Review: Manfrotto D1 Backpack for DJI Phantom – updated after 6 months of use

Manfrotto MB BP-D1 DJI Professional Video Equipment Cases Drone Backpack (Black)
Manfrotto MB BP-D1 DJI Professional Video Equipment Cases Drone Backpack (Black)

Review of the Manfrotto D1 Backpack for DJI Phantom

As there has been quite a bit of buzz about the Manfrotto D1 Backpack for DJI Phantom on Facebook we decided to pick one up for review several months ago. If you came here looking for another backpack check our review section or our accessories page instead.

The Manfrotto D1 Backpack is the first model released in Manfrotto’s Aviator collection. This is a new concept of bags that has specifically been designed by Manfrotto to carry different DJI Phantom models with their accessories. And now we can say they do a great job of that and that they are well made.

It’s a well-designed backpack and Manfrotto has, as always, paid a lot of attention to details. Good stitching, quality zippers,comfortable straps and a well designed back frame. After 6 months of intensive use we wouldn’t have been surprised to see see some signs of wear and tear. But the Manfrotto backpack is holding up very nicely.

Manfrotto MB BP-D1 DJI Professional Video Equipment Cases Drone Backpack (Black)The Manfrotto D1 backpack has space for both a DJI Phantom quadcopter as well as a DSLR with lens. It’s even possible to carry additional lenses (depending on size) in the DSLR compartment. If you’re a photographer who uses prime lenses (especially the wider ones) you’ll be able to fit several of them quite comfortably.

The D1 also has a secure external tripod connection making it a perfect fit for on the go photographers. Or, for those who want to combine regular footage with aerial footage.

Aside from that the D1 also has a laptop slot. Great if your planning to go on a longer trip, or if you have to do some quick on-site editing. The laptop slot (for a laptop up to 17″) even has an additional integrated compartment to store a tablet or iPad. So you know that’ll be safe during transport as well.

If you’re not a photographer but you are somebody who likes to hike then the DSLR compartment is a great place for storing snacks, water, etc.

The Manfrotto D1 backpack‘s main compartment’s layout provides plenty of space. It comfortably holds the DJI Phantom, the remote controller, 2 extra batteries, propellers, cables and the charger.

So if you keep one battery in the DJI Phantom, you can bring a total of 3 batteries. Even more if you use the leftover space, non compartment-ed space . Quick side note: the battery sleeves in our D1 are not made for the Phantom 4 batteries. You can squeeze them in, more or less, but they won’t fit properly. They’ve stretched a bit over time which has made it better but not perfect. That said, newer models of the backpack might have the sleeves adjusted.

All this space does make The D1 a bit large (ext dim: 56cm-22.05in/34cm-13.39in/23cm-9.06in). This larger size means that the D1 is just a tiny little bit too big (1cm or about 0.4 inch) to meet the published carry-on restrictions for some European and Asian airlines.

That said, we’ve been using it for over 6 months now and have flown all over Europe without any problems. But, here’s our disclaimer:  if you do the same, do so at your own risk.

One of the great features of this backpack is that allows for multiple ways to carry your quadcopter. You can choose to transport the DJI Phantom in the backpack with the propellers off.  Like you would with any other backpack. But you can also carry the DJI Phantom with the propellers sticking out of the bag. Obviously, this provides less protection but it is great when you quickly want to move to another location.

Manfrotto MB BP-D1 DJI Professional Video Equipment Cases Drone Backpack (Black)Let’s run through Manfrotto’s specs:
SKU MB BP-D1
Type of Gear Drone, Professional DSLR
Number of Lenses 2
Tripod Connection yes
Colour Black
Material Nylon
Weight 1900 g/67.01 oz
Collection/Series Aviator
External Height 56 cm/22.05 in
External Length 34 cm/13.39 in
External Width 23 cm/9.06 in
Internal TOTAL Height 54 cm/21.26 in
Internal TOTAL Length 30 cm/11.81 in
Internal TOTAL Width 16 cm/6.3 in
Camera Compartment Height 13 cm/5.12 in
Camera Compartment Length 26 cm/10.24 in
Camera Compartment Width 15 cm/5.91 in
Laptop Compartment Height 54 cm/21.26 in
Laptop Compartment Length 30 cm/11.81 in
Laptop Compartment Width 2,5 cm/0.79 in
Drone Compartment Height 41 cm/16.14 in
Drone Compartment Length 30 cm/11.81 in
Drone Compartment Width 16 cm/ 6.3 in
Remote Case Height 11 cm/4.33 in
Remote Case Length 21 cm/8.27 in
Remote Case Width 12 cm/4.72 in

As you can see, and like we already mentioned, the backpack offers more than enough space for your drone and accessories as well as a laptop and photo equipment. If you don’t have any photo gear to lug along, you have more space to store other things. Lunch and water bottles are among our favorites.

Manfrotto MB BP-D1 DJI Professional Video Equipment Cases Drone Backpack (Black)

All in all we feel the Manfrotto D1 backpack is one of the best backpacks on the market.

It has all the space you need to carry a Phantom, accessories, the controller, a full sized DSLR with lens, camera accessories and more.

When we wrote our original review we though we would not make the D1 our main backpack.  This was mainly because we are in Europe and were worried about not meeting carry on restrictions here. So, even though we have not had any problems, we recommend you keep this in mind if you fly a lot with European or Asian airlines.

And, although it wasn’t not our first choice for non-US based Phantom 4 pilots, it was definitely a backpack we recommend for those in the US. After using it, including on several flights, 3 of us have made this our main backpack and we love it even more. It’s an awesome backpack. If you’re wondering why the 4th person didn’t make it his main backpack; he doesn’t use a backpack but uses a pelican hardcase instead.

So in short: If you’re in the US, this backpack is our top recommendation. If you’re not, i we’ll leave it up to you. If, like us, you don’t care about a proper fitting battery pocket, and air travel is not a concern  (or you are willing to take that 1cm risk like we do) then the D1 is definitely worth considering. Click  here to do a price check.

 

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If this backpack is not the right one for you consider some of the options below instead. And before you leave, subscribe to our newsletter. That way we can let you know when we release new content so you don’t have to come back and check all the time.

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