The Phantom 4 drone is one of the few elite models that comes with it’s own “foam case”, which quite frankly is awesome. But if you’re going to travel with it, a backpack would be better.
While the default foam case has tight protection of the model and carries the necessities (controller, propellers, and a few other things), carrying this around in your hands or even at the handle can get annoying if you’re traveling, hiking or climbing anywhere and quite frankly, you need an actual backpack for this stuff and there happens to be quite a few options out there.
However, one in particular that I’ve been using for several months has been the Manfrotto MB BP D1, a backpack designed specifically for ALL Phantom 4 models (and I think all the Phantom 3 models fit there too). Here is what it looks like:
Quite honestly, this backpack “over delivers” in my opinion because it’s really made for the more professional film/photo takers as it has an absurd amount of space for more than JUST the drone.
Here’s just some of the things this thing can fit (besides the model):
- The controller.
- Extra propellers (LOTS of them).
- There’s specific space for at least 3 extra batteries to fit (plus the one inside the model, so that makes 4). You can also occupy the other remaining space with even more batteries if you wish it.
- You can fit other small models like a Mavic and Spark in there too, although I prefer another specific case for those, like this one.
- You can also put a laptop in there, there’s a specific space available for it.
- Other areas can fit cameras, other miscellaneous camera equipment, wires, and even food.
- Overall, there are 2 spaces on the sides, one space for laptops on the front, an opening at the top for miscellaneous equipment and the back which holds the model and it’s controller and batteries.
Besides space availability, here’s pros I’ve experienced from using it:
Most importantly, this thing keeps the drone model steady as you move around and I would know, I’ve literally hiked with this thing on my back and opened it up several times throughout a single hike to take the model out, fly it, put it back and move to my next destination.
I’ve also taken it with me on at least one major road trip where I basically had it in the passenger seat waiting to be used. If I hit the brakes or some turn causes the backpack to fall, I’m not worried at all, it’ll keep the model protected well enough.
Now there is a “rain guard bag” that comes with this that you can take out and put over the backpack itself in case the situation calls for it, something I found to be VERY useful as on one of my hikes, I had to walk through a lot of rain, hoping to get a chance to fly the model, but never being able to, but while this was going on, I was being poured on, worried my drone would get wet, yet the bag kept it very well protected!
Besides the bag handles you put around your shoulders, there is also a seat belt like handle you can strap across your waist so it doesn’t bounce around if you’re on a motorcycle, bicycle or jumping around somewhere.
Another cool thing about it is that it has a flat bottom so when you put it down, it will stand vertically on it’s own. This is good for situations where you need to put the bag on dirty ground and it will ensure only the bottom part of it gets dirty/wet.
Fits well into overhead storage on planes. Are you familiar with the rules of taking a Phantom on a plane? Here they are.
Are there cons to this product? Well that’s subjective…
1) I don’t think there’s a need to have this thing if you don’t plan on traveling in situations where a backpack is even needed in the first place. In that scenario, you can just stick to the regular foam case.
2) It’s not cheap. At $140+ (I got it for $160), you’re investing in a major product. Although there is a lot of protection and space, keep the price in mind.
3) As I said before, this product “over delivers” for me personally and that’s because I just don’t utilize it to it’s fullest. In fact, when I carry it around, I only occupy the space for the drone itself, the controller, the propellers, some necessary wires and a landing pad which I stick into the area which is meant for the laptop.
I am not a professional film maker or photographer, so for now, at least, I don’t have a need to use up all the available space, but it is comforting to know that as I learn more about the industry, should I add new equipment to my video/photo taking collection, this backpack still has plenty of left over space to fill…
Will this product suite your flying needs?
I would look at the pros and cons I listed on it and decide if the way you use your Phantom drone requires this product or not.
If you’re a professional photographer and video maker, and travel outdoors or in areas where carrying a foam case isn’t exactly suitable, get this.
If you’re looking for excellent protection for your Phantom, including the rain, and travel a lot (outside especially), this is also a good product.
If you plan on riding a bicycle, motorcycle, snowmobile or anything that involves being in motion and traveling outside, this product will also suite you.
Despite not using it as fully as it was intended, I am happy with the Manfrotto MB BP D1 model. At the time I got it, I was in the initial stages of “overprotective drone syndrome” as I call it and wanted to get the best possible product when traveling with my Phantom 4 (Pro). I certainly have it with this, and I am sure it will make other people who have similar experiences of plan on having similar experiences very happy and assured that their expensive drone is protected.