New slimline kneeboard offers universal fit for under $25
The perfect iPad kneeboard doesn’t exist: every pilot has unique needs and personal preferences. But if you’re looking for a simple and affordable option, the new Flight Gear Slimline Rotating Kneeboard is a great choice. It has a couple of thoughtful design choices but still costs less than $25. Here’s what we like after flying with it for a few months.
In many of the airplanes we fly, there just isn’t much room for a kneeboard. Anything too large interferes with the yoke or is simply too heavy to be comfortable for hours at a a time. The Slimline Rotating Kneeboard is small and simple—no writing pad, no pockets, and no bulk. It has a rigid area to hold the iPad in place and a leg strap, so it takes up barely any more space than just the iPad itself. That means it also fits easily in your flight bag.
We like to switch between portrait and landscape orientation in flight. For example, landscape is great for using a split screen display or for monitoring your route on an east-west flight, while portrait is ideal for approach plates or airplanes with a center stick. This kneeboard makes it easy to switch back and forth without removing the iPad—there is enough friction to keep it from spinning freely, but it’s easy to rotate with one hand.
There are dozens of iPad models these days, and when you add all the options for cases this number can easily triple. That makes a universal mounting mechanism essential—otherwise the kneeboard won’t fit your particular case or you’ll have to buy a new one every time you upgrade your tablet. The Flight Gear Slimline Rotating Kneeboard excels in this department. It uses a solid ledge at the bottom to support the iPad (with a cutout for your charging cable), then two elastic straps at the top to secure the tablet. The smart feature here is the adjustable straps, which attach to the back of the kneeboard with Velcro. This makes it easy to tighten or loosen the fit to accommodate different cases, and it also makes it easy to move the straps so they don’t block the iPad screen.
Aviation is not known for being an inexpensive hobby, but this kneeboard is a refreshingly good value. At just $22.95, it solves an important problem for pilots without blowing the budget. Two sizes are available, one for 7” tablets like the iPad mini and one for 11” tablets like the iPad Air and Pro.
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