- Can hold a lot of stuff
- Well thought out bag
- High quality materials, nice zippers, durable
- Easy to see see-through compartments
- A light bag when empty
- Overhead compartment carry on item on airplane
- Somewhat big – not a personal item on the plane (cannot fit under seat in front of you)
- Doesn’t have gimbal/camera protector sponge (must use the gimbal clamp that came with drone)
- Will look a bit big on shorter people
- Not a hard shell case
Who’s it for?
- Those who want to carry all gear in one bag
- Traveling shooters who have already checked in their clothes
- Those who will hike or ride a bike during the day.
- Those who will take this on a plane as an overhead and have clothes in a personal item bag.
Who it’s not for?
- Those who want to take this on the plane as an personal item
- Those who want to travel light
Retailing at $240, the Airport Helipak, made by camera bag veteran Think Tank Photo, is a well designed and thought out bag that will fit most dronethusiasts' needs. I have a few of their other bags/accessories for my Canon gear and they always seem to be well thought out. Think Tank, in my book, is a company that strikes a perfect balance between utilitarian and good looks, a combination that is not common in the world of photography.
Design – of all the cases and bags out there, this probably holds the most amount of stuff for the size. It can comfortably hold:
1. A Phantom 3
2. 6 Batteries
3. 4 Chargers including two SMA Tree chargers that can charge 3 at a time
4. DJI Osmo with X3 Camera
5. DJI Osmo with Spare Batteries
6. Macbook Pro 15in
7. A point and shoot Camera
8. iPad Mini or iPad Air
9. 2 small drinks or 1 larger drink
10. Filters, props and other accessories
The bag has moveable dividers held by Velcro to fit numerous other combinations.
The zippers have big teeth/wider track and are much better than the ones you find on regular bookbags and bags from other companies such as Lowepro. They seem very durable and are a pleasure to use. The outer shell is a hard plastic you would find in a suitcase, but most likely lighter and stronger.
The bag itself is quite light and when not filled to the brim, makes for a perfect bag to take to the beach, on a hike, and walking around town.
The transparent pockets are a nice addition and easily lets you see what’s in them, saving you time. There are also numerous small pockets in the front near the laptop compartment.
Comfort - The bag is well padded in the right places and is relatively comfortable to wear, even with all the equipment. Without extraneous stuff such as a 15 in laptop or chargers, you can easily wear this for several hours.
Looks – overall, it’s simple minimalistic design fares well. It’s big, so it won’t be a fashion accessory but considering how it gets the job done, and done so well, that can be overlooked. The only thing I would change is having the phantom design on the bottom of the bag so it gives “weight” to the bottom and more negative space up top. Then they could’ve made a thin flexible pocket, for magazines, maps, or brochures for quick non-zippered access. They did this quite well on their Airport Security suitcases.
Durability – Strong zippers and high quality materials should reflect the durability I’ve seen in their previous products. The bag should last for a long time, and I wouldn’t mind checking it in every now and then.
Conclusion: I highly recommend this bag, especially to those who are looking for a smartly designed bag that can fit all of your essential equipment. The only drawback is that it’s not a hard case, so it won’t offer the maximum level of protection, but it’s not a big deal because you’re not going to check it in anyway. Think Tank photo has hit this one out of the ballpark again and I will be safe to say that I’ll be keeping and using this.