GMT

Bag maker Think Tank has announced two new camera bags. The Airport Navigator is a rolling pilot's case that allows access to your photo gear from both the top and front. The bag is designed to hold two pro-size bodies and three to six lenses, two flash units, an iPad and laptop. Like other products in the Airport series, this bag is designed to meet the restrictions imposed by airlines on carry-on luggage for international and domestic US flights.

Think Tank has also announced a new line of CityWalker messenger-style shoulder bags. The bags come in three sizes, each capable of holding at minimum a standard-size camera body and medium range zoom. A seam-sealed rain cover is included with both series of bags. They are to be released in November.

Press Releases:

Think Tank Photo to Release Airport Navigator™

Top- and Front-accessible Photographer Rolling Pilot’s Case

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Think Tank Photo announces that in November it will release the Airport Navigator™, the photography industry’s first rolling pilot’s case that allows photographers to access gear from the top and the front.  The new pilot’s case also includes a shoulder strap for easing past gate check attendants.

The Airport Navigator™ holds two pro-size bodies, plus three to six extra lenses and most 15.4” laptops, iPads and documents.  The two external side pockets can also accommodate pro-size flashes or water bottles.

The new roller’s lightweight design emphasizes fit and comfort, premium quality, and flexibility and function.  The custom handle extends to total of 40” for easy rolling.  The pilot’s case utilizes the highest quality YKK RC Fuse zippers, custom designed and replaceable in-line skate wheels, and antique nickel plated metal hardware.   It features a shoulder strap whose piggy-back function allows for easy attachment to other rollers. 

“This project dates back many years as our designers strived to create a dual access roller,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo CEO and Lead Designer.   “Through different revisions, we found that the most reasonable style for this case was a Pilot’s type bag.  This effort culminated in the creation of a rolling case that has top and front access for wedding, event and travel photographers. This is yet another unique first for the camera industry.” 

Features include:

  • 15" Laptop compartment
  • iPad/document pocket
  • Top and front access panels to photo gear
  • Lockable zippers on both main zippered compartments
  • Retractable handle slides through top lid handle to hold lid open for quick access to gear while shooting
  • Removable shoulder strap includes piggy-back function for attaching Airport Navigator to other TTP rollers
  • Two external side pockets to accommodate flashes or water bottles
  • Releasable front panel straps hold the laptop compartment open for quick access to electronics when attached or full access to photo gear when released. Straps also tuck-away when not in use.
  • Custom designed and replaceable handle and wheels
  • Seam sealed rain cover included.

The Airport Navigator’s all-fabric exterior is treated with a DWR coating while fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance.  It utilizes YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 420D high-density nylon, 600D brushed polyester, custom designed replaceable in-line skate wheels, Ultra Stretch pockets, antique nickel plated metal hardware, aluminum reinforcement, rubberized laminate, 3D air mesh, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread.


• Airport Navigator

External Dimensions: 16” W x 15.5” H x 10” D (40.6 × 39.4 × 25.4cm)
Internal Dimensions: 15” W x 13” H x 6.8” D (38.1 × 33 × 17.3cm)
Laptop: 14.8” W x 11” H x 1.5” D (37.6 × 28 × 3.8cm)
Weight: 8.1-9.2 lbs (3.7-4.2 kg)

Think Tank Photo to Release  Soft, Lightweight CityWalker™ 

Premium Messenger Camera Bags

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Think Tank Photo announces that in November it will release the CityWalker™ messenger bag series.  Designed with the urban photographer in mind, the new bags will come in three models – CityWalker 10, CityWalker 20, and CityWalker 30 – and in two colorways:  Black and Blue Slate.

The CityWalkers’ design emphasizes fit and comfort, premium quality, and functional flexibility.  Extremely lightweight, the bags feature a high quality silver-toned nylon liner, RC Fuse External/YKK zippers, and antique nickel plated metal hardware.  They have a sound silencer on the main flap, extra flaps for smaller lenses with a fully lined velex insert for maximum customization, internal pockets that fit a pro-size flash, and a removable padded insert.

The CityWalker 10 fits one standard size body with a 24-70 attached, plus one to two small extra lenses, a flash, and a tablet.  The CityWalker 20 holds one standard size body with a 24-70 attached or a 70-200 detached, plus extra lenses, a flash, and a tablet.  The CityWalker 30 holds one standard size body with a 24-70 attached or a 70-200 detached, plus two to four extra lenses, a flash, and a 15” laptop.

