5 Best Drones for Windy Conditions – Fly It in Any Weather

This article will help you choose a drone perfect for any weather and share tips and tricks on using it safely.
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Last updatedLast updated: December 24, 2021
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After extensive testing and examination, we have reviewed the best drones for flying in windy conditions, judging by everything from weight to transmitter range. The features that make a drone good for windy conditions are rarely what you think. The first place people look to see if a drone can handle the wind is the weight. They’ll look for a wind resistance rating if it is there, but those are rare.

That is why we analyzed dozens of drones’ performance in heavy wind and measured them against their specifications, such as their video resolution and battery life. Through this, we have found the five best drones for windy conditions.

Top 5 Drones for Windy Conditions Reviewed in 2022

1.

Holy Stone HS700EEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Wind resistance: up to 15mph headwinds
  • Flight time: 23 mins per battery
  • Charging time: 5 hours
  • Video/photo resolution: 4K HD
  • Transmitter range: 2624-3277 feet
  • Weight: 18.51 oz

More features: has a remote control; anti-shake technology; GPS and GLONASS navigation satellite system

The Holy Stone HS700E drone is the drone that people have been dreaming of as recently as five years ago. It has all the technology you need for a drone to take video: a 130-degree field of view, image stabilization, and an easy-to-use interface. This makes it heavy, but its weight actually helps it in many ways.

What sets the HS700E apart from other Holy Stone drones is its weight. It is made from a much thicker plastic that helps it resist both impacts and the wind. It is, in many ways, the ideal Holy Stone drone due to combining features from basically every other model into one unit. This bumps the price up a bit, but not by that much, and you get a powerful tool in return.

What stands out?

  • The biggest thing we liked about this drone was found during the wind resistance testing. It did not come with a wind resistance rating, so we were worried at first. But it turned out its increased weight made it the best at dealing with the wind of all the drones we tested. The drone’s movements were also quite nimble despite this weight, meaning you never feel slow while making use of it.

What cons did we manage to find?

  • The biggest issue we found in the HS700E is the transmission range. It is never bad, but it is right on the edge of it. The drone can turn on a dime, so you will never launch yourself inexorably out of transmission range, and if something goes wrong when you're flying that far away, you can be assured the drone will land safely. But with all the advanced parts on the drone, you would think it would be better.
2.

DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo DronePremium Pick

Features
  • Wind resistance: resists level 5 winds
  • Flight time: 31 mins
  • Charging time: not specified
  • Video/photo resolution: 4K/30 fps
  • Transmitter range: OcuSync 2.0, 6.2 mi.
  • Weight: 8.78 oz

More features: remote control operated; lightweight; foldable; has a 4X zoom

Of all the drones we tested, the DJI Mini 2 is the lightest. One would expect this to make it underequipped—after all, lighter equipment means worse equipment, doesn’t it? That is the incredible thing, as the equipment onboard the DJI Mini 2 is top of the line. It can capture a 4K video, fly two miles out from you without a problem, and come back at a moment’s notice.

The biggest improvement the DJI Mini 2 makes over the DJI Mini 1 is in its weight, but that impacts more than you might think. It has a lighter weight while still having the same equipment, meaning that all of its technology has been shrunk down. That means it is more energy-efficient since it does not need to carry as much weight around anymore.

What do we love it for?

  • The suite of camera features is the obvious selling point of this drone. While every part of the drone is a high spec, from its speed to its range, the camera is the star of the show with a 4x zoom function on top of its incredible resolution and storage space. On top of all of that, its camera is gimballed as well, offering freedom of movement that means you can always get the perfect shot from any angle you want.

What were we disappointed with?

  • The biggest weakness of the DJI Mini 2 is an extension of one of its greatest strengths: Its weight. This drone is designed to resist the wind through its engineering. That means that if the wind catches it in an unexpected way, things can go wrong fast due to how light it is. This is not a problem if you are flying it properly, but just know that there is no room for error.
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3.

Holy Stone HS110DBest Value

Features
  • Wind resistance: around 10 mph
  • Flight time: 10 mins each battery
  • Charging time: 120 mins
  • Video/photo resolution: FHD 1080p
  • Transmitter range: 60m//196ft
  • Weight: 145 g

More features: voice and gesture control; altitude hold; headless mode

Holy Stone is mainly known for its strong engineering and good cameras. What they are less commonly known for is their reasonable prices. The Holy Stone HS110D seeks to change that by having high spec materials and features with an incredibly low price point. It is a multi-battery drone with a wide variety of features that outperforms everything else at its price point.

