Safely transporting your drone is one of the more difficult tasks of drone ownership. Hauling a drone by hand is not entirely feasible, which is why there are many dedicated backpacks and cases out there today. Some of the smaller folding drones can slide into a big pocket or water bottle pouch, but most still need a bag, if only to corral the remote and accessories.
You may not feel the need to spend double your initial investment to protect a cheap drone, but your major investment in a quality drone deserves some peace of mind on the go. To that end, these are some of the best drone backpacks, drone cases and bags around.
Why trust Drone Rush?
I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.
What to look for in a drone bag
Finding the right carrying case, bag or backpack can be difficult. I tend to use all of the above, swapping out based on my current needs and destination. Transporting a drone when traveling is the right time to use a sturdy case. A basic bag often gets me from my secret lair into my backyard and my backpack(s) let me go hiking or otherwise head out for the day.
The important things to look out for are build quality, of course, size and configuration, so that everything fits, and carrying methods, because not all straps are made equal. You might also consider a certain amount of water resistance, even if you have a waterproof drone, I doubt the controller and all of your best drone accessories are safe to get wet.
Manfrotto Medium Gear Backpack
As the trend for smaller, portable drones continues, we realized most of our bags on this list are made to hold drones as large as the DJI Phantom quadcopters. If you are hauling around a smaller drone and maybe a few other electronics, like a camera, this Manfrotto Gear Backpack may be all you need. A solid backpack made with versatility and portability in mind.
The Manfrotto Gear Backpack runs for $70 today. Regularly $90, often $50.
We gave away the Manfrotto Gear Backpack in our March 2018 drone giveaway. You could have entered for your chance to win the Fat Shark 101 trainer and this backpack.
Lykus bags and cases
We met up with Lykus at InterDrone 2018, they had a range of bags and cases on hand, and we must admit that we were impressed. Particularly, the Lykus M1 backpack for the DJI Mavic 2 series and DJI Mavic Pro drones caught our eye. This is a sturdy backpack, the kind you can practically sit on without damaging your drone, and is well thought out. The compartments and storage options are designed for drones and pilots, able to handle most all of your accessory needs.
Check out the Lykus M1 backpack for $60 today.
Manfrotto MB BP-D1 backpack
If you are unfamiliar with the name, Manfrotto is a respected manufacturer of mid to high-end camera equipment. Nearly the entire Drone Rush, SoundGuys, and Android Authority team use one Manfrotto camera tripod or another. This distinction of quality carries over to their bag and backpack offerings, so much so that you will find Manfrotto bags for sale on the DJI website.
The Manfrotto MB BP-D1 backpack is my choice from their line, their thoughtfulness in the details and support for cameras won me over. I know that many of you are not as concerned with taking along a camera drone and a DSLR camera, but that’s how I shoot my video reviews for you folks, this Manfrotto bag is perfect for these needs.
A firmer padded backpack, for better protection, adjustable but molded compartment for your Phantom drone and compartments for all your accessories. Up top is a separate compartment for your DSLR camera, but of course, you could put your controller up there. Slide your laptop and tablet in the back and off you go.
Quality comes with a price, we really like Manfrotto backpacks, but we’d understand if the Manfrotto MB BP-D1 for $120 on Amazon is out of your price range.
Lowepro DroneGuard and QuadGuard
Lowepro makes a lot of bags, most are for cameras, but that’s a win for us, as most camera bags fit our favorite drones perfectly. Fold up that Mavic drone and slide it into a camera or lens slot and off you go. Of course, they have bags dedicated to drones as well. I won’t call on a specific bag this time, but check out the Lowepro DroneGuard series and the Lowerpro QuadGuard bags as well.
GPC (Go Professional Cases)
GPC, that’s Go Professional Cases, start with a waterproof, military grade shell, then carefully cut foam for an exact fit for your drone. They support many popular machines, particularly professional machines. We caught up with them at InterDrone 2017, they had an impressive display area, showing off more than just simple cases like these.
Check out the GPC Mavic Pro case for $119 today.
When it comes to hard cases, Pelican is one of the oldest and most trusted names around. There are many styles, sizes and capability options available, but we’re going to point you toward a larger but generic model. The 1650 provides internally about 28 x 17 inches rectangle at almost 11 inches deep.
Buying the non-specific models like this allows you to pluck the foam, you can make any design and layout you’d like. There is no fighting to make your drone fit in a Phantom formed slot, you make the rules with this one.
If we had to choose a single product from our list to be the most secure for your drone, this would be it. Remember how quality comes with a price? The wheeled Pelican 1650 is $290 on Amazon today. But please do your homework, find the right fit for your drones and accessories.
Bonus quick list:
- Monoprice hard cases are great and cost less.
- DJI Phantom 4 official backpack.
- DJI Mavic Pro shoulder bag.
- DJI Inspire 2 official carry case.
- Yuneec Typhoon 4K backpack.
Truth is, there are many, many viable bags, backpacks and cases to safely transport and store your drone. More than drone safety, a good bag provides convenience, keeping your accessories contained and organized, if nothing else. I will say just one thing, please take your time choosing the right bag.
I have six backpacks, three simple bags, including a large army duffel, and two hard cases that I bounce between – they all work, but none do it all. More important, most of my backpacks are made to carry a laptop, which is handy, but not entirely ideal for when there is a drone on board. Point is, choose your bag wisely, or you’ll end up buying more and more bags, like me.
What drone backpacks, cases or bags do you use to transport and store your drones?
Frequently Asked Questions
How many compartments do I need for my drone bag?
Please let your personal tastes determine the drone configuration you go with. At a minimum, we recommend keeping the drone in one compartment by itself, and the remote in another, alone or with some cables. Everything else can be lumped together, but you’ll find it best if you can safely stow extra parts, like propellers or backup cables, out of the way, and you may want to keep batteries separate as well. The key is to configure your bag so that everything is secure – you’ll likely be tossing that bag around a little, and watching it roll in the dirt while loading or unloading in the field.
How big of a drone bag do I need?
We recommend that you buy a bag that is a little bit bigger than you think you’ll need. This gives you room to grow with drones, adding more accessories, or even a larger drone in the future. A perfect fit for a drone system is always nice, keeping it clean and efficient, but don’t confuse concise for compact – I have a compact DSLR camera bag that I love, it was perfect when I had a smaller camera, but now that I’ve upgraded to a larger camera with larger lens, the top hatch for the camera compartment is a pain to work with. I should have ordered the bag one size up, then filled the empty space with light-weight, supportive filler to protect my gear.
Are the drone manufacturer bags good enough?
As always, there are pros and cons to any bag, but we’ve found that most bags supplied by drone manufacturers are pretty good. They do a good job of form-fitting to a specific drone, which is great for that drone, bu as we discussed, may mean you need a new bag when you buy a new drone. If a manufacturer bag looks to suit your needs, go for it, we’ve yet to see one that really failed in terms of quality.