“The CityWalkers are a classic ‘walk around’ bag,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo CEO and Lead Designer.   “Built around the same design aesthetic as our popular StreetWalker® backpacks, their style is targeted toward casual urban environments while still focused on an active lifestyle.”           

Features include:

  • 15" Laptop compartment (CityWalker 30)
  • iPad/document pocket [front internal] (CityWalker 10 and CityWalker 20)
  • Double security on front flap closure with silence-able Hook/Loop and Dual Cross™ Buckle
  • Removable padded insert
  • Seam sealed rain cover included.
  • Customizable divider layout
  • Two internal side pockets to accommodate flash
  • Deluxe organizer on front panel
  • Water bottle pockets on each side
  • Large zippered pocket on front flap for accessories
  • Rear document pocket
  • Business card holder inside main flap
  • Top carry handle

All CityWalker fabric exterior is treated with a DWR coating while fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance.  They utilize YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 420D high-density nylon, 600D brushed polyester, 250D shadow rip-stop polyester, Derrington™ mesh pockets, antique nickel plated metal hardware, Dual Cross™ Buckle, 3D air mesh, mono mesh, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread.


CityWalker 10

External Dimensions: 12.4” W x 9” H x 6.7” D (31.5 × 23 × 17cm)
Internal Dimensions: 10” W x 7.5” H x 5.3” D (25.5 × 19 × 13.5cm)
Tablet: 10.3” W x 8” H x 0.8” D (26.2 × 20.3 × 2cm)
Weight: 1.9-2.2 lbs (0.8-1.0 kg)

CityWalker 20

External Dimensions: 13.8” W x 9.8” H x 6.7” D (35 × 25 × 17cm)
Internal Dimensions: 13” W x 8.7” H x 5.3” D (33 × 22 × 13.5cm)
Tablet: 10.3” W x 8” H x 0.8” D (26.2 × 20.3 × 2cm)
Weight: 2.0-2.5 lbs (0.9-1.1 kg)

CityWalker 30

External Dimensions: 16.3” W x 11.4” H x 8.3” D (41.5 × 29 × 21cm)
Internal Dimensions: 13.4” W x 9.6” H x 6.7” D(34 × 24.5 × 17cm)
Laptop: 15" W x 11" H x 1.4" D (38 x 28 x 3.6cm)
Weight: 2.8-3.1 lbs (1.3-1.4 kg)


Total comments: 23
By ssmumich00 (Nov 30, 2012)

it's finally avaialble, the navigator, that is...going to see if it can replace my "bring all the gear" to the wedding bag, and use my hip belt and cotton carrier for shooting on my feet when there...

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
By Giromondo (Sep 28, 2012)

I use a Retrospective 10 for my Eos 7D with a couple of extra lenses but really want something of similar quality (without 'shouty' look at me labels) for my Sony NEX-5N kit. Best so far is a Domke F-5XB but the needle holes from its ridiculous front label (immediately removed) are a bit unsightly and its velcro front is far too noisy. A shallower version of the Retrospective or City Walker 10 (to take a 7" tablet) would be ideal.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
Norman L. Allen
By Norman L. Allen (Sep 21, 2012)

I absolutely LOVE Think Tank bags. The quality just simply blows away the competition. I am excited about the Airport Navigator, but hope that I can get American Eagle (in particular) to stop taking my gear from me at the gate!

Uncle Frank
By Uncle Frank (Sep 21, 2012)

The CityWalker 10 appears to be the same size/capacity as my Domke fx-3. I'll give it a look, but it will be hard to match the Domke for comfort and unobtrusiveness.

By gtvone (Sep 19, 2012)

Thanks for all of your feedback... I'll take it back to the designers (who also happen to get out of their cushy studios often to load prototypes with bricks and wheel them through odd stuff, digitaldemon) ...all appreciated :)

1 upvote
By digitaldemon (Sep 19, 2012)

As all ways with this style of case it's a good idea poorly executed. Its almost as if the people who make them have never tried them outside of their design studios! The wheels are simply to small, fine for airports but if you have ever tried wheeling one in the street it crash, bang, thump. The whole time your gear is taking a beating.

It doesn't look like there has been very much Think put into this Tank!

