Choosing a sensible backpack for transporting your drone around is such a valuable addition to your kit. My backpack has allowed me to carry my drone, the controller, a DSLR, an action cam, and spare blades deep into the Australian bush in comfort. There I have been able to get some spectacular shots – all while carrying everything I need on my back.
I love backpacks, pockets, and organises so I’ve spent a fair number of hours researching the best backpacks for carrying around my gear – I haven’t found anything as well thought through as the Peak Design Everyday Backpack.
In this article we are going to go over the top for backpacks that I think you should consider if you are in the market for the best drone backpack. Of course, your exact use case will be different from mine and you will have to make sure that you are purchasing a drone backpack which best meets how you want to use your drone. Irrespective of which one you choose there are some aspects that I will go through in the buyers guide at the end of the article so you can be aware of all of the features that you should pay careful attention to.
If you are in a hurry here is my top pick for the best drone backpack currently available:
My pick for drone backpack:
Peak Design Everyday Backpack (20L)
I absolutely have not regretted this purchase for carrying my drone and other camera gear. I have travelled all around Europe with this bag and this is why I love it:
- 20L is a perfect size – I thought that I would regret getting the smaller version of this bag but it really has helped me decide what I need to take on a shoot and also makes sure that I don’t have a sore back at the end of the day.
- It has so many pockets – a LOAD of pockets. I carry everything from spare batteries, memory cards, pens, pocket knives and I’ve still got pockets to spare. The array of different sizes are also amazingly suited to everything that I want to carry. They really did think of everything!
- It has a dedicated laptop space – Everywhere I go I carry my MSI 13-inch gaming laptop. I use it for editing, motion graphics, and admin. Having a dedicated soft space of it makes it easy to travel with and whipping it out quickly to do some work is perfect. It also has a small slot of a tablet in the same area – I use it to carry my e-reader! If you have a larger laptop you 100% need the next size bag up.
- The versatility of straps and dividers – I’ve trialled about 50 different divider orientations so that I could find the perfect space designation as my gear grows. You can also strap stuff on the sides and front of the bag – which I’ve used for jackets and roll mats. If it doesn’t fit in the bag – it’ll be secure on the outside of the bag.
- Straps on the outside – I absolutely love the fact that if I can’t carry everything inside my backpack that I can in fact strap it to the outside with ease. This bag comes with straps for holdings underneath the back I have used to carry a wet coat when I didn’t want to put it in my bag as well as a rolled up Matt for sitting on the floor while I was picnicking. I just love this bag!
- It keeps my gear safe – being able to divide the bag into perfectly sized compartments gives me a load of confidence that my expensive gear is safe! I can never hear things banging together and the soft interior helps too!
- Loads of accessories – need clips and other pouches- this bag has so many more things you can buy and it all works incredibly well together.
- Amazing warranty – I bought one because my friend bought one. His zipper broke – they sent him a brand new bag even before he’d been able to send off his old one! I also emailed asking a couple of questions about warranty of second-hand bags and as long as it is a peak design original – they’ll sort out your issues!
- It looks good – to me this is one of the least important factors but a factor nonetheless. Other camera bags look like a military bag and it LOOKs like it has a camera or drone in it. This simply doesn’t. I’ve also used this as my everyday carry with no camera or drone and it doesn’t look out of place in the slightest.
Peak Design Everyday Backpack
The peak design everyday backpack has been one of the best purchases that I have made in the backpack arena. It is a product that isn’t specifically made for drones and that’s why I think I love it.
You see, for me, I needed something that would fit the way that I wanted to use my drone. I needed to carry my drone alongside other everyday essentials like laptops, cameras, USB drives, paperwork, multi-tools, charges, and other necessary everyday items. And I found that a dedicated drone backpack just didn’t give me the versatility that I needed to carry around some of the other aspects of my life.
It was a friend who first put me on to peak design and I didn’t look back. The one thing I love about this drone is the fact that the dividers provide an unbelievable versatility which allows me to configure the backpack for exactly how I want it. There is no doubt that I spent a couple of hours being obsessively involved in repositioning each and every divider so that I was able to carry everything that I wanted to carry, it was safe and secure, and also it provided a nice even distribution of weight when it was on my back.
The peak design everyday backpack is the best decision you could make if you want your drone to be part of your everyday life rather than the front and centre of your bag’s purpose.