What sets this drone apart from others at its budget is its mobility features. It can be guided by voice, gesture, and app control all at once. It can also be pre-programmed to move in a set pattern, a feature normally seen on more advanced models of a drone. Basically, it does everything that the top-of-line drones do at 1/6th the price while being of competitive quality.

What are its best features?

  • We have found few drones in a modern production that can maneuver as cleanly as this one can. Having three methods of control at the same time as programmable pathways means you always know where your drone is going. Having a drone that controls this well makes it feel like a completely different machine. This is accomplished by its ingenious build, which provides it with a weight that is great at keeping it steady against the wind.

What could be improved?

  • The biggest drawback of this drone might slip by you if you are not looking for it, and that is its range. The Holy Stone HS110D can fly out 60 meters from you. For most people, this might not ever be a problem. After all, how high above a wedding do you need to be to take pictures of it? But drone enthusiasts know that this is far less than the average, which makes sense given its budget price.
RELATED: 6 Best Drones under $150 – Great Features for an Amazing Price!
4.

Ruko F11Gim2 DroneBest Specialist

Features
  • Wind resistance: level 7
  • Flight time: 56 mins per battery
  • Charging time: 4.5 hours
  • Video/photo resolution: 4K HD
  • Transmitter range: 9000 feet
  • Weight: 20.06 oz

More features: brushless motor; 2-axis gimbal; low noise; multi-GPS

There are drones, and then there are Drones, and the Ruko F11 is definitely the latter. This one is heavy, sophisticated, and long-lasting, featuring multiple batteries to keep it going. It also features some of the best speed we’ve seen on a drone with this many camera features. Most of its specialty is under the hood, as it features anti-shake photography on a 4K 60 FPS camera that is even attached to a programmable gimbal. In short, it is everything you need on a photography drone.

When it comes to photography drones, one always expects there to be a drawback. Every drone is expected to be both a photography drone and a sports drone, usually sacrificing camera quality for maneuverability. The Ruko rejects that premise and instead opts for a perfectly maneuverable drone that has not only the best camera we’ve seen on a drone but some of the best programmings in a camera system.

What do we love it for?

  • With all that talk about the camera, you might be surprised to learn that our favorite part was actually the battery life. This thing gets almost one hour for each battery inside it, and it comes with two batteries out of the box. That means that while most photography drones last 20 minutes, this one can last nearly two hours.

What were we disappointed with?

  • The biggest drawback of this drone is what you would expect from something that is so focused on photography: It might be more maneuverable than you'd expect, but it is not going to impress anyone looking for a sports drone. On top of that, the large battery means its charge time is more than four hours. You can use it for two hours at a time, but you are only going to be doing that once a day.
5.

Potensic T25 DroneBest Automation

Features
  • Wind resistance: level 3
  • Flight time: 14-18 mins per battery
  • Charging time: not specified
  • Video/photo resolution: 2K
  • Transmitter range: 980 feet
  • Weight: 6.5 oz

More features: comes with a carrying case; Wi-Fi live video; custom flight path; wider vision; safety protection guards

Not everyone who uses a drone wants to use a drone. This is something we think about a lot but does not talk about nearly enough: A big part of our drone-buying audience is hereby necessity rather than a passion for the machines. So, we are always on the lookout for devices that are accessible to people who do not want to fiddle with a drone’s controls. That is where the Potensic T25 comes in. It is incredibly light, maneuverable, and above all, intelligent. While most drones are automated by user programming specific commands, this one excels in following general orders. It can follow, adjust altitude, and avoid obstacles all on its own, making it the best drone for people who want something low maintenance.

This is hardly unusual for people who have bought a Potensic drone before, though. What sets this one apart is its portability, as it is the lightest Potensic drone, making it more energy-efficient and maneuverable at the same time.

Why is it special?

  • The standout feature of the Potensic T25 is how user-friendly it is. We found that there is no drone on this list that is better at taking commands and following them without forcing the user to basically learn a new language. This usability starts with its basic functions and goes on to include every feature it has, from maneuvers to camera operation to such basic things as takeoff and landing.

What are the flaws?

  • Considering the purpose of this article, it is worth mentioning that the biggest issue with this drone is how it fares in windy conditions. The lightweight of the drone makes it vulnerable to gusts. Its automatic features can help fight against that, but no amount of intelligence from either the drone or its user is going to be able to pull a drone out of an irreversible fall. Keep this in mind if you are taking it out on a windy day.
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Things to Consider

When you are buying a drone, you have to keep in mind the purpose for which you are getting the drone. Are you getting a drone just to fly a drone around? Those are called “sport drones,” and they are distinct in their features from photography drones. A photography drone will come with a camera built into it, and its features will usually revolve entirely around the use of that camera.

