Buying a drone allows you to do so many awesome new things. You can see the world from a whole new perspective, you can take photographs that will impress your friends, and with the purchase of the right accessories, you are able to do so many more things with your drone and enjoy your flying experience much more. Here are the 15 best drone accessories from around the web so that your drone flying experience and capabilities are enhanced.
Accessories turn your drone into a new toy. They can add features like drone fishing and parcel drops. Accessories can make sure that your batteries are always charged no matter where you are. And they can make your flying experience far more pleasurable in a variety of different ways. If you are looking for a gift for someone, this list will be a perfect starting point for choosing a gift that every drone pilot will love – and more importantly, use regularly.
Check out my YouTube video for a video rundown of 10 items in this list:
Let’s start the list with an accessory that every good drone pilot will love – a charging hub.
Whenever someone tells me they’re going to buy a drone, I tell them that they should invest in at least one other extra battery. That is because when you take the time and effort to plan a flight and travel to an area you need to be able to fly for as long as possible to make sure that it is completely enjoyable.
The average battery life for a drone is somewhere between 15 and 40 minutes, which means that doubling your flight time will extend the enjoyment. The issue is, keeping up with all the charging regimes and which batteries are charged or not can be a bit of a pain in the bum when you only have one charging point. The great thing about a charging hub is that it can charge all your batteries in one go, so you know that every single battery you own is charged and ready to go.
Before buying a charging hub for your batteries make sure that your batteries are in a good and serviceable condition and that you buy the right charging hub for your batteries and drone model. Other than that, you can’t go wrong!
Making sure you have the right propeller guards for your drone will mean that you’re able to fly in more tricky situations and fly indoors. Some of the drone pilots I know prefer not to use propeller guards because they see them as a beginner only accessory. Nothing could be further from the truth. Propeller guards are the perfect accessory for anyone looking to improve their flying and navigate in tricky situations. They not only protect people around you, but they also protect the drone from falling out of the sky due to small lapses of concentration while flying in tricky situations.
These simple bits of inexpensive plastic can save you from many hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of damage to your drone. I always make sure that I have a spare set in my carry case, and if I’m not sure about the environment in which I am flying. I won’t hesitate to put them on my drone. These are particularly useful if you’re flying indoors as your drone will bounce off walls and doors and other obstructions without causing damage to the wall or the door, but more importantly, not causing your drone to fall out of the sky.
Sun hood sunshade
When you are flying your drone in sunny situations. One of the most frustrating things can be the amount of glare that you get from your screen. Even with an antiglare screen for iPads and smartphones on bright sunny day you can still see a reflection of yourself and it can be very distracting. Using a screen hood to shade the screen from the glaring sun is one of the best things you can do to improve your flight experience in sunny environments.
This inexpensive screen ensures that in any conditions you are able to see the first person view from your drone. Manufacturers have sunscreens for pretty much every single smart device that you can attach to a drone controller. That makes this one of the most important accessories you should buy. It also makes a fantastic gift!
A very real component of owning a drone is carrying it to the places that you want to fly. The only thing that can make this activity a pleasure and not a pain is a carrying bag or rucksack that you trust. A great bag or rucksack for a drone is one in which you can carry pretty much everything you need for your flight and for troubleshooting any issues that may arise. This can include:
- the drone
- extra batteries
- propeller guards
- the controller
- extra joystick controllers
- any charging cables
- landing pads
- and any other accessory in this list…
Drones can get pretty heavy so the shoulder straps need to be well-padded and comfortable for traveling to your flight zone. I like to buy a bag with multiple compartments and that is infinitely configurable. That is why I was drawn to the peak design everyday rucksack. Go check out my other recommended tools and gear – click here.
Investing in a good-quality bag with good quality materials and zippers will be something you won’t regret.
When you are buying a drone, you need to consider all the videos and photos that you will be collecting while flying. This can easily run into many gigabytes of memory.
For an idea of the amount of space each video and photograph take up at various resolutions and frame rates – go check out my other article which talks in detail about the file sizes of drone videos. I typically have one or two memory cards for each drone so that I can be sure that I have enough space for everything that I want to capture during my flight. There’s nothing worse than getting on site to realize that you don’t have enough memory space for all of the footage you want to collect. A relatively inexpensive purchase can save a load of headaches. So if you don’t have an extra memory card now is the time to buy one.
Drone landing pad
A drone landing pad is a must have in your carrying case. It protects your drone from a wide variety of potential hazards. A landing pad is perfect if you are always taking off in rough terrain for example, if you operate in the country, regularly take off on beaches, or have to land in tallgrass. The landing pad provides a perfect solid surface as well as a great target for you to land on.
A good landing pad will have bright blue and orange sides so you can select the best colour for the terrain you are in and have pegs so that it stays in place in the windiest of conditions. A large landing pad will mean that the down wash does not displace any loose rocks or do when coming into land.
If you own a small drone you particularly need one of these. If you have a drone like the DJI Mavic mini, it will protect the fragile props from getting debris is in the motors and also protect the camera gimbal. An inexpensive accessory that will save your drone from damage due to annoying bits of dirt and stones.
Drone goggles are headpiece and eyewear that allows the pilot of a drone to see a live first person view of what the drone is seeing. It is just like being sat in the pilot see of the drone as it is flying around. Drone goggles take a number of different forms. They may look like regular glasses, or they may look closer to the virtual reality glasses that you get when you are playing virtual reality games.
