Drones are quickly becoming one of the best ways to capture fun and exciting images from high above the ground, allowing you to see things from perspectives you may never have seen. However, since they can be large and heavy, packing them on your trip can be quite tricky.
Fortunately, there are many compact drones that can fit easily in your backpack or suitcase and still deliver the same benefits as their larger counterparts. These compact drones will give you all the features of larger models in a lighter and more portable package, letting you take beautiful aerial shots at home or on vacation without breaking your back, or your bank account.
So, after a week of research, here’s our list of the best compact drones that won’t take up much room in your bag when you travel.
- Best Overall: DJI Mavic Mini 2
- Best Budget: Holy Stone HS720
- Best for Professionals: DJI Mavic 3
- Best for Photos: Parrot ANAFI
- Best for Videos: Autel Evo II
Best Overall Compact Drone for Travel: DJI Mavic Mini 2
- 【PACK LIGHT, FLY FREE】: at less than 249 g, it weighs about as much as an apple and fits in the palm of your hand. compact and convenient, this small drone is your ideal travel companion, transforming how you capture your favorite memories.
- 【3-AXIS GIMBAL WITH 4K CAMERA】: a 12mp camera in the sky delivers content guaranteed to impress. along with 4k/30fps video and a 3-axis motorized gimbal, mini 2 ensures stunning image quality that is consistently smooth no matter how adventurous your piloting gets.
- 【OCUSYNC 2.0 VIDEO TRANSMISSION】: mini 2 supports up to 10km of hd video transmission and has excellent anti-interference capabilities, giving you the ability to fly farther and see clearer.
- 【POWERFUL PERFORMANCE】: with a max battery life of 31 minutes, dji mini 2 grants more than enough time to compose the perfect shot. mini 2 can resist level 5 winds and take off at a max altitude of 4,000 meters, so your footage is stable even when flying along a windy coastline or high above an alpine forest.
- 【4X ZOOM】: there’s no need to get so close for your dream shot. 4x digital zoom makes it safer and more convenient when transitioning between shots of varying distance and composition. Operating Frequency 2.400-2.4835 GHz, 5.725-5.850 GHz
The DJI Mavic Mini 2 is the best overall drone in our lineup because it’s lightweight (only 249 grams), compact, and easy to pack in your carry-on bag. It’s got great range and speed, so you can take it anywhere. It’s the best model for beginners but also incredibly versatile, allowing you to do almost anything with it. The camera is great and can take stunning photos, and the battery life is impressive — it can fly up to 31 minutes on a single charge. It’s a great option for those who want to take their aerial photography to the next level and capture some gorgeous, high-resolution images.
The Mavic Mini 2 is also incredibly portable and easy to fly. It doesn’t take up much room in your backpack, so you can take it with you anywhere you go! The Mavic Mini 2 has a camera that captures 4K video and 12-megapixel stills at up to 30fps. This makes it more capable of capturing moving objects than any other model we’ve seen so far.
This drone also includes the necessary safety measures and access to the DJI Fly app. This consists of the FlySafe geofence technology, which keeps you from flying in restricted regions and helps you avoid legal issues. When visiting a new place, this is definitely a benefit! Of course, the DJI Mini 2 has to give up certain extra functions due to its compact size. It lacks a hyperlapse mode and obstacle avoidance. Additionally, this drone might not be the greatest choice for use in adverse weather because you might lose it more easily.
|Dimensions (folded)||5.5 x 3.2 x 2.2 in|
|Battery life / flight time||31mins|
Check out DJI Mavic Mini 2 on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Holy Stone HS720
- 4K UHD Camera with Image Stabilization: The optimized full HD Camera built with Shock Absorption holder ensures shooting 3840 x 2160 high resolution images and videos without camera vibration. 5GHz FPV transmission and 90°adjustable lens enables you to see the word from different angle.
- GPS Assisted Intelligent Flight: Never lose the drone. It returns automatically whenever battery is low, signal is lost or you press one key return. Also, it is so smart to fly at your will, following you automatically, flying along a path you set, or fly around a point in circles. You may focus on your photography and creation.
- Configuration Upgrade: The 2 intelligent batteries works for 26 Mins/per battery for each charge; 52 Mins in total with 2 batteries; the long-life Brushless Motors have lower power consumption and give you a quieter flight; the foldable design and well-fitted carrying case make it easy to take the drone outdoor. DON'T use batteries from other brands, which may cause product issue or safety concern! PRODUCT SUPPORT AVAILABLE!
- Simple Operation: Equipped Multi Sensors guarantee hovering with great stability and high quality pics taken under different flying environment; Optical Flow Positioning makes great effect when GPS signal is lost or weak. Functions, like one key start/stop, emergency stop, altitude hold and electric fence, keep it simple to control for even beginners.
