Lowepro DroneGuard CS 400 Review
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The Lowepro DroneGuard CS 400 (Click here for US store) is the largest of the three backpacks in the CS series (see CS 300 & CS 200 here) and is designed to carry all DJI Phantom models, 3dr Solo and any other similarly sized camera drone/ quad copters. As Lowepro like to remind us, this series is “designed by pilots, for pilots”, which is clearly visible in the Lowepro CS 400. The bag features sufficient storage space for your basic drone needs, with room for spare props, batteries, charger and a number of other accessories. Its FormShell™ exterior makes this a sturdy and lightweight backpack ideal for transporting your drone safely from A to B. The Droneguard CS 400 retails at £110 (149.95 USD).
DroneGuard CS 400 Break Down
The CS 400’s exterior is constructed out for DroneGuard’s FormShell technology, which creates a strong and rigid structure. The bag features a grab handle at the top and two straps either side that are detachable. This gives you the option to carry it as either a backpack or a shoulder bag. Alternatively you could remove the straps all together and use the CS 400 purely as a drone case. One design element I really like is the way the bags interior can be used as a work space for repairs The curved edges of the bag mean that nothing will roll out, whilst the flat bottom provides the perfect work area.
Located at the front of the bag is a zip pocket that can be used to store smaller items such as a phone or wallet. Next to this is an elasticated ladder system that can be used to attach extra items to the CS 400. I really like this ladder system as it allows you to easily and quickly access tools you may need.
When you open the Lowepro DroneGuard CS 400 (UK), (US) , you are greeted with a nicely laid out design. Along the top of the back is another elasticated ladder system that can be used to store up to 8 propellers. If you are using a large drone such as the DJI Phantom 3, you may find that the propellers rub against the drone. Try to position the drone so that this doesn’t happen, if not try storing the props in a different section of the bag. Behind this is a zipper pouch that can be used to store things like a tablet or manual.
One thing that I should mention is that the Phantom 4 drone is a very tight fit in the DroneGuard CS 400. This means it is pressed against the side of the bag, so if it were to get knocked, it could possibly get damaged. If you have a Phantom 4, I would recommend using Lowepro Droneguard BP 450 AW as your drone backpack. I would also suggest always removing your propellers from your camera drone when storing your bag, as they can get bent if the bag were to take a big bump.
At either end of the Lowepro DroneGuard CS 400 are two slightly padded removable boxes that are used to store your drone accessories. The bottom box has a lid that can be zipped up and is used to store batteries. This also has an elasticated ladder system around it that can be used to store your tools. The box at the top is open and is used to store the drone’s controller. Unfortunately, these are not very well secured in the bag and you may find that become unattached if the bag is to be handled heavily. Lowepro seemed to have learnt from this mistake by using more Velcro in their BP 450 AW model. The two customisable DroneGuard dividers inside of the backpack allow the user to optimise space for their specific equipment. This means that if you have a number of different sized drones, you are able to alter the inside to fit them.
The exterior FormShell moulded foam provides the softness of a backpack with the rigid sturdiness of a case. The customisable DroneGuard dividers inside the back means that the drone is securely held in place at all times. As I mentioned earlier, this bag does not offer great protection for the Phantom 4 models, their motors are simply to big and will push against the side of the bag.
The padded back panel provides some level of comfort when carrying the LowePro DroneGuard CS 400, however I would not recommended this bag if you are looking to walk long distances with it, as it does not have supportive chest and waist straps. However, weighing 2.2kg (4.84 lbs) the DroneGuard is fairly light and wont weigh you down when walking with it.
One of the best things about the CS 400 is its price. Retailing at £110 (149.95 USD) it is a lot cheaper than some of the other bags out there.
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