A kneeboard is an essential accessory that most pilots find they can’t do without. They range from small clipboards with thigh straps to more elaborate designs with multiple panels, as well as designs to accommodate tablets.
They’re great for organizational purposes, enabling you to easily refer to your charts, notes, and other flight-pertinent information without having to fiddle around the cockpit or in your flight bag.
You’ll commonly find they come with IFR references pockets and clips to hold maps, approach plates, and aids to calculation.
We reviewed dozens and dozens of options (there are a lot out there!) to identify the best ones that fulfill certain criteria and meet different requirements. We considered standard kneeboards as well as ones designed for tablets of all different sizes until just the best pilot kneeboards remained.
Best Pilot Kneeboards
- Top Pick (Standard Kneeboard): Flyboys F-16 Viper, “Combat tested, ample storage, dependable, reasonably priced…what’s not to like?”
- Runner-Up: ASA KB-3, “Great for pilots who need more storage space with its three-panel design.”
- Also Great: ASA KB-1A, “The updated version of the very popular KB-1.”
- Top Pick (iPad Mini/Small Tablets): Mygoflight Folio C, “Doesn’t come cheap but it’s a great kneeboard for pilots looking for the best of the best.”
- Runner-Up: MyClipKneebord, “Simplicity really is the name of the game…it can be used with practically all iPads and tablets”
- Top Pick (iPad/Large Tablets): DESiGN 4 PILOTS Aviation I-Pilot, “Made from eco-friendly leather with plenty of storage space.”
- Runner-Up: ASA iPad Air, “Smartly designed for tilted viewing and with a power port that is accessible with the cover closed.”
- 1 Best Pilot Kneeboards
- 2 Best Standard Pilot Kneeboards
- 3 Best Pilot Kneeboards for iPad Mini/Small tablets
- 4 Best Pilot Kneeboards for iPad/Larger Tablets
- 5 Who Should Buy a Pilot Kneeboard
- 6 Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Pilot Kneeboard
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Other Pilot Kneeboards for Pilots We Reviewed
Best Standard Pilot Kneeboards
Our Top Pick: Flyboys F-16 Viper IFR/VFR
Combat tested, ample storage, dependable, reasonably priced...what's not to like?New: $40.94
Originally designed for use by fighter pilots, and combat-tested in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo, the Flyboys F-16 Viper, secured by a wide Velcro leg strap, is built to last, and designed with everything a pilot needs in mind. There are 7 eyelets for securing checklists, plastic checklist pages, or an in-flight guide.
There is a pocket for securing your cell phone, several pencil holders, and a plastic clipboard that is removable for writing clearances. While not necessarily designed for iPad use, some pilots find the F-16 a viable option for that purpose.
Runner-Up: ASA KB-3
Great for pilots who need more storage space with its three-panel design.New: $36.75
The ASA KB-3 is a good pilot kneeboard for anyone who needs a little more storage space. Its three-panel jacket is smartly designed to accommodate all a pilot’s needs.
The left panel is large enough to hold small books, papers as well as unusually shaped items. The center panel holds the kneeboard under plastic and has a pen/pencil holder and buttonholes on either side. The right panel is designed to hold maps and makes for easy viewing thanks to its clear pocket.
Measures 6.5” x 9.5” and secured with an elastic Velcro closure.
Also Great: ASA KB-1-A
A replacement for the very popular KB-1 with updated flight information printed directly on the kneeboardNew: $22.95
The ASA KB-1-A VFR Kneeboard is the updated version of the very popular KB-1. It has the same durable brushed aluminum construction, pencil/pen holder within the legband, Velcro fasteners, and comfortable 15” wide elastic legband.
The difference is that is contains updated information, including VFR ceiling, visibility, and cloud clearance, CFR cruising altitudes, communication frequencies, pilot weather report sequence, light gun signal key, and a crosswind component graph.
Best Pilot Kneeboards for iPad Mini/Small tablets
Our Top Pick: MyGoFlight Folio C Universal iPad Mini Kneeboard Case
Expensive but built to last, and designed with every thing a pilot could ever need from a kneeboardNew: $158.98
The Mygoflight Folio C Pilot Kneeboard doesn’t come cheap but it’s a great kneeboard for pilots looking for the best of the best and is suitable for more than just cockpit use.
It can be used as a kneeboard or lapboard, is made of genuine leather for a luxurious feel, and allows for a great deal of preciseness due to its rotating cradle that can be stopped and locks in place every 5 degrees.
Other features include a built-in stand with four rubber pads on the rails so the case can securely sit on a table or desk, and a removable leg so the Folio C can be used as an everyday case for your tablet. It is also smartly designed so all of the ports and controls remain accessible so your tablet can be charged, synced, and controlled when it is in its case
It fits the iPad Mini and all other 7-8” tablets.
Simple yet versatile. Can be used with a very wide range of tablets.New: $36.20
Simplicity really is the name of the game with the MyClipKneeboard – yet it is also very versatile. It can be used with practically all iPads and tablets – just as long as the thickness is .45 inches or less. It can also be used with all smartphones that are at least 3 inches in width.