What Makes a Drone Suitable for a Windy Weather?

The deciding trait of a drone’s resistance to windy weather is its weight. There will actually be drones that come with wind resistance grading. The issue with that is that there is no regulatory body that decides what that means. Since there is no impartial third party judging the honesty of a drone manufacturer’s self-prescribed “wind resistance” grading, you have to trust your own evaluation. And that evaluation should start by looking at the drone’s weight. How you fly a drone in the wind is as important as what drone you fly. So, be sure to keep an eye on your speed and battery life in the wind as well.

Important Features

The thing about windy conditions is that they do more than just make your drone crash. That is what everyone is looking to avoid, but there is more to it than that. Wind can blow your drone off course or out of your transmission range.

It can also disrupt a drone’s intended path. That means that a drone should always have the ability to correct itself, or at least allow you to correct it easily.

Wind resistance

The meaning of wind Trusted Source Weather constraints on global drone flyability | Scientific Reports Small aerial drones are used in a growing number of commercial applications. However, drones cannot fly in all weather, which impacts their reliability for time-sensitive operations. The magnitude and global variability of weather impact is poorly understood. We explore weather-limited drone flyability (the proportion of time drones can fly safely) by comparing historical wind speed, temperature, and precipitation data to manufacturer-reported thresholds of common commercial and weather-resistant drones with a computer simulation. www.nature.com resistance, in a proverbial vacuum, is the engineering of the drone. That means asking a few questions: Are its sides flat like the DJI Mini 2? Because that will generate lift, you do not want. Or are they curved or beveled like the Holy Stone HS700E? These designs slip through the wind without lift. You want sleeker, curved drone designs as these are the ones that will provide you the most control while they are in the air.

Weight

Weight is the most important factor in wind resistance, bar none. This is difficult for some drone pilots to accept, as heavier drones are also usually less energy efficient. That means that most drone designs have been downsizing for years.

The weight keeps the drone from having its pathway disrupted by the wind. It also ensures that the propellers that elevate the drone are stronger than the wind. They have to be strong enough to lift the drone, meaning they will be stronger than any breeze that fails to lift the drone.

Ideally, you will want something that is heavier than 400 grams. There is complicated math you can use to determine exactly what weight your drone should be, but here are some values to keep in mind that does not require any math.

First, most drones are between half a pound and five pounds. A drone that weighs less than one pound can safely be in any wind below 15 miles per hour. Anything above that, do not even risk it.

Second, for drones one pound and above, add 10 miles per hour to the maximum safe Trusted Source Estimating the impact of drone-based inspection on the Levelised Cost of electricity for offshore wind farms - ScienceDirect Using drones for infrastructure inspection is becoming routine, driven by the benefit of reducing risk and costs. In this paper, the business case for drone-based inspection is examined from the perspective of the wind farm operator and the Drone Service Provider (DSP).  www.sciencedirect.com speed of the wind for every pound of weight the drone has. In short, a three-pound drone can reliably survive 35 miles per hour winds. This is technically undershooting the safe wind speed a drone can handle, but it is much better to underestimate it than to try and outsmart the wind.

Flight time

5 Best Drones for Windy Conditions - Fly It in Any Weather

Flight time also impacts maneuverability. As most people know, the shortest path between two points is a straight line. But a straight line is not always available in the wind when you have access to the 3D movement of a drone.

Flight time is a surprisingly minor factor in dealing with windy conditions, but it is a bigger deal the lower your flight time is. The danger, in this case, is that your drone can be blown off course and end up crashing due to ending up out of range of your landing path.

That means that more maneuvers also make your drone lose flight time faster. This is an important fact to keep in your mind, as you can and will lose more flight time than you expect fighting against a particularly nasty wind.

The longer the flight time, the better. It is unlikely that you will need something as long as the Ruko’s two-hour flight time, but that is safer than a shorter flight time.

Charging time

Charging time determines how many times per day you get to use your drone. It also gives you a good indication of how long your drone will last in the air. Most drones distribute their power over two or more batteries, meaning that charging time can be cut in half if you are willing to risk it.

Never risk it, especially in windy conditions. Look for a charging time that is less than an hour if you can get it, as this means you will not have to send your drone back up in entirely new weather.

Video and photo resolution

The key to good photo and video quality in windy conditions is stability and technology. What that means is that your drone has to be heavy enough to keep itself steady in the wind, and the camera has to be able to keep up.

The camera can keep up in one of two ways. The first is that it can feature an anti-blur tool in the camera system itself like the Ruko does. Or, it can use a gimballed camera like the DJI Mini 2.

