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Review: Tradecraft ToughCase XRV for the Phantom Vision

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by Wangta, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Wangta

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    I received the ToughCase XRV for the Phantom Vision from Tradecraft Multi-Rotor Cases on Friday. I have played around with it today and wanted to provide a brief review for those of you who are considering it or looking at buying a "professional" case for your P2V.

    http://www.tradecraftcases.com/shop/toughcase-xrv-for-dji-phantom-2-vision/

    Order and Delivery:
    I had been emailing with the Tradecraft guys as I was wondering when they would ship their "preorders" for the new Vision-specific case, the XRV. I was torn between the XRV and the soon-to-be-released Go Professionals case. I found the Tradecraft sales team incredibly responsive via email and after careful consideration of features, I put my order in on the first day pre-orders were shipping, which was Dec 6th.

    It took a week to be delivered via FedEx Ground - I received it on December 13th. FYI, it was shipped from Austin Texas, which is where I assume Tradecraft Cases is based.

    Quality: I'm not sure what I should of been expecting, but I'll be honest - I'm kind of blown away at the quality of this case. It looks as good as my $300 Pelican im2720 case that I use for my F450. It has a really solid plastic build that looks like it can take a beating, while still looking very nice. Time will tell, but I wouldn't hesitate (and I shall) traveling with this case on a plane via check-in.

    Inside, the foam is what you would expect - true to description, it is triple layered and pre-cut to fit the Phantom components. Firm yet soft enough to protect. The Vision fits perfectly, as do the charger, batteries (4 total battery cutouts), stock screwdriver, 9" props, and the transmitter - which fits with phone holder and the wifi repeater.

    I had to cut out a little bit more of the transmitter cutout as I am using the ARKON bike mount for my iPad 2. Cutting the foam was incredibly easy - I use a sharp box cutter and was done in seconds. I also cut a spot in the foam on the bottom for my iPad. Again, making modifications to the foam is very easy.

    Cutting out section for my iPad
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    Size: The Tradecraft is roughly the size of a 22" carry-on. The dimensions are actually a little bigger (24″ Long x 16.00″ Wide x 10″ High), but I think you could get away carrying it onto any flight - even international, where I've carried on 24" luggage many times. It "looks" like carry-on size, which is the most important thing (in my experience).

    Tradecraft put a lot of thought into this case - if I had to create a perfect size case, it would likely be close to the dimensions of the XRV. I have a Duratool case for my Phantom 1 and while it is more compact then the XRV, it doesn't quite fit the Vision as the props are slightly bigger (9" vs 8" for the OG Phantom), and the Vision is slightly taller. If you have nothing else, the Duratool could suffice - you could take the props off everytime and cutout more foam off the top. However, the Duratool really doesn't provide enough room for the Vision transmitter and phone holder/wifi repeater - especially if you are using a 3rd party phone/tablet holder like I am. I also decided against the Go Professional Case for the same reason - it looked a little too small and cramped.

    So anyway, the XRV fits everything that comes with the Phantom - transmitter, wifi repeater, screw driver, charger (it can actually hold two chargers if needed), 4x batteries, 4+ Vision Props. My third party extras also fit, ARKON iPad 2 mount + Grifiti Nootle Ipad Tripod Mount (THANKS RemE) + Ipad 2. Pretty awesome - especially for those who like to keep props on and carry all their stuff - chargers, etc. I can see this being the go to case for those of us that travel on planes with their Phantom.

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    Features:
    This case has a lot of little features that I appreciate.

    1. Really really solid handles. I had a Duratool handle break on the third day (the vendor replaced it), but ever since then, I always examine the handles on any case/luggage that I buy. The XRV comes with two heavy-duty handles - one on each side of the case so you can carry it in either orientation.

    [​IMG]

    2. Wheels and handle: This thing has two big plastic wheels. No skinny wheels here - these look pretty solid and are somewhat protected by thick plastic fenders. Time will tell if these hold up, but they look like they will - they actually look as sturdy as my Victorinox carry on wheels, which have lasted 3 years and 20+ round trip flights.

