As you may already know, the drone industry has grown so big that it has created a very long value chain for both customers and manufacturers. Today, it is just not enough to purchase a drone, you have to acquire some extra accessories and kits in order to enjoy a better experience.
We are not suggesting that it is compulsory to invest in accessories, but if you are really looking for a better experience it is a great idea. If you are reading this chances are that you have developed your flying skills and you are looking for more to do with your new found hobby, or you have invested in an expensive drone and you want to test the limits of what it can really do with the best drone accessories.
Drone accessories are basically extra attachments and kits or tools that are designed to increase the efficiency of your drone or better your flying experience. Think of drone accessories like computer accessories such as you’re your mouse, keyboard, sound speakers, and external hard drives and so on. Some drone accessories that you might need include a camera, extra batteries, extra blades, drone backpacks, transmitters, and many more.
There is a long list of drone accessories that you can find on the market. If you are looking to purchase some accessories to better your flying experience, you might be confused as to which ones are the most important. In this article, we have taken the pain of researching the most essential drone accessories based on what the experts and drone enthusiasts have suggested.
However, there are factors that will determine what accessories are most important to you based on what you intend to do with your drone. If you are into aerial photography or you want to record action moments in sports events, then you know you need a very good camera and great gimbals.
It is almost impossible to think about drones and not think about cameras, they sort of go hand in hand. In fact, it may not come as a surprise to discover that drones were created for the sole purpose of photography. This explains why they are still very relevant in the military as most of the drone applications are related to reconnaissance missions and information gathering why involves aerial photography. Many drones come with in-built cameras, while others require you purchase a camera separately.
Advanced drones like DJI phantom don’t have inbuilt cameras and are bundled with one or you may have to buy them separately. A common advanced camera is the GoPro, which is often the go-to for many professional drone photographers. GoPro Hero4 is a great camera that you can attach to your drone to capture amazing aerial photography and for drone racing. It is durable and has a lot of features that enhance the quality of footages.
If you have invested in an expensive photography drone, then it is only right that you purchase a large capacity micro SD to go with it. You want to ensure that you have more than enough space to store those large sized footages shot by your 4K drone camera.
The worst experience that you can have while shooting those fantastic images is running out of storage half way through, you don’t want that to happen. We recommend purchasing a micro SD from a reputable brand such as Samsung, their Evo Select 64 GB, 128GB, 256GB or 512GB is a great option. It is ideal for quick file transfers and shooting 4K videos. We recommend investing in a larger storage like the 256GB so you won’t have to land the drone to swap a storage card. The Samsung Evo Select is very affordable.
Now, this might be the most important accessory that every drone owner needs, whether you are a professional drone pilot of your own a mini-drone for flying in your spare time. Most drone batteries can only last for a few minutes, especially the small to large sized drones because they come with powerful motors and are heavier; hence they need bigger batteries or better still extra batteries if you want to fly them for a longer time.
Another reason why spare batteries are essential is that drone batteries take long to charge, and the last thing you want is waiting for another hour till the one battery gets fully charged and you can put your drone back into the sky. We suggest purchasing at least a spare battery so you can enjoy a longer flight time.
Professional pilots who fly highly specialized drones do purchase as many as three or more batteries. Since it’s not enough to have spare batteries in order to get the more airtime, investing in a power inverter is a great option. Purchasing an AC converter for the car that lets you charge multiple batteries at a go is a great idea for your drone. A great option is the Bestek 300W Inverter with 4 USB ports and 2 outlets. It is compact and very reliable, and more importantly a great power source for your extra batteries.
If you are into drone photography or you intend to purchase a drone for the sake of taking fantastic and stable shots and footages, you need a gimbal to achieve this. While drones with inbuilt cameras are capable of capturing great shots and footages, they usually come with other stabilizing technology which makes it possible.
