As a photographer, bags are almost as essential to me as the photographic equipment I use. Everything I use has to be absolutely perfectly designed with a clear purpose. Then, it has to be perfectly made, ensuring that it lasts in the field.
I'm a lover of Think Tank Photo bags so much so, that I'm even on the design board. These bags cater for my photographic needs and using a roller, backpack and pouch system, occasionally a shoulder bag too, I have the perfect system for all my assignment needs.
However, I recently got hold of the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer - not a photographic bag at all, but what looked like the perfect travel bag for business trips. I must admit to never having heard of the name until my good friend Daniel Beltra introduced me to them as he's a big lover and user of their bags for his constant travels.
I really liked the simplicity and design of the laptop part of the bag which then got me interested in the rest. The unique thing about this bag is how it unravels itself, opening up into three sections; this means that the laptop part can just be opened up on it's hinge and laid flat for X-Rays without having to take out the laptop. I must admit to not having tried this yet but from all I've read, airport security staff are more than happy with this approach.
I took the bag up to Edinburgh in Scotland for the workshop Jeff Ascough and I were giving. I packed a set of overnight clothes and essentials into the bag, including my 15" MacBook Pro, charger and bits and headed for the underground and then to King's Cross for my train up to Edinburgh. Naturally never without some camera gear, I also had my Think Tank Photo Shape Shifter backpack too.
I must say, I have nothing but praise for the Checkpoint Flyer. It was absolutely comfortable with it's fabulous shoulder strap and the design was very handy for times during my journey when I needed access to my laptop, documents and magazines. It was also the perfect size for an overnight stay and carried all my stuff in comfort. Last but not least the workmanship looks like it will last and last and last.