Here is a video which highlights all of the awesome aspects of the everyday backpack that I love:
Oregon Professional Camera/Drone Backpack
- Compact and flexible size-H38xL22xW12.5, example fits 1 mirrorless camera, 1 DJI Mavic Pro drone and accessories
- 6 kinds of Pockets-Main compartment + Top compartment + Top inner zip mesh pocket + Back stash safety pocket + 2 built-in memory-card pockets + Bottom rain cover pocket
- Lightning Strap-over wide(8cm), super padded(1.5cm) sling strap for greatly reducing shoulder pressure. Up-down, long-short adjustable chest buckle strap for fleetly swinging around in seconds to open and use the camera.
- Protected Matrial-filling thicken foam around whole bag and removable foam dividers for best protection, outer matrial and rain cover is water-repellant
What I like about this bag:
- Cool design
- Side opening
- Airport friendly
What I don’t like about this bag:
- Thin shoulder straps
Mosiso Backpack (https://amzn.to/3slCX57)
- Dimension:17.32×11.8×7.5 inch. 2 compartments included. Padded removable modular inserts in the upper one (16.54×11.42×5.5 inch) is customized dividers for different cameras, flashes, lens and drones. Another one (16.93×10.63×1.58 inch) is compatible with 2019 MacBook Pro 16 with Touch Bar.
- Full open design. 2 accessory pockets on the back face can store cables, SD cards, power bank and other small items. Tripod/monopod holder is featured with 1 secure strap on one bag side. 1 pocket on another side can store umbrella or water bottle (up to maximum 2.5 diameter). 1 anti-theft pocket is designed on the back for your wallet, cellphone and precious items.
- With waterproof hard-shell protection in front. Super foam padded layer can provide best buffer and protection to your internal stuff against shock and drops. High elastic back cushion can ease your pain after long time take.
- Padded shoulder strap varied from 17.72 to maximum 39.4 inch can be adjusted per personal preference. Clip strap featured on the shoulder strap can hang sunglasses, eyeglasses, towels and clothes. 1 durable handle is also designed to meet different demand. Back trolley belt makes it convenient during the trip. Perfect for men and women – camera enthusiasts.
- This multifunctional camera bag is professionally designed for DSLR / SLR / Mirrorless cameras of different brands. Compatible with Nikon D5600, D5300, D3500, D3400, D3300, D3200; Canon EOS Rebel T6, T6i, SL2 and other standard-size DSLRs. Also designed to be compatible with DJI Mavic Drone (Mavic 2/Air/Pro).
- 1 year warranty on each bag.
What I like about this bag:
- Functional dividers
- Waterproof/water resistant
- Laptop compartment
What I don’t like about this bag:
- Rigid form factor
- One way to open
- Boring design
Lowepro DroneGuard (BP 450)
- Fits DJI Phantoms or 3DR Solo, up to 10-inch tablet, props, battery, RC/transmitter, cables, manual, tools, and other essentials (like sunglasses, flashlight, light jacket, keys, smartphone).
- Customize the pack for a secure gear fit and optimized workflow with our modular Drone Guard interiors.
- An ActivZone suspension provides breathable and supported comfort with a perforated EVA back panel, contoured shoulder straps, sternum strap and hip belt.
- Form Shell armored construction provides a structured frame, protecting the gear inside, and a Form Shell molded top pocket offers easy access to sunglasses, headphones and other essentials. Molded and removable battery boxes keep critical gear organized.
- A built-in All Weather AW Cover may be deployed from a zippered pocket at bottom of pack for extra protection from rain, snow, dust and sand.
What I like about this bag:
- Extra weather cover
- Made specifically for a certain type of drone
- Pull out cases
What I don’t like about this bag:
- Not versatile
- One opening
Best drone backpack – Bag buying guide
There are so many options for different types of bags online that it can be very confusing to choose the best option for you. Of course, you can also choose to buy a camera bag rather than a drone bag which then increases your options almost exponentially. With new banks being produced all the time by different manufacturers it can be also hard to keep up with the latest trend in bag technology.
In this section we are going to go over all of the options that I think are incredibly important for choosing a bag that will suit how you want to use it and mean that you have no buyers remorse. The most important thing that you should consider before you start looking at bags is how you want to use it.
