Drones are becoming more and more popular. If you are thinking of getting a gift for someone who has a drone or is interested in drones, I have some suggestions.
When we bought our first drone back in 2018, I had no idea about everything that goes with owning a drone. I have put together a list of the best gifts for drone lovers to give you some inspiration.
Also drone pilots may appreciate our free drone flight checklist – claim it here.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Please see disclosure for more information.
- Which Drone?
- Best Drone Gift Ideas
- Best Drone Books
- Fun Gifts for Your Favorite Drone Pilot
- Fly Your Drone Responsibly
If you are shopping for someone who is interested in a drone but doesn’t already have one, you need to figure out which drone to buy. This can get pretty complicated very quickly, so we’ll do our best to keep this simple!
There are a number of options here, but in general, we recommend sticking with DJI products. Some people will swear by Parrot drones instead of DJI ones and say they are better and in some cases, they’d be right. There is an element of ‘horses for courses’ here, but there is a reason why DJI is the market leader in drone technology: their products are competitively priced and well equipped. Stick with DJI, get the right model and you can’t go far wrong.
Be wary of drones that look like DJI clones. The image quality is far inferior, they don’t fly as well and you will end up disappointed.
Our first drone was a DJI Mavic Pro (which is no longer in production). Since we bought this, DJI has released the Mavic Air, the Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro and Enterprise models, Mavic Mini, Air 2, Mavic Mini 2, and most recently, the Mavic Pro 3, Mavic 3 Cine and Mavic 3 Classic, the DJI FPV and the DJI Avata. I did say this could get complicated! Don’t worry, we’re going to cut through all that.
We have five recommendations for drones, depending on what you (or the person you are buying the drone for) plan to do with it once you’ve bought it. You can buy just the drone or purchase as part of a package that includes everything needed to get started (spare batteries, propellors, carrying case, etc).
A Good Starter Drone: Ryze Tello
Bearing in mind ‘ve just said we recommend DJI products, why is our first suggestion not a DJI drone? Well, the Ryze Tello is ‘powered by DJI’ so it’s basically a DJI drone with a different badge on it.
This is a very practical first drone. It is relatively inexpensive, and easy to fly. The camera isn’t good enough for professional use (or most amateur uses for that matter), as it’s only 5MP and shoots 720p video. It really struggles if there is any sort of wind and the battery life is short. That said, it’s pretty capable for the money and it’s just about the best ‘starter’ drone out there. We still have one of these. Russell uses it for flying practice.
Russell says there are only two types of drone pilot: people that have crashed their drone, and people that haven’t flown enough yet. When you’re first learning to fly a drone, you are more likely to have an accident, so if you are going to crash, crash something cheaper. Trust me – your pocket will thank you.
Click here to check the price on the Tello Elite Max Combo. It includes extra batteries, remote controller, four port charger, and more.
Best Drone for General Use: DJI Mini 3 Pro
If you want something more capable than a Tello, but you’re not sure which way to go, get this one. This is the drone that’s suitable for almost everyone. In fact, we recently sold our old Mavic Pro and bought one of these.
There are all sorts of regulatory complications once you start flying something heavier than 250g, so DJI have very deliberately built this to be 249g so it stays under the regulatory limit. All the online reviews and videos say how small and light this is, but it’s not until you’re holding the thing that you realize just how small and light. Honestly, I’ve eaten sandwiches that weighed more than this drone.
For something this compact, it is incredibly powerful. It has a 48MP camera, shoots 4K video and flies for about 20 minutes on a single battery (DJI claim 34 minutes). It has obstacle avoidance on the front, back and underneath and has a range of built-in flight routines that will make it easy to get some great footage.
The Mini 3 Pro comes with a choice from two different controllers. One without a screen that you connect your phone to, and another that has a built-in screen. We have the version with the screen, which is more convenient.
With the Mini 3 Pro, DJI is selling the Fly More Combo (which includes extra batteries and other useful accessories) as a separate package, instead of only making it available as a bundle with the drone. Check out the Fly More Combo here.
Best Prosumer Drone: DJI Mavic 3
The latest in DJI’s successful Mavic range has several improvements over earlier models. It has 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, 5.1k video, 60 frames per second at 1080p, 46 minutes of flight Time, omnidirectional obstacle sensing, and 15 km max transmission range.
This drone has a lot more flexibility for both photography and videography so it is definitely a lot more versatile and better suited to the advanced user, but it’s probably overkill for what most people need.
As the Mavic 3 weighs 895g, there are likely to be legal restrictions on where you can fly, which will differ from country to country. Be sure to check the regulations before you take off.
Check the price for the Mavic 3 Fly More Combo here. It includes extra batteries, extra propellers, battery charging port, travel bag, and more.
