Like most tech toys, drone owners know that what you find in the box is just the beginning.
Some of the best drone accessories can really add a lot to the experience. Whether you're just a novice having fun or a pro earning a living, the right tools are important. And we've collected reviews of the best drone accessories on the market. We hope our guide will help you get the most out of your new flying machine.
The Best Drone Accessories for Operators At Any Level
Flying a drone used to be left to experts. Now the tech has spread to specialty stores and online marketplaces. You can pick one up just about anywhere and start flying in a matter of minutes. But as the experts will tell you, it's all about what you do with the tools you have. And if you don't have any of the best drone accessories attached to yours, you're probably missing out.
You can go wild shopping for gadgets to make your drone operate at its peak potential. But if you are looking for a few to get your feet wet, we recommend the following.
1. A Cool Landing Pad
There are a few reasons you might want a helipad for your new drone. The first is probably obvious: It's just cool. Nothing makes you feel more like a pilot than a successful landing. And that only looks complete if you've got an authentic landing pad. Luckily, several companies are producing some interesting options in this growing market.
But beyond the showoff factor, there is a practical reason to invest in a landing pad. Many of the best drone accessories are aimed at protecting your investment. If you plan to fly in inclement weather, it probably pays to buy a helipad. That way your device won't get muddy or potentially damaged in a rough landing.
2. A Protective Backpack
Many of the leading drone manufacturers offer specific bags to protect the devices. Other companies make their own for use with particular machines. But we like configurable backpacks meant to protect a variety of drones.
As you know if you've been flying long, these things come with a lot of pieces. And if you invest in the best drone accessories, you'll have even more to tote. That's why we recommend a roomy backpack with plenty of dividers. You want something that is designed specifically for drones. That way all the pieces will have a safe home and won't get damaged during transit. If everything has its place, you'll also make sure you have everything with you when you pack up.
3. Virtual Reality Goggles
If you're looking to get the most out of your flights, goggles are among the best drone accessories. First of all, they allow you to keep focused without the glare of the sun. At the very least, we recommend sunglasses or some sort of shade when operating a drone.
But with goggles, the advantages are just beginning. We were a bit disappointed virtual reality didn't take off like some predicted a few years ago. But in the drone community, it is a great step forward. You can join races, compete with other operators and take part in a number of activities. And it's all right there in a set of goggles.
4. A Stabilizing Gimbal
Many drone operators like to attach cameras to their machines. For that reason, many of the best drone accessories deal with those attached devices. Whether you use a cellphone or a dedicated drone camera, you want the best product. And getting the right gimbal will help you achieve those results.
You'll want to check to make sure your drone doesn't already have one. Higher end models sometimes come equipped with a gimbal. If not, don't fear. You can easily purchase one and affix it to your drone. This will give you a nice and steady finished product. No more stray lines and blurs when your drone changes directions quickly. If you want professional quality video from your drone, a good gimbal is a must.
5. Extra Batteries or Chargers
Let's get to basics. Without battery power, all the gimbals and goggles in the world are useless. So don't get caught with a dead drone. We recommend ensuring you have the right batteries and picking up some extras. That way you can fly to your heart's content and not worry about depleting your power.
Some drones offer rechargeable batteries, so in those cases you can just carry your charger. This can also include vehicle chargers, which we find especially handy. That way, if you're flying in different locations you can keep the juice flowing as you drive. But for those that use replaceable batteries, make sure you have the right ones. The best drone accessories are created specifically for your device. This is perhaps most important when we're taking about battery power.
6. A Lanyard for Your Remote
Your drone won't operate without a controller. So you'll want to make sure you take good care of this piece. We recommend a lanyard created specifically for your remote control. This will allow you to take the reins without fear. Like any lanyard, it easily affixes to the controller and hangs around your neck. Some are ergonomically designed or offer some other advancements. But really, if you're just trying to keep your device from hitting the ground, almost any lanyard will do.
In the excitement of operating a drone, anything can come up. And if you need to make a quick move, you could accidentally drop it. That would probably lead to an expensive repair and a ruined outing that day. So save potential headaches down the road by getting a lanyard before your first trip. Then you can take your hands off of your remote and pick it up again anytime you need to regain control.
7. A Handy Folding Table
Now that we near the end of our list, the best drone accessories are starting to pile up. So we recommend bringing along a small folding table. Or, if you bought everything listed above, maybe a larger one. But the point is that you probably aren't going to want to tote everything. And walking back to your vehicle or home every time you need something will get old. We like a nice, wide tray for most circumstances -- especially on flat surfaces. But if you're going to be roughing it, you might need a more rugged table.
So pick up whatever you think will work for your purposes and take it along with you. The options are plentiful and almost anything you prefer will do the trick. Many will take of just a little room in travel but give you plenty of space to spread out. It's always best to go into anything organized. And without a table, keeping all of your best drone accessories can get complicated quick.
8. A Reflective Safety Vest
And we'll end with a bit of personal safety equipment. Though it might not be as dangerous as hunting, many drone operators still opt for a vest. If you're going to be in an area with possible pitfalls, it pays to put on some orange. Let's face it, you're going to be paying attention to your drone. You might be wearing goggle. So you're not going to be able to pay as much attention to your surroundings.
There are vests like the one above that make it clear what your purpose is. But in reality, any attention grabbing clothing should suffice. The point is to make sure you're well established wherever you are. And while we're at it, here's a reminder to make sure you're complying with all applicable laws. Drone operation is becoming more regulated, for good reason. But that means there might be some hoops to jump through before putting the best drone accessories to use.
If you want to get the most out of your flying machine, the best drone accessories are here to help.
There are plenty more we didn't include in our list. But we think the items above are among the best drone accessories on the market. And they are designed to help you have a better experience as an operator. Whether you're just starting out or you've been at it for years, you know there's more to learn. As the tech gets more advanced, so do the possibilities of your drone. There are tons of applications already. Some are recreational, others are educational. But really, if you're flying a drone you're probably going to be having fun. And our list of the best drone accessories are sure to make it an even better time.
If you enjoyed our guide, share it with the drone fans in your life. And leave us a message below if you have any final thoughts or questions.
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