18 Best Gifts for Pilots and Aviation Enthusiasts

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Pilots pointing

You’ll likely come across endless, dizzying collections of items when you search for pilot gifts online. That’s why I’ve shortlisted the gift ideas for you in this article so you can make a speedy purchase without trawling through thousands upon thousands of options.

Pilots put their all into what they do, getting us through the sky safely and cozily. So, shouldn’t they get the odd gift as a token of gratitude that reflects their passion for taking to the sky? If your idea for a great gift for a pilot begins and ends with a model airplane, don’t worry; we get it–and we’ll go beyond it.

It would be best if you thought outside the cabin, so to speak. Read on for our list of the best gifts for pilots that they will both love and appreciate. From practical gifts to fun gifts, we have all the options you need for your favorite pilot.

TL;DR

Category Product Name
Best Overall Garmin D2 Air Smartwatch
Best for Home YKLWORLD Airplane Night Light 3D Illusion Lamp
Best for Organizing Gear Durable Flight Bag by Flight Outfitters
Best Practical Gift TAKEFLIGHT Tactical Pen Survival Gear

Best Gifts for Pilots

1. Garmin Aviator Smartwatch

Garmin D2 Air - GPS Smartwatch

If there’s anything crucial for a professional pilot, it’s accurate timekeeping. From strict arrival and departure timings to early morning alarms, there are many things a pilot must keep track of in a single day. That’s why we’re starting this list of pilot gifts with the swanky Garmin D2 Air Smartwatch.

Apart from the well-known features of mainstream smartwatches, this smart, efficiently designed watch is integrated with special aviation-related features through the Garmin Pilot App. These include pre-flight weather updates, directions to nearby airports, and crucial runway information. Besides that, it has a superior AMOLED display and long-lasting battery life, making it ideal for long-haul flights and transit sessions.

This snazzy watch would be a fantastic gift for graduation from flight school or just your favorite pilot in general. Tech gadgets might not be perfect for everyone, but a detail-oriented pilot will surely appreciate having time on their side.

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2. Durable Flight Bag

Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag

Customized flight bags are just what frequent flyers, flight crews, and other aviation aficionados will appreciate. With jam-packed flying schedules, they usually need a convenient go-to bag to carry all their essentials. This durable flight bag by Flight Outfitters is a wonderful gift for any of those folks.

The bag is stylish yet durable, with functional pockets and compartments to fit all necessary items. Some of the best features in the carry-on include special fleece-lined pockets for electronic accessories and divided mesh organizers for extra cables, aviation headsets, odds, and ends. While many pilots already have high-quality luggage, this bag makes for a terrific upgrade.

Besides that, the bag has sturdy external pockets for travel charts, radio backups, and water bottles. Plus, Flight Outfitters is a reputable brand with a history of selling high-end aviation accessories. This makes it a great gift option for occasions like first flights or graduation from flight school.

See Related: The Best Travel Gifts: Ideas They’ll Love

3. Flight Bomber Jacket

Landing Leathers Men's Air Force A-2 Leather

While globe-trotting from one end of the world to another, pilots and aviation enthusiasts face all kinds of weather and climate variations on the job. This flight bomber jacket is the ultimate option if you’re searching for a rad gift for the special pilot in your life.

This particular jacket, made in the classic United States Air Force A-2 pattern, is made with a pure leather exterior and combined with a polyester and cotton interior, featuring elasticated, ribbed cuffs and hems that will help trap warmth inside to keep your friend nice and warm during harsh weather conditions.

The rugged design ensures the jacket won’t look out of place when paired with any aviation uniform or professional attire. Plus, the jacket is a perfect combination of comfort, utility, style, and badassery and is a must-have for any pilot or aviation lover.

See Related: Best Gifts For International Travelers

4. Waterproof Camera

GoPro HERO9 Black

Apart from the adrenaline and the excitement of cruising the skies, the magnificent bird’s eye views are the best parts of a pilot’s job. That’s why a portable high-resolution camera like the GoPro Hero is one of the best gifts for pilots.

