|Size (exterior):||35.6 x 52.1 x 22.9 cm|
|Size (interior):||33 x 47.8 x 19.3cm|
|Weight:||4.6 lbs (2.1 kg)|
|Supported drones:||DJI Phantom series (including Phantom 3 and 4!)|
|Water repellent:||YES, via DWR + polyurethane coating|
|Warranty:||Lifetime Think Tank ‘No Rhetoric Warranty’|
|Additional Features:||Padded pocket for 15″ laptop|
Here at QuadHangar we already reviewed different travel cases for the DJI Phantom series, but I was honestly excited to put my hands on the first Think Tank product developed specifically for quadcopters.
For many photographers, Think Tank is synonymous of top-quality, professional, well thought and feature-rich travel bags.
The good news is that Think Tank entered the drone arena, introducing the awesome Airport Helipak backpack for the one of the most popular drone for sale: the DJI Phantom series!
Think Tank kindly send us a model to review, and this is what we found out…
Top Notch Quality
This backpack is serious stuff. From the zippers, the weak spot of all the backpacks I had in my life, to the dividers velcro resistance, the sturdy handles and the comfortably adjustable straps.
Quality is everywhere and it comes in just 2.1 kg (4.6 lbs) of weight, and cabin luggage size! (don’t forget to check with the airline, especially if you take your Phantom to European low-cost flight…)
Attention for the details
The bag comes with protective rotor thread caps: four nice red caps to protect the rotors and bearings during the transport, a great detail that attentive drone flyers will love.
The three internal see-through mesh pockets, made for small accessories, are perfect to store propellers, some tools and the cables.
Externally, the bag features an handy water bottle pocket on the side and handles on three sides, to facilitate the retrieval of the bag from car trunks or luggage belts.
The harness has adjustable sternum strap and lumbar support: needed if you’re going to walk for a while with the full-gear on your back.
Last but not least: stored inside the backpack we found a small package with a semi-sealed rain cover, a practical cover in case of rain, snow, or lava 😉
Made for DJI Phantom and accessories
Inside the bag, a set of dividers designed for the DJI Phantom series is ready to fit the drone and many accessories. Think Tank confirmed us that also the Phantom 3, that features bigger landing gear, fits in perfectly.
The dividers are hold by strong velcro, allowing to change the position and reconfigure the bag depending on the gear.
Here’s the gear we fit in in this test:
- Phantom 2
- 1 set of propellers (in the useful see-through mesh pockets)
- 5 batteries, in the different compartments
- 1 charger
- 1 FPV glasses Fat Shark
- 15″ laptop, in the frontal padded pocket
- iPhone smart phone, wallet, block notes, pen, keys and a manual in the ‘Deluxe organizer panel’
The drone we used (thanks to Niels from DroneVlieger) has custom-made larger landing gear (that doesn’t show when recording videos) and it wasn’t fitting perfectly but this has really nothing to do with the product.
This backpack is really solid and and sturdy, but hard-shell case supporters will object that it’s not as protective as the Armor’s DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus Hard Case or similar products.
Eventually it’s all about what you’re gonna do with it: where you store your quadcopter, how you transport it, if you walk in the nature, etc.
Personally I like a lot that Think Tank backpack is just 4.6 lbs rather than the 14.1 lbs of the Armour hard case.
Another downside I heard about is that the propellers must be removed.
Yes, it does take few seconds of our precious life, but it takes away the risk of damaging the rotors if something goes wrong. And you know what happens to luggage when it’s behind the airport scene, right?
An unexpected use case
Just imagine being on an uneven surface, or on a field of uncut grass. Just land it on the Airport Helipak, ready to be packed up for your next aerial adventure.
Plus, it’s good exercise to practice your flying skills…
To buy or not to buy?
“You get what you pay for”, right? With the Airport Helipak backpack you get top quality for less than $250 USD. A price that, while not cheap, is well aligned with other carrying cases for Phantom.
The quality, attention for details, lifetime warranty, and Think Tank reputation put this backpack in the list of top carrying cases for Phantom owners.
Note: if you already have a Think Tank Airport Accelerator Camera Backpack, you can just buy the Airport Accelerator DJI Phantom 2 Divider Kit and transform your camera bag into a drone bag! That’s the level of attention that Think Tank reserves to its customers.