The 10 Best DJI Phantom Cases
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in October of 2015. If you're the owner of a DJI Phantom drone and like to take it with you on your travels, you will need one of these cases to protect it, whether you are taking a flight, pedaling through the countryside, or riding the subway. Ranging from lightweight backpacks to rugged hard-shell trunks, these are specially designed to cradle and protect your precious cargo in transit. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 29, 2020:
Drones are often a hefty investment, especially when speaking about DJI's flagship model, the Phantom. Considering how much money you probably spent on it, it makes sense to spend just a little bit more to buy one of these cases to keep it protected during storage and transport. Unless otherwise stated on a particular item, all of the cases here will support both Phantom 3 and 4 models, and, in the case of the DJI Multifunctional Backpack, Phantom 2s as well.
If you want something that makes it easy to bring your drone along to picture-worthy places that you can't just drive right up to, then you'll probably want to look to one of the backpacks on this list. Hard-shell models like the Crazepony Turtle Shell Backpack and Cheerson Hobbytiger DJI3TXW are going to offer the most protection for backpack cases. Not only are the exteriors rigid, but they generally have a stiff foam on the inside with cutouts specifically designed for the drone and certain accessories. The downside is they don't offer much versatility and can't be smushed down a bit when empty to shove under a bed or in the back of a closet.
Conversely, soft backpacks, like the Manfrotto D1 Backpack and Lykus DBP-100U may be slightly less protective, but offer the versatility to be used to carry other gear when you aren't lugging your drone around. The DJI Multifunctional Backpack is essentially a mix between the two styles. It has soft sides, but is reinforced with a hard shell on the back. It also offers quick-access external pockets, which hard-shell models don't, and has an interior that can accommodate cameras and other stuff when not being used to transport a drone.
If you are going to be checking your drone on an airline or need something that offers the highest level of protection, true hard cases are the best bet. While they are going to be larger and generally more cumbersome to transport, they are the sturdiest and offer the most security. For example, the Nanuk 950, Case Club Waterproof Wheeled, MC-Cases Hard FBA, and CasePro CP-PHAN4-CO can all be padlocked, and the HUL Aluminum comes with keys and has a lock integrated into the latches themselves. The Nanuk 950, Case Club Waterproof Wheeled, CasePro CP-PHAN4-CO, and MC-Cases Hard FBA are completely dust and waterproof, too. The makers of the CasePro CP-PHAN4-CO even say it can be completely submerged and no water will get in to damage your Phantom.
HPRC 2710 Series Though pricey, the HPRC 2710 series has a good reputation in the UAV community for keeping drones safe from damage. It is impact, drop, and corrosion resistant, and it is equipped with a neoprene seal to reliably keep water out. It also features a pressure release valve and has pre-cut, high-density foam on the inside. hprc.it
Mustang MC-DJIPH4 Surprisingly affordably priced for a rolling hard case, the Mustang MC-DJIPH4 is a smart pick for anyone on a tight budget who wants a high level of protection for their drone. It is designed to hold up to six batteries, the controller, the charger, any associated cables, and even a small tablet. It even features an automatic pressure purge system that helps prevent damage from sudden air pressure changes. bhphotovideo.com
Understanding The Differences Between Phantom Series Drones
They both cost roughly the same price, but – while the Phantom 3 4K records in ultra high-def – it only live streams in 480p video.
Even within each model line, there are a number of differences between the various DJI Phantom series quadcopters – from video bitrates and battery capacity to form factor – that set them apart from one another.
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard is like a base model of a car, missing many of the bells and whistles available on the pricier models. For one thing, the Phantom 3 Standard doesn't shoot 4K video. Instead, it records in 2.7K, which is good enough for the average user, especially if you don't have an ultra high-def TV or computer monitor to watch the video playback. It also uses a less expensive sensor and lacks dedicated controls for adjusting video exposure, video playback, or video recording.
Both the Phantom 3 Advanced and 4K feature an optical flow vision positioning system, which make them better at holding their position and landing than the Phantom 3 Standard. They both cost roughly the same price, but – while the Phantom 3 4K records in ultra high-def – it only live streams in 480p video. The Phantom 3 Advanced, on the other hand, only records in 2.7K, but is capable of streaming live feeds in 720p and uses Lightbridge technology to offer a more reliable control and video signal. In ideal conditions, the Phantom 3 Advanced can fly over 4 times farther than the Phantom 3 4K without losing connection.
The high end of the Phantom 3 line is the Professional model, which offers all of the best features of the Phantom 3 Advanced, as well as 4K video recording and a 100W charger to fully recharge the drone in less than an hour.
Topping out the series is the DJI Phantom 4 – with a camera upgrade, nearly twice the maximum video bitrate and SD card capacity of up to 128 GB. For serious professionals with cash to spare, the Phantom 4 Pro offers intelligent flight controls and a built-in display screen on the remote control.
What To Look For In A DJI Phantom Case
Aside from mishaps in flight, a drone case is often the only thing protecting your drone from potentially costly accidents. We all like to believe that these expensive devices are sturdy enough to withstand a drop or two, but sadly, this is not always the case. Sometimes, dropping or bumping the delicate hardware in just the right – or wrong – spot can cause significant damage.
You may only have one extra battery now, but most drone users buy more accessories over time.
For those who don't often travel with their drone, breakage might not be as much of a concern, but loss can still be a problem. With all of the additional components high end drones come with these days, it can be easy to lose an extra propeller or battery. A good drone case can prevent any of these unnecessary headaches.
The first step in picking a great drone case is identifying a few models that you like, which are designed specifically for your drone model. Some cases may have adaptable cushioning to fit different models, while others are available with hardened foam inlays specifically pre-cut for the quadcopter of your choice. Just be sure that the case you order is designed to accommodate your particular drone. Then it's time to compare features. When identifying potential cases for your Phantom, remember this: a good drone case isn't cheap, and a cheap drone case isn't good.
Look for a model made from military grade plastic that's shockproof and waterproof. If you plan on flying with your drone, make sure it's carry-on sized. If you must check your drone, bear in mind that baggage handlers are notorious for being rough on luggage, and look for something rugged enough to withstand rough handling that can be locked for security. Ideally, it should have two sturdy latches that keep it securely closed with no possibility of popping open.
Buying a case that fits a lot of extra accessories is also a good idea. You may only have one extra battery now, but most drone users buy more accessories over time.
In late 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that all private drone users in the United States would had register their drones by February 19th of 2016 in order to legally fly them. This has created much controversy among drone owners. Some feel that it is unnecessary bureaucracy that is inconvenient and costly for the average hobby flyer. Others are worried that the database could be hacked at some point, which raises privacy concerns.
The government states that there is a two-fold reason they are requiring drone registration. It will allow them to identify users of drones which have been flown, or crashed on no-fly zones. They also say it will force some education on the proper use of drones, which will hopefully result in less drone pilots violating the personal privacy of others.