The camera can shoot videos with up to 5K resolution, even when you’re zooming in at the highest setting. Besides that, it automatically processes the images to give you the highest quality photos. It is also really easy to use, so your pilot can record their experiences without much effort. It features intuitive camera controls with a rear touch screen for effortless operation.

Most importantly, it is integrated with time warp and image stabilization features, making it the ultimate camera for in-flight use or during flight training (with safety in mind, of course). Gift it to an aviation lover to get some incredible footage from the flight deck.

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5. Document Organizer

Document Organizer Holder

If you’re looking for foolproof pilot gift ideas, you can never go wrong with this durable document organizer by Lewis N. Clark. The number of legal requirements that need to be met for EVERY SINGLE flight is astounding. Therefore, pilots have to carry lots of essential documents, cards, plans, checklists, and maps, not to mention other valuables, with them at all times.

This document organization with impeccable theft protection technology can make life easier for your pilot friend. It is the ultimate grab-and-go storage item that can fit in their carry-on or briefcase whenever they need to board a flight.

It has a high-tech RFID protective lining that keeps their cards and personal information blocked from invasive scanners. Also, its zippers have self-repairing features combined with a lightweight rip-stop nylon construction. This ensures the document organizer stays intact and lasts even after regular use.

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6. Airplane License Plate Frame

Life is Better Flying License Plate

For those searching for funny gifts for pilots, this customized license plate holder is a great option. Whether your friend or family member is a commercial pilot, owns a private plane or is an Air Force, Navy, or Army pilot, they can use this frame to personalize their car license plates.

It is entirely weather-resistant with full-color sublimation to ensure the printed colors remain intact for a long time. Besides that, the frame can also be used as a wall hanging instead of a plate cover to customize their home decor and showcase their passion for flying.

Most importantly, it comes at an affordable price, making it the ideal gift, especially if you’re on a budget. After all, even pilots have to drive every once in a while. Why not do it in style?

See Related: Must-Have Travel Accessories

7. Pilot’s Table Decor

YKLWORLD Airplane Night Light 3D Illusion Lamp

The most daunting aspect of buying gifts for pilots is that unless they’re new, they usually have all the utility items they need–at least you’d hope so, considering they captain an aircraft. If you’re worried about getting them something practical they might already have, high-quality ornamental pieces and wall decor art are a fun option.

This 3D holographic acrylic plate with a transparent airplane pattern is one of the coolest ornamental aviation gifts online. This transparent LED lamp lights up in the shape of an airplane to create an awesome, futuristic look that casts light around the room. T

What’s more, the best part is the lamp can be customized by changing its colors from red, green, cyan, pink, blue, and yellow. This is an easy way to help the pilot in your life keep their home fly even if they’re not on the fly.

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8. Aviation Headset

Rugged Air RA200 General Aviation Pilot Headset

Those looking for utility-based gift ideas for amateur pilots should definitely check out this high-tech aviation headset. Especially for a new pilot, this is one of the more crucial pieces of equipment that pilots buy.

That’s why the Rugged Air RA200 is a perfect gift for your pilot friend and hobby flying enthusiasts. Since pilots wear these during every flight, the comfortable headset and near-perfect audio will be a constant reminder of your thoughtfulness.

Along with delivering a crystal clear 50mm audio performance, the headset has noise cancellation technology. This facilitates flawless communication from the cockpit between flight instructors and ground control to ensure flying safety.

Plus, the headset is extremely comfortable and comes with an adjustable headband which makes it perfect even for a long flight. This means your pilot friend can customize the fit according to his needs and enjoy the feather-like comfort of the acoustic foam ear seals. Also, this headset comes with a durable bag for convenient storage during travel.

