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Manfrotto's Aviator Hover 25 pack marries the best of hiking backpacks with Mavic Pro specific carrying capabilities.

manfrotto hover 25 op
Best for...
Getting active outdoors with your drone
Overall Score
Intuitive design
Controller housing is a bit awkward

Manfrotto's Aviator Hover 25 is a drone specific backpack designed to safely and securely transport a DJI Mavic Pro drone along with accessories. It's ideal for the drone pilot heading off into the outdoors where an element of hiking is likely, and that means it's been adorned with features to make it comfortable to carry, much like a standard hiking backpack. Cushioned shoulder straps with load lifters, an adjustable cushioned hipbelt and adjustable sternum strap all ensure that the pack is held securely against the back and weight can be transferred down to the hips. There's a reassuringly sturdy feel to all these elements and for a non-hiking specific backpack they work extremely well. A large area of cushioning that sits on the lower back adds to comfort on the move and the suspended mesh back panel, although not quite as accomplished as efforts from the likes of Osprey or Vaude, lets a certain amount of air flow between the bag and back without adversely effecting stability.

As you would expect from a backpack designed to protect the contents within, outer material is thick and highly tear resistant as well as being weather resistant, a rain cover is also included for full protection in a downpour. Manfrotto utilise the side pockets for storage of the important stuff, with one side housing a DJI Mavic Pro drone, controller and two batteries in a zipped insulated pouch. We generally found the fit to be snug, which is exactly what you want. The controller compartment doesn't quite live up to the high standards set by the rest of the bag, you need to apply a little too much pressure to squeeze it in, and the fit is snug in some places, roomy in others, but otherwise no complaints. Access to the compartment is very easy, with the pocket opening up fully into a 'u' shape, there are also an extra two Velcro fastened pockets suitable for spare propellers on the opening flap. Cushioning is ample both in terms of the outer skin and the dividers, instilling confidence that you can subject the Aviator Hover 25 to a few knocks and bangs without damaging the precious cargo within.

On the other side of the pack you'll find a very similar side pocket, just much shallower in depth, designed to house an OSMO or OSMO Mobile - a handheld smartphone gimbal. This might or might not be useful, but the pocket is versatile enough to be used for other applications - we keep a charger and mini tripod in there.

Head inside the main body of the bag through the drawstring top closure and you'll discover that a lot of space has been taken up by the side pockets, but a DSLR camera with lens nestles nicely in between those pockets leaving ample room for a jacket, food and other bits and pieces. There's also a dedicated sleeve for a 10" tablet so it seems that all angles for the aspiring drone photographer have been covered.

If you don't intend on carrying anything more than your basic drone kit then the Hover 25 may be overkill for your needs, and a smaller sling bag might be more suitable, but if your adventure is an active one and you want one pack to carry it all for a day in the great outdoors then we can highly recommend this effort from Manfrotto.

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