2022 Drone Gift Guide: presents for drone pilots (at every price point)

Looking for a Christmas gift for a beloved drone pilot in your life? Even if they don’t need another drone (or getting them an actual drone isn’t in your budget), there are tons of holiday gift ideas for drone pilots out there.

You might get them an accessory for their drone, like a case, new batteries or filters. There are other tech accessories that aren’t specific just to drones, but that drone pilots would love, such as photo editing software. And then there are plenty of nerdy gifts that capitalize on the love of drones — things like t-shirts and mugs that promote (and sometimes poke fun at) the industry.

I’ve combed through all sorts of potential Holiday 2022 Drone Gift ideas to help you get a better idea of what to gift the drone pilot in your life. I’ve broken these gifts down by budget, as that seems to be how most people initially shop for gifts. And within each tier comes gifts for various ages, skill sets and interest areas. Some of these are things we hope to see under The Drone Girl Christmas tree, too!

So with that, here’s your Holiday 2022 Drone Gift Guide:

Christmas 2022 Drone Gifts under $20

DJI Phantom Quadcopter Patent Prints ($15): I absolutely love these now “retro” prints for a home office — and they’d make for an incredible Zoom background! These 8×10 prints take the original DJI Phantom patent designs and give them a vintage overlay. They’re nerdy. They’re chic. They’re perfect.

Drone Cookie Cutters ($6): Christmas cookies are really only good for a limited time. Drone cookies are good forever. Bake cookies to bring to your next Friday Flyday, or to serve at your next DRL World Championships watch party.

LensPen Lens Cleaner ($13): To clean dirty camera lenses, turn to the LensPen. It’s kind of like a large marker, but with a retractable brush on one end and a lens-cleaning tip on the other. To clean your camera, start by brushing it to removing dust, and then engage the tip, which uses highly absorbent carbon to wipe away dirt or oils on the glass.

Drone Pilot Mug ($14.99): You can never have too many mugs, and this one is adorable. It says “I don’t always play with drones…oh wait, yes I do!” Same.

Glider Gloves Touchscreen Gloves ($14): Touchscreen gloves are a must-have for drone pilots operating in the winter (or even chilly mornings throughout the year). You want to keep your hands warm, but you still need to be able to use your touchscreen (which drone flying often requires).

MicroSD cards (price varies): You can never have too many memory cards! They can get lost, forgotten, corrupted or just become full! This is a perfectly utilitarian gift. Check out my guide to the best microSD cards here, but know that many great ones cost less than $20).

Holiday 2022 Drone Gifts under $50

Paper Airplane Necklace ($25): Looking for a classy gift for the dronie in your life that can even be personalized? This paper airplane necklace is absolutely gorgeous and even comes with classy packaging.

From Where I Drone” coffee table book ($29): Here’s another stunningly classy 2022 drone gift idea that won’t break the bank — a coffee table book filled with large, beautifully printed aerial images. Read my full review of the book here.

Lego sets with drones (price varies): 2022 saw a proliferation of Lego sets featuring drones. And it hasn’t been simply building a drone out of Legos. With the latest slew of Lego kits, drones seamlessly seep into everyday life. For example, with the $40 LEGO® Friends Kit dubbed “Stephanie’s Sailing Adventure,” you’ll find an innocuous drone mini-figure — perhaps to photograph the mini figures’ day out on the waves. That kit portrays the drone as just as essential to a sailing excursion as a walkie-talkie, binoculars and life vests.

2022 Holiday Drone Gifts under $100

Lume Cube drone lighting kit ($60): Lume Cube’s drone light kits essentially turn your drone into a flying spotlight, allowing you to do fantastic, long-exposure, aerial light painting. The lights are controlled via bluetooth or app, allowing you to adjust brightness or strobe levels.  Read more about them here.

Spare drone batteries (price varies): This gift is for the ultra-practical folks out there: spare batteries. This is a gift you can guarantee will be welcome and used. And practical drone pilots should always fly with spare batteries nearby, as you never know what might happen — whether it’s an opportunity to fly longer than you planned, or a tech issue requiring you to swap batteries.

