Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack Review – The Best DJI Phantom Backpack?
Manfrotto D1 Overview
The Manfrotto Aviator D1 backpack was released back in 2015 and is the first model in Manfrotto’s Aviator collection, intended to safely carry the DJI Phantom models alongside a lot of equipment.
The D1 is designed for drone pilots who are on the go and wish to bring their DSLR equipment with them. Not only does it offer a large amount of storage space, it comes at an incredibly low weight of 1.9kg, perfect for covering long distances. The Aviator D1 retails for £159.95 (199 USD).
In my opinion, the Manfrotto D1 is the best backpack for DJI’s Phantom models.
Manfrotto Aviator D1 Pro's & Cons
Manfrotto D1 Main Features
- Interchangeable Dividers– Both modular and easy to use, these dividers allow you to custom fit the inside of your bag around your gear by creating the exact size compartment for your gear.
- Water Repellant– A specially applied coating to the fabric which keeps resistant to moisture.
- External Tripod Connections– This bag comes with the option and proper connections to attach your tripod externally.
- Tablet Compartment– Dedicated compartment for tablet.
- RainProtector-Included fold out protector which when installed creates a barrier between the wet outside and dry inside of your bag.
- Laptop Compatible– Protect your laptop during transport in the compartment.
Manfrotto D1 Backpack Review
This backpack has an array of excellent features, making this one of the best bags on the market. The D1 comes in the traditional Manfrotto black with red trimmings, which works spectacularly as always.
Manfrotto actually received a honourable mention at the Red Dot Awards in 2016 for their design of the Aviator D1.
The quick carry feature on the Manfrotto Aviator D1 allows the pilot to easily get out or put away their camera drone.
The front of the bag has a zip, which can be opened to place the drone inside.
The body rests inside the backpack, which is fastened to the bag with a clip, the propellers popping out of the sides.
This feature is great for those who need to change location quickly or just can’t be bothered to take the propellers off.
The Aviator Backpack has an external tripod hook that secures the tripod to the outside of the bag. This is perfect for those of you who are looking to get some still shots from the ground to complement your aerial footage.
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The Manfrotto D1 has fantastic storage space for your drone accessories, so if you are planning on bringing a lot of equipment with you, this could be your ideal bag.
The D1 has a selection of cleverly placed compartments all over the bag, for example there are pockets stitched into the inside of the backpack that can be used for propellers and batteries.
Note that the battery compartments are designed for the Phantom 3 drones, however the Phantom 4 batteries can be placed in other sections of the backpack.
There is a specific controller compartment located at the top of the bag; again the Phantom 4 controller is a much tighter fit than the Phantom 3’s, the antenna of the P4 controller presses slightly against the bag when it is zipped up.
If you have a DJI Phantom 4 Drone – this shouldn’t put you off buying the D1, just something to bear in mind.
I've also heard that when an iPad mount is attached, it will struggle to fit (comment below if your iPad mount fits the D1).
The Manfrotto Aviator has 3 removable semi-circular sections that the drone rests between; these are then attached to the bag with Velcro to prevent them from moving around.
There is a section located at the top of the bag that is able to fit a small to medium sized DSLR, this will struggle to fit larger DSLR’s such as the Canon 5D.
There is really no shortage of storage with the Manfrotto D1, which is great as with some other bags you can only bring the bare essentials.
Located at the back of the bag is a compartment that fits both a laptop up to 17” and an iPad. Being able to bring both a tablet and a laptop is a fantastic feature that really shows the thought Manfrotto put into designing this bag.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_cta h2=”The Manfrotto Aviator D1 Can Typically Fit:”]
- 1 Medium sized drone (all phantom models)
- 3 Batteries (if 1 is inside drone)
- 1 DSLR
- 2 Lenses
- Laptop (up to 17”)
- Cables + Charger
- Spare propellers
It seems as though most of the thinking behind the Aviator D1 went into optimising its space rather than protection.
Don’t get me wrong this is a sturdy backpack that will keep your drone safe in most situations; I just wouldn’t be sitting on it any time soon.
The Manfrotto D1 Backpack also comes with a fold out rain protector to keep your equipment safe in wet conditions.
As an added safety measure, Manfrotto have added water resistant coating to the fabric, so if you’ve just spent a ton of money on a DJI Phantom 4, you don’t need to worry about being caught out in the rain.
The Aviator D1 has a waist and chest strap, which comes in extremely handy when covering long distance by foot with all of your equipment.
Considering the size of the bag and amount of storage space, Manfrotto Backpack is extremely lightweight.
The backpack itself only weighs and around 1.9kg, which is significantly lower than its main rival, the Lowepro DroneGuard BP 450 Backpack (2.8kg).
Despite being lightweight, it’s still large, meaning that it may not fit as your carryon luggage on all airlines. Check out this guide to hand luggage sizes.
At the time of writing this review, the D1 backpack currently retails for $119, which admittedly seems a large investment, but when considering the amount you most likely spent on your drone, this is definitely worth it.
Value for money wise, this is a great deal. You can’t go wrong with a reliable brand like Manfrotto, plus the amount space for equipment makes this a no brainer.
|Drone model||All DJI Phantom Models|
|Types of Gear||Drone, DSLR|
|Number of Lenses||2|
|Storage for personal items||Yes|
|Material||Nylon, RipStop, Synthetic Fabric|
|External Height||56 cm|
|External Length||34 cm|
|External Width||23 cm|
Manfrotto D1 Review Round Up
So what do you think? Is the Manfrotto D1 the best backpack for DJI’s phantom models? Comment your thoughts below!
We hope you found our Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack Review helpful, if you would like even more information then you can check out the Manfrotto Website.
You can also check out our other drone backpack reviews here.