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9. Flight: A Complete History of Aviation

The complete history of aviation

If you’re looking for thoughtful gifts for pilots, getting aircraft-related literature to fuel their passion is a terrific way to encourage their love. The Smithsonian title, Flight: A Complete History of Aviation, is a fascinating compilation of the history of powered flight from the Wright brothers to Britain’s Concorde and beyond.

The book takes you on a comprehensive trip through mankind’s ongoing conquest of the skies. This paper book features high-quality imagery, fascinating statistics, and soul-touching anecdotes, making for an enjoyable and informative read.

Through this single book, you can go through the journey of flight technology, record-breaking flights, hijackings, and the development of aerial warfare. With its neatly organized content sections and reputable sources, this book is a must-read for every pilot and aviation enthusiast. It’s sure to bring a smile to your favorite pilot’s face.

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10. Polarized Sunglasses

SUNGAIT Ultra Lightweight Rectangular Polarized Sunglasses UV400 Protection

Whether you’re buying cool gifts for pilots, flying students, or someone from the aviation workforce, you can never go wrong with a pair of cool sunglasses. With extensive exposure to harsh UV rays while working on airfields and flying at high altitudes, pilots, aircrews, and ground crews need all the eye protection they can get.

After all, there’s a reason many pilots are associated with accessories like aviator glasses. This pair of polarized sunglasses delivers impeccable protection in different frames to suit the pilot in your life.

These polarized lenses are integrated with a UV400 protective coating, which blocks 100% of harmful UV rays. Plus, the glasses are scratch and impact-resistant, which makes them ideal for prolonged professional or off-duty use.

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11. Keepsake Wallet Card

MAOFAED Pilot Gift Poilt’s Prayer Wallet Card

Regardless of the thrilling experiences, flying has its share of risks and apprehensions. The aviation industry is not a place for the faint-hearted. If you constantly worry about a loved one in the aviation industry who follows an Abrahamic religion, this keepsake wallet card is a thoughtful gift option.

The durable stainless steel card is free from allergenic metals like lead and nickel. This means it remains rust-free and won’t cause any allergic reactions. It is etched with the Pilot’s Prayer, a loving dedication to accompany the pilot in your life as they reach for the heavens.

The little keepsake helps keep your loved one confident during the flight while you stay relaxed on the ground. The card comes in a luxurious velvet pouch, making it a perfect on-the-go gift.

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12. Customized Coasters

gifts for pilots Corkology Aviation Set

These aviation-themed coasters are great gifts for pilots who enjoy a tipple or caffeine injection when they’re at home and off-duty. I have yet to meet a pilot or aviation worker who isn’t addicted to coffee so it’s the perfect gift to make their home a little cozier for flight planning or just taking a load off.

They’re also a compact size in case the pilot in your life wants to bring them into the cockpit with them. Made out of natural, ethically sourced cork, each coaster from this pack of six has appealing illustrations to showcase a passion for aircraft.

In addition, these hand-printed letterpress illustrations are durable enough to last extensive washes and impacts, meaning your pilot friends can use them for years without worry. Above all, this super durable gift adds just a bit of fun to your pilot’s life. We could all use a little bit of whimsy, couldn’t we?

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13. FlyBoys Kneeboard

Reversible Kneeboard

“What the heck is kneeboard?” I hear you ask. It’s essentially a desk you strap onto your leg! If your pilot friend is preparing for their first flight or has recently graduated, a kneeboard is one of the first essential cockpit items they will need. On such occasions, you should consider this high-quality kneeboard by FlyBoys as the ideal gift item.

The kneeboard is constructed with durable polymer materials integrated with adjustable elastic leg straps. It features multiple pouches and pockets on each side to give the pilot enough space to store in-flight essentials. However, if your friend does not need the extra accessories, he can easily remove them through their hooks and loops.