- Considerate Controller: The control range of 2.4GHz transmitter reaches to 3000 feet high range; battery level and GPS signal shown on the LED screen; a button to turn on or off the drone light is added; right hand throttle mode is available for left-hander. Remember to remove the scratch-proof film from the controller and the camera before use.
The Holy Stone HS720 is a budget quadcopter that offers some of the same features as higher-end models like GPS and altitude hold. It’s a good starter drone for beginners looking to get into the hobby. The Holy Stone HS720 is undoubtedly one of the best travel drones in its class, with a 4K camera, intelligent flight, and superb shock absorption. Even better, the camera can rotate 90 degrees to provide a range of viewpoints.
The Holy Stone HS720 has a fantastic 5G Internet connection that allows you to explore the landscape in real-time. It features shock absorption built in to prevent camera tremors when shooting. Like most other drone controllers, the video is relayed to your smartphone, which is connected to the controller’s cradle and displays the first-person video shot by the device.
Another useful safety feature is that if the HS720 loses power or signal, it will return to the location from which it was launched. The “Flight Path” function allows you to design a flight course on your smartphone’s map, and it will follow that path. One-touch return causes the HS720 to turn back and immediately return to you. It incorporates a “headless” mode that automatically aligns the drone to fly ahead rather than spin aimlessly.
The built-in LED display on the transmitter makes it an even better drone for beginners. Not to mention that the integrated app is simple to use. The brushless motors consume less energy, allowing the HS720 to fly for 26 minutes. It has outstanding clarity and captures incredible color detail. To enjoy FPV, you must first download the App to your smartphone. The major drawback is that each battery requires up to 5 hours to charge.
|Dimensions (folded)||6.8 x 4.1 x 2.2 in|
|Battery life / flight time||26 mins|
Check out Holy Stone HS720 on Amazon.
Best Compact Drone for Professionals: DJI Mavic 3
- Imaging Above Everything - With a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, the sensor provides a 12.8-stop dynamic range that retains more details in highlights and shadows, upgrading your work to a professional level.
- 46 Minutes of Flight Time - Stay in the air longer and capture more with a breathtaking max flight time of 46 minutes. This lets you get all the shots you want on just a single battery.
- Fly Safer - DJI Mavic 3 drone with camera is equipped with advanced Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing. This lets you fly confidently and safely wherever you are.
- Explore and Capture more - the DJI Mavic 3 drone offers a 15-kilometer max transmission range, which means you can fly farther to explore and capture more. And with the O3 Plus Transmission system, live feeds are smooth and stable.
- Smart Return to Home - With a new Advanced RTH system, Mavic 3 camera drone can return to its home point on a fast, safe, and optimized route. Whether activated by low battery or the pilot, getting the quadcopter drone back to you during flight is easier than ever.
If you’re a professional photographer or videographer, you know how hard it is to get quality footage while you’re on the go. DJI Mavic 3 is the best drone for professionals because it has all of the features of its predecessor, plus some new features that make this drone easier to use and more effective in capturing high-quality video.
The first thing that makes the DJI Mavic 3 stand out from other drones is its foldable arms. This makes it much easier to transport and store, so if you’re going on a trip or traveling, this drone fits perfectly into your carry-on bag. A large Four-Thirds format sensor with a Hasselblad color profile produces high-quality footage and stills right out of the camera. Obstacle sensors all around the drone allow it to fly around obstacles, an inbuilt GPS keeps it stable in the air, and forty-plus-minute flight periods make for safer flights.
This is not the most user-friendly drone on the market, so you may struggle to control it as a beginner. That’s why its target market is intermediates with the opportunity to become more professional via experience with this drone. The dual camera on the Mavic 3 is the key feature of this drone and contributes to its uniqueness. The first camera has a 20MP and four-thirds sensor, allowing you to take exceptionally high-quality images with this camera alone.
|Dimensions (folded)||221 x 96.3 x 90.3mm|
|Battery life / flight time||46mins|
Check out DJI Mavic 3 on Amazon.