1 upvote
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Sep 19, 2012)

I love their roller bag cum backpack (can't find the model name tag), on-top of which I have one of their 'Urban Disguise 30' shoulder bags. Room enough for three camera systems, a few long focal lenses, and stuff like that! The only thing missing is there is no top access to the roller, a lack the new model addresses!

Great news, think Tank!

By m43er (Sep 19, 2012)

Think Tank bags are always so heavy and are really sized for dslrs - too deep for m43.

tommy leong
By tommy leong (Sep 19, 2012)

Looks like Restropective range but with "go-faster" stripes

how is this different ?

the big intrusive flap is still there....

Kevin Jorgensen
By Kevin Jorgensen (Sep 19, 2012)

With a name like Airport Navigator are they suggesting you can carry it onboard international and domestic flights? Good luck with that one! If there's an airline that has a carry on allowance of more than 10kgs in two seperate bags for international flights and 7kgs for domestic flights in the Asia/Pacific region, please let me know.

By 7enderbender (Sep 19, 2012)

I know exactly what you mean. I recently went through that excercise of finding a carrier for transatlantic flights that would take me and my IATA sized Pelican case. Delta-AirFrance codeshare was one of the few options I found. Size but no weight limits (yet).
Not sure about other destinations for AF flights.

Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Sep 19, 2012)

Never had any problems with my roller bag with BA, and that one is fairly big (no weight limit, but size!).

By MPA1 (Sep 18, 2012)

Looks very like the Lowe Pro Roller Attaché which gives you 2 bags in one if you need it. Sadly it won't take pro size bodies so no use to me.

I still want someone to make a bag that allows me to carry clothes for a 2 day shoot flying on regional jets as well as my cameras so that I can have only one bag as carry on and breeze through the airport. No bags ever have space for clothes!

By Rshaid (Sep 19, 2012)

Have you tried vacuum-sealing your cloths with plastic vacuum bag (Space Bag) before placing them in the camera bag?

By DezM (Sep 18, 2012)

I'm using the Think Tank Airport 4-Sight:

And have been using their Digital Holsters for both my SLR and Sony NEX cameras.

By gavin (Sep 18, 2012)

I have the Urban Disguise 5 and used it all over the world for 4+ years. It works great and is my go to bag. Recenlty I got a rip on the shoulder mount and ThinkTank send me a new one and now I have V2! Great product and fantastic service.

By rubicon (Sep 18, 2012)

I just purchased my first Think Tank bag, a Retrospective 10, to fit my D700 and 3 prime lenses 28 1.8G 50 1.4G and 85 1.8G, and I think after 20 plus years I have found a bag that the camera bag company R&D actually fit cameras into, my rig fits so good, I'm looking at another Think Tank for my zoo camera and lenses.
Great going to Think Tank.


1 upvote
By Camediadude (Sep 18, 2012)

I would definitely feel like a pro with all of that gear! Well I would look the part, anyhow. I do love well-made bags. (If I had this bag I would have to put a Samsung tablet in it, though ;) )

By rjx (Sep 18, 2012)

Think Tank makes GREAT quality bags!!

Try anything by LowPro (mass produced bags loved by many). And then try something from Think Tank and you'll see and feel the quality differences. The kicker is, TT bags are not much more than the similar LowPro versions, yet the quality and durability is MUCH BETTER.

I'm looking forward to the CityWalker, but imo the colored stripes got to go. lol.

BTW, I use an Urban Disguise 35 and StreetWalker Pro backpack. The streetwalker's have tripod straps so you can carry your tripods. I always carry the Manfrotto 055XPROB + Manfrotto 498RC2 hanging off the backpack on LONG bike rides with NO problems at all.

I guess i'm a fanboy. Great bags for the price.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Sep 19, 2012)

That's exactly how I ended up with Think Tank - but it was the wife that sent me on the right track! Have a few Crumpler bags a s well ...

Norman L. Allen
By Norman L. Allen (Sep 21, 2012)

I agree with you 100%! I have 2 of their bags (Airport TakeOff) and Shape Shifter. Love both! My TakeOff is almost 4 years old and it's still as good as new, despite numerous trips here and there.

By AbrasiveReducer (Sep 18, 2012)

Love their bags. But what's a "colorway"? Come to think of it, what's a henway?

Al Patterson
By Al Patterson (Sep 20, 2012)

About three pounds?

Total comments: 23