    Then handle easily extends after releasing a latch at the base of the handle. The handle only has two positions - either all the way down, or all the way up. It locks into either of these positions, after which you have to use the latch to release. Fully extended, the handle reaches 38". That's slightly shorter than my Victorinox carry-on, but that carry-on has an unusually long handle (it was one of the features), so I wouldn't say that's normal. I'm 6' and walking normal with the XRV in tow, my feet occasionally clip the XRV so I do consciously have to walk with slightly shorter steps, but it's not too bad (I've had much worse).

    The handle is made of very stiff and strong plastic. It is pretty thick and does not look like it will be a problem unless you somehow put a ton of force right in the center while it's fully extended. Metal would of been better, but also heavier. Everything considered, I think the handle is plenty strong and plastic will be fine.

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    3. Stability. The XRV is well balanced in all orientations. While sitting with the top fully open, it doesn't topple over even when empty.

    It also sits vertically (in wheel mode) well, with the thick plastic lip acting as the skid. It would of maybe been nice to put a real skid here - or a plastic piece meant to take some friction from pavement, etc so you don't mess up the nice lip of the case. Maybe next version.

    Cool features -
    The XRV stands on it's side well due to these well designed fins that protrude from the side opposite the handle - these allow the XRV to sit perfectly balance on it's long side. Most likely if you're NOT rolling the XRV, you'll be carrying it in this orientation (it's easier than carrying it with the long end down) and it's nice to be able to set it down if needed and not worry about the case falling over.

    Another attention to detail I appreciated - there are four plastic feet on the back of the case that help the case remain balanced. Given this is the orientation you have to be in to open the case (and get to your gear), it was a nice little feature to help stabilize the case.

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    Latches: The XRV has two thick plastic latches that are used to open/close the case. They appear pretty solid and durable, though not quite as "tough" feeling as the ones on my Pelican. A rubber coating would of been a nice additional touch. Also, two additional latches on the top and bottom sides, like on the Pelican or Duratool cases would of been great.

    However, the XRV latches do have one cool feature - a turning lock dial on each latch that allows you to lock the latches in place to ensure they don't accidentally open. Always nice to know your latches won't open unexpectedly and spill your Phantom+gear all over the place.

    [​IMG]

    Locking holes: There are two locking holds next to the latches that make it easy to lock your case closed should you need to check-in for a flight or safeguard your Vision at a hotel, etc. Nice feature that I would of been really pissed-off about if they forgot to include.

    Price: The XRV sells for $179 (no tax unless in Texas) + $20 for shipping. That's cheaper than the Go Professional case and I feel like you "get more case" for the money due to the features listed above. It's considerably more than a Duratool, but it also is much higher quality - especially the foam, while also providing more room for gear, which is especially important for the Vision given the bigger size (Vision is slightly taller then the Phantom 1) and larger size of transmitter (wifi repeater, phone/tablet holder, etc).

    1. It IS 100% airtight and watertight. I had previously reported that it was NOT airtight but others had pointed to my mistake. There is a silicone/rubber seal as well as a rubber o-ring by the right hand latch. Per Tradecraft:

    "One thing I will point out is that our case is 100% airtight and watertight. That is why there is small rubber o-ring under the right hand side latch. If you plan on traveling in the air with it, it’s best to pop off that o-ring so some amount of air can travel through it so it will pressurize in flight."

    Kickass. This was probably my biggest criticism upon my first (hasty) review - really good to know this is something they included. In my book - this makes it on par with the Pelican cases, which I guess it should be given the price.

    Cons: I am pretty happy with this case, but if I had to improve the case in any areas it would be the following, which are both related in a way:

    1. As mentioned above, it would of been nice to have two additional latches on the top and bottom sides, like Pelican and Duratool cases have. These latches would help to ensure the airtight seal and made the case feel more securely closed. Maybe I'm just used to having four latches. But it makes sense right? At least one latch per side?

    2. Minor con - it would of been nice if Tradecraft cut out the foam on the lid match the Phantom propellers location. While you can close the XRV with the props on with the stock foam, it does put some pressure on the props and can warp them if left too long. The fix is easy - just cut out some of the foam on the lid to accommodate the props. It would of been nice if this was standard with the XRV, however, almost every case out there suffers from this flaw. It's a minor modification that I've had to do with every case I've owned.

