Like many of the best things in life, finding the right drone is not just about a search through the various sizes, capabilities, cameras and more, there is another factor that can make or break your experience, accessories. It can be the smallest thing that ruins your experience, like not having the right cable to connect your drone to your mobile device.

Join us for a quick walk through some essential and convenient tools to assist in your flight experience – These are the best drone accessories.

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Drone accessories with propellers, batteries, controller, gimbal cover, VR headset, cables and Mavic 2 Zoom

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Jonathan Feist, Drone Pilot
Jonathan Feist

Why trust Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.

 
 

Best drone accessories

Camera

Camera

DJI Digital FPV system camera

We know, you likely already have a camera on your drone, it was made that way, but, if not, we highly recommend giving a camera a try. Ideally, you’ll  get something that offers a live FPV experience, but sometimes all you want is just a camera in the sky. 

For the FPV experience, why not check out the DJI Digital FPV system, it’s a little pricey, but it’s a top notch system that is simple to implement. 

For a simple camera in the sky, you might have thought GoPro, but we’ll suggest an Insta360 camera instead. They’ve got a few, but the newly updated Insta360 Go now offers 5 minutes of recording time, all from a camera that weighs just under 20 grams. That’s 0.04 lbs. You might have to get creative to attach this pill-shaped camera, but near any drone can carry it, and enjoy stabilized flight footage with ease. Alternatively, the DJI Osmo Pocket is an interesting option.

Lanyard

Lanyard

This is a super simple thing, most controllers come with a small eye-hook or anchor point for a neck strap. If not, you might consider a little DIY or attachment to make it possible. If you’ve flown at all, I don’t think I have to convince you that there are many situations where you need to put the controller somewhere safe. A lanyard lets the controller hang from your neck, safe and sound with your hands free for other tasks.

There are many, many lanyards out there, but we must admit we are fans of the unofficial/official DJI shoulder rig for $13 on Amazon today.


Landing pad / Helipad

Helipad

 

Hoodmand drone Landing pads

Where should I take off and where should I land my drone? Sometimes you are on the move, but when home base is stationary, a dedicated platform to launch from can be a great thing. For me, it’s mostly so that I don’t have to land in snow, mud or other uneven and dirty surfaces, not to mention it’s just fun.

Aside from the challenge of landing on a small target, a helipad is a great tool to keep your drone clean and safe. Ideally you’ll use a solid flat surface made of wood or plastic. Metal sounds good until you realize it interferes with the GPS calibration of your drone. Myself, I let fun overcome practical – you’ve seen it already, I use a BB-8 area rug as my helipad. It’s not a solid surface, which limits my usage, but it keeps my quadcopters clean and looks good.

Check out this collapsing portable landing pad for $15 on Amazon, or, if you’re crazy like me, I got a BB-8 carpet from Think Geek, it’s no longer available, maybe you want a Death Star rug instead.

FPV goggles

FPV goggles – VR headset or AR glasses

There may be a limit to the places you can fly with an FPV headset attached to our face, but when possible, the experience is fantastic. For VR headsets, round here we are fans of the DJI Goggles for casual flight, but now there is the DJI Goggles Racing Edition for those that want to take on the Fat Shark and other experienced racing drone goggles vendors. In the AR department, we visit Epson every chance we get to play with the Moverio glasses, that effectively augment your drone experience without breaking your line-of-sight to your drone.


Extra remote control

Alternative controller

gamepad

Fluidity FT Aviator

July 2019

Release Date

The Fluidity FT Aviator is one of our favorite accessories for flying our drones. This is a joystick controller that offers one-handed flight controls, although it takes two hands if you want to access the camera controls. Designed by Scott Parazynski, a pilot and astronaut, the FT Aviator is made for young and old to enjoy, offering an easy and intuitive controller. At this time, the FT Aviator works with DJI drones, and it does so very well. The Fluidity app is very familiar for experienced DJI GO 4 users, and the app allows quick access to change control between the DJI controller and the FT Aviator.

The sensitivity dial allows the FT Aviator to grow with the pilot. For those super steady slow pans or for brand new pilots learning how to fly, use turtle mode, then when you're ready, dial it up to five to make use of the full speed of the drone. There are even separate sensitivity controls for controlling the drone and for the controlling the camera.

As the FT Aviator is an accessory that connects on top of the existing DJI control, you'll still need a DJI remote, or at least your smartphone, to control a drone, but the Bluetooth connection means you can leave that controller to the side, using just the FT Aviator joystick controller for your flight.

