Think Tank Photo Airport Helipak Review

I’ve come to realize that we here at Down to Drone have too many backpacks and bags laying around. They’re stuffed in closets, under desks, and in the trunks of our cars. However, when we first acquired a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ for review, we realized that we didn’t have a bag meant to carry this drone. So, we ended up using an old messenger bag we had laying around, but this was a sloppy option to say the least. The Think Tank Photo Airport Helipak is a lightweight, study backpack that will fit your Phantom 2 and Phantom 3, and it’s small enough in size to be considered carry-on luggage. If you’re planning on making a trek in an exotic locale, or want to hike up the face of a mountain, the Airport Helipak is a great choice to carry the Phantom and its accessories.

The Helipak measures 20.5 by 14 by 9 inches (HWD). It comes with a custom set of dividers to hold a Phantom drone with the rotors removed, spare batteries, the remote control, and charger. Four rubber caps are included which you use to protect the threads of the rotors. We were also able to store a point-and-shoot camera, or even a SLR in there as well. The front compartment is capable of carrying a 15-inch laptop, and there are zippered compartments to hold your tools, rotors, or other various items.

 

 

The case has a black exterior, which is has no decoration, just a small Think Tank logo. The bottoms is padded to provide protection for everything inside and it also provides comfort when it’s strapped to your back. The two arm straps are adjustable, which can also be connected at chest level using a clip. There’s also a padded waist belt, which helps it sit comfortably on your back.

The Think Tank bags are not cheap. However, many photographers are willing to spend a few extra bucks to ensure that their expensive gear will be protected. The zipper quality is excellent, and you won’t have to worry about using the bag in cold and wet weather. The outer fabric is water-resistant, and there’s an included blue colored rain cover you can use if you find yourself in a downpour, which folds nicely for storing inside the bad when not in use.

The Helipak is great to use as a carry-on bag for air travel. There’s enough padding to protect its contents from small drops, but I wouldn’t want to trust this bag in the hands of airport baggage handlers. If you’re looking for a more durable and tough bag, you may want to consider a hard shell model like the Go Professional XB-DJI-Vision-W.

The Helipak’s design will give you more options than a hard case due to the pre-cut foam insert. You have the option of using a different set of dividers if you want to, and then the pack can be used as a carrying case for a camera kit. Removing the dividers entirely is also an option, and then you can use it for a weekend road trip.  On the side of the bag you’ll also find a pocket for a water bottle and handles located on the side and top for carrying the bag by hand.

Think Tank makes one other bag for carrying a Phantom, the Airport Accelerator. However, you’ll need a custom divider kit to use it properly. The Accelerator bag is about the same size, but it’s also able to hold a 17-inch laptop and there’s an included side pocket that can be used for carrying a travel tripod. So, if you’re looking for a dual-purpose bag that can hold your photo gear one minute and your drone the next, it may be worth spending the extra money.

Having a dedicated pack for a DJI Phantom 2 or 3 drone, is a hard thing to pass up. It’s a well-designed, high quality backpack that fits the drone perfectly, and still has room for tools, accessories, a smaller camera, and a tablet or laptop. The strap system makes it very comfortable to carry, even for long treks when it’s loaded with the aircraft. So if you’re the owner of a Phantom and are shopping for a carrying case for your drone, you should definitely not overlook the Think Tank Photo Airport Helipak.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL WHAT FITS EXTERIOR MATERIALS INTERIOR MATERIALS
Internal Dimensions: 13” W x 18.8” H x 7.6” D (33 × 47.8 × 19.3cm) Space for DJI Phantom 1, 2, 3 or 4 Durable water-repellant (DWR) coating Closed cell foam dividers
Exterior Dimensions: 14” W x 20.5” H x 9” D (35.6 x 52.1 x 22.9 cm) Wi-Fi range extender Polyurethane coating 210D silver-toned nylon
Laptop: 11.8” W x 17.3” H x 1.4” D (30 × 44 × 3.5cm) Charger 1680D ballistic nylon Polyurethane backed velex liner & dividers
Weight: 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg) With all accessories Controller YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) zippers 2x polyurethane coated nylon 210T seam-sealed rain cover
GoPros® 1680D ballistic nylon bottom panel Belly O mesh pockets
17” laptop 420D velocity nylon 3-ply bonded nylon thread
Spare rotors 600D polyester
Extra batteries 3D air mesh
Up to a 7” LCD Monitor Big hole air mesh
Honeycomb mono mesh
Ultra-stretch pockets
Y-buckles
Antique nickel-plated metal hardware
Nylon webbing
3-ply bonded nylon thread

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