Warm days, good weather… summer is closer and closer to most of us. Do you enjoy pools and beaches? Perhaps go fishing or take a stroll down to the local lake? Would you like to own a drone you could take to these kinds of places without worrying about getting it wet? Are you looking for a waterproof drone? So are we!
Therefore, we at DronesGlobe have come up with 6 best waterproof drones currently available in the market. The best six and most affordable drones you will find, we have gathered them on this list. Let us take a deeper look into what these six innovative camera drones are capable of!
What can I use a waterproof drone for?
This has to be one of the easiest questions ever. The answer is quite simple – you can use a waterproof drone for virtually anything that involves water. There are more precise usage scenarios described down below so make sure to check them out!
I’m sure most of you know that modern-day drones aren’t really good when it comes to snow or rain. But, for those who are living in rainy areas, we might just have a solution for you! Waterproof drones! They can endure rain showers and heavy snow since they’re enclosed into a fully waterproof casing. This will allow you to fly them around without worrying they’ll die in midflight just because of a few raindrops.
A lot of people are using drones for fishing. This is becoming a massive trend so it is not surprising at all to see plenty of waterproof drone being released. Keep in mind there are certain techniques to improve the safety of your drone while fishing, but with a waterproof one, chances of damaging your drone are minimal.
Want to know more about drones for fishing?
Kayaking and canoeing are demanding but relaxing activities that look excellent when recorded from the air. More and more people are noticing this and are investing in proper aerial platforms in order to capture the essence of their hobby.
Not just surfing but all other water sports are fun to record as well. Aerial footage of extreme water sports never ceased to amaze me. It looks action-packed, fun to watch… and above all – epic!!
Camping near a lake or a river is always much better with a drone nearby. It gives you a worry-free experience, allowing you to capture dear moments for years to come.
Waterproof vs water-resistant
There is one common misconception that you should take into consideration while picking out this type of drone. Of course, I am talking about waterproof vs water resistant drones. So, if you’re uncertain about the topic yourself, it might be a good idea to check out the words from below:
Waterproof drones are drones that can be fully submerged into the water without suffering any damage. They are completely sealed off and usually cost much more than water-resistant ones.
Water-resistant drones are often not completely sealed tight. This means they’re good for mild rain or snow, but submerge them directly into water and they’re all done…
Even though a drone might be advertised as waterproof, if it’s suspiciously cheap you should thoroughly expect its description. Somewhere between the lines, you’ll find the phrase water-resistant…
Now with that being said, I’m confident that you are ready to go through some of the best waterproof drones out there. Heads up – we have divided our picks into 3 categories, for beginners, for professionals, and for industrial use. Each category gives you 2 options to choose from… so pick wisely!
Waterproof drones for beginners
With plenty of models available on the market, there is no doubt that JJRC is a solid entry-level brand. But, when it comes to H31 drone, it seems they have outdone themselves. You see, this is a completely waterproof drone that costs $50. Yup, that’s right, $50! But, how good can it be at this particular price point? Well, that’s exactly what can be found out down below!
First off, we should start with the camera which is probably the biggest downside. It’s a 2MP one and, as you expected, it is not the best in terms of image quality. Still, it does support both photo and video recording so at least that’s a good point. Moving forward to specifications, JJRC H31 starts to shine in a much better light. For $50 you are getting up to 10 minutes of flight time (with a mere 3.7V 400mAh battery) and 80 meters of range.
Feature-wise, this drone isn’t shy either. Headless mode, one key return to home, one key 360 flips and LED lights for night flights are all there. Build quality is not bad too. It’s made out of high-quality ABS/PS and sports a sturdy frame that won’t break easily. All in all, if you’re looking to get your drone wet, JJRC H31 won’t mind it at all…
If you are looking for a new RC toy but you can’t make up your mind between getting a drone or a boat… Good news, you don’t have to make that decision at all. How? Well, the folks over at Parrot made sure of that by releasing Hydrofoil, the world’s first drone+boat hybrid. It apparently brings the best out of both worlds, providing its users with intuitive flying and relaxing sailing. Is it really that awesome? Let’s see…
Unfortunately, Hydrofoil isn’t exactly the best product on the market. You see, the biggest problem is its build quality. It is not waterproof but water-resistant; now you know the difference and you’re able to use your new knowledge. Basically, if you end up submerging it (which is bound to happen since you will often sail with it) it will be destroyed. It also supports a VGA camera which is utterly terrible.
On the other hand, battery duration is not that bad. Parrot Hydrofoil has up to 9 minutes of flight time paired with just 25 minutes of charging back up. That’s a damn fine ratio if I ever saw one. But… flight (and sailing) range is heavily crippled due to Bluetooth connection. Oh, I almost forgot to mention – Parrot Hydrofoil requires a smartphone (works with Android and iOS at the moment) to which it connects solely via Bluetooth. So, you’re looking at only 20 meters of the range which is way less than most drones in its price range.
