The iPad pilot’s holiday wish list

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iPad briefcase
iPad flight bags are a popular gift for pilots.

Buying the perfect gift for a pilot can be a difficult task (just ask the non-pilot gift buyer in your family). But for pilots flying with the iPad, there are always new accessories on the wish list to make your tablet even more powerful. In particular, the last year has seen the introduction of a number of new products that are on wish lists everywhere.

Here’s our selection of the top 10 things iPad pilots are talking about this Christmas:

10. Touch-screen gloves. Those fancy leather gloves Aunt Edna gave you last year? They’re useless on your iPad, which can be a real pain on a cold winter day. With these high tech gloves, you can keep your fingers warm but still operate your favorite touch-screen device. Shop Now

9. iPad charger. Keeping your iPad charged is critical, but cheap cigarette lighter plugs don’t put out enough power for the iPad’s large battery. Dual USB plug chargers are ideal, allowing you to charge two devices at once, and make sure at least one port is 2.1 amps for fastest charging. This one has two 2.1 amp ports. Shop Now

8. Deluxe stylus. Throw out that freebie stylus you picked up at the last conference and get a real pilot’s stylus. This combination pen and soft-tip silicone stylus is perfect for copying clearances on paper and entering your route into your favorite app at the same time. Shop Now

7. Backup battery. If you don’t have a cigarette lighter plug in your airplane, or if you need backup power anywhere you go, this little power block is a great accessory. It has a huge 16,000 mAh battery, good enough to more than double your iPad battery life, and has five USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at once. Shop Now

6. Screen protector. A screen protector is a great way to protect your investment and reduce screen glare (although nothing will totally eliminate glare). We’ve tested dozens of iPad screen protectors, and this one is hands-down the best one available. Unlike other screen protectors that require tedious installation procedures, this unique design can be installed in seconds without any air bubbles. Shop Now

5. iPad-ready flight bag. Even with the iPad, a flight bag is still a must-have item for pilots. But you’ll want to make sure the bag was designed with the iPad in mind, with a padded pocket for your tablet and plenty of room for iPad accessories and cables. There is a flight bag to suit every taste, starting at around $30. Shop Now

Stratus ADS-B Receiver
ADS-B receivers like Stratus are at the top of a lot of wish lists.

4. External GPS. To get the most utility out of your iPad, you’ll need an external GPS for accurate position information. This can turn ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot into a powerful moving map display, including geo-referenced approach plates and flight plans. The most popular models connect via Bluetooth wireless so they can be mounted out of the way. Shop Now

3. iPad mount. Securing the iPad in the cockpit should be high on any pilot’s list, and RAM makes it easy to do this, with a wide selection of mounting options. The most popular mounts are the suction cup and yoke, so the iPad is in your line of sight but stays steady. Each includes an adjustable arm and a lifetime warranty. Shop Now

2. iPad kneeboard. Kneeboards have been pilots’ loyal companions for decades, and the latest editions are made just for iPad. Whether you’re looking for a basic one to keep your iPad in place or a deluxe flight organizer with room to store all your gear, the options are expanding rapidly. Most are under $75. Shop Now

1. ADS-B Weather Receiver. These new boxes are the most talked-about products of the year, allowing pilots to receive free in-flight weather on the iPad including NEXRAD radar, METARs, TFRs and Pilot Reports–even GPS position. With an ADS-B Receiver and your favorite app, the iPad is your all-in-one co-pilot. Two receivers are the most popular: the Stratus unit works with ForeFlight, while the Garmin GDL 39 works with Garmin Pilot. Shop Now

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