Best Drone for FPV: DJI FPV
FPV means First Person View. In other words, you wear a headset and you see what the drone ‘sees’. FPV drones either don’t have gimbals or one that only works on one axis, so the view will twist and turn as the drone moves.
This is an easy way of getting into flying FPV drones without building your own. It has a 12MP camera and can shoot video at 4k/60 fps. It has a battery life of 20 minutes. The DJI FPV combo includes the drone, the FPV controller and goggles.
There are a couple of regulatory things that you need to remember when flying the DJI FPV: It’s above 250g, so there are likely to be restrictions on where you can fly it. Check the rules in the country you’re flying in before taking off. Also, depending on where you are flying, it is likely that you will need to have somebody with you as a ‘spotter’ if you’re wearing goggles.
Check the price for the DJI FPV Combo here. It comes with extra battery, controller, and charging hub.
Best Cinewhoop: DJI Avata
Best what? A Cinewhoop is basically a very small FPV drone. The Avata is a fun little thing and probably the best way of getting into FPV flying. It’s small, rugged, extremely nimble and very easy to fly with the special motion controller it comes with.
It might be smaller than the DJI FPV, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable. It has a 48MP camera, shoots 4K video at 60fps and has a flight time of around 12 minutes in real world conditions (DJI say 18mins).
Because it weighs 410g, there will be the usual restrictions on where you can fly, and because it’s an FPV drone you will be using a headset so you will need a ‘spotter’. Check the regulations in the country you are flying in before you take off.
There are various bundles available for the Avata, but the best option is to get the package that includes the DJI Goggles 2 and the Motion Controller. Check out the price here.
Don’t forget the Fly More Kit which includes extra batteries and a charging hub. Check out the price here.
Best Drones for Kids: Ryze Tello
We can’t leave kids out of our drone gift guide! They will want to get their hands on your drone when they see you flying it. I worry about this because the drones are so expensive and easily damaged. Instead, it may be a good idea to give your children a toy drone as a gift.
The problem with a lot of the really cheap drones out there is that they are a pain to set up and difficult to fly! That’s the reason we recommend the Ryze Tello. Although the Tello is slightly more expensive than other models out there, it behaves in much the same way as the more expensive DJI drones.
It is very easy to fly and it is quick and simple to get set up, pretty much straight out of the box. You control it using a smartphone, and while the camera isn’t going to be good enough to make the next Hollywood blockbuster, it’s fine as a toy. It even does ok as a selfie drone – which is why we have one of these too. In our opinion, the Tello is the best drone for kids.
Best Drone Gift Ideas
If you want to buy a present for someone who already has a drone, it is important to know which drone they have. Many accessories are drone specific. In our list of recommended gifts for drone enthusiasts, we have included options for drones listed above: the Mini 3 Pro, Mavic 3, DJI FPV and the Avata. There are options for all budgets.
Best Drone Backpack
This backpack will fit any one of the drones we mentioned and more. You can also bring your laptop and a travel tripod. It features rear access, meaning your gear is secure up against your back and you can access the equipment without fully removing the bag.
Best Drone Bag
This is a minefield! Ask 100 drone pilots which is the best bag to carry a drone, you’ll get 100 different answers. All the combo packages above (except the FPV and the Avata) come with bags, but if you are looking for something else, here are some suggestions.
Mini 3 Pro Case
We’ve always found that the bag that comes as part of the Mini 3 Pro Fly More kit is perfectly good enough. Part of the attraction of this drone is the size and weight, so we wouldn’t want anything bulky as we travel with this drone a lot.
That said, if you do want a case for it, consider the SYMIK A310-MM3DL Hard Carrying Case for DJI Mini 3 Pro Drone/Fly More Combo with DJI RC or RC-N1 Remote. This is waterproof, rugged, and has space to carry the Mini 3 Pro, all its accessories and still have room for an iPad.
Click to get more information, read reviews, and check the price.
Mavic 3 Case
Because there are all sorts of different options available for the Mavic 3 such as different size controllers, you should be careful with any recommendations for a case for the Mavic 3.
That said, the LEKUFEE Waterproof Case For the DJI Mavic 3 / DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo and More Drone Accessories is a sensible option. This will carry the Mavic 3 drone, standard RC controller and the Fly More kit. Note that this will not fit the RC Pro Controller.
DJI FPV Case
The LEKUFEE Waterproof Case Compatible with DJI FPV Drone Combo and More DJI FPV Drone Accessories has space to carry the drone and all the accessories. It’s rugged and split level, so it has plenty of room to carry other essentials you might need as well.
DJI Avata Case
The Lekufee Waterproof Case Compatible with DJI Avata Pro-View Combo (DJI Goggles 2) and More Accessories has the space to carry everything you need to fly the Avata drone. As it’s split level, there’s enough storage space for a few little extras as well.