Best Compact Drone for Photos: Parrot ANAFI
- With its 4K HDR camera and 180° vertical swivel gondola, unique on the market, impress your friends with cinema-quality videos with breathtaking effects: low angle, compensated traveling, automatic subject framing, original aerial selfies and even Follow Me tracking drone (in-app purchase). With the Parrot Anafi, all that is now possible in the blink of an eye, using your smartphone
- 21 MEGAPIXELS: Never miss another shot with the help of 3-axis Hybrid Stabilization, which will allow you to make crisp, smooth videos under every circumstance. Capture every detail of every photo with the new Sony sensor and its wide-angle aspherical lens (f / 2.4) and 2.8X loss-free digital zoom. And go even further with burst mode, which shoots 10 frames per second, as well with as with optimized exposure control
- FILM, PHOTOGRAPH, AND FLY EASILY with FreeFlight 6 and Parrot Skycontroller 3, a new, intuitive, and safe piloting app with a state-of-the-art, ergonomic remote control that is designed to allow novices to have as much fun as possible starting with their very first flight. But that's not all: you can make Anafi take off or land with the push of a single button, and rest assured that, in the event of signal loss, Smart RH technology will bring your drone back to its starting point
- ULTRA COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT AND DECIDEDLY NOMADIC, the Anafi drone will go everywhere with you. With its carbon frame and 320g featherweight, it takes less than 3 seconds to unfold. It's so compact and lightweight that you can easily carry it around in a bag. With its Power Delivery compatible battery, you'll enjoy 25 minutes of in-flight battery life and be able to charge it at any time using an external battery thanks to its standard USB-C port
- ANAFI EXTENDED, TO GIVE YOUR PACK AN EXTRA BOOST: With the Extended pack, you won't be missing anything. It features a compact carrying case, 2 additional smart batteries, 3 USB-C cables, a 16 GB micro SD card, 2 months access to the Adobe Creative Suite Cloud, and a spare remote control and propellers. Take off on your adventures confidently
If you are looking for an amazing camera, Parrot ANAFI is the best choice. It has a panoramic camera that allows you to take photos in any direction. In addition, the Parrot Anafi drone features an exceptional Sony CMOS sensor that captures incredibly sharp images up to 21 MP. It also shoots fantastic 4K footage with a quality of 4096 x 2160, 100 Mbps, a vertical 180° viewpoint that no other drone has, and one of the most user-friendly navigation software available, allowing you to make cool maneuvers rapidly.
The camera is lightweight and portable, so it’s easy to bring anywhere you go. You can attach this device to your phone or tablet using its built-in tripod mount, making it easier for you to take pictures and videos whenever and wherever you want them!
Drones can be pretty loud, which is annoying. However, the Parrot ANAFI is incredibly silent. Its light and large propellers make it one of the quietest drones available. However, this drone is less than ideal for those who have never flown a drone before because it lacks any safety measures. It’s also disappointing that the many intelligent flight modes require additional purchases.
|Dimensions (folded)||9.6 × 2.6 × 2.5 in|
|Battery life / flight time||25mins|
Check out Parrot ANAFI on Amazon.
Best Compact Drone for Videos: Autel Evo II
- 👍【2022 NEWEST EVO 2 PRO 6K DRONE, SO-NY CAMERA】Autel Robotics EVO II Pro 6k drone version 2 provides increased transmission stability, it is designed for professionals. Autel EVO 2 Pro featured a 1-inch sensor Ultra-HD s-ony camera: Takes photos with a resolution of up to 5472 x 3648, and records 5.5K video at 60 fps or 4K video at 120 fps, with a bit rate of up to 120 Mbps. With an adjustable f/2.8 to f/11 aperture, it is the perfect choice for any aerial cinematographer or mapping pilot.
- 👍【10-BIT A-LOG POST PRODUCTION FLEXIBILITY & DYNAMIC TRACK 2.0】10-bit camera allows Autel EVO 2 Pro to record up to 1 billion colors. The EVO II Pro retains rich detail in shadows and highlights, allowing greater flexibility in post-production. EVO II Pro can model the location and speed of targets simultaneously, predict their trajectory accurately and track them continuously while identifying up to 64 objects at the same time. (Nano and Lite series do not support dynamic track 2.0 functions)
- 👍【360° OMNI-DIRECTIONAL OBSTACLE AVOIDANCE】 Autel robotics EVO II 6K camera drone comes with 12 computer vision sensors, 2 sonar sensors, and 2 LED landing lights, working together to create an aircraft with the best obstacle avoidance. This function can help EVO 2 drone around the environment safely. Please note the Autel EVO Pro Version 2 aircraft which will not work with Version 1 controllers/Autel Smart Controller Version 1/Autel Live Deck Version 1.
- 👍【NO GEO-FENCING IN NO FLY-ZONES】Does this product have geo-fence feature? I believe you can find the answer here. Autel EVO II Pro is still not programmed in no fly zones (NFZ), and Autel Evo 2 pro has no geo-fencing. Autel leaves that responsibility to the pilot to be aware of any rules and regulations in the area so Please fly legally!
- 👍【40MIN LONG FLIGHT TIME】 Autel EVO ii pro 6K drone quadcopter comes with a 7100mAh rechargeable battery. Providing up to 40min of flight time in forwarding motion and 35min at a hover. And Autel's unique technology prevents battery ejection during high-speed maneuvers or hard landings. This bundle includes 2 spare batteries, please fully charge the aircraft battery before flying to ensure a great flight experience.
