We love our drones. But, of course, it's always good to have some best drone accessories to pair with them. Piloting your own drone puts the world in a new perspective. Most drone kits come with the basics for operating and charging your aircraft, but you can up your experience and skills with a few additionals. What drone essentials are you missing? Take a gander at our list of the best drone accessories of the year.
A landing pad
A landing pad gives your craft a stable surface for take-offs and landings and protects your aircraft from dirt, rocks, and debris. When you work on rocky terrain or even in the grass, this must-have accessory pays for itself in no time. The drone landing pad that captures our attention is the Hoodman HDLP3. It's generously sized and has weighted edges that hold it in position. Best of all, this supersized landing pad folds into itself and shrinks down to 13-inches for stress-free carrying in an included pouch. If you fly, this is one of the best drone accessories.
Traveling from one place to another with your quadcopter is more comfortable with the Endurax ShellX P01. Moveable dividers help you securely house your drone, extra batteries, cameras, goggles, tablets, phones, and other personal items. The padded shoulder straps are comfortable, and all internals cushion your hardware. This go-anywhere pack is shockproof, weatherproof, and spacious enough for all your toys. If you're looking for a hardshell backpack that offers top-notch protection, this is it.
Get a better tablet view
PGYTECH's Pad Holder props up any phone or tablet while keeping your remote control in full view. This makes our list of the best drone accessories because it's a must-have item. This unit works with the DJI Mavic Air 2, Mavic Mini, Mavic 2, Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, and Spark drones. A simple thumbscrew lets you load and unload your tablet; no tools required. Your iPad or other tablet stays firmly in place when attached with the thumbscrew, giving you a close-up view and full access to your remote.
Make sure your drone always has juice by packing an extra battery or two. This one from DJI fits the Mavic Air 2. It's an intelligent flight battery that's protected against overcharging, rapid discharging, and even cold temperatures. Once charged, this battery will give you a solid 34 minutes in the sky while alerting you of real-time power levels.
High-capacity memory card
Most drones have some internal storage that gives you around 8GB to work with when you're up in the air. Since 4K video takes up massive amounts of room, you'll want a larger memory card, so you don't run out of space mid-shoot. The majority of aircraft accept microSD cards, and our top pick here is the reliable SanDisk Extreme. This card gives you 64GBs to play with, has fast read/write speeds, and it works well in all weather conditions.
Neutral density filters
Professional videographers and photographers shoot with neutral density filters, and if getting high-quality video or stills is a priority as you pilot, you should too. ND filters cut light coming into your lens so you can slow the shutter speed and capture vivid detail. This PolarPro Vivid Filter Collection fits the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Each filter is labeled, repels oil and water, and is scratch resistant. If you're serious about photography, these are some of the best drone accessories to grab.
Know wind speeds
The HoldPeak 866B is a digital anemometer that measures wind speed, temperature, and even wind chill. Having this information at your fingertips is crucial before take-offs. There's a backlight on the LCD, so you'll have no trouble reading results during the day or after dark. This package comes with a lanyard to hang the anemometer around your neck and two batteries.
Give batteries a speed boost
A quick charger gets you back to flying faster than using the proprietary charger that came with your drone. This charging hub from Fstop Labs works with batteries for the DJI Mavic Pro/Platinum. It's an intelligent charging station with an indicator LCD that shows you exactly how long it will be before your batteries are ready to go. Slide four batteries in this hub, and they'll charge sequentially with a Mavic wall outlet charger or a Mavic car charger.
Our favorite drone accessories
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Drone accessories up your skill game faster and makes everything a little easier. At the top of our list of favorites is the Hoodman HDLP3 Landing Pad. It's big enough for large drones or two small aircraft, doesn't require stakes, and folds down small enough to carry anywhere.
Your enjoyment of flying is limited to your battery's power, and that's why we always carry at least two spares. We love the intelligent battery from DJI for the Mavic Air 2. It provides 34 minutes of flight time while protecting itself against overcharging, low temps, and over-discharging. And don't forget to pack extra memory cards. You'll never run out of room with the fast SanDisk Extreme 64GB. It writes at 90MB/s, so it's perfect for fast stills and extended video.
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Jodi Owan works behind a keyboard and a camera. She's a freelance writer for iMore, Android Central, and Windows Central.