But if you are purchasing a camera separately, you also need to invest in a gimbal. The gimbal keeps the camera still and reduces the jello effect and jitters by eliminating the vibrations created by the drones’ propellers and vibrations from strong winds.
Some drones come with pre-installed gimbals which can be 2-axis or 3-axis, make sure to check if the drone you are considering has an inbuilt gimbal. If you own a DJI Mavic drone and you need a gimbal to attach a GoPro camera to, a great choice will be the DJI Mavic Pro Gimbal
If you are looking for an immersive flying experience an FPV goggle is a sure way enjoy flying your drone. If your drone is compatible with FPV goggles (most drones on the market now come with the FPV feature) then you won’t be making the wrong decision buying an FPV goggle. It is a great accessory for drone racers and drone photography enthusiasts, or if you would like to get the feeling of flying in the cockpit of an aircraft.
FPV goggle is usually one of the most expensive drone accessories. But if you are looking for that next level experience and your drone flying skills are great, then you need an FPV goggle. One important thing to note is to make sure that you check with your local FAA authorities and seek information concerning the use of FPV goggles for flying drones. DJI goggles are very popular and are considered one of the best on the market, and they are also fully optimized for a great flying experience.
Sometimes your drone will lose connection or run out of battery while flying and drop out of the sky in a free fall, or maybe even crash into a tree or the face of a building. The component that usually takes the hit and mostly gets damaged or destroyed is the propellers. You want to ensure that you have enough propellers to swap with the damaged ones so you do not have to go back home sad that your outdoor drone adventure has been cut short due to one broken propeller.
You cannot have too many propellers, so we recommend you purchase at least a set of replacement propellers. Some brands do include a good number of spare propellers, so you might want to keep an eye out for those when drone shopping. But if you have run out of propellers or the drone you purchased only included a few, then you should purchase a couple more.
Since your drone will most likely have specially built propeller blades for that particular model, we suggest that you stick to the original propellers manufactured by your drone brand. You do not want to end up with low standard third-party propellers that won’t fit properly. If you own a DJI spark drone, you can check out the DJI Spark drone quick release 2 pairs propellers here
Even if your transmitters LCD or your smartphone screen has a fantastic display, they are still mostly not a match for the sun’s Ray’s, especially on a very bright afternoon. This is where sunshades come in. Sunshades prevent glare on your display, helping you to have a clear vision of your screen.
Some drone pilots go the DIY route, cutting up cardboard or other materials in order to create a sunshade, but they mostly don’t look stylish or a part of the drone setup. However there are several generic sunshades as well as brand specific models that you can purchase, and many of them are affordable.
Now that you have purchased your drone and every accessory that you need, have you thought about how you are going to transport them to your flight locations? There are dozens of brands that offer drone bags, cases, and backpacks in different sizes and shapes. It all boils down to the size of your drone and the accessories you need to transport.
Most carry cases have properly laid out compartments for the drone, extra propellers, batteries, transmitters, even goggles. You also want to make sure that the drone bag you are purchasing will be convenient to carry, whether case or backpacks, be sure that they are well padded at the shoulders and not unnecessarily large. A great backpack to consider when shopping for one is the Lowepro DroneGuard BP 250, which is designed for DJI Mavic drones.
The great thing about this backpack is that it can fit different sizes of DJI drones, including properly laid out compartments for your batteries (very important) and even a top compartment that your FPV goggle can fit in. The entire front section can be completely opened to allow you to gain full access when storing or removing your drone kits.
Non-DJI drone users do have several backpack options, besides it is not practical to have several drones and have to purchase a different backpack specifically designed for each one. Our pick for a versatile drone backpack is the Peak Design Everyday Backpack.
This backpack makes a great choice for everyone who needs a backpack that can carry everything from drones and accessories to cameras and other equipment. It is a 30-liter capacity backpack with a lot of room and compartments for a convenient storage. The best feature of the Peak Design backpack is that it is weatherproof, which means that you do not need any extra covering to prevent your drone equipment from getting wet.