How you want to use it
How you want to use your bag will determine what sort of features you will prioritise. It is very unlikely that you will find a bag that completely encompasses everything that you know, love and want in a bag but, by prioritising what is important to you, you can get very close with the amount of options that are available nowadays.
If you are using your drone bag for professional purposes, then you will require something that is a little bit more rugged than usual. You will also prioritise padding and protection of your drone and the accessories as you will be carrying your drone more often than most people.
If you are a professional you will also be carrying a load of batteries and charging cables with you so having enough extra pockets beyond the pockets or places to accommodate a drone will be very important. Here, are the things that you may want to consider for a drone bag if you are a professional photographer with a drone offering:
- Protection – if you are regularly carrying your equipment out and about you are going to want to prioritise the amount of protection that your bag provides for your drone.
- Spaces for accessories – if you’re a professional you’re going have to carry everything that you need, or potentially will need, to get the job done. Lots of pockets and extra places to store batteries etc will make a bag perfect for you.
- Quality construction – you may have to pay a little bit more for a good quality bag with zips that will withstand the regular opening and closing of the bag.
- Comfortable straps – you may be carrying a lot of equipment to and from work sites therefore having thick and comfortable padded straps will make the transport of your drone and its accessories much more comfortable and convenient.
- Space for laptop – some jobs will potentially require on site editing and having a good, padded space for a laptop will mean that you can carry everything you need in one bag.
These are the things that I think are important if you are a professional drone operator now, let’s look at the requirements if you are a hobby drone flyer.
If you are a hobby drone flier you probably only need to carry your drone out and about on weekends or evenings rather than with you all the time. In this instance you are going to be able to purchase a mid-range bag as the zips and fasteners are not going to be used as often as a professional photographer.
Protection in storage and being dust proof is something that will be a priority for someone that isn’t going to be using their drone as often as other people. Here are the other things that I think a hobby drone flyer should worry about in their drone backpack:
- Cost – your drone bag doesn’t have to be the most expensive on the market and you don’t necessarily need to buy very rugged bags. Balancing how much you will be using the bag with the price is going to be an important factor.
- Dust proof – it is likely that your drone will sit for a while in its case before uses. Making sure that no dust will be able to get into the bag via the top or sides is going to be an important factor.
- Complete storage of drone and accessories – I like to keep all of my drone items together in one bag. I also love it that that bag could hold everything else including accessories that I rarely use just so that it is all kept in one place.
Balancing these three items will make sure that your purchase is one that you do not regret. There is another category of user which I fell into when I first bought drone which is the everyday drone flyer.
When I first order drone I bought it because I was filming and everyday vlog for my LinkedIn social media profile. That meant that I used to carry my drone everywhere with me. Not only did my bag To accommodate the drone but I also have to carry with me everything I required for my day at the office. This included laptops, a mouse, jacket, drink and lunchbox, as well as another camera for my vlogging activities.
This is why I ended up choosing the peak design everyday backpack. It was just so perfect for how I wanted to use the bag and also provided me with a bag I could use if I wasn’t carrying a drone at the same time.
I love the way it looked and I was happy to pay a little bit more for the bag than other manufacturers because it was recommended to me by a good friend. After that recommendation I did not look back and found a secondhand bag which was lightly used online.
As the beginning of this article highlights I was very happy with my purchase!
Clearly, your use case is going to differ from mine but hopefully the above categories will make sure that you focus in on the most important aspects for your specific circumstances.
The next aspect that you need to consider is whether or not you need a large bag. I used to be of the opinion that you should buy the biggest bag possible and I started looking at 30 L bags. However, the one thing I realised is that a bigger bag also means that I could be carrying things I don’t really need.
Therefore, I went for a 20 L bag and I was very happy at the size that I chose. Choosing a bigger bag isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you need to carry more things than the average person. Having a big bulky bag can also just not feel as comfortable as a smaller bag.
A 20 L bag is perfect for everyday carry. I found that this is enough to fit everything I need for my daily life whilst also encouraging me to pack light. I have also used this size bag whilst travelling and I have found that it is the perfect size for overhead lockers whilst travelling in an aeroplane.
In my peak design everyday 20 L backpack there are also straps which means that if I do need to carry something a little bit more than what can fit in my bag I can strap it to the outside with no issue. A fantastic innovation! Other bags may have meshes and other elastic fixtures on the outside where you can store items that don’t fit (or you don’t want inside) in the bag.