Best Waterproof drones for professionals
QuadH2O Waterproof Drone
QuadH2O has really established itself as the best waterproof drone manufacturer on the market. With aggressive new installments in industrial and professional tiers, their success speaks for itself. But what’s so special about their QuadH2O Waterproof Drone? Is this entry-level fully waterproof drone decent enough for professional filmmaking or a surface mapping? Well, in order to answer that question, first we need to take a closer look at it and see what’s it all about!
Electronics and specifications
Starting off with the design and build quality, QuadH2O is an absolutely gorgeous drone that features 100% waterproof interior and camera/gimbal combo as well. The airframe is made out of epoxy fiber composite, making it durable as well as lightweight. When it comes to electronics, it sports DJI Naza V2 flight controller, 920KV brushless motors and 20A 3-4S ESC. The recommended battery is quite hefty – 4000mAh 14.8V 4S LiPo which has just enough power to take this bad boy for a stroll through the air. Depending on your camera/gimbal combination and weather conditions, with the above-mentioned camera, you are looking at roughly 10 minutes of flight time.
In terms of FPV monitoring and transmission, you’ll be happy to know this thing features Sony 1/3 Super HAD II CCD camera with 3.6mm lens. Paired with ImmersionRC transmitter that can reach as far as 1000 metres in an open area plus a 1024×600 TFT LCD by FlySky, it’s safe to say there were no drawbacks in this department. Of course, in addition to Sony’s FPV camera, there’s room for a GoPro as well which can be easily setup on the bottom side of QuadH2O. This will enable you to record all sorts of aerial photography no matter if it’s raining or snowing outside… Have you tried pairing QuadH2O with FPV Goggles? If yes, please share your experience with us using comment form!
SwellPro Splash Drone 3 Auto
The second waterproof drone for professional use is coming from the labs of SwellPro, a much lesser-known drone manufacturer than QuadH2O. Despite that, their workers still made a terrific job with Splash Drone 3. It comes in 2 versions, Fisherman and Auto. In the next couple of paragraphs, we will be focusing on the latter since it’s a much more versatile build. So, without further adue, let’s see what does this drone has to offer!
First off, Splash Drone 3 Auto has an IP67 waterproof certificate meaning there’s no way it is going to get water damage. That’s especially so when it comes to its 4K camera which is mounted on a 2-axis gimbal stabilization system. Both are fully waterproof and can be submerged in water to take awesome underwater shots. Moving forward, SwellPro Splash Drone 3 Auto is finely poised with plenty of smart flight modes such as Return to Home, Tap to Fly, Mission Planning, Follow me and more. All these flight modes are incredibly well-polished. As a matter of fact, I dare to say the software is as good as DJI’s.
Payload release mechanism
Probably the most interesting thing about this drone is its Payload Release Mechanism. What this does is it essentially allows you to attach up to 1 kilogram of payload which you can easily release with a flick of a single switch on your controller. This mechanism basically enables you to carry your fishing line to a distant location or transport safety belts for people in danger of drowning. When this system is combined with up to 15 minutes of flight time and 1 kilometer of range, there is no doubt it can do terrific things. So, if you’re looking for a professional-grade waterproof drone with good payload capacity and excellent camera, SwellPro Splash Drone 3 Auto has you covered!
Industrial waterproof drones
QuadH2O HexH2O V2 Pro
The most expensive waterproof currently available on the market is definitely QuadH2O HexH2O V2 Pro. It weighs 5.4 kilograms when fully loaded which just goes to prove what a beast this drone is. But, that’s mainly due to the fact this baby is fully enclosed and provides a 100% waterproof experience. However, this pinnacle of drone tech comes at an unbelievably high price which most of us mere mortals will never be able to afford. One thing is certain though – for professionals, it is worth every penny!
Features and specifications
There’s a surprising collaboration with DJI which resulted in HexH2O working seamlessly with DJI GO App and featuring DJI Lightbridge transmitter for improved responsiveness and longer range. This effectively enables HexH2O to have up to 3 kilometers of range with live HD downlink. Considering there’s a huge viewing dome right in front of the camera, your live view will be as good as on any other regular drone. HexH2O runs on 2 parallel 6S 8000mAh LiPo batteries which don’t come with the standalone package. As you probably guessed yourself, those batteries are able to provide plenty of power so it’s not surprising to see it go as long as 25 minutes.
In terms of specifications and camera, it becomes even more clear that HexH2O is a force to be reckoned with. It features state of the art DJI X3 camera/gimbal combo that record in 4K resolution at 30fps