Aerial shots are an integral part of my productions, which is why the DJI Spark drone is always present in my video gear.
Although the DJI Spark is designed to be transported anywhere without taking up too much space, its fragility means that it needs a compartment that protects it from impact and damage caused by the elements.
Until a few weeks ago, I used to carry it around in the polystyrene case that it came with, but this added extra bulk to my old rucksack and was therefore less practical.
My ideal backpack has to have enough space for: a camera body, a pair of lenses, a microphone, an external monitor, a laptop, a hard disk, an action camera, a change of clothes and, of course, a compartment suitable for the little Spark.
It must also have an external pouch for storing a light tripod (such as the Manfrotto BeFree Advance).
The Aviator Hover-25 backpack ticks most of these boxes.
Although originally designed for the DJI Mavic, the Hover-25 more than meets my needs. Helped by the interchangeable Velcro dividers, which enable the bag’s interior to be easily adapted based on the equipment being carried, I managed to organise the interior layout perfectly for my latest video-making excursions. Being fortunate enough to live in Lecco, a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous mountains that surround the city and provide its stunning backdrop, I packed my equipment into the Hover-25 and set off for the Natural Park of Monte Barro.
My immediate impression when filling the backpack was that this is a product made of high quality materials and with great attention to detail, especially as regards the zips.
The backpack weighs next to nothing when empty, which gives me the opportunity to include some snacks and a water bottle with my gear.
I also think the backpack’s colour scheme is spot on; the grey and fluorescent green are well matched, attractive and easy on the eye.
Even down to the external pockets, the Hover-25 offers great adaptability.
The pockets can actually be modified for different types of item.
This is the setup I have adopted.
Left pocket. By moving the battery pouch in the top of the pocket and the compartment for the remote controller, I managed to find the right compromise between having the DJI Spark close to hand and storing it in a convenient, safe and stable position. Thanks to the side flap, I can take out the drone quickly and easily.
Right pocket. The structure of this pocket, which was designed to hold the DJI Osmo, is perfect for storing a small Manfrotto tripod and a Nikon KeyMission 360.
Thanks to the red pocket inside this section, I can safely carry an action camera without the risk of damaging its delicate lenses.
In addition, I can quickly open this pocket and the one holding the Spark and unfasten the elastic Velcro strap without having to take off the backpack.
The elasticated pouches on the outside of the backpack allow me to carry a BeFree Advance stand comfortably and securely, even in the most demanding parts of the trail.
Since my excursion took place on a sunny day, I didn’t use the rain cover located in the top pocket of the backpack. However, I used the Hover-25 to carry my equipment to Milan during a day of light rain and I found that the backpack protected the equipment very well, even without the cover. Even so, I think it’s advisable to use the cover if it’s raining continuously, to prevent any water infiltration that could damage the contents of the backpack.
In conclusion, I think the Hover-25 is a very well-made backpack.
One criticism might be that if the tablet sleeve in the main compartment was slightly larger, it could even fit a 13” tablet; as it is, you can only insert a 9.7” iPad Pro at most.
Soon I will be doing some other high-altitude jobs, and I will certainly have everything I need in the Manfrotto Hover-25 backpack, which, in my opinion, manages to combine light weight, equipment safety, comfort and space optimisation.
To follow my adventures @theherdrepresented and @marcorivavideo.