The Best Portable Travel & Adventure Drones

For some drone pilots big is necessary and the bigger their bird is the better. It’s a reasonable consideration if the operator needs a heavy payload for filming equipment or to carry supplies. However, there are many reasons why smaller more luggable drones make better sense. The build, technology, and features of smaller crafts today often equal those of bigger models.

Large drones with bigger transmitters are bulkier as well as heavier. They are not realistic for people on the move unless you’re traveling as a film crew or work in search & rescue, as two examples. Most of us want to be able to take our drones—and particularly camera drones—to wherever we fancy with the minimum of fuss. Now you can. Some capable drones fold down to pocket size and don’t even need a remote controller. That’s pretty cool!

NameRangeFlight TimeRatingPrice
top-pick-drone
TOPPICK

DJI Mavic Pro

7 km27 minutes
4.7


best-value-drone
BESTVALUE

Geniusidea Follow

100 m20 minutes
4.7


budget-drone
BUDGET

Goolsky H37 Mini

40 m7 minutes
4.6


The Aerial Dronie (Selfies) & More

Some makers promote their travel drones as the ultimate aerial selfie or dronie tools. Taking selfie shots of you or others from the sky puts a whole new interesting twist on amateur photography. But many of these amazing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are much more than selfie shooters. They are also serious camera drones that you can easily lug from place to place and even country to country.

Carrying bigger crafts around soon loses its appeal. It’s why smaller drones are in such high demand. Now you can have professional aerial photography and videography potential with you at all times. The words portable, foldable, lightweight, collapsible, and luggable are the new buzzwords in smaller drone technology. Keep reading if you’re thinking about a new pocket-sized travel camera drone.

Before You Buy a Travel Drone

There are a few things to consider before you buy any foldable/collapsible/travel drone. This list gives you an idea of the most important factors. Feel free to add some of your own if they are not here.

  • How luggable is the drone for YOU and YOUR traveling style?
  • How much does the drone (and controller if it’s a separate item) weigh?
  • How user/beginner-friendly is the craft?
  • Battery life: also translated to maximum flight time
  • The cost of spare batteries (spare batteries always recommended)
  • Control range: the distance a drone can fry from its controller
  • Speed: faster speeds enable drones to travel to and from their destination quicker
  • Camera quality for stills and video
  • Image stabilization
  • Drone features (hardware) and available flight modes (software)

A Word About Flight Times

All the points in the list above are important. But one of the biggest gripes with all consumer drones is the restricted flight times. A lot of toy-like drones don’t even give five-minutes. Some of the mid-range camera drones can’t offer much more than 12-15 minutes per fully-charged battery. And even drones that have 30-minutes or more can be frustrating when the power runs out.

It’s always a good idea to invest in a couple of extra batteries with any drone, especially those with shorter flight times. Some manufacturers build their drones to accept cheaper third-party batteries. Others, like DJI for example, lock third-party batteries out of their products. The frustrating thing about this is that DJI batteries are expensive but they are amazing.

You can also buy drone bundles that include combo kits with extra batteries and/or other accessories. It’s just something to think about.

The table below shows my top seven portable travel drones in the order they appear in this guide. There is another table at the end of each review which highlights more specs along with pros and cons. The drones vary in price from less than $60 to just over $1000 so there’s something for all budgets. I’ve organized these reviews starting with the least expensive first

Make and Model of FPV DroneSize of DroneDrone weightPrice Check
Goolsky H37 Mini Quadcopter10.4 x 6.8 x 3.8″57g (2 oz.)
Rabing RC Foldable Camera7 x 5 x 2.4″113g (4 oz.)
Holy Stone Compact HS160 Shadow2.6 x 5.5 x 1.2″83g (2.9 oz.)
Geniusidea FOLLOW Quadcopter6.3 x 2 x 6.3″272 g (9.6 oz.)
DJI Spark, Fly More Combo9.8 x 3 x 8.2″300g (10.6 oz.)
DJI Mavic Pro11.4 x 7.1 x 9.4″735g (1.6 lbs.)
GoPro Karma Plus HERO6 Black5.9 x 17.3 x 11.8″545g (1.2 lbs.)