My first reaction when purchasing a bag is to go for the biggest one possible. In both instances in my recent bag buying endeavours I have decided that the smaller option was better. 30 L of space is a lot of space and unless you are carrying a lot of camera equipment (big lenses and extra accessories) there are not many people that really require 30 L or more of space.
30 L of space can be used by professionals quite easily if they are carrying around heavy and expensive gear as well as all of the accessories that go with flying a drone.
Versatility is a very important aspect for choosing a bag. If you buy a bag which is specifically designed to carry your model of drone what happens if you change your drone? It would be annoying to have to purchase a whole new bag for a whole new drone.
Also, sometimes you may not want to carry your drone in the bag at all. Perhaps you want to carry more camera equipment all you want to use it for an every day purpose which has nothing to do with cameras or drones.
The one thing I love about every bagpipe buyer is that it has got removable compartments and pockets which means that I can carry a whole range of stuff and reconfigure the bag as I need it. I am not ashamed to say that I will happily spend a couple of hours working out the perfect orientation and configuration of the dividers in my bag.
Padding for gear
Having the appropriate amount of padding for the gear that you are going to carry is very important. Some bags have very thin dividers which do not protect against knocks or bumps. This is necessarily a problem if your equipment comes in its own protective case.
I also like to check the walls of the bag and the floor of the bag as is that is where the majority of the contact with the environment is going to happen. If there is not much padding I will move the dividers so that there is a little bit of gap between the outside edge of the bag and my equipment.
There are two types of straps on your bag I think you need to be worried about. Firstly, the straps that go over your shoulders and around your waist to carry the equipment in the bag. You need to check to see how padded these straps are and also how wide they are. The wider they are the more comfortable they will be under heavy loads.
Another aspect I think a lot of people overlook is how easy it is to crumple up the shoulder pads. Even though some companies produce wide shoulder straps they easily crumble and fold under a heavy load placing more weight on a smaller area of your body.
The second type of strap are the straps on the outside of the bag which allow you to strap things externally. These can sometimes look like elastic bungee cord and sometimes are mesh or can be tucked into the bag. I like to avoid bags with unnecessary amounts of bungee cord on the outside as I find this is the first thing that perishes and looks bad. Often however it is easy to replace if want to go through the hassle.
I like to see a sturdy strap on the outside of my bag for things like tripods, landing pads, water bottles, and other accessories.
Weight and weight distribution
When I’m choosing about I like to have a look at the inside and check to see that all of the components are evenly distributed throughout the bag. For example you want heavier objects at the base of the bag and therefore you need space to accommodate them. If your bag has a multitude of dividers this is something that you can control by the way you layout your back. For other bag types you need to make sure that there is enough space for heavy items to be positioned at the bottom.
The smaller components such as electrical cables can be stored in the sides and you need to make sure that there is an even distribution of pockets on the left and right hand side and that any larger or heavier accessories (like battery banks) can be evenly distributed on either side of the bag.
Having more pockets gives you more options to see evenly spread the weight.
As you are travelling through airports with x-ray machines, they often ask you to take out your laptop or any other electronic items. I like to choose a bag where the laptop is easily available, and some manufacturers even include an airport drop down to store your laptop.
Also, you should make sure that your bag is able to be stored in the overhead lockers if you travel regularly with your bag for work.
Warranty on product
one of the last things that you should consider is the warranty on the product you’re about to buy. A lot of bag manufacturers do not offer any sort of warranty (beyond that stipulated by your country’s consumer goods law) and just ask that you replace the bag if there’s any issues.
However, if you are going for a premium bag there are many companies which offer a full warranty and I was absolutely amazed by the complete replacement of my friends every day Peter designed backpack when one of those it stopped working. They even sent him out a newer version of the bag before he’d even sent it back to them. Incredible!
If you are buying a cheaper bag that is not necessarily a problem but you should check the warranty if you are deciding to spend more than a couple hundred dollars on a bag.
The best drone backpack depends heavily on what you want to do with it and how you are going to use the bag. Go through all of the options that I’ve talked about above and make sure that you focus on the aspects that are most important to you.
Buying a drone bag can be confusing as there are so many options but by looking at only the most important aspects for you, you’ll be on the right track to making a brilliant purchasing decision!