Think Tank My 2nd Brain, A Perfect Case For The iPad Or MacBook Air?

Okay, I know laptop and iPad bags and cases are about a dime a dozen. There are a million different options from a thousand manufacturers and who really cares,right? Well, sure, but see it from my point of view. I’m a photographer, I’m always looking for the perfect bag (or bags as my bag collection will tell you), and when my favourite camera bag company comes out with Apple specific carrying cases I notice. Since, in my world, most of my bags take a camera and a laptop, or some sort of hybrid, it’s interesting to look at what they’ve put into these single-use packages.

ThinkTank sent us their “My 2nd Brain iPad” and “My 2nd Brain Laptop Slim Case” for MacBook Air and Pro 13″(There’s an 11” and 15” version as well). I’ve been using them a few weeks, but I’ll go over a few key features (full details can be found on ThinkTank’s website).

Overall, the bags are pretty non-descript, if not boring. Depending on how you look at it, this can be a good thing. Much of ThinkTank’s lineup has been an effort to create camera bags that don’t always look like camera bags. The irony, of course, being that now they’re so popular that they’re one of the more common camera bags around. So here’s a black shoulder-strap iPad/Laptop bag that doesn’t necessarily look like one, but of course, it is one by size alone. Other colours are available – Harbor Blue & Mist Green – nothing particularly loud or thrilling.


One thing ThinkTank has always understood is how people work in the real world. They’ve always given us lots of pockets and areas to store, sort, and quickly access our gear. Despite its small size, My 2nd Brain is no exception. The front zipper sections of the bags contain some pen pockets, card pockets, and a small clip for keys, USB sticks or whatever other small bits you tend to lose. A nice addition here is a soft, plush open sleeve for an iPad – on the laptop bag – or an iPad mini on the iPad bag.

Above the front zipper is another zippered, shallow pocket with the same plush that’ll hold any (current) iPhone and maybe even one of those fatter droid devices some of you may have. I don’t judge. I’m just saying there’s a space for your phone and its got room to grow. It can hold my Passport which is a likely use-case for me too.


The back of the case is where ThinkTank shows its space management skills with an entire area devoted to cable and accessory management. There are some open mesh pockets, as well as plastic-covered zip-ups all designed to keep your power adapters, dongles and lightning cables quickly and easily accessible.

Behind this section of the case there is an important storage area for your iPad or Macbook. The very back of the bag is a lightly Velcro’d open pocket for documents and other items you may need quick access to while on the move. There’s a small clip on the strap that allows you to attach it to handles or other bags, which may seem kind of pointless, except I’ve already used it a few times and just found it handy to hook onto packs as I was moving quickly from a location.

ThinkTank makes bags for working digital professionals. They’re practical, well built, and smart enough to make your life just a bit easier on the road. The bags don’t have too much padding, just enough in my opinion, so they don’t take up too much space. ThinkTank also has a killer warranty service, if you’d ever even need it, that’ll take care of you for the life of the product.

Is it worth the cost?

The obvious question remains, would I recommend paying for one? Yes. I have before and I would again, which is why it makes it so easy to recommend.


  • Lightweight
  • Lots of pockets
  • Fairly inconspicuous


  • Nothing to get really excited about
  • Colours are kind of boring
  • What’s with that quote inside the bag?
Justin Van Leeuwen is an Ottawa based commercial photographer, specializing in Architecture, Interiors, Portraits, Editorial, and Event Photography. Interviews with JVL can be found at Imaging Resource,, and Petapixel.