When flying your drone outside, especially an expensive one that packs a high-end camera lens, it’s recommended to use something flat as a smooth surface for taking off and landing. It will protect your drone from a potential crash, water, sand or dirt which can help to prolong your drone’s life and save you a lot of trouble and money.
Sometimes, a piece of flat wood or cardboard can simply do the trick. But when you need to take it out for hiking or travel, they may fail you because of the poor portability and durability.
A drone landing pad would be a good thing you should consider. But the question is how to choose the right one?
Before presenting the products, let’s take a quick look at the criteria first.
What makes a good drone landing pad and how to choose the right size?
- Heavy enough to plant firmly when takeoff and landing even in windy days. This is a must-have feature because when launching or landing the propeller wash could be very violent, otherwise, there is no point using one.
- Easy to set up and fold. A good landing pad should be easy to fold and carry, and you don’t need to use pegs or stakes to fix it.
- Waterproof. As drones are not water-resistant, they are vulnerable to water and snow. A waterproof landing pad will prevent it from getting wet.
- Solid and good durability. You may probably use it in hot summer, cold winter or on the beach. A solid and durable one would likely to survive all the harsh conditions.
Here are the recommended sizes for popular drones
- Drones in the size of a DJI Mavic Pro or larger >= 30” (75 cm) when unfolded
- Drones the same size as a DJI Mavic Air or smaller >= 20” (50 cm) when unfolded
Top 3 drone landing pads review
We studied users’ feedback, watched a lot of videos of how it actually performed, and read reviews on other websites. After two days of’ research on more than 20 top selling landing pads on major online shops, we have figured out the best drone landing pads that may fulfill everyone’s needs.
The best for all – Hoodman Drone Launch Pad
- Springs automatically into shape for easy setup
- Prevents dust and debris being kicked up
- Truly waterproof, protect your drone getting wet
- High-visibility for better recognition
- Collapses to only 13″, small enough to be placed in your backpack
- 3.2 lb galvanized-steel perimeter, weighted to prevent from blowing away by winds. No stakes needed.
- 3 sizes are available for different drones.
- No stakes needed to place it
- Truly waterproof
- Comes with a carry bag
- Three sizes available for the different size of drones
- A little bit heavy for carrying
- Fold-up takes time to learn in the beginning
- Pricey. Currently the most expensive in this category
The Hoodman drone landing pad stands out for its weight that heavy enough to stay firmly in place in any situation without using any stakes. Many people are impressed that it doesn’t blow away or flap around when taking off or landing.
Many aerial photographers said that it’s a must-have accessory for it keeps dirt and debris from blowing back onto your drone and practically eliminates the worry of damaging your camera and motors.
One thing that people also liked is the high-visible color, commenting that it lets others around you know where you are taking off and landing which in turn keeps them a safe distance.
Some users do have problems with folding up to put it back to the carrying bag at the beginning, you will need a little practice. Here is a video tutorial.
The best one for small drones – PGYTECH Drone Landing Pad
The high-quality PU material makes it water resistant and can stand all the extreme conditions.
The landing pad can be folded into a rectangle which is the size of a small notebook. It fits nicely in the included bag or your backpack after folding.Its proper weight allows it to stay in place without nailing it to the ground, saves you a lot of time and trouble for setting up.
We think this landing pad is the best for small drones mainly because the updated design makes it much more convenient for taking out and easy to use. You don’t need to use stakes anymore.
Its square-shaped design allows you to fold it within seconds just like folding a paper. Practicing and learning are not necessary.
The downside is that there is only one size (20” x 20”/50 cm x 50 cm ) available. If you are flying a DJI Mavic 2 Pro or a larger drone, it might be a little bit small.
The best alternative with an affordable price – KINBON Drone Landing Pad
Unlike the Hoodman pad, most need stakes to fix when placing on the ground otherwise they may move during takeoff or landing, especially in windy days. The Kinbon is one of them.
Apart from providing 8 reflective straps that can be used for night flight and more lightweight, everything else like waterproof, fold-up and are pretty much the same.
People commented that using stakes to secure it to the ground is troublesome, you need to install and uninstall every time, and stakes can’t be used on asphalt or concrete lands, they may also come loose on windy days and pop up and catch on your drone landing gear causing a potential crash.
Although it comes at a much cheaper price than the Hoodman launch pad and offers some extra benefits, we still think it’s just the best alternative.
Of the three drone landing pads we reviewed, we think most people could just go with the PGYTECH for its easy to use and portability. It’s also compatible with most of the consuming drones in the market. Aerial photographers and those who own a larger drone are recommended choosing the Hoodman though it’s a little pricey. We think it’s worth spending a little bit more to protect your investment.
The Kinbon landing pad is a good alternative if you don’t like the PGYTECH one or the Hoodman is too much for you.
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