This review was carried out by my brother Darren, who has his own drone photography and filming business Cloud Vista Studio.
Manfrotto recently asked me to review their Aviator drone backpack, which is made to fit a DJI Phantom 3 or 4 drone. This is something I was only to happy to do as it’s a backpack I’d been considering to buy as an alternative to the hardcase for my Phantom 4 drone. The backpack is a great alternative and allows you to trek off anywhere you like with all your drone kit on your back. I’m able to fit in all of the following items, and there was room for a little more, definitely 1 more battery if needed.
- Phantom 4 drone& controller
- 3 batteries
- Cables & Spare SD cards
- Pack of 3 ND filters
- Lens cleaning pen
- Anemometer (wind speed checker)
- Nikon SLR and additional lens (in the top pocket of the bag)
It’s a fair amount of kit, and the standard issue case that comes with a Phantom cannot carry anywhere near all of this. There are a lot of hard cases for the job, but these are good for the back of your car or going on a plane. You do not want to be carrying these hard cases whilst trekking over some hills!
The bag feels great on your back and shoulders, and with extra support straps I think it’s unlikely that the weight (the Phantom is very light) would cause you any pain. The bag also allows for the drone to be in the bag with propellers on, and the propellers then stick out of the bag. This is a good idea if you do want to be up and away quickly, but I’ve not really used it like that so far as most of my work is planned and I can take my time setting up.
My main concern about the bag are the 2 motors that are right at the bottom corners of the bag, these feel like they could get damaged if you were to drop it on something hard. An extra bit of protection or padding on the exterior of the bag here does seem required. The rest of the bag is nice and padded and I do think it provides a decent level of protection. However the bag ultimately is not built for primarily for protection, it’s for getting your drone off the beaten track and for that I think it’s outstanding.
The Manfrotto aviator drone backpack is currently available at a R.R.P of £159.95.