Lowepro Droneguard Quadcopter Bags Review
Whenever we head out flying we are always trying to decide what the best bag is to take. Should we slide a Phantom into a light-weight backpack case? But then where will we put our iPad or FPV goggles? Then surely we should drag out the full-on day-glo props on hard case? Perhaps, but it seems like overkill and no one is ever volunteering to lug it around.
Thankfully with the increasing popularity of the hobby worldwide, some of the big-name bag manufacturers have turned their expertise to creating the perfect drone carrier. New in to the store last month the Lowepro range of DroneGuard bags bring lightweight, secure, flexible yet compact storage solutions at competitive prices. We decided to give you an insight into the two ends of their product spectrum, the DroneGuard CS 400 and the DroneGuard Kit.
Which quadcopters are these bags suitable for?
The LowePro range of bags are surprisingly flexible allowing a great range of mounting options for various aircraft. As you will see from our pictures below the DroneGuard CS400 is a fantastic bag to safely transport your DJI Phantom 3 and accessories. However being so flexible it will comfortably fit the 3DR Solo, and several other quadcopters of similar size.
The LowePro DroneGuard Kit offers a fantastically unique open top, so you can quickly access your quadcopter and accessories such FPV equipment. We can see this bag being very popular amongs FPV Racers due to the seperate-component configuration of most FPV Racers. This bag would be great to transport something like the Nigthawk 280 Pro RTF with some Fatshark Dominators Goggles.
A backpack/carry case, the CS 400 is aimed at owners of DJI Phantom’s, 3DR Solo’s and other medium sized drones who need both a storage and transportation solution. Lowepro have mixed high quality yet lightweight materials to produce a very flexible system.
Lightweight Moulded Outer Shell
There are plenty of options for carrying the DroneGuard between the top grab handle and adjustable shoulder straps. The later are removable by carabiner-style clips at either end transforming it from a lightweight backpack (with padded back panels) to a standard carry case. Finished in black hard-wearing fabric, the front zipped pocket (useful for documentation) is detailed with an ‘urban camo’ design and spanned by elastic straps for external storage.
The CS range employ a ‘FormShell Technology’ to protect the craft, in simple terms its a thin moulded foam shell. The angular almost bulky appearance actually aids the rigidity of the case and its surprisingly light when you first pick it up. Whilst sturdy enough to use as a launchpad in a field, the DroneGuard’s aren’t true ‘hard’ cases that you could (just for example) sit on.
A quality zip encloses the ‘right’ edge of the case released by two zippers with u-shaped pullers, allowing the case to swing open like a hardcase.
Configurable Internal Dividers
Inside its all light grey and orange piping. A zipper pouch (for storing your mobile devices and manuals) is velcro’d to the lid.
We found this removable pouch really handy with its laddered elastic straps enabling storage of 11 props. If used with one of the later Phantom’s (with taller legs) it is worth adjusting your prop cones to sit under one of the straps to ensure it does not rub against the shell when closed. With the pouch removed the lid doubles up as a workstation for preparing or repairing your drone.
Here is where the DroneGuard CS range really stand out, the opposing surface is covered in short velcro to allow you to completely customise its layout to suit your hardware.
The CS400 comes with four curved ‘drone dividers’ that allow you to adjust the X space to snugly fit your quadcopter. They are shaped so they can fit under the arms of the craft to keep it in place whilst an elastic strap with velcro ends then holds the craft down whilst in transit.
Padded Pockets for your Pieces
Taking advantage of the velcro base, the transmitter pocket divider wall can change size and shape to suit a bulky transmitter and still have space for FPV goggles. They are held in place by another velcro’d ended elastic strap that crossed the opening.
Loose at the other end of the case a heavily padded zipped pouch designed for holding spare batteries, chargers and so on it also has more elastic strapping along its back edge for tidying away cables or tools.
CS 400 – Our New Favourite Quadcopter Case
Offering unrivaled flexibility whilst keeping the extra weight to the minimum, the DroneGuard CS 400 has quickly become an office favourite. Its sturdy enough to throw in the boot of the car, yet lightweight enough to carry for a few hours when walking to your favourite spots.
Note: we also stock the smaller Lowepro DroneGuard CS 300 which is suitable for 250 frame’d FPV racers and craft like the Parrot Bebop. However the smaller CS300 wil not fit 250 quads with a transmitter such as the Taranis.
A modular adaptable ‘field bag’, the DroneGuard kit can carry your drone fully assembled props-on battery-in; All whilst organising all your bits you take whenever you go flying. It will accept the 3D Robotics Solo & IRIS, Ghost Aerial, Blade 350 (and similar sized craft) and of course the DJI Phantom craft as pictured.
Open Top Accessibility
Designed to be carried from above (like any kit-bag), the DroneGuard features two medium length handle straps that can be brought together over the top in a single padded velcro’d handle.
Below this, an adjustable clipped strap holds the bag together, also (in the case of our Phantom) securing the drone in place. Its worth noting that the DroneGuard Kit does away with the various elastic securing strap, instead favouring accessibility to your hardware over holding it securely in place.
The bag outer is brown nylon accented with bright orange piping.
Adaptable Storage – More than just Pockets
With the central clip released, the sides flap down offering 4 long propeller holders per side. These flaps double up as padded pockets with zips running along the top edge, ideal for storing tools, sensitive cables, transmitter batteries and paperwork.
As with the CS bags, the transmitter/FPV goggles pocket wall is velcro’d to the reinforced-honeycomb base and therefore is adjustable in shape. An elastic strap attaches via velcro across the top to contain the handset. A smaller bag, the kit only comes with two curved ‘drone divider’ sections that are again velcro’d to the base for adjust-ability, but they do each include a pocket with velcro catch. These adaptive elements mean the DroneGuard kit can actually be dismantled and stored almost flat.
At the other end of the bag is the removable thickly-padded pocket-set that lowpro call their ‘battery box’, internally reconfigurable to suit whatever combination of batteries, chargers tools and power cables you might need. This pocket-set is covered with a three-way handle/carrystrap so that it can be used away from the rest of the kit and has a pair of elastic bands around the side for strapping cables or batteries to it.
Who is the DroneGuard Kit For?
The DroneGuard Kit is a touch cheaper than the CS range and is aimed at customers wanting an always-accessible ‘tool bag’ setup. As such we feel this would be ideal for FPV racers attending indoor events or just out for some light testing. It’s open top design lacks the protection of the CS bags, but allows craft with prop-guards or with long legs to be accommodated.
Our only concern with the DroneGuard kit is transporting it to the flight location. Thankfully the Kit fits inside Lowepro’s very own Hardside 400 or any number of larger peli-cases should you want to throw it in your car or take it on a plane.
Do you have any questions regarding these Lowepro bags? Looking to discover if a particular craft will fit? Drop us a message in the comments below.