I fly drones for both work and play. Whether flying for fun or paying the bills, keeping track of all the drone gear is important. Hard cases work well for some situations, but a backpack is easier to carry around. Think Tank makes great photography bags and they also make the Airport Helipak V2.0 for drones. This backpack went through about 3 months of testing with flying colors, and I like it a lot.
The DJI Phantom series and other similarly sized drones fit inside the Airport Helipak V2.0 with ease. Think Tank made the backpack to be carry-on compatible for both U.S. domestic or international airline travel. If you need to check the bag, the hip belt is removable. You don’t have to worry about that getting snagged and damaged along the way. Think Tank produced a product video (click here) and they mention the bag is designed more for travel purposes.
Storage in the Think Tank Airport Helipak V2.0 is excellent. I fit all my drone gear in the bag easily. For me, that includes a Phantom 4 Pro, the remote, eight propellers, the multi-battery charger and cables, lens filters, four batteries, a car charger, an iPad, the iPad sunshade, a landing pad, and miscellaneous extras.
Instead of cut foam, a Velcro divider system organizes gear in the backpack. The Think Tank system maximizes the storage space in the backpack and increases the versatility of the bag. Carrying regular photo gear with the drone is no problem and Think Tank even put a pocket and strap to hold a tripod on the side of the bag. I don’t carry a lot of other photography equipment with the drone, but if you do, there’s plenty of room for that.
On the front cover of the Airport Helipak V2.0 is a large sleeve pocket with a Velcro top flat closure. My folded landing pad fits in there great along with the iPad sunshade, but a 17-inch laptop will fit there as well. Zippered pockets on the inside of the top flap make great places to store propellers, cables, and paperwork.
Nicely padded shoulder straps on the Airport Helipak V2.0 are comfortable, and webbing forms a daisy chain to the front of the shoulder straps, so you can clip gear on for easy access. An adjustable sternum strap is provided. The back of the Airport Helipak is pretty flat but nicely padded. A center channel provides some airflow and a bit thicker lumbar pad adds to the comfort. Handles on the top and bottom of the pack make it easy to get a good grip and move the pack around.
Think Tank used quality zippers and material in the construction of the backpack. A DWR coating on the outside handles light rain but Think Tank includes a seam-sealed rain cover for heavy downpours. The YKK zippers are high quality and they have large metal zipper pulls. Stitching is great and the bag feels nice and sturdy.
The Think Tank Airport Helipak V2.0 weighs 4 pounds 9 ounces on my scales and that includes the hip belt and rain cover. The outside of the pack measures 13.6 inches wide by 19.7 inches high by 9.3inches deep. The backpack will stand upright on its bottom when you set it down and that is something I really like.
The Think Tank Airport Helipak V2.0 sells for $ 199.75 on the Think Tank website. This is a good pack for traveling through airports and it will work well for day trips into remote places with your drone. The suspension system isn’t a robust as a full-on backpacking setup but that’s not needed for the way most people will use this bag. There’s plenty of storage space and the organization system is customizable. Click HERE to visit the Think Tank website.
Thanks to ThinkTank for sending out the Airport Helipak V2.0 for testing and review. We have to live on a budget too and being able to write these honest reviews hopefully benefits everyone.