Battery prices vary by drone, and ensure you’re getting the drone pilot in your life the correct battery that fits their drone — as drone batteries are rarely universal, one-size-fits-all tech.

But to give you an idea of what you might purchase, consider the DJI Mini 3 Pro. Its standard battery costs $65. Or, upgrade to the DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Battery Plus for $95, which improves flight time from 34 minutes to 47 minutes.

Drone camera lens filters (price varies): Filters are a must-have for drone photographers and videographers. Small yet powerful, filters helps you to capture true-to-life colors and stunning highlight and low-light detail by compensating for other external lighting conditions (like bright, mid-day sunlight). Just like the batteries, understand that filters need to fit your drone. Before purchasing, find out what drone you’re looking to fit. The DJI Mavic 3 Classic ND Filters Set costs $200.

Holiday 2022 Drone Gifts under $500

Propel Star Wars drone ($200): Star Wars is my favorite film franchise — and I’ve loved it even more out of late. Baby Yoda is my inspiration, and I absolutely loved watching Andor this year. And if you want to merge your two passions, drones and Star Wars, there is an actual Star Wars drone.

Propel has a line of highly-detailed, hand-painted drones that come in three different designs: the 74-Z Speeder Bike, the T-65 X-Wing Starfighter and the Tie Advanced X1. Read my complete review of these drones here. This might just be the best, most unexpected 2022 drone gift you can give to a Star Wars fan.

Drone Pilot Ground School’s Part 107 test prep course ($299): I like this gift because it doesn’t require any wrapping, and won’t take up any space! The Federal Aviation Administration requires that any commercial drone operator pass its Aeronautical Knowledge Test to earn a drone pilot’s license. To pass that test, I recommend enrolling in a Part 107 online training course like Drone Pilot Ground School.

Their digital offering includes hours of video lectures, practices tests and a concise cram sheet. While the course is usually $299, use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to save $50 and bring your price down to just $249).

If you’re looking for an unconventional gift for someone who loves drones, consider this gift to help them turn their hobby into a money-making business.

Adobe Creative Cloud subscription ($360): Also in the digital realm is an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. This software suite includes Adobe Premiere for video editing, Lightroom and Photoshop for photo editing, and Dreamweaver for website design. Anyone who edits drone photos or puts together drone videos almost certainly uses this software (or they likely should, if they don’t already.

Osmo Mobile 6 ($159): The Osmo Mobile 6 is a palm-sized, portable device designed to level up videos shot on smartphones — iPhone or otherwise by bringing the silky smooth video aesthetic commonly found in drones to your smartphone. It’s a perfect companion for a drone videographer (or any social media maven looking for impeccable video — whether or not they care for drones).

Christmas 2022 Drone Gifts under $1,000

Sally French, The Drone Girl, reviews the DJI Mini 3 Pro in May 2022.

DJI Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC ($909): The DJI Mini 3 Pro is my top-rated camera drone in the “Best camera drone for most people” category. Whether your favorite drone pilot is looking to upgrade an older model to one with better specs (including obstacle avoidance sensors and a 1/1.3-inch CMOS camera sensor with dual native ISO), or they just want something smaller (this drone weighs under 249 grams!), I can’t recommend this enough.

The $909 version includes DJI’s top controller, the DJI RC. Though, if you’re looking to save, then consider the cheaper $759 version with the RC-N1 controller, which is fine, though not as powerful.

Read my full review of the DJI Mini 3 Pro here.

Skydio 2+ Starter Kit ($899): Technically it costs $1,099, but the Skydio 2 Starter Kit barely made the threshold for my ‘drone gifts under $1,000’ guide thanks to the current Skydio Holiday Sale, offering $200 off.

The Skydio 2+ is my top alternative to DJI as far as camera drones go. It’s also my top follow-me drone, and is far smarter than most DJI drones go in terms of its abilities to not crash (that’s thanks to sensors on all sides).

Read my full review of the Skydio 2 drone here.

What presents are on your 2022 Drone Gift wishlist? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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