Best Drone Landing Pads

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
249 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best drone landing pads

Last Updated September 2019

Drones are basically miniature helicopters. If you’ve ever stood near a helicopter when the rotors are spinning, you know the motion creates a tremendous backwash that blows dust, dirt, leaves, twigs and other debris all over the place. As drones have gained popularity, it has become obvious that landing pads are necessary pieces of equipment.

You need a designated landing spot for your drone and its landing pad. If you’re in your own backyard, there’s not much danger of anyone walking through your landing zone. Out in public, however, it’s a different story. A drone landing pad, with its bright colors and designs, provides a visual reference for people, informing them where the drone will be landing. When people see a landing pad, they are more likely to avoid that area and keep a safe distance.

So, as you can see, a drone landing pad is a wise investment. It can protect your drone. It can protect cameras you might have attached to your drone. And, not least of all, it can help protect people from the drone’s spinning propellers by signaling where the drone will be landing. Keep reading to learn more about drone landing pads.

Landing pads are made in eye-catching colors such as orange and yellow. They are often fluorescent for added visibility.

Key considerations

Size

The diameter of your landing pad should be about two times larger than the diameter of your drone, including the propellers. This gives you a decent spanse of landing zone so you don’t feel like you’re trying to land on a postage stamp. Measure your drone from the farthest reach of the propellers on one side to the farthest reach of the propellers on the opposite side. If it measures, say, 14 inches, then you should get a landing pad that is 28 inches or more in diameter.

Rigid or foldable

Many landing pads can be folded. This is convenient and makes them easy to store, but they don’t provide any protection from the uneven surface below the pad. This is particularly true when you’re landing on rocky areas.

Foldable landing pads are made from a variety of materials, including nylon and Oxford cloth. These fabric folding pads typically have a metal rim sewn inside an outer loop. The metal springs into its normal circular shape when you take it out of the bag. It easily twists in a figure-eight style and doubles over for storage. The choice of material is yours. Nylon is waterproof, but it doesn’t offer much protection against impacts. Oxford cloth can cushion a hard landing, but it has to be treated to be waterproof

Rigid landing pads can be leveled with shims to provide a flat, level landing surface. They’re more costly than folding pads, and storage won’t be as convenient, but that’s the trade-off.

EXPERT TIP

Nylon landing pads should always be anchored to the ground due to their lack of weight. They can blow away, even in gentle breezes.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Double-sided

Most landing pads are double-sided, with different colors on each side. One side is intended for use during the day; the other is designed for nighttime use. Notably, there are a few landing pads on the market that are single-sided. Be aware of this when shopping and note that unless the description specifically says a landing pad is double-sided, it is only single-sided.

Pad shape

Shape has little or no impact on functionality; it is mainly a matter of personal taste. Round landing pads are popular with consumers, but there are a number of square and rectangular landing pads available as well. There is no direct correlation between pad shape and size, so be sure to read the product description carefully.

LED lights

For nighttime operation, LED landing lights are a necessity. Many people attach LEDs to the drone, but some landing pads have LED strips that can be fed through loops around the outer perimeter of the pad. This provides a tremendous visual reference when you’re watching the ground through an onboard camera, which helps with the landing. We also can’t help but notice that LED lights on a drone landing pad look super cool.

Waterproof

A good reason to use a landing pad is to keep water off your drone. Make sure the pad material is waterproof (like nylon) or has been treated to make it waterproof.

Larger landing pads can be easily spotted from a distance when you’re using an onboard camera on your drone.

Staff
BestReviews

Accessories

LED lights: One thing you’ll appreciate for night flying is a lighted landing pad. The red Universal Drone Landing Pad LED Lights from O’woda clip onto the edges of any landing pad to illuminate nighttime operations. Each light is less than six centimeters long and has three lights in a row. With one light on each point of the compass, they point toward the center of the landing pad.

Stakes: Some landing pads don’t come with stakes. If you want to have some on hand, get the CamDesign Yellow Plastic Universal Tent or Landing Pad Pegs. They come in a package of six and are made of strong, durable plastic. You can use them to anchor your landing pad or to replace lost pegs.

Drone landing pad prices

Budget prices

Low prices for landing pads start around $13 and go up to $16. For that, you can get a basic double-sided landing pad with a carrying case and some pegs to hold it down. These are smaller landing pads with diameters of around 30 inches.

Mid-range prices

Between $17 to $25, you’ll find most of the landing pads that are 30 to 34 inches in diameter. Some in this price range come with pegs, and some are waterproof. They may also have the points of the compass printed on them.

Higher prices

Above $25, you will find larger drone landing pads of 36 inches in diameter or greater. Many of these pads are also made with higher-quality materials.

EXPERT TIP

Before using your landing pad, sweep it off to remove any dust or dirt particles that may be on it.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Normally, you only need to use two stakes to anchor a landing pad in place. If the wind is high enough that you need more than that, you shouldn’t be flying your drone, anyway.
  • Thicker, softer material will cushion your drone when it lands and protect it during hard landings.
  • If you’re in an area with tall grass, a landing pad will provide you with a flat place to land your drone. A heavier pad is advisable in such cases.
  • A landing pad provides high visibility. People in the vicinity will know where your drone is taking off and landing.

Other products we considered

We like the Fstop Labs Foldable Landing Pad. This 36-inch folding landing pad is double-sided for day and night landings. It includes N, E, S, W markings for orienting your landing pad to the compass. It folds easily and stores in the included portable zip bag when not in use. It also has straps and stakes for anchoring it in place during use.

We also have a soft spot for the Thriverline Drones Landing Pad. It comes with an LED light strip to thread through loops along the perimeter for nighttime illumination. It is double-sided, has a nice carrying bag, and comes with stakes and loops to hold it in place. It includes eight reflective strips to further enhance nighttime visibility.

Ground effect takes place when there isn’t enough space between your propellers and the ground for the air from the propellers to dissipate. It is this effect that produces the dust and debris that interferes with your drone’s engines and propellers.

FAQ

Q. Will a landing pad keep grass out of the propellers of my drone?
A.
Yes. In fact, this is one of the primary reasons why people invest in landing pads.

Q. Will the landing pad protect my camera lens?
A.
Yes. The downdraft from the propellers is known to kick up dust and debris that will scratch the camera lens or coat it in dust that degrades the quality of the pictures.

Q. How long will a landing pad last before it has to be replaced?
A.
It depends on the manufacturer and how often you use the pad. Generally, it is a good idea to replace the pad once every three years.

Q. Why do so many landing pads have a capital ‘H’ printed on them?
A.
It stands for “helipad” and is a holdover from the days when helicopter landing pads needed a similar “H” designation on them for easy recognition from the air.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

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