A drone launchpad can really improve your flight sessions out in the wilderness They're big and colorful with high-contrasting colors (and sometimes even glow in the dark), which makes it easier to find your launch point when flying manually. Pinning down a launch mat in a grassy field can help clear away any tall grass which might affect your takeoff or landing, and also prevents your drone from kicking up dust which can dirty up your camera lens or gunk up your motors. Not sure where to start? Here are some of our favorites.

Fly by night: InnoGiz Luminous Landing Pad

Staff pick

This is the ideal drone launching pad for those who enjoy nighttime flights. Available in both 33-inch and 45-inch diameters, this is a large and lightweight launch pad made of water-resistant nylon that folds down to just 13 inches with a convenient carrying bag. It's double-sided, with the orange and white side doubling as a luminous pattern for flying in low-light scenarios. It also features compass directions that, if set up properly of course, can help you keep your orientation while flying your drone. You'll need to stake this landing pad down with the four included pegs.

From $23 at Amazon

Portable launching pad: Homga Foldable Landing Pad

This double-sided launch pad features two high-contrast sides to choose from — blue or orange — and is durably made of a waterproof nylon material. This pad is 30 inches wide and folds down to just 12 inches for storage. The kit includes eight reflective strips that you can attach to your pad to help with visibility in low light situations and includes three pegs for staking it down in the ground.

$14 at Amazon

Thicker foam pad: SunfyreTek Ultra Sleek Drone Landing Pad

This pad is 12.5 inches by 12.5 inches. While it's designed for RC helicopters and mini drones, it's also capable of accommodating even larger drones like the DJI Phantom. It's designed to offer good protection against dust and debris that your drone kicks up when launching, and it's waterproof with a non-slip backing so you can use it practically anywhere. When it's time to pack up and head home, the pad rolls up easily or can also be folded up without leaving ugly creases.

$9 at Amazon

Take off and fly safely

Buying a launch pad for your drone might feel like an afterthought, but it's a really smart accessory if you want to fly your drone safely out in remote areas. It lets you pin down an area free from debris and dust so that it doesn't interfere with the blades or blow dust up into the motors. Whether you're flying a cheap beginner drone or flying a high-end camera drone such as the DJI Mavic Air or Phantom 4, it's a really great accessory to add to your drone kit.

When you consider all the features offered by the three launching pads we've rounded up here, the InnoGiz Luminous Landing Pad offers the best features including a glow-in-the-dark pattern that lets you take off and land a bit safer at night. Of course, you really need to be extra careful flying at night and only fly in areas where you can maintain visual contact with your drone at all times.

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