Backpacks are a tough sell for me. I think that over the course of ten years in the game, I’ve accumulated more bags than a shopaholic. Everything from travel bags, to slings, to mini bags, TSA Approved bags, the whole nine yards… But there is one bag I have been waiting a while to switch, my drone bag. I just have not found the perfect drone bag yet.
Even with how small drones are getting, they, along with all their accessories need space and security, two things that regular backpacks, are hard to come by. Especially when you consider bags that are made either for photography or drones. In comes the Torvol Drone Explorer Backpack. The drone bag which is here to solve the problem of carrying both photography and drone equipment in one bag!
When I first got my hands on the bag and started opening up all its compartments I quickly noticed that the bag is divided in such a smart way to maximize equipment. Starting off with the highlight for me, is a dedicated “space” for the drone. We opted to add the Drone Compact Case to the bag as it sits the drone comfortably inside the bag with a semi-hard shell that will protect the drone. In addition, it has all the nooks and crannies to stuff things like propellors, SD cards, extra batteries, charger, and remote. In most bags you would have to find the right space, taking up 2-3 lens compartments for the drone alone. Then you would have to randomly assort all the paraphernalia around it, and then go looking for it every time you wanted to deal with the drone. One case; all your drone needs.
Size and capacity
Aside from the drone you could also fit:
- A mirrorless body
- 70-200 f4
- 3 lenses (including taller lenses like the 100mm L from canon
The rest of the less sensitive gear can be confidently stored in the top roll-up compartment which is quite sizeable. That being said, assuming you can get away with fewer lenses, you can even store all your equipment in the extra divided space in the main compartment, and store clothes and toiletries in the top part to make this the ultimate travelers backpack. If you want to maximize compartmentalization, the bag comes with a foldable tote bag, which can help you with organizing the top compartment as it has no dividers in it.
Torvol says that the bag is approved as a carry-on. It even has space for a laptop up to 15 inches! It’s worth noting that I’m hesitant of backpack makers who put the laptop compartment against your back, its normally a recipe for disaster since the padding is not always as thick as it should be and you end up feeling the laptop through it. This bag does not have that problem, and after lugging a laptop on my back for a while, I completely forgot it was in there. Another one of my favorite features of this bag is the handle they added to the latch of the main compartment. This makes setting the bag down or picking it up a breeze and I find myself always using it.
In addition, the bag also features:
- Two water bottle holsters
- A side compartment for skinny things like passports or cash
- Breathable comfortable padding (Ironically my complaint with most backpacks is that they overlook how important padding is)
- Weatherproof bottom pad
- Weatherproof cover
- A tension string to attach things on the outside
- Ergonomic clips for fastening the bag
It’s been a while since I’ve been this impressed with a bag, but it’s worth mentioning a few knit picky things about the bag as well.
The most upsetting thing about the bag is the weight. Before you’ve filled it up, the bag has a decent weight to it, but it seems like it weighs a lot for “just the bag”. Filling it up becomes noticeable on the back after a while. To Torvol’s credit, it is super comfortable, and that greatly reduces the stress you feel despite the weight.
I understand the top compartment is not meant to hold the sensitive equipment, but I kind of which they had a custom fit cushion for the top compartment to at least be able to separate one layer from another. The tote bag is nice, but it’s not a solution for this issue, as it only “fixes” the inside the bag since it has no shell or shape. When I took the bag to a trip I found myself digging through my chargers, extra batteries, power banks, cables, etc, and causing quite a mess inside the top compartment. Although if you ask me, a small price to pay for all the other perks of the bag.
All in all, I loved using the bag, and it definitely has earned itself a space in my work-bag closet. For €139.00 it’s quite a bargain, and even if you add the €49.90 drone case, it’s still a worth-awhile purchase