If you think you will change tablets in the future and don’t want your kneeboard to become nothing more than a paperweight, the MyClipKneeboard is the right choice.
Best Pilot Kneeboards for iPad/Larger Tablets
Our Top Pick: DESiGN 4 PILOTS Aviation I-Pilot
A kneeboard made from eco-friendly leather with plenty of storage spaceCheck Amazon for Pricing
Suitable for iPads and all tablets ranging from 9” to 10.5” in size, the DESiGN 4 PILOTS Kneeboard has everything a pilot needs. It is made out of eco-friendly leather with the clipboard on top, 2 lateral elastic penholders (left & right), and two non-slip cushions on the bottom side for better fit and stability. Inside you will find a soft microfiber fabric for protection.
Other features include a Credit card sized compartment, a wide velcro thigh-strap, anti-slip pads, and openings to dissipate heat.
Runner-Up: ASA Ipad Air Pilot Kneeboard
Smartly designed for tilted viewing and with a power port that is accessible with the cover closedNew: $54.21
ASA has long been a trusted name in aviation, so when pilots are looking for a dependable kneeboard ASA is naturally one of the first ports of call. The ASA Ipad Air Kneeboard will fit the Air, Air 2, and all similarly sized iPads/tablets.
Made from eco-friendly leather and with a wide leg strap to hold the kneeboard in place, there is also a holding clip to securely place a notepad and other documents. For added protection the kneeboard is covered in a soft microfiber cloth, the easel allows for tilted viewing, and the power port is smartly designed to be accessible with the cover closed.
Who Should Buy a Pilot Kneeboard
No pilot should be without a kneeboard, especially when you consider how inexpensive they are. Whether you’re a paper or tablet pilot, there is a kneeboard for you.
It is perhaps pilots who still primarily use paper who will benefit the most from a kneeboard. Your hands are freed from flying as you no longer have to fumble around the cockpit and your flight bag looking for the information you need. Any pilot knows how you will need to refer to certain information and certain points in the flight, so you can use the kneeboard to store the papers in the correct order too.
There is an ever-increasing number of pilots in this day and age who turn to iPads to meet their organizational needs. The best pilot kneeboards designed for tablets ensure that your expensive device can be properly positioned and protected while also providing storage space.
Many pilot kneeboards contain important information printed directly on them too, like charts and IFR references that student pilots will in particular appreciate. All also provide a flat surface so you can easily jot things down when you need to like filling in your pilot logbook.
Either way, a pilot needs to stay organized during flight and a kneeboard provides a simple, inexpensive way to help you do this.
Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Pilot Kneeboard
- Tablet Compatibility: The most important feature to consider is the compatibility/size of the kneeboard. If you buy a pilot kneeboard designed to be used with smaller tablets like an iPad Mini, yet you have an iPad, it won’t be much use.
- Storage Space: Consider how much storage space you need. Do you need a kneeboard with various compartments that can store something as large as a book, or do you just need somewhere to store a pencil and a few sheets of paper in the cockpit?
- Price: Price is of course something worth considering. While a $15 kneeboard for pilots will suffice for some, others with larger budgets will be rewarded with better construction, more storage space, and more features.
- Design: A foldable kneeboard can maximize storage space and provide more versatility, while one that rotates allows for both profile and landscape use. Other design elements to consider include the number and size of compartments and construction material.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a difference between kneeboards designed for airplanes and helicopters?
There is no difference between kneeboards designed for airplanes and helicopters, which is why you find manufacturers stating that their kneeboard can be used in any type of aircraft.
Do I really need to buy a pilot kneeboard?
You don’t need to buy a kneeboard but you will definitely want to. They are inexpensive enough to not really give much thought about buying, and make organization in the cockpit just that much easier.
What happens if the strap on your kneeboard breaks?
It can be frustrating when the strap breaks. First, if you purchase any of the kneeboards we recommended this will be an unlikely occurrence. If it does happen, though, you can usually purchase a replacement strap for a fraction of the price of the kneeboard itself.
Other Pilot Kneeboards for Pilots We Reviewed
We looked at several other kneeboards for pilots. Even though they didn’t make our best of list, they’re good alternatives and worth checking out.
Another good pilot kneeboard to consider from ASA as an alternative to the KB-1-A and KB-3.
If you’re looking for a reversible kneeboard for pilots there is no better option than this one from Flyboys. A great choice if you’re flying in a confined cockpit and need more versatility.
For iPad Mini/Small Tablets
A decent option for smaller tablets, though it could be argued the clips are a bit flimsy.
A relatively inexpensive kneeboard compared to others designed for smaller tablets with a no-nonsense, dependable design.
For iPad/Large Tablets
The iPad/large tablet version of the Mygoflight Folio C with all the same features as its smaller brother that has made it a firm favorite with pilots worldwide.
A versatile pilot kneeboard that fits tablets ranging from 8″ – 10” in size. One of the most durable options out there.