The DJI Mavic Air is being hailed as the perfect drone for backpackers, hikers, and travelers who need to pack light. It’s ultra-portable size and outstanding photo & video capabilities packed into such a small package make it a game changer.
But to really get the most out of this drone’s travel capabilities you’ll need more than just the drone and the controller.
Here are a few accessories to consider adding to your Mavic Air kit before your next big travel outing.
DJI has finally shipped a drone with a soft case that provides a good level of protection for your Mavic Air. But it won’t hold the controller, spare batteries, cables, charger, and so on. For all of this, you’ll need a different case.
Your most basic transportation solution for the Mavic Air will be portable and easy to carry, yet capable of holding your Mavic Air, 3-4 batteries, controller, smartphone, charger, and cables.
Polar Pro makes a minimal case that fits this bill, however, you may find that this case is actually too crammed. Many users have reported a poor fitting, but it still may be worth checking out.
The best option is surprisingly made by DJI, listed as the Mavic Air Travel Bag. This shoulder bag has a very low-key appearance and will keep all of your Mavic Air gear organized and in one location while you’re traveling.
And finally, if you’re carrying more than just a drone – like a camera and another lens – it’s probably time to get a camera backpack. There are far too many on the market to go into them here, but some quality manufacturers include Lowepro, Manfrotto, and Think Tank.
If you’re going to be in some very rugged, wet conditions, you may want to consider a hard case for transporting your Mavic Air. These cases have pre-cut foam compartments inside to keep everything secure, are waterproof, and float.
Casematix has been making drone cases for a long time but currently, their Mavic Air hard case only holds the drone, controller, and three batteries – no other accessories.
Go Professional Cases also makes a great hard case that can hold the Mavic Air Fly More Combo – drone, 4 batteries, controller, cables, propellers, charging hub, and other small accessories like filters. The best thing about these hard cases is their small size, allowing them to fit in a backpack.
Care & Maintenance
It’s really easy to get finger smudges and dust specks on your Mavic Air lens. One of the most portable & efficient lens cleaning solutions for travelers is the LENSPEN. One side of this pen contains a small brush for wiping the dust off of the lens. The cap on the other side protects a reusable, soft, dry cleaning compound that easily removes smudges and water stains.
Even if you are the best pilot and never crash, you may still need to replace propellers. They can bend and reshape themselves in high heat, break, or develop small cracks through heavy use. You don’t want to be grounded because you don’t have a spare propeller. Only buy authentic propellers from DJI. Remember that there are different propellers for the clockwise and the counter-clockwise motors so you’ll need at least one of each (fortunately they’re sold as pairs).
Do you really need to be convinced why you need more than one battery? The flight time of the Mavic Air is just over 20 minutes. If you only have one battery you’re going to have to wait hours between flights. Having two or three spares will extend your flight time out closer to one hour. Even if you don’t have the budget to purchase four at once, getting just one at a time will greatly increase your capability.
The standard DJI Mavic Air charger can charge one battery and has two USB outlets. What if you’re exhausted and are ready for bed but have three spare batteries to charge by morning? You’d have to wake up every couple hours and put a new battery on. The portable charging hub unfolds and can charge four batteries in sequence.
Mavic Air Battery to Power Bank adapter
This nifty, cheap little piece of hardware plugs into a spare Mavic Air battery and turns it into a power source for your smartphone or tablet. Never run out of power for your USB devices again – so long as you have spare Mavic Air batteries.
Extra memory cards & card wallet
The Mavic Air comes with 8GB of built-in storage. This is a great feature in case your memory card fills up. Even with this overflow storage, it’s still a wise idea to have more than one micro SD card for your Mavic Air in case one becomes corrupt, breaks, or you lose it.
In order to take advantage of the Mavic Air’s high video bitrate, you’ll need the appropriate micro SD cards. Sandisk Extreme Class 3 cards have write speeds fast enough to keep up with your video output. You’ll need at least 32GB to store the large video files created. Anything over 64GB is considerably more expensive and unnecessary.
These little cards are fragile and easy to lose, so you’ll want a reliable way to store them and keep them secure. Something portable like the Pelican 0915 Memory Card Case will keep your cards safe.
Transfer your files to another hard drive as soon as possible after shooting. You don’t want to lose the amazing footage you just shot! The easiest, quickest way to do this is with a portable hard drive that can back up your memory cards without needing to connect to a laptop.
The Western Digital My Passport Wireless PRO is a reliable backup storage option that will allow you to backup your micro SD cards without a computer. These affordable drives are available in different capacities and also serve as portable power banks.
If you’d like some editing software with your backup drive, check out the portable GNARBOX. This durable waterproof drive can backup all of your files and also contains a processor for editing photos & videos with your smartphone or tablet.
ND filters and polarizers are essential for creating smooth, colorful footage. See this dedicated post for more on Mavic Air filters.