    So those are my initial thoughts about this case. The guys at Tradecraft have put some real thought into the XRV case and I'm pretty impressed and satisfied. I have not seen any of their earlier cases so I'm not sure if this is the norm for them, but I'd highly recommend this case to anyone who is looking for a "professional" grade case that can carry a lot of Phantom Vision gear or for those that travel often with their Vision.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    -Wangta

    PS. Full disclosure - I am no way affiliated with Tradecraft. I bought the case as a normal dude just like you would.
     
  2. pinfish

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    You made a cut out in the bottom of the case for your Ipad? So the P2V sits on top of it? What are you doing to protect your Ipad screen? Thank you
     
  3. Wangta

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    Yes, I cut the bottom of the case. There is enough room that the ipad is next to the Phantom - the phantom isn't positioned over the ipad at any point (the pictures are a bit misleading).

    the Ipad fits in with the smart cover on it, hence the screen is protected.

    See picture below - the iPad sits next to the Phantom.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. pinfish

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    I see it actually sits in from of the phantom. Got it now
    Thank you
     
  5. Wangta

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    Yes, the sidecut is actually right agaist the plastic case. So I insert the Ipad with the hardcase back against the outside of the XRV, and the ipad screen facing toward the middle of the case. It fits well.
     
  6. race3

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    Great review! I also got the same case for my Phantom Vision and I'm very happy with it. A couple of additional points:

    1) The controller fits in the case with the wifi extender and iPhone holder attached. However, I had to change the position of my iPhone holder so that it would fit properly. The metal bar which screws onto the controller was originally setup exactly as shown in DJI videos. But I had to move that slightly higher and angled differently. It still is a fine location, but now my iPhone sits behind the antenna... which partly concerns me regarding a strong signal. I don't think it will matter and I think this is a minor point... but just noting it.

    2) I don't feel comfortable leaving the propellers on inside the case. The foam definitely puts pressure on them. Maybe it would be ok, but I just don't like that and agree with original post, that it would be nice if they offered a foam that was precut on the top. In fact, it even puts a little pressure on the motors when the propeller's are not attached... but it's very light pressure and I don't think has any effect.

    This case is otherwise great. I think it's the perfect case for the Phantom Vision and definitely was my first choice of the options available.

    In addition to 3 lithium batteries for the phantom, I also store extra batteries for the remote control (incase needed).
     
  7. Wangta

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    Good points race3. As it relates to #1, i actually cut a litle bit moreo of the foam away since I'm using a bigger mount for my ipad.

    As it relates to #2, I cut away the eggshell part of the foam on the lid of the case to accomodate the props. If you cut just the top of the eggshell foam off, it will not apply any pressure to the props.
     
  8. race3

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    Can you take a picture of what your eggshell foam looks like now? Thanks!

    Also, i removed one layer of foam where the props are stored (it just lifts up) which provides more room for holding the props.
     
  9. pinfish

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    Could you please provide the Arkon part no. for your mount.
    Thank you
     
  10. Wangta

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  11. Wangta

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    Here you go.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. race3

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    thanks! I see you left some of the foam there and just cut half of it. Will consider that, or just cutting it completely where the props are.
     
  13. pinfish

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    I really appreciate you answering my questions. I have 1 more please. How do you attach that Arkon mount to your controller?
     
  14. James Cole

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    Excellent review! Thanks for taking some time to do it... Just ordered mine!
     
  15. Wangta

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    Fyi, I get a comission of 100% on each order based on this review. Thank you.
     
  16. Noël

    Noël Guest

    I'm thinking of ordering one, but the shipping to the Netherlands is $75.00 USD for a 6-10 day service :/
     
  17. Wangta

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    Yikes. I is sorta a big box.
     
  18. Sledge

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    I recently received my tradecraft case as well...very nicely built. Where can I get one of those foam knives? Also, r u using the iPad instead of the iPhone for FPV?
     
  19. THell

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    awesome Review Thanks

    I will pick one up for Traveling

    but for a non traveling case I am interested in getting a case that can fit the Vision with the rotor guards attached this way when I don't need to fly i can keep the guards on and when I do take it on trips I can remove the guards

    any ideas on a good case?
     
  20. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

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    That is one excellent, well thought out and thorough review... Nice job, sir... :)

    -slinger