FPV Backpacks are becoming more and more popular as people realise taking more things with you to a field or competition can mean the difference between carrying on flying or going home early because you need a vital component or tool. With technology ever increasing it means we can take high quality irons to the field that run on our Lipos, with all the tools we need and do virtually any repair required!
So of course it means you need something to transport all that gear right? Well, that's where the Lowepro BP X2 comes in. It's a backpack specifically created for FPV and drones, created by pilots for pilots. It has tons of compartments, an All-Weather cover, an armoured front face for protection and many other features.
Here's the blurb from the product description:
Comfortable and protective FPV quad racing backpack, built to trek to any location, with interior and exterior mounting locations.
- Purpose-built backpack for FPV racing drones
- Interior and Exterior FPV Quad mounting locations
- Interior storage for quads with up to 5” props. Store with props attached!
- Provides storage for fragile race gear like transmitters, FPV goggles/LCD screen, batteries, tools and personal items
- Customizable interior offers a secure fit and optimized workflow with the use of padded, multi-level adjustable divider system
- Interior quad storage platform lined with rugged 600D exterior material to fight abrasion
- Be comfortable for long treks and all-day comfort with the contoured shoulder straps, adjustable sternum strap, and plush mesh back panel
- Deploy the built-in All Weather AW Cover™ to protect pack and exterior mounted quad from rain, snow, dust and sand. When not needed, tuck it back into the zippered pocket at the bottom of the pack.
- Keep on flying with room for a ridiculous amount of batteries
- FormShell™ armored front panel adds another level of protection to the fragile gear and offers a great place for storing sunglasses, phone, props and other delicate items and electronics
- Exterior attachment loops/straps and dual side pockets for water bottle and a tripod
- Removable toolbox offers easy access to tools for quick repairs
- Built by quad racing enthusiasts for quad racing enthusiasts
They do not currently sell it in their UK stores, but I am told this is coming very soon (for those who are looking to buy it and are in the UK like myself, or just on this side of the world). In the US and other countries it is available direct and at their designated retailers for around $149.95. The price tag is hefty compared to the cheap bags I'm used to, so I wanted to investigate and compare with how it performs compared to my current solution, and if it offers any improvements.
So what do we get for our money? Many people are after the bag so probably already know the kind of storage it has, but for those that don't hopefully this will fill in those gaps :)
Lifted straight out of the box, we can see we've got some nice plastic covering stopping any of the surfaces from being damaged in transport.
The front of the bag has a very nice "armored" part on it which should serve as a good place to put anything sensitive that can be easily accessed. Towards the lower portion of the backpack we can see we've got 6 sets of loops for some of their removable clasps to attach to. The backpack only comes with 2 (the ones you can see on the side), so right now I'm just using spare battery straps to attach quads to on the front. The idea is that you put one quad inside the backpack but for me I run it slightly different which you'll see further down.
Here's that inside protected space we've been talking about - it has a nice amount of pockets and slots to fit stuff such as soldering irons or maybe some hex drivers along with some props too and other flat tools, vtx manuals and that kind of thing.
Here's the main picture everyone is going to want - what kind of storage is available INSIDE the bag! In default configuration we have space for a drone at the top section (left) followed by re-sizable compartments below that and a very nice bag located in the bottom section. I've detoured from this ever so slightly but it's mostly the same. There's a ton of space and everything is velcro'd together with decent velcro so it won't move during transport and ruin all your compartments.
Under the drone lid we have even more space - a slot dedicated for your radio/transmitter, as well as other nice compartments that will easily fit your extra JR Modules, FPV goggles and whatever kind of cables you need to go with it all.
The bag that features in the bottom of the backpack is completely removable and in a sense does not even need to be used, but it makes a great storage area for propellers, having a split down the middle so you can organise in whatever way you see fit.
Moving towards the back side of the backpack we've got a great amount of padding that makes it comfy to actually wear when required, as well as some sturdy straps with more decent padding, and a chest harness to keep it in a positon that suits you.
On the sides of the backpack we've got yet more storage - a zippable top pocket that has a good amount of space, and in the bottom we have an elasticated pocket which is great for fitting your tripod and other such large items that can be sercured at the top with the strap.
Lay down on a flat surface we can see the backpack is not rounded and so makes full use of the space available, and would be good for travelling to events if you need either public transport or flights. However do note I've found while it is allowed as a carry-on with some airlines, in the UK it exceeds the size limits of a lot of the UK airlines.
A few more pictures of the exterior, but here we can see the great quality materials and stitching for the backpack. It's certainly a justification for the price tag!
Underneath we have another great feature of the backpack, another storage area!
However this small space is actually occupied by a waterproof material that's attached to the backpack and will cover it if you need to from rain etc. The only annoyance on this side is that its made to fit the backpack exactly, so if you plan to stick some quads on the outside of the backpack you will be in for disappointment as the "raincoat" is not big enough to take this into account.
Real World Use
So how does it function in the real world, is it practical, and more importantly is it worth the money in offering a custom solution to drone pilots? In a short, yes! Bonus cat shot here!
I've been using it as my storage solution for the past month or two, as I wanted to get a feel for if I could convert from the many many boxes I usually take into one convenient backpack. I'm not quite there when it came to the UK Drone Show, but then I have a habit of taking every single thing I can just in case I need it.
With that being said, the backpack now contains all of my vital gear as well as field repair items that I would potentially need at any flying session so aside from those large racing events, I can indeed say that it covers my needs entirely!
Here's my current setup that I am happy with and fits everything in:
The amount of compartments, storage sections it offers gives you the flexibility to configure it exactly how you need to without any compromise. There's a few things I'd like to see done (such as a waterproof cover that would fit quads on the outside and more straps - though I'm sure you can buy these extra), but aside from that it's a huge step up from my backpacks I was previously using (an Ebay £8 special, and a 13 Euro backpack bought out in Ibiza at the ERSA Cup). For me the quality is the main thing, both of my previous backpacks failed, and relatively quickly - I don't see this failing in any such way, at least no as soon :)
Thank you Lowepro for providing the sample unit! If you are interested in the backpack you can buy it direct from here, or there are many retailers that also supply it such as GetFPV, Amazon and hopefully for international people such as myself, Lowepro UK will have it soon.