Best Drone Filters
There is a lot of discussion online about how important ND filters are on a drone. Quite often you will be able to fly without them. Drone cameras tend to struggle with high contrast scenes though, so if you are taking pictures and videos on a really sunny day, or capturing a sunset, you are going to wish you had them!
The purpose of ND filters when recording video is slightly different than taking still photographs. For filming an ND filter is used to allow you to set the correct shutter speed so that you can get the right amount of motion blur for the frame rate you are using. For example, if you are shooting in 25 frames per second, you need a shutter speed of around 1/50th that means on a sunny day you are probably going to need an ND filter.
ND Filters are particularly useful on the Mini 3 Pro, which has a fixed aperture of 1.7.
Mini 3 Pro ND Filters
We recommend The Freewell All Day – 6Pack ND4, ND8, ND16, ND32, ND64, ND1000 Filters Compatible with Mini 3 Pro. It would be ideal if there was an ND128 or ND256 in there instead of the ND4, but this is a sensible set to start with.
Mavic 3 Filters
The K&F Concept 4-piece ND Filter Compatible with DJI Mavic 3, ND64 ND128 ND256 ND512 Neutral Density Filters Cine set are up to standard and the range of filters in the set is sufficient.
DJI FPV Filters
Freewell Standard Day – 4K Series – 4Pack ND Filters is a good set, from a reputable manufacturer. It comes with ND4, ND8, ND16, and ND32. Something higher than an ND32 would be nice, but it’s a decent start.
DJI Avata Filters
We like the Neewer 4 PCS Magnetic ND Filter Set Compatible with DJI Avata as they are made by a company with a strong track record in affordable and quality filters for cameras and camera drones. They come in a set of ND8, ND16, ND32, ND64, which should be suitable for most occasions when using this drone.
Best Drone Memory Card
We strongly recommend that you don’t skimp on SD cards. You need cards with a fast write speed. While these inevitably cost more, if you buy cards that don’t write fast enough, you will end up with jerky footage caused by dropped frames.
The cards we recommend are SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO microSDXC card + SD adapter. It’s not that expensive and it always smart to have extra space capacity. – Click here to check the price on Amazon
Get more than one card. It’s a good idea to swap out the memory card at the same time you change the battery. This means that if the worst happens and you lose or crash your drone, you won’t lose all the footage you’ve already recorded.
Drone Landing Pad
There are two schools of thought on this one, and Russell has been in both camps at one time or another! He was a bit skeptical about a landing pad when we first got the drone. He didn’t see the point of a big orange mat with the letter ‘H’ for Helicopter on it. You can always find a flat bit of ground.
Having had the drone for a while, Russell changed his mind. These drones are very low to the ground, so if the grass is too long it can snag in the propeller blades. If the ground is dusty or sandy, the propellers can whip up the dust and that’s never good news for the motors on the gimbal.
These days Russell has gone back the other way! He prefers to hand launch and catch the drone, and the mat is just one more thing to carry around. He understands why some people like them though, so we’re including them on our list of recommendations. He still thinks the portable helipad is a bit daft though.
Multiple Battery Charger
Drone batteries do not last long! It’s always a good idea to have at least one fully charged battery as a backup when you are flying, and you should always fly with a full battery.
All of the Fly More Combo packs come with a battery charging hub that will charge multiple batteries but usually charges them one after the other. Consider getting a battery charger that can charge up to three batteries and the controller all at the same time is much more useful! This isn’t an option for the Avata Mavic Pro 3 yet as it’s too new a drone, but hopefully soon.
Mini 3 Pro Battery Charger
Anbee Mini 3 Pro Drone Battery Charger, 6-in-1 Quick Charging Hub Station with Discharging Storage Mode
Mavic 3 Battery Charger
LYONGTECH Battery Charger for DJI Mavic 3 Drone,Rapid Multi Charging Hub,Simultaneous Charge 4 Batteries and Remote Controller Accessories
DJI FPV Battery Charger
Anbee Multi Battery Charger Station, 5-in-1 Parallel Charging Quick Charger Compatible with DJI FPV Quadcopter RC Drone
Propeller Transport Guards
When you put the drone back in the bag, or get it out again later, you’d like to know that the propellers are not going to get damaged in the process. These guards stop that from happening.
There are no prop guards for the DJI FPV as it uses three blade propellers, and the Avata has large plastic guards built into the design.
