The award won by Think Tank Photo comes at a special moment for the company. Think Tank Photo celebrates its 10th year in the market, and the bag that won the award was created as an anniversary edition. So, the Airport International LE Classic rolling camera case is a special photo bag.
TIPA Awards are independently voted on by TIPA’s General Assembly every year. TIPA membership comprises 28 leading photo and imaging magazines from 15 countries on five continents, and also has a cooperative partnership with the CJPC (Camera Journal Press Club), representing 11 top photography magazines in Japan.
The TIPA awards are given to the best products in their category that have come on the market in the year preceding the election. In naming the Airport International LE Classic “Best Photo Bag” TIPA wrote: “The roller photo case is specially designed for photographers who need to bring a lot of equipment in the aircraft. The bag has been approved as a carryon and offers space for several cameras, lenses and a 15 or 17 “laptop. The outside of the bag is equipped with water-repellent fabric and protected strips.”
“The Airport International LE Classic is most definitely a limited edition bag. In celebration of our founding 10 years ago in my garage, we have added such one-time highlights as full-grain leather accents and panels,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s founder and lead designer. “The roller is extremely useful for wedding and commercial photographers who need quick access to their gear and who are concerned about gear security while shooting remotely.”
The Airport International LE Classic carry-on roller lets photographers legally store their bodies, lenses, and accessories in overhead bins or under the seats of international carriers. For added security, it features front-pocket and main compartment combination locks and a cable from a secret rear hatch that allow it to be secured to posts, trees, and other immovable objects.
It accommodates up to a 500mm f/4 lens unattached, additional smaller lenses, two gripped DSLR camera bodies, and other photography accessories. TSA approved combination locks secure the main compartment zipper sliders.
The prize from TIPA comes as a cherry on top of the cake for Think Tank Photo on the celebration of their 10th annyversary. When they decided to create this Limited Edition of their Airport International Rolling Camera Case, adding extra features and leather to it, they had no idea of the outcome.
For the four founders of Think Tank Photo – (left to right), Kurt Rogers, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Doug Murdoch, and Mike Sturm – it was just a way to mark a moment in the life of a company that aims to design camera bags that are the result of photographers working directly with designers. Kurt and Deanne have a combined 70+ years of experience as photojournalists (Deanne won the Pulitzer in 2005) and Doug and Mike have a similar length of experience as camera bag designers. They’ve always reserved the right to create what pro photographers need as opposed to creating what the market will bear. It’s a business philosophy that has kept the company strong and profitable throughout the Great Recession and the photo industry instability. It all started 10 years ago in Doug Murdoch’s garage.