Drone goggles allow the pilot to see a number of important things and metrics about the flight, such as:
- a live first person view of what the camera drone is seeing
- flight statistics such as height, distance from takeoff spot, and compass bearing
- any of the sensor information like distance to obstructions
- camera settings
- battery information
- GPS information
- geo-fence information
- and much, much more
Some of the best drone goggles on the market at the moment are from DJI. The DJI racing goggles are sleek, powerful and properly the best you’ll find. However, there are many rules and regulations that dictate whether or not a pilot can wear drone goggles while flying. Some countries require you to be able to see the drone in a direct line of sight. This does not allow for drone goggle usage. So before you buy this accessory make sure that you’re actually allowed to use it in the country you are living in.
Drone car charger
A drone car charger is an essential item for road trips. One of the most frustrating aspects of owning a drone is waiting for the batteries to charge. The great thing about owning this accessory is that you are able to keep your batteries charged while I was on location using your car battery. It’s a little bit disappointing that these things don’t come as standard with drone sets, such as the DJI fly more combo sets.
However, this is a nifty accessory that I think every drone pilot should invest in. Don’t risk getting 1/3 party knockoff car charger. Buy the charger straight from the manufacturer and you’ll be sure that you won’t damage your batteries. The lithium polymer batteries need extra special attention and care – there are also pretty expensive, so look after them!
Fishing bait, payload delivery dropper
Having a drop and release mechanism for a drone is super fun. It can be used for a load of activities including:
- drone fishing
- marriage proposals and weddings
- search and rescue missions
- balloon drops
- confetti drops
- and anything else you want to drop from the sky…
If you want to find out more about drone fishing, go check out my other article on drone fishing – click here. You must make sure that you buy a drop release mechanism that is compatible with your drone. There are plenty of options to choose from but only the mid-range to high-end consumer drones are capable of lifting a heavier payload.
If you are looking for a way to make your drone more fun, getting it to drop things from the sky should be something that you consider.
Having a speaker on your drone can get you into a load of mischief. Imagine being able to fly over to someone and speak to them as if you are stood next to them. You need to make sure that you select a speaker system that is compatible with the drone that you have. And that your drone is capable of carrying the weight of the speaker. They often have internal batteries that can be relatively heavy. This will limit the flight time but will allow you to have a lot of fun by speaking to the person near the drone.
The speakers typically have the same range as the drones so you don’t have to worry about going too far and your audio cutting out. A fun accessory and I’m sure most people will be able to find a use for!
Neutral density filters
Neutral density filters are like sunglasses for your drone camera. They are a tool that should be in every serious drone photographers toolkit. It simply reduces the amount of light making its way into the camera and onto the sensor. They are called “neutral” because they do not change the colour of the image that is being captured. They allow you to do a number of different things:
- they allow you to avoid overexposure when using long exposure times
- they allow you to open up your aperture more
- and they allow you to capture really awesome coloured images on bright days
If you’re serious about drone photography and you want to capture the best images possible then buying a good set of neutral density filters for your drone is a must. You have to buy the neutral density filters that are specific to your drone’s camera. Typically, they screw or clip onto the front of the lens. They need to be securely attached to the drone so they don’t fall off while flying.
A drone signal booster consists of a set of parabolic mirrors to reflect the controller’s signal towards the drone. It allows you to fly further, or can be used to combat signal dropout in Wi-Fi and 5G noisy areas. They look very futuristic and maybe a bit superfluous, but are really useful if you are flying regularly in a city.
Typically, these parabolic reflectors are foldable and slide onto the antenna of your drone controller. They are easy to transport and give you added security when you are flying at long distances. A must-have for the serious drone flyers amongst us.
An adjustable lanyard that goes around your neck and attaches you to your controller can make flying much more comfortable. Choose a lanyard with thick padding around the neck area and is adjustable to match the length of your arms. Also, make sure that the lanyard has a good quality and trustworthy clasp. You need to be able to trust it with the hundreds of dollars that is hanging off your neck. They can be useful for people that are doing multiple things while flying a drone, for example, drone fishermen.
Some of the more professional drone controllers can get pretty heavy so even if you’re not doing other activities while flying, it can make flying much more comfortable for you.
As a drone pilot, you spend an awful amount of time looking up into the sky. Regularly looking into the sky and bright scenes can cause eyestrain and potential eye damage. Having a good quality pair of polarised sunglasses will protect your eyes and make your flight squint-free.
There is no reason they need to look lame, so choose a style that matches what you think looks best. If you are flying regularly in a hot and sunny environment polarised sunglasses are going to be one of your best friends and something that you will pack regularly.
Drone skins and decals
There’s something really cool about a customized drone. There are a ton of sellers on Etsy that provide customizable skins for various DJI drones and other manufacturers. The decals not only look great but they can also protect your drone from any damage and cover up any scratches or surface wear and tear that you want to hide.
The custom decals can be customized by getting in contact with some of the merchants on Etsy so reach out to them if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. Decals are a fantastic way of making your drone yours.
So, there are the top 15 drone accessories that you should consider buying for your drone. They range from the extremely useful, to things that just make flying more fun and cool. Anything from this list makes the perfect gift for the drone flyer or pilot in your family. I know I would love to get anything from this list… And if it’s just for you why not treat yourself to a new fancy drone accessory that will enhance your flying experience. Happy drone flying!