Drone landing pads may seem like a fancy gimmick that you don’t actually need. But, if you’ve invested several hundred dollars or more into your new hobby, you want your precious flyer to last as long as possible. And this is where drone landing pads prove to be extremely useful.
If you want to learn everything you need to know about drone landing pads, you’ve come to the right place! On this page, we’ll take a detailed look at the most important things you should pay attention to when choosing a new drone landing pad and share some of our top choices for the best drone landing pads in 2021.
Why You Should Use a Drone Landing Pad
The main appeal of drone flying is that you can easily pick up your drone, take it anywhere with you, and land it wherever you want to. Because drones are adaptable to almost any terrain and flexible by design, you don’t require a drone landing pad to fly one. That said, a landing pad can be a handy tool for extending your drone’s longevity.
Statistically, most crashes occur during take-offs and landings. When taking off, your drone usually kicks up all of the tiny debris that is on the ground underneath it. Dust, sand, and small rocks can all kick up and damage your drone’s propellers and lenses. When you have a landing pad underneath, you’ll eliminate the possibility for this to happen and keep your drone safe every time you take off.
When the time comes to land your drone, a landing pad will provide the extra support needed to prevent your drone from landing on a rough surface and getting damaged. Even if you’re a casual flyer, this can make a significant difference in your drone’s longevity. If you fly your drone at least a couple of times a week, getting a drone landing pad is a no-brainer.
What to Look for When Picking a Drone Landing Pad
Not all drone landing pads are the same. More importantly, not all drone landing pads are worth your money. For these reasons, it’s crucial to pick a landing pad that’s suitable for your drone and will last you a long time. Here are some of the most important aspects to pay attention to when picking a drone landing pad:
The size of the landing pad should directly depend on the size of your drone. As a rule of thumb, a 30’’ landing pad is more than enough for most drones on the market. Aside from the total size, consider the foldable size of the pad to choose the one that takes the least space in your backpack or travel bag.
In line with the previous characteristic, weight is another factor that significantly contributes to the landing pad’s usability. With that in mind, the pad shouldn’t be too heavy as you don’t want to be burdened when carrying it around.
A landing pad is basically just a big circle. If any wind gets under it at an angle, it’ll quickly flip over unless it’s heavy enough to prevent being picked up. The most effective way to deal with wind resistance is to pick a pad that’s heavy enough but also comes with a tie system of some sort. Ideally, look for a drone landing pad with a simple stake and tie system, similar to a tent. It’ll be quick and easy to set up and offer excellent wind resistance.
While this aspect might not seem as crucial since you won’t be landing your drone on the water, the landing pad should be water-resistant. The ground is frequently moist, and your landing pad can deteriorate quickly if it’s not at least moisture-resistant. Moreover, if you’re flying after rain or near a beach, you don’t want to get your drone wet, especially if the drone itself is not water-resistant.
Night Flying Support
Reflective strips are not a fantastic invention, but they significantly contribute to the landing pad’s usability during night flights. A bright and vivid drone landing pad will make night flying much more comfortable and eliminate the chance for any landing mistakes.
The Best Drone Landing Pads
Drone landing pads are surprisingly inexpensive and offer great value for money, as you can get a great product for under $25. Here are our top choices for the best drone landing pads, from least to most expensive:
Starting with the smallest and least expensive drone landing pad, the Zerich Universal Landing Pad is just 22’’, and can be folded into 9.1’’. Its tiny design means that it’s suitable only for drones on the smaller side of the scale. The entire landing pad weighs only 7 ounces and is easy to fold and set up.
If you’re a beginner drone flyer or fly your drone just occasionally, the Zerich pad is the perfect choice for you. It’s affordable, lightweight, and very durable compared to other products in the same price range. Plus, you also get a convenient storage bag for easy transportation and safe storing.
The Homga Landing Pad is made from waterproof nylon, making it lightweight and very portable. It weighs only 12 ounces, making it one of the lightest pads you can find. The surface has a functional design of double-sided colors, which is a very nice visual touch. Because the pad is so light, you also get three landing nails you can use to fix it to the ground.
The pad comes with a carrying case, so you can conveniently take it anywhere when you plan on flying your drone. If you’re a night flyer, it’s good to know that you’ll also get reflective strips, which you can paste to the outer side of the printed circle.
This product has over two thousand overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon, so you can rest assured that you won’t go wrong if you opt for the Homga landing pad. With all of this said, the pad’s diameter and larger sizes’ unavailability make this landing pad only viable for smaller drones.
The RCstyle landing pad is very similar in characteristics to the drone landing pads we’ve highlighted above. It’s waterproof, lightweight, and sets up in the same way, using landing nails. The only minute differences are the slightly larger surface diameter and weight.
The landing pad’s total surface is 31.5’’, making it suitable for all small and mid-sized drones on the market. The pad’s weight is just over 13 ounces (about 0.81 lb). This landing pad comes with a double-sided orange/black design that helps you highlight the helipad’s location in many different environments.
If a low landing pad weight is the number-one factor for you, then the PGYTECH landing pad is an unbeatable choice. At a weight of only 8.8 ounces, this landing pad is suitable for all small drones, as it provides a surface of 29.5’’.
Like the Homga landing pad, this one is also made from waterproof nylon and designed in the same fashion. This makes it easy to clean, set up, and pack up. There are no spring mechanisms in the pad. All you need to do is fold it, as the pad folds into itself and shrinks to ⅙ of its folded-out size.
If you have a premium-priced drone, you should also consider purchasing a premium-priced drone landing pad, and the Hoodman HDLP3 is precisely this. By far the most expensive selection on our list, this landing pad is straightforward to set up and fold. It springs out of its compact 13’’ carry bag to unveil a landing surface that’s 3 feet in diameter. This drone landing pad also comes in a 5-foot diameter size.
You can deploy it in seconds, without using any stakes in the process. This is because the bulk of its 4.49-pound weight is distributed over the pad’s weighted perimeter. A 3.2-pound zinc-coated perimeter cable keeps the pad stable and always close to the ground. Such a design makes the Hoodman HDLP3 highly wind-resistant even during the more windy days.
Some Key Takeaways
Drone landing pads don’t cost a lot, but they can significantly extend your drone’s longevity. Regardless if you fly occasionally or every day, it’s no secret that drone landing pads are difference-makers. Plus, as you can see from the top five pads we’ve talked about above, these landing pads can be very flexible and convenient to carry.
These simple surfaces are very effective in keeping your drone safe from dirt, debris, and sand, so make sure to have one prepared to take with you the next time you go out to fly your drone. Hopefully, we’ve helped you decide on a landing pad that best fits your drone. To leave you off, we want to remind you to keep in mind the critical criteria we shared with you on this page, and you’ll have no trouble picking the best drone landing pad every time.