First Look: Think Tank Photo’s “My 2nd Brain” Briefcase (laptop bag)

Above: Look how much smaller the new bag is, yet it holds all my junk. Ahemâ¦I mean my essential gear for travel. ;-)

If you’re like me, you’re never really happy with your laptop bag. That was me for most of my life (well, most of my laptop toting life anyway), until about 5 years ago when I fell deeply and hopeless in love with Thank Tank Photo’s laptop bag. It was prefect. A pocket for everything â” I could even fit my Wacom tablet in it â” it was justâ¦perfect! Especially for someone who carries a lot of stuff (see below).

Here’s what’s in my bag (as seen above):

  1. 15″ MacBook Pro (this is my main computer day in, day out)
  2. A bunch of plastic cards (gift cards, Delta club card, Hilton Honors card, etc.)
  3. USB drive with backup stuff
  4. One-Tb Back-up hard drive of my entire MacBook, plus USB 3 cable
  5. iPad Charger and cable
  6. iPhone charger and cable
  7. Lexar USB 3 CF and SD card reader
  8. Wacom Wireless Pen and Pen Holder
  9. Backup Wacom Pen
  10. Wacom USB Cable
  11. Bendable Laptop LED light (I use it to light my outline during a seminar)
  12. Love Book (That’s what my daughter called it when she gave it to me. It’s always with me).
  13. Two sets of business cards (I know, that’s probably one too many)
  14. MacBook Charger and Cable
  15. Five Sharpie pens (for signing books and stuff)
  16. Bose headphone adapter
  17. Another USB Flash backup (for paranoid presenters)
  18. Guitar Pick. Hey, ya never know.
  19. OK, I’m carrying more USB drives than I need.
  20. Two DVI adapters to connect MacBook to projectors (one and a backup)
  21. Copy of Photoshop User magazine, outlines for my tour, notes, fan mail from some flounder
  22. Wacom Intuos Pro tablet “Small”
  23. Collapsible iPad stand
  24. AAA batteries just in case my headphone’s batteries go dead. I know, I don’t need three â” just one.
  25. Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones (I so love these things, but I hate their bulky carrying case).
  26. A tin of Altoids (Curiously strong mints)
  27. Screen and Lens wipes
  28. Lens cleaning cloth
  29. Logitech Wireless Slide controller (for slide presentations).
  30. iPad Air
  31. Small bag of marijuana.
  32. Made ya look! ;-)


About a year or so ago I saw Think Tank Photo’s booth at a tradeshow (I think it was Photo Plus in NYC), and I thought I’d go pick up another one just like it to replace mine …until I heard the sad newsâ¦.they had discontinued it. I was stunned. It was the best, ever, hands-down and now it’s gone.

It was at that moment that I knew I would have to hold on to my old bag until it literally disintegrated, but luckily that day never came because Wednesday I got something even better than my old Think Tank laptop bag. A brand new, smaller, lighter, better-designed (like they made it just for me) laptop bag. It’s the “My 2nd Brain” Briefcase 15 and it is my new laptop bag dream come true. My world finally makes sense again (Not really).

Above: I did a little iPhone video tour of the bag (iPhone video work by the amazing bearded Brad Moore) to show you how it does it’s thing. It has a perfect pocket for my Wacom tablet, and a separate just for your iPad (In my old bag, I just tossed mine in where I kept my papers and magazines). 

I had pretty much given up on Think Tank Photo ever making another Laptop Bag, and I just cannot tell you excited I was when I found out that not only where they making them again â” that the new one was that much better, smaller and lighter than the old one, but it still held all my gear â” now it’s all just more organized. You’ll have to check out the video to see all the compartments, pockets, sleeves and clever stuff this bag has inside and out. Very well designed, and built like a tank. Super Mclovin’ it!

It sells for $144 over at B&H Photo (that’s where I buy all my stuff). Worth every penny!

Hope this First Look helped you find the bag of your dreams, and here’s wishing you fantastic weekend filled with lots of amazing images. See ya back here on Monday.



    1. Hi Ronne — since it’s my main daily computer, not just for travel, I think I need the power and storage capabilities of the MBP. Plus, I use them for different things — my iPad is for just for entertainment (games, movies, fun apps, etc).

      1. Second thing I buy with new camera is the UpStrap, the first is RRS L-plate if it’s up for sale yet.

      2. Ok, Scott. I looked them up finally. Looks like the flexi Mountain version will be the one for me. I almost always have my strap around my neck and I keep hearing that’s a no-no but it’s quite rare that I actually let the camera hang so it’s never caused strain. I’ve been leery of shoulder straps since I have little girly shoulders that can hardly keep a purse up let alone some 4-6lb camera. Hopefully the UpStrap will be just the ticket! Know any smaller ladies that have had luck with the UpStrap?

  1. I too hated the size of the Bose QC15 case. Then I discovered the Bose QC 20i, just as good as the 15’s but 10x smaller. Give your QC15’s to a friend or family member and you’ll never look back!

      1. Indeed, they are in-ear. But, borrow Terry White’s pair, they might grow on you :)

      1. Not joking… you have enough name recognition for it to make sense.
        Pursue it.
        Do it.
        Call it the Kelby Cache.

        Or Stash.
        I’ll shut up now.

  2. Replace your Bose headphones with Shure earphones (Buds). Personally I bought the SE215 version and they work great even on a plane with a crying 3 year who did not stop for 30 minutes. Than You can have room for another external drive.

  3. That’s a lot of expensive electronics in one bag. How’s the

    I usually find that’s the week spot in far too many laptop
    bags, especially on the bottom, which the laptop and other gear will slam into,
    if the bag is accidentally dropped or falls.

    I found a no name bag made overseas, to which I added closed cell foam on the
    bottom for extra insurance. Works like a charm. May yet look at your bag for
    toting along my Wacom tab too.

    Must say, I do like Think Tank gear. Just bought from B&H the Sub Urban
    Disguise 30 Shoulder Bag to use for event photography. Nicely made, just right
    for my needs… and classy too!

    Frederic in Montréal

    PS When are you or one of your staff doing a workshop in MONTREAL, a city of
    2.5 million? Went to one in Ottawa years ago… it was mostly Montrealers who had
    travelled the 120km to take it in. Since then… nyet!

  4. Lets say your going to the Oregon coast via Aircraft and rental car for 4 or five days….and you want to travel light.

    Camera body.. two lenses (leaving home the BigTele Lenses) Tripod, and your Macbook Pro.

    Is your new laptop bag part of the equation? If so, do you use rollers for the rest of the gear and clothing ?

    I’d love to come up with a system that avoids checking anything. Do you have the secret?…ha



  5. I used to be a big Tarmac bag fan, until you turned me on to Think Tank, Scott. Love these bags (I now have three).

    Do I win any points for catching the Ken Toney poke? :-)


  6. I’m waiting for Think Tank to come out with a bag to store my bags that I don’t use.

    I was almost certain that Matt would have picked up a bag in white (Stacy Pearsall started it)

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