Gimballed cameras are good for the wind because it means that you can choose a direction for the camera to point, and then the drone will maneuver itself to keep that direction constant. If the wind blows the drone to the side, the gimballed camera will respond by rotating so that the camera appears to barely move at all.

Lens

5 Best Drones for Windy Conditions - Fly It in Any Weather

If your drone has a short battery life or a lightweight, then a good lens can mean the difference between having to go into a windy area or not. It can also mean the difference between being among the trees or being out in the open.

The lens of your drone’s camera matters because that will determine how far away you can be from your subject while filming or photographing. This is a hard value to understand by itself, so think of it in relation to the other values we discussed.

A good lens that can shoot photos and video from far away is also important for making use of a gimballed camera. The reason for this is that the further away you are, the less noticeable a gimballed camera’s corrections become.

Transmitter range

Like weight, transmitter range is the secret sauce to making a drone that can survive in windy conditions. The reason for this is that the main cause of death among drones in the wind is not actually being blown into things.

Drones get destroyed in the wind because they get blown off course and end up outside of their transmission range. Many drones have the ability to land automatically or return to transmission range if they lose signal, but not all.

More importantly, once a drone leaves transmission range, it will be entirely reliant on its automated systems to stabilize it against the wind. This is even assuming it has automated systems to rely on. Not only that, but it might choose a horribly inconvenient landing spot for an automated landing.

And all of this because it got blown five feet off course. The issue is that if your drone has a transmission range of 2000 feet, and you are flying the drone 2000 feet in the air exactly, then moving five feet laterally will actually displace it more than five feet out of your transmission range. This is geometry biting you in the butt. For this reason, be wary of drones with transmission ranges under 2000 feet.

FAQ

It is definitely dangerous for your drone to fly in high wind, but it will only be dangerous to you or people around you if you fly in winds above 20 miles per hour and/or are flying in a residential area.

If you are in the country or a forest, then the most likely thing that high winds will do is bump your drone into a tree or blow it outside of your transmission range. In a town or city, however, that could land the drone in someone’s yard, window, or right on top of their head. In short, winds are dangerous, but where you fly the drone is the bigger issue.

Preparing your drone is all about knowing your drone. You should know how long its battery life is, how far it can fly, what its maneuvering abilities feel like, and how heavy it is. This is the base knowledge you need no matter what.

Dress your drone up in a raincoat if you are dealing with rain or lightning. If you are dealing with wind, consider the weight of your drone relative to the winds that are forecasted. You are not going to be able to tell how fast the wind is on your own, so have a reliable source of weather information to judge it off of.

But the best thing you can do for you and your drone during bad weather is not fly at all if you are uncertain about your ability. If you think you can fly in the rain but are not sure, then do not risk it. It is better for your drone and your own safety.

Most drones are not made to stand up to the rain, but that does not make them unsalvageable should they get dirty. If you end up with a dirty or messy drone, start by drying it off with a microfiber cloth that can get into all its creases.

Then, go over the drone with an isopropyl alcohol-based cleaner. These are cleaners designed for drones, as they allow you to get rid of the moisture without adding any. You should dry the drone off once more after this, though, as the alcohol can stain the chassis if you leave it on there for too long.

Since harsh wind will usually get some dust inside your drone, address that with some canned air. Do not shake the canned air, as doing so will cause it to create a moist foam that will damage the drone. Just be sure to get it into the cracks.

Our Verdict

Flying a drone in high winds is difficult, but not impossible. All it takes is the right pilot, as well as the right tools. That could be any of these drones, but some stand out more than others in terms of cost, features, and usability.

The best premium option is the DJI Mini 2 for its plethora of features along with its high performance, while the Holy Stone HS110D is our choice for value.

But the HS700E is the best choice for just about every need, as it has an excellent camera and weight while still maintaining a good flight time and transmission range. This makes it a great all-arounder and the best drone for windy conditions.

References

1.
Weather constraints on global drone flyability | Scientific Reports
Small aerial drones are used in a growing number of commercial applications. However, drones cannot fly in all weather, which impacts their reliability for time-sensitive operations. The magnitude and global variability of weather impact is poorly understood. We explore weather-limited drone flyability (the proportion of time drones can fly safely) by comparing historical wind speed, temperature, and precipitation data to manufacturer-reported thresholds of common commercial and weather-resistant drones with a computer simulation.
2.
Estimating the impact of drone-based inspection on the Levelised Cost of electricity for offshore wind farms - ScienceDirect
Using drones for infrastructure inspection is becoming routine, driven by the benefit of reducing risk and costs. In this paper, the business case for drone-based inspection is examined from the perspective of the wind farm operator and the Drone Service Provider (DSP). 
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