Check out the FT Aviator for $349 today.

(Fluidity FT Aviator is compatible with the DJI Mavic series, Phantom 3 and 4, Inspire 1 and 2, and the Matrice series DJI drones.)

Fluidity FT Aviator quick review:

Side table

Table

Where do you put your stuff when you’re flying? On the ground, in your pocket or does it stay in your bag? Allow me to recommend a table. You may have a picnic table or other nearby, but you might consider a small folding card table to hold all your accessories while you fly.

I’ll leave it to you to find the table that suites your travel needs, but this folding camping table for $37 on Amazon is a cool option.

Cables

Cables

I presume I do not need to preach the importance of cables, you know you need them for every device you have that runs on a battery, and many that do not. I am glad that most drones, their controllers and our mobile devices utilize just two or three, maybe four, types of connectors. Micro USB is the most common connection around, with Apple’s Lightning following close behind. After that is the newer USB Type-C and in the odd situation, and I mean odd as both rare and as, well, odd, Mini USB still survives on some electronics today.

If you recall from our Mavic Pro unboxing, DJI includes the three common cables to attach your smart devices. For those that did not get the right cable, or are looking to change things up a bit, you’ll want to hunt for that simple tool to get connected.

The only thing I really want to say here, have a look at right-angled cables. I know my mobile devices suffer from cables getting in the way when connecting to the Mavic Pro controller – the default cables are right-angle, and my desired replacements are too.

Check out this Anker Powerline+ micro USB cable for $7, or this StarTech Lightning cable for $13 on Amazon. For the USB Type-C users, here are some micro USB to Type-C adapters for $7.

Sun protection

Umbrella or sunshade

Whether rain or shine, there is an argument to be made to protect yourself, or just your device, from anything that comes from above. The main idea here is that rain is bad for your drone and that direct sunlight makes it very hard to see your FPV display. There are a number of solutions to shield your controller from the sun, including cutting and folding into shape that Amazon box your drone shipped in.

If you do not want to build your own, you can buy one of the many generic or device specific sunshades. DJI has a dedicated shade for the Mavic line, I’ll let you know how it goes when it eventually gets here. Update: It’s here – I don’t like how the DJI sun shade attaches to the antennae, but otherwise it is great, folds down nice and is just enough to help you see your screen.

Please resist getting an the sort of umbrella or shade that would put you out of line-of-sight to your drone.

I cannot rightly promote any specific unit here, but this link will help you start your search for the perfect sunshade on Amazon.

Bags and backpacks

Bag, backpack and case

Where will your flying camera take you? I don’t know about you, but I get the urge to hike trails or go to exotic places just to fly my drones. You better believe I do not haul everything in my hands, I have several bags to handle it all.

Finding the right carrying case, bag or backpack can be difficult. Actually, I use all of the above, swapping out based on my current needs and destination. Transporting a drone when traveling is the right time to use a sturdy case. A basic bag often gets me from my secret lair into my backyard to fly and my backpack(s) let me go hiking or otherwise head out for the day.

Related: Best drone bags, backpacks and cases

Once again, there are generic bags, backpacks and cases, as well as many custom built and official factory options. You know how rough you travel, but please consider stepping up to a more protective solution when you can. No point risking the drone over an extra pound of material or a few dollars for the next protective version up.

My backpack is not designed for drones, it just fits the Mavic Pro nicely, aside from that, maybe you’d like this SSE drone backpack for $35 on Amazon today.

Batteries and power packs

Extra power

Of course, the easiest thing to do to get the most air time is pack along additional batteries. When more batteries are not the ideal solution, portable power may keep you going. Admitting that most higher end drones require a dedicated charger to power up, those that do not can hit the road with the same external battery as used for your smartphone.

Most toy class drones use AA batteries in the remote control, so remember to bring some extras, but many others, as well as many toy drone main batteries, rely on a typical USB port for power. This makes it extremely simple to charge your controller or toy drone in the car, at a public charging station or anywhere your external powerpack may roam.

Investing in a dedicated charger for the car may be a solid option for the drone itself, but you may consider simply grabbing an AC converter for the car. A $20 unit will provide enough ‘wall’ power to charge your drones on the go. Check out this Bestek 300W inverter for $30 on Amazon with two plugs and two USB ports for your car.