Whether the pilot is left or right-handed, they can easily refit the clipboard to suit their needs making it one of the best gifts for pilots, no matter if they’re a lefty, a righty, or both. Similarly, it comes with a detachable eyelet strip in case they need to use their kneeboard discreetly in stealth mode.

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14. Aviation Themed Socks

Aviation-Themed Premium Crew Socks

For those who know pilots who like to incorporate their love for aviation in their attire, these aviation-themed socks are funny, practical pilot gifts. Printed in bright colors with aviation-themed illustrations, these socks add a kick to the plain, sensible commercial pilot and crew uniforms.

These socks offer long-lasting quality and comfort in an affordable package of three pairs. This means even if your friend uses and washes them multiple times a week, they’ll last a long time, even after many long hours aboard an aircraft.

You don’t seven have to check your pilot friend’s foot size to purchase these socks. They are knitted with a one-size-fits-all factor, so they easily accommodate the average adult-sized feet.

See Related: Best Gadgets for Long Flights & Travel

15. Airplane Bottle Opener

Airplane Bottle Opener

Ever wondered how pilots and crew workers celebrate personal occasions and flying milestones? Well, when they can manage to negotiate their busy schedules, some of them enjoy a cold beverage–alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

So, if you have friends or family members in the aviation industry, you should get them this airplane-themed bottle opener as a pilot gift. The product is constructed with durable materials that help open bottles quickly and help the fun get started.

What makes it especially perfect is the golden airplane design to remind an aircraft enthusiast of their passion while they’re away from the airport. Perhaps pair this gift with the beverage du jour of your favorite pilot for an added touch of personal whimsy.

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16. Pilot’s Logbook

Pilot Log

Looking for a great gift for the pilot in your life? This high-quality pilot’s logbook is one of the most versatile gifts you can go for. Whether the pilot in your life is a professional pilot or an amateur aviator, they will adhere to a strict daily routine, including maintaining an accurate flight log.

This high-quality, industry-standard logbook can help aviators log their flights correctly, including things like flight time, instrument approaches, and landings. It can withstand rigorous, long-term use in a durable leather cover with a vintage look.

These logbooks are a tedious yet necessary part of the job. Making them a practical and useful gift for anyone who enjoys flying airplanes.

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17. Scratch Off World Map

Scratch Off World Map Poster
InnovativeMap Store / Amazon

When pilots are constantly flying all over the world, it can be challenging to keep track of everywhere they’ve been. Gifts like scratch-off world maps are one way you can help your loved one keep a record of their airport adventures.

From long flights across the ocean or flying small planes just a short distance, pilots can mark it all down on one of these handy maps. I have one, and it’s always fun to scratch off a new area after each journey is over.

If you want to make someone’s bittersweet journey from the airport a little more sweet and less bitter, this gift is the ticket. Not that pilots have a lot of free time to catch up on their map entries, but they will love displaying this record of their journeys proudly at home.

See Related: Best Travel Accessories to Pack on Every Trip

18. Anker Portable Power Bank

Anker Portable Charger in Color Black
Anker / Amazon

Keeping devices charged is more important than ever, and carrying a power bank has become a standard practice of travelers everywhere. Pilots need to pay attentiont o schedules, alarms, and all sorts of important communication, so a dead phone is a big problem.

Anker is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to portable power, and there are a ton of options out there. This Anker PowerCore Essential 20K is a USB-C power bank with fast-charing capabilities. It can charge two devices at once with both standard USB and USB-C ports.

FAQ

What to gift to a future pilot?

One of the best pilot gifts, especially for new fliers, is an aviation headset. The special pilot in your life will need that in the cockpit to protect their hearing and communicate with crews. This useful accessory is among the most helpful gifts you could give a pilot.

What to get aviation lovers?

Anyone who loves airplanes will love a fun gift related to their passion. From bottle openers shaped like an airplane, aviation-themed socks, and even a swanky aviator’s smartwatch will make for a terrific gift for all those aircraft enthusiasts you know.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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