Choosing the right drone backpack is not as simple as picking an everyday backpack. You have many factors to consider. Most of all, you want to make sure that your drone is safe as you travel especially considering that you invested quite a significant amount to finally have a drone of your own.
From a variety of drone backpacks in the market, we have listed here the top 5 best drone backpacks for you. And our top pick – the PolarPro DroneTrekker Backpack!
Main compartment can store Phantom 4 original Styrofoam case. It has a rectangular hole allowing you to quickly unlock and conveniently open the case
Has a pocket on the backside of the main compartment that can accommodate up to 9.7” iPad Air 2 or other mobile devices
The upper back has adjustable pads perfect for 4pcs of batteries
Has two external zippered pockets on the side for the propellers
Top 5 Best Drone Backpacks
1. PolarPro DroneTrekker Backpack
he PolarPro DroneTrekker is not your ordinary drone backpack. It was designed to constantly evolve according to your gadget needs.
Its main compartment is certainly spacious so to get your kit organized inside, it has adjustable padded dividers. Because of Velcro, you can easily attach and detach them to fit not only your drone but also your action cameras or DSLR or mirrorless camera! It can also accommodate your controller, lens and other accessories.
If case you run out of space in the main compartment, the external of the backpack features smaller zippered compartments and mesh pockets. These are best for your water bottle, keys, phones, wallets and other small essentials that you might need to grab a hold of fast.
It also has an outer zipped compartment in front for your laptop and tablet. From underneath the bag, you can access a lightweight rain cover to protect your bag and everything in it.
Carrying the bag for quite a long time would not be a problem as well with the wide, adjustable shoulder straps, chest strap and waist strap. You can easily adjust the bag’s position for better weight distribution. If you’re worried about the security of your things, this DroneTrekker features a TSA-approved combination lock so you can rest assured.
This video shows what you can pack in your PolarPro DroneTrekker backpack
Main compartment has customizable layout to fit your gadgets
Has compartment for your laptop and table
Equipped with TSA-approved lock
Has PolarPro Lifetime Limited Warranty
Has no lock for the outer compartment that keeps your laptop and tablet
2. Lowepro ViewPoint BP250
The ViewPoint BP250 is a compact backpack that can fit various action cameras, drones, other gadgets and their accessories such as mounts, extra batteries and tripod. It even has a compartment than can accommodate up to 15-inch laptop.
The upper compartment is also roomy enough for other extras that you would need for you day. It has a loop handle for your headphones, see-through zip pocket for your personal accessories such as keys and wallet. It also has mini compartments for your pens and other tiny stuff that you would need in a quick reach.
To make this even better, ViewPoint BP250 comes with a gear box that you can easily remove from the bottom part of the backpack. This removable gear box also allows for modular organization and protection of your accessories.
If these are not enough, the front and sides of the backpack allows for expanded capacity. It has a clever strap system that may be suitable for your water bottle, tripod or even skateboard!
ViewPoint BP250 also features a built-in All Weather AW Cover that can easily be deployed from the bottom part of the bag. This protects the bag not just from rain but also from dirt, mud and other elements.
If you’re thinking about durability, Lowepro is already known for the quality backpacks they produce. The ViewPoint BP250 is certainly NOT an exception and its weight is manageable. It is also smaller than your usual backpacks so better set your expectations right.
To make it more comfortable, it has 4 back pads – two by the shoulders, one mid-back and one at the lumbar. The straps are also nice on the shoulders. It also has a chest strap to keep it more secured on your back.
To give you a clearer picture, here’s a video showing the features of the Viewpoint BP250 along with sample items you can pack in it.
Has removable gear box with adjustable dividers
Has a laptop compartment and a roomy upper compartment
Strap system for additional external capacity
Padded back for comfort and all-weather cover for bag protection
Smaller than your usual backpacks
Quite a tight fit for a Mavic Pro
3. Lykus DBP-100U
The DBP-100U is a more versatile and functional backpack for your Phantom drones. It can accommodate Phantom 4, Pro, Advanced Phantom 3 Standard, Professional, Advanced, and 4K Phantom 2, and other similar sized drones.
It also has designated space for your batteries, propellers, controller, charger and other accessories. It comes with adjustable pads so you can easily attach and detach them based on the size of your accessories.
It also has a compartment for your iPad, or other tablets and mobile devices up to 9.7”. If you’re thinking about your laptop, the DBP-100U has a back pocket for that. But it can only fit up to 12”.
It particularly boasts of extra padding to lessen the impact from falls or bumps so your drone and accessories are surely protected. It also has thick and soft pads in the straps and at the back and waist area to provide comfort while you’re carrying it.
The backpack also uses high quality canvas material that makes the bag durable and water-resistant but still light. As additional protection during rain, it comes with an anti-water cover.
