Every pilot should secure their iPad in the cockpit, for both convenience and safety. The most popular ways to do this involve either a mount or a kneeboard, and it usually ends up being a bit of a “Coke or Pepsi” debate. Some pilots just love iPad mounts, while others hate them and prefer kneeboards. There’s not really a right answer for everyone; it depends on the pilot and the airplane.
We’ve covered some of the most popular mounting solutions before, from basic RAM Mounts to the deluxe PIVOT case. In this article, we’ll review some of the most popular iPad kneeboard options, so you can make an informed decision if you’re not a mount person. There are more options than ever, and most of them are quite good.
Flight Gear Slimline. These kneeboards win hands down for simplicity and value. The basic version offers nothing more than a way to secure the iPad to the pilot’s leg. It’s not fancy, but it works well, and allows you to switch between portrait and landscape orientations quickly. The elastic leg strap is comfortable and adjustable. At just $15, it’s an unbeatable value – probably worth owning for backup if nothing else.
Flight Gear Bi-Fold. For a more deluxe setup, the bi-fold kneeboard design includes options for rotating and tilting the iPad, plus storage pockets and a fold-over flap. This model works well for everyday use, and looks good too. Again, at only $30, it’s by far the best value in bi-fold iPad kneeboards you can buy.
MyClip. This simple but elegant kneeboard has been around for a while, and we still like it. It’s the smallest kneeboard we’ve seen, so if you’re flying in a tight cockpit, it’s an excellent choice. It’s also very adaptable, fitting both the iPad Air and Mini, with or without a case. If you like to leave your protective case on, this is easily the best option. Just pull the rubber gripping surfaces apart, position the iPad and release – the elastic straps hold the kneeboard in place and prevent your iPad from moving around. It’s well-made and durable, and it takes up virtually zero space in your flight bag. The only downside is that it offers no storage or protection for your iPad. The MyClip is available for $34.95.
iPro. Some pilots aren’t comfortable going completely paperless, so they like to have a hard writing surface and a clipboard for charts or checklists. For these halfway pilots, the iPro kneeboard is a good option. This features a hard exterior case to protect your iPad, and a unique flip-over writing desk. This makes it easy to go from paper to iPad in just a second, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space in the cockpit. It is a little heavier and more expensive, but it’s very well built. The iPro for iPad Mini is available for $79.95 and the iPro for iPad Air is available for $79.95 as well.
MyGoFlight. For a premium option, MyGoFlight offers a feature-rich kneeboard that includes both a custom iPad mount and a metal writing surface. The writing desk attaches with magnets, so it’s easy to attach it to the front (so it works much like the iPro, with a flip-over desk) or it can be attached to the right panel of the bi-fold kneeboard when open. This offers good flexibility, but without the kneeboard scratching the screen on your iPad. The Folio C includes a leg strap and closes up neatly for a professional look outside the cockpit. Note that this kneeboard does not work with a case on your iPad. The MyGoFlight Folio C Kneeboard for iPad Mini is available for $124.00 and the MyGoFlight Folio C Kneeboard for iPad Air is available for $129.00. These kneeboards aren’t cheap, but they are well made and good-looking.
You can shop the complete iPad Kneeboard selection here. Do you have a favorite?