Mini 3 Pro
SKYREAT Mini 3 Pro Propeller Protector for DJI Mini 3 Pro
Mavic 3 Propeller Guards
O’woda Silicone Propeller Holder for DJI Mavic 3
Tablet Mount for the Controller
LYONGTECH 4.7- 12.9 Inch RC-N1 Remote Controller Phone Tablet Holder Mount for DJI Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro
Some people prefer to fly using a tablet rather than a smartphone. The screen is bigger and can be easier to see. A lot of drone pilots recommend the Ipad mini 4 as the best compromise between a large screen and portability. If you’d prefer to use a tablet, this device clips into the controller where the phone would normally go and enables you to plug a tablet in instead.
This tablet holder is compatible with the RC-N1 controller that you can use for the Mini 3 Pro and the Mavic 3, as well as the DJI Mini 2, Mini, and Air 2 models, and Mavic 3. Obviously if your controller has a built in screen you will not need the tablet holder, so check which version of the controller you have before ordering one of these.
The DJI FPV and Avata do not need a tablet holder as they use goggles.
Sun Shade for the Controller
Every drone pilot will need a sun shade at some point, unless you are flying using goggles as with the DJI FPV and Avata. If you’re out shooting beautiful sunny landscapes, it can be difficult to see the screen properly due to glare. This casts a shadow over the screen so you can still see to fly.
Which sunshade you need will depend on the controller you have, and whether it has a built in screen.
Mini 3 Pro RC Controller with Built-in Screen
YETEETH Mini 3 Pro Protective Cover with Sun Hood for DJI Mini 3 Pro
Mini 3 Pro with RC-N1 Controller (No Screen)
The complication here is that the size of the sunshade will depend on the size of the phone you’re plugging into it. For most devices, the Skyreat Mini 3 / Mini 2 Sun Hood Shield Cover for 4.7-6.7 inch Phone with Lanyard Remote Controller is a good option.
Mavic 3 Controller with No Screen
This controller is actually the same RC-N1 controller as listed above for the Mini 3 Pro, so the same sunshade will do.
Mavic 3 Controller with a Built-in Screen
There are two types of controller you can get for the Mavic 3 with a screen built in. One is the same RC controller with a screen that ships with the Mini 3 Pro, so the same sunshade will do. Check the price here.
The other controller with a screen built in is the RC Pro, which is black. For that controller, the Gouduoduo2018 Mavic 3 RC PRO 2 in 1 Protective Cover with Sun hood remote control is a good option.
Spare Batteries and Spare Propellers
It might not be the most exciting of the drone gifts on our list, but everyone needs spare batteries and propellers! For batteries and propellers, only buy original parts directly from DJI, or a DJI authorized reseller.
Yes, there are cheaper batteries and props out there, manufactured by third parties, but there are quite a lot of sensors built into DJI’s batteries and you will want the reassurance that the battery will work exactly as expected. A drone is an expensive investment – why put that investment at risk with a cheap battery or propeller you can never quite rely on? Sometimes you can find these drone accessories on Amazon, but if not try the DJI website.
Best Drone Books
Another gift idea for drone enthusiasts is a book about drones. These books can help them learn about flying the drone and improving video and photography.
Drone Photography: Art and techniques
This book is a couple of years old now but still has some good advice. It’s a helpful guide to flying and how to capture high quality images with your drone. It’s a flying camera, so just like every other camera, it’s worthwhile learning how to get the best out of it.
Drone Pilot Log Book
DJI apps automatically record flight details, but if you fly multiple drones, or just want to be able to write your flights down, you can use a log book. There are many different types and formats available, so have a look around and find one you like.
See more drone log book options here.
Fun Gifts for Your Favorite Drone Pilot
If the drone pilot you are thinking of buying something for already has enough accessories, maybe a fun Christmas drone gift would make him/her smile. You can get drone t-shirts, cups, or even a drone cap.
Before You Ask Drone Shirt Funny Drone Shirt
I’m Flying My Drone Mug
Drone Pilot Hat
Fly Your Drone Responsibly
Whatever drone you fly, please make sure you follow the rules in the country where you are flying. Drones get a pretty bad reputation sometimes when people misuse them. In some countries the penalties for not following local drone laws can be very stiff including jail time.
Because drones are a comparatively new field, the regulations surrounding them in all countries are subject to change so it’s not possible to give a complete rundown of the rules.
Here in the UK there is The Drone Code, which is similar to the regulations in many other countries, but even here the rules have changed significantly over the last two years. Safe distances from airports have been revised, online competency tests for drone operators have been introduced, along with an annual fee. There have also been major changes to the drone regulations in America and Canada. If you are planning to travel with your drone, don’t rely on what the rules were last time you were there. Check before you set off.
We also created a drone flight checklist to help you be prepared for each flight – grab it (along with a few other goodies) here.
Do you have a drone? What are some of the best drone accessories that you have bought? Do you have any other drone gift ideas to add to the list?
If you are looking for more present ideas, be sure to check out some of my other gifts lists:
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Last Updated on August 26, 2023