Here’s a video showing a sample how to pack your things in the Lykus DBP-100U.
Can accommodate various Phantom drone models
Provides extra padding for the drone and its accessories
Also have a room for your tablet and 12” laptop
Compartment for accessories has adjustable pads
Backpack is relatively big and there are lot of wasted space
Phantom 4 and other bigger drones may be hard to fit in the bag
Zipper may easily break
4. Powerextra Waterproof Hard Case Carry Backpack
This Waterproof Hard Case Backpack is a solid, durable case and the only hard case backpack that made it to our list. It is also relatively lightweight and waterproof.
However, when we say waterproof, it does not mean that you can submerge it underwater. Rather, it means that it can withstand raindrops so you won’t need additional rain cover.
It is designed to accommodate DJI Phantom 4 and Phantom 3 Professional, Advanced, Standard, 4K Quadcopter Drone and accessories such as battery, charger, remote control, propellers. The backpack comes with strong and high-density foam to protect the drone and all the accessories that you’ll pack inside.
However, storing charged batteries is not recommendable especially in the encased insulating foam. The batteries will get warm and discharge themselves.
Also, you can’t expect much from the foam (given its price). It can get damaged if you are not careful enough and it may loosen its fit after months of continuous usage.
To have a better idea about the Powerextra Hard Case Backpack, watch this video.
Solid, durable, lightweight and waterproof
Can fit various Phantom drone models
Comes with strong high-density foam
Has 30 days money back or 12-month warranty
You can’t put other travel essentials and other gadgets in
Foam may loosen after continuous use
5. Smatree SmaPac DP3000 Backpack
Overall, the SmaPac DP3000 Backpack is affordable, durable and pretty portable. However, it can only be used for DJI Phantom 4 and not for any other model or drone.
It is built with high-grade tear-resistant polyester material so you’re assured that DP3000 is durable enough for your travels and adventures.
The main compartment will perfectly fit your DJI Phantom 4 along with its original Styrofoam case. It comes with a rectangular safe-lock at the top you can quickly unlock and conveniently open the compartment.
For your batteries, the upper compartment can accommodate up to four pieces. Then, there are two zippered pockets on the side and one on the front for the propellers. If you want to bring some drink, there’s also a pouch by the bottom left side.
Towards the back of the compartment is a pocket for your iPad, tablet or other mobile device. But if you’re planning to bring a laptop, you can’t fit that inside this backpack.
DP3000 can sure fit your DJI Phantom 4 and all its accessories. However, it may not have extra room if you need to bring other gadgets such as headphones, action camera and tripod.
To know more about this backpack, here’s a quick video.
Perfect fit for DJI Phantom 4
Has sufficient compartments for all the accessories
Also have a room for your tablet or other mobile device
Practically affordable and durable
Can only accommodate DJI Phantom 4 and not other drone or models
Will not fit a laptop
Does not have room for other travel essentials
It is undeniable that all 5 backpacks we presented here are great, isn’t it? However, you might notice that they still have their good points and their down sides. So you might be quite a bit confused or having second thoughts about which one to buy.
To help you choose your backpack, here are the aspects that you should look into:
First question you should ask is, can the backpack accommodate your drone? Better check the dimensions of your drone and that of the bag to make sure.
There are also backpacks that are particularly designed for only a certain model(s) of drone. Is your drone included in that list? If you’re unsure, better check with the manufacturer’s customer support. And once they say that your drone will not be a good fit even though it’s smaller, don’t insist. There are bags that have fixed partitions fitted only for selected drones. Better find another bag to prevent damaging your expensive drone.
Another question is, what else do you need to carry? Aside from the accessories and spare parts of your drone, do you need to bring your laptop or your tablet? Will you need to bring a DSLR and a tripod as well?
If you are intending to pack all your other gadgets together with your drone, the PolarPro DroneTrekker and the Lowepro ViewPoint BP250 will allow you to do that. These backpacks have compartments that can accommodate other travel essentials aside from your drone.
Other backpacks, however, are suitable only for a drone and its accessories. So you better check how many compartments and pockets do the backpack has before deciding on one. Watching sample videos on how to pack your things using your chosen backpack will also be helpful.
Remember that you will put hundreds of dollars worth of drones and accessories in the backpack. You wouldn’t want that when you open the bag, the propellers or other parts are already broken. That is why the toughness or durability of the bag is top of the line. This is one thing you don’t want to compromise for a cheaper price.
Make sure that it has enough thick pads or foams that will keep your equipment safe even with few bumps and other impacts along your travel.
You would also want to make sure that the straps will hold on even with the additional weight of all your gadgets.
Water, even with only small amount, can quickly destroy your drone and other gadgets so better make sure that your backpack is safe from it as well.
