Think Tank Photo Accelerator Phantom 2 Backpack

2014-10-11 19.57.31

We have been on the lookout for the best way to transport our Phantom 2’s for a while now. It seems the only choices have been large hard cases like the HPRC or GoProfessional, mostly really cheap backpacks, or specialty backpacks that never seem to have enough room in them. As a photographer, I have been using Think Tank Photo camera bags for many years now after I realized I was buying cheap bags almost every year. Once I switched to Think Tank Photo bags, I never needed to replace them again. So I fired off an message to my friends over there and asked for something designed for the DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter (my primary flying camera). A month later and they just announced a divider kit for their Airport Accelerator backpack. After getting my hands on one, I fell in love with it almost immediately.

_DSC0154You Get What You Pay For

As I said before, I used to go through camera bags every year. The handles or straps would break, zippers would break, the material couldn’t handle wear an tear. At $50 – $100 a year in bags, it didn’t take long to realize I might be better off with a top quality camera bag that would last for a few years or more.

Such is the same with this backpack. At a total cost of about $369 it is the most expensive backpack for the Phantom 2 quadcopter you are likely to find. On the other hand, it is highly likely that you will go through a few Phantoms before going through the backpack.

I learned a long time ago that when you pay for top quality, you really do get what you pay for and it can end up being a cost savings over time.

_DSC0159Features

What separates Think Tank Photo bags from other brands is their total obsession with quality.  From top-notch material to high quality zippers, to little details that you find everywhere.  These guys don’t just toss something together, you can tell a lot of thought goes into every product. The Airport Accelerator backpack has a two zippered sections of front, a small one in front for those things you need to get to all the time (tools, props, batteries, cables, etc) and a larger pocket that easily fits everything from an iPad to a 17″ laptop. Super heavy duty handles on the top and side make grabbing and running comfortable and secure.

_DSC0158On the rear are very well padded straps with D-rings on both sides. Plenty of padded on the back makes the whole thing very comfortable to carry.

The backpack is a pretty good size and can pack a lot of gear, so it can get pretty heavy and a little awkward, but its a trade-off. You could have a more hiking style backpack that might be easier to hike up a hill or across country with, but it won’t be as compact and easy to take on a plane as a carry-on. You have to make compromises somewhere in the design and I think Think Tank Photo strikes a great balance.

A feature that is on most all of the Think Tank Photo bags is an integrated TSA-compliant lock. One side is firmly secured into the bag itself and a cable is long enough to secure your bag to some immovable object. The zipper handles have large enough holes that you can easily get a lock you can use to lock up your contents.

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The Accelerator backpack itself comes with a fantastic set of dividers that help organize your photography gear. The Phantom 2 divider kit is an add-on that replaces all of the existing dividers with a set designed specifically to house the Phantom.

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In my bag, I have a Phantom 2 H3-3D, Black Pearl monitor, 2 extra batteries, battery charger, antennas, cables, 3 sets of props, all of my tools, accessories, and common spart parts, and there is still a lot of unused space.

On the inside of the lid are three large zippered compartments for even more storage.

Summary

_DSC0155It’s pretty likely already that you can tell that I am a huge fan of this setup.  Yes, I get it, it’s expensive, over $100 more than an HPRC hard case.  Sure, that’s a big chunk of change and possibly outside of many people’s budget for a case. However, if you want the best, a travel case that is going to stand the test of time, that is going to be able to take day to day travel through whatever you can throw at it, and still allow you to easily carry it to a location, then the choice is pretty obvious.  I know some people are going to argue my position on this, but I have tried a handful of different backpacks and none come close to the quality, features, and space that the Think Tank Photo Accelerator kit has.

Think Tank Photo
http://thinktankphoto.com

KerryG

Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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