Not all these drones are foldable but they are all portable, lightweight, and super-easy to lug around.

Why this Guide

This updated guide lists seven of the most popular portable drones around right now. I’ve included three at the bargain end for entry-level users and tight budgets. The others are more sophisticated flying robots. You can carry all the models on this page as easily as a tablet. Whether you just want a drone to capture everyday events or have it there for exciting opportunistic shooting—you’ve got it.

I have selected these picks based on a number of factors. My own personal opinion plays a part but it’s not the only consideration. I have also taken the views of industry experts into account and the feedback from real users. Not all these drones will suit all people, but there is sure to be one or two on this page that will attract the attention of most readers.

Goolsky H37 BABY ELFIE Mini Drone

Goolsky H37 BABY ELFIE Mini Drone

The Pros

  • Foldable structure easy to carry
  • Amazon’s Choice product
  • +5 more
  • Easy to fly at any level
  • Fast battery charging time
  • First Person View (FPV) capable
  • 2 bonus batteries (3 total)
  • User-friendly flight modes

The Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Average flight range
  • +1 more
  • Average camera

4.6

Rabing RC Foldable Camera Drone

Rabing RC Foldable Camera Drone

The Pros

  • Foldable structure
  • Easy to carry around
  • +4 more
  • Exceptional value for money
  • Quiet quad compared to some
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • User-friendly craft

The Cons

  • Short flight time per battery
  • 2MP camera

4.8

Holy Stone HS160 Foldable Shadow FPV Drone

Holy Stone HS160 Foldable Shadow FPV Drone

The Pros

  • Clean design, foldable structure, easy to carry around
  • Top seller on Amazon
  • +6 more
  • Integrated HD camera
  • App-controlled
  • Smooth stable flyer
  • Failsafe flying modes
  • Bonus battery
  • Intuitive remote controller

The Cons

  • Short flight time
  • No headless mode
  • +1 more
  • Low average flight range

4.8

Geniusidea 4K Foldable Follow Drone

Geniusidea 4K Foldable Follow Drone

The Pros

  • Foldable, lightweight and easily portable
  • Face recognition, gesture controls
  • +5 more
  • Includes custom carrycase
  • User/beginner-friendly
  • Built-in 4K, 13MP camera w/ adjustable lens
  • Stabilizing sensors
  • Lots of great features and flight modes

The Cons

  • No mechanical gimbal stabilization
  • Exaggerated flight time
  • +1 more
  • Can’t fly very fast

4.7

DJI Spark Palm Launch Travel Selfie Drone

DJI Spark Palm Launch Travel Selfie Drone

The Pros

  • Compact and lightweight travel/adventure craft
  • Excellent selfie drone
  • +6 more
  • Hand gesture controls
  • Gimbal stabilized camera
  • Forward facing obstacle avoidance
  • Smart flight modes, easy for beginners
  • Return to base feature
  • Dual-band GPS

The Cons

  • No 4K video version (yet)
  • Short flight time (battery life)

4.4

DJI Mavic Pro Foldable Travel Drone

DJI Mavic Pro Foldable Travel Drone

The Pros

  • Small light & foldable travel drone
  • Quality 4K camera w/ gimbal
  • +6 more
  • FPV capable
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Long battery life and quick battery charging
  • Long flight range
  • Smartphone controllable
  • Intuitive flight modes

The Cons

  • Shallow ground clearance
  • Flights affected in blustery weather conditions

4.7

GoPro Karma Foldable Adventure Drone

GoPro Karma Foldable Adventure Drone

The Pros

  • Foldable and easy to transport
  • Uses compatible GoPro cameras
  • +7 more
  • Amazing photo and video quality
  • Gimbal stabilized
  • Works with Karma grip (included)
  • Virtual tutorials for beginner pilots
  • Return to Home and Follow Me modes
  • Intuitive remote with LCD display
  • Automated flight features

The Cons

  • No obstacle avoidance
  • High price tag
  • +1 more
  • Low average battery life

4.0

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