Most drone backpacks already have a rain cover. So the question now is, is the rain cover truly water resistant or it just adds an extra layer? You shouldn’t be contented upon knowing that your backpack has a rain cover. Check the quality of the cover as well.
There are now cheaper rain covers but they are not really water resistant. After a few rain drops it tends to stick to the bag and then the water will penetrate beneath it. You would not want that to happen with your backpack and your gadgets. So better check thoroughly.
Since you’ll be packing quite a lot of gears inside the backpack, you would want to make sure that the backpack feels pretty comfortable on your back and shoulders especially in the long run.
You might want to consider those that have shoulder and back padding that provides not only increased comfort but also better airflow.
17 Tips for Travelling with Drones
By now, you’re ready to purchase your drone backpack and go on an adventure. But before you go, here are 17 quick tips as you travel with your drone.
Know and respect the drone laws
Travel with your drone as carry-on luggage
Invest in a portable drone
Bring a good case
Pack extra drone batteries and a car charger
Be friendly to airport security
Use Neutral Density (ND) filters
Be friendly to spectators
Try to avoid crowds
Have a flight plan
Maintain line of sight and learn to fly manually
Be aware of animals and wildlife
Be careful in cold weather
Take advantage of best times to shoot
Allow extra time for flying
Carry repair tools and extra propellers
Most of all, have fun!
If you want to know more about these tips, you can read the full article here.
Can You Take Your Drone on a Plane?
If you’re going for an air travel, maybe you are wondering what the rules are for carrying drones in the plane are. Worry no more for in this next section, you’ll read about the policies from some of the biggest airlines.
AirAsia does not have any drone policy nor any guidelines on lithium batteries. They only specified hoverboards that are forbidden.
American Airlines allow drones provided that their batteries do not exceed 160-watt-hours. The drone must also be placed in a box less than 22”x14”x9” or 56x36x23cm.
The batteries must be removed from any of the devices in the check-in baggage. They must be put in the carry-on bags or in a separate plastic bag.
For batteries below 100-watt-hours, you may carry them in unlimited quantity. For those between 100-160-watt hours, you are only allowed up to 2 spares in your carry-on. For batteries larger than 160-watt-hours up to 300-watt-hours, you have to contact the American Airlines Special Assistance.
Delta doesn’t specify their policy on drones. However, to be sure that you can take your drone with you, better submit an email to Delta’s Dangerous Goods Department at least 10 days before your flight
With regards to lithium-ion batteries, it was mentioned that only up to 160-watt-hours is allowed. Lithium batteries may be in carry-on or checked in if installed. If they’re not installed, then they should be in carry-on baggage. However, each person can only carry up to two spare batteries of 100 and 160-watt-hours only.
For Easyjet, portable electronic devices may be carried on board or checked in provided that the battery does not exceed 100-watt-hours.
Spare batteries, moreover, is permitted only in carry-on and should be well-secured to avoid short circuit.
For JetBlue Airlines, drones are permitted for both carry-on and checked-in baggage.
If in carry-on, the drone must fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat, with the battery fully installed. The drone mush also be kept off for the entire duration of the flight.
You can bring as much 100-watt-hours batteries that you want/need. But for 100-160-watt-hours, you can only be allowed up to 2 spares in your carry-on. They should also be within the terminal, protected with tape or inside a plastic bag.
Luftansa didn’t mention any policy specific for drones. However, for portable electronic devices, they are allowed in checked baggage if the batteries do not exceed 100-watt-hours.
Those with more than 100Wh but not exceeding 160-watt-hours, may be in carry-on upon approval. But they are no longer permitted as checked baggage.
Based on its recent policy that took effect starting January 15, 2018, travelers may carry up to 20 spare lithium-ion batteries. All batteries, including powerbanks, must be secured from any possible short circuit. Also, they can only be placed in carry-on baggage.
However, for batteries more than 100-watt-hours but up to 160-watt-hours, the traveler is only allowed 2 spares. Batteries more than 160-watt-hours are not allowed for both carry-on or checked-in baggage.
UA doesn’t provide any specific policy on drones. However, they mentioned that portable electronic devices must be in checked baggage. Lithium batteries, on the other hand, must not exceed 100-watt-hours and all spare batteries must be in carry-on baggage.
If your selected airline was not included in this list, better check directly with your airlines about carrying your drone. Kwow its battery capacity and how many batteries will you need to carry.
Drone backpacks may be more costly that other ordinary backpacks in the market and maybe you are having second thoughts given their cost.
But, you have to remember that you should not compromise the quality of your backpack to buy a cheaper one. Remember that you are about to put some of the most expensive gadgets and gears inside that backpack. Would you risk destroying all those pricey equipment?
Investing in a durable, water-resistant and high-quality drone backpack is like investing for a drone itself. You will surely not regret it.