The Autel Evo II is a compact drone that can capture video in full HD. The camera has a wide-angle lens that captures more of the scene, allowing you to catch more action. This camera also has a high-quality screen and easy-to-use interface. It comes with a built-in obstacle avoidance system, so you can fly it safely without worrying about hitting anything.
It’s the first folding small drone capable of shooting 8K video and up to 48 MP photos. It also records 120 FPS slow-motion videos at 2.7K quality, among other features that will let you capture the most epic travel footage possible. For omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, the EVO II has 12 sensors spread across the aircraft’s top, bottom, left, and right sides. The drone also has two ultrasonic sensors on the bottom for precise hovering.
The Evo II also employs GPS and GLONASS, allowing the quadcopter to communicate with many satellites. The GPS is required for fly navigation, smooth hovering, and geographical labeling of aerial images. With all of these qualities, it could be a contender for the best fishing drone. The drone also has a pin-point tracking system, a maximum flight length of 40 minutes, and a transmission range of roughly 9 km, which checks all the requirements.
|Dimensions (folded)||4.5 × 4.3 × 9.0 inches.|
|Battery life / flight time||40 minutes|
|Max speed||45 mph|
Check out Autel Evo II on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Compact Drones For Travel
Compact drones are becoming increasingly popular for travel. They’re small, light, and easy to pack in your luggage. Plus, they don’t require FAA registration or a pilot’s license to fly. But before you take the plunge with a compact drone for travel, there are a few things you need to know. Here are some of the top considerations:
Size & Weight
The size and weight of a drone are important considerations when choosing the best compact drone for travel. You do not want to carry around a bulky drone in your backpack or luggage because it will add unnecessary weight. The best compact drones for travel should be lightweight and small enough so that they don’t take up too much space in your luggage.
If you are traveling a lot, you may want to invest in a drone that folds into a smaller package so you can bring it with you on all your adventures. The smaller the drone, the more portable it will be, but you’ll sacrifice some features. On the other hand, larger drones can carry heavier cameras for longer periods, but they’re also more expensive and harder to travel with.
Battery life is another important factor when choosing a travel drone. If you want to take your drone out on long flights where charging might be difficult or impossible, look for one with a large battery capacity so that you won’t have to stop flying often to recharge it. Good battery life will ensure you can fly for longer without recharging or replacing the battery pack miles from civilization.
Image & Video Quality
Most compact drones have some limitations on their image and video quality due to their small sensor size, but some models can produce high-quality photos and videos without sacrificing portability or performance as much as others might. The best compact drones are capable of producing great aerial footage and photos. They also come with multiple shooting modes that let you control how your drone flies, including how fast it flies and whether it moves in a straight line or circles around a subject.
The price of the drone depends on what features it offers. Some drones are more expensive than others because they have advanced features like GPS or flight controllers. If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to stick to more affordable models with similar features. However, if you’re willing to spend more money on your new drone, some great options can take your photography game to the next level.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Compact Drones For Travel
Drones are great for capturing video and still footage when exploring new places. They’re compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry with you on your travels! The best drones for travel vary depending on what you need them for. If you are going on an adventure trip, then you will want to make sure that your drone has all the features needed for outdoor adventures, like a GPS tracking system, obstacle avoidance system, return home function, and so on.
Also, make sure you know what kind of flying experience you want from your drone. Smaller drones are great for beginners who want to learn about controlling their machines without worrying about crashing into anything or getting lost in the sky. Larger models are more powerful and can easily perform complex maneuvers like flips and rolls. You should also consider how much storage space each drone has so that you do not end up with one that does not have enough room for your favorite filming accessories or spare batteries when needed most!
Using the Best Compact Drones For Travel: What It’s Like
Traveling is a great way to explore and see new places but it can also be expensive. Luckily, compact drones can help you get the most out of your travels, whether you’re looking for a fun way to explore Paris or want to capture some breathtaking images in the desert.
Compact drones are designed to be as small as possible while still being capable of performing aerial photography or videography with high-quality results. They usually weigh less than 5 pounds (2 kilograms), which makes them easy to carry around in a backpack or handbag. Compact drones typically have a battery life of up to 20 minutes or more, enabling them to stay in the air long enough without landing between takes.
It’s important to invest in a good drone for travel because, after all, it’s one of the few devices that can get you amazing footage from a bird’s-eye view. And while it might be tempting to buy the latest and greatest in drone technology, you may be surprised to find out that some of the best compact drones for travel are quite affordable.
One example is the DJI Mavic Mini 2, which is small enough to fit into a backpack and has an impressive battery life, so you won’t have to worry about your device dying on your trip. A newer drone like this will also come with many of the features found on more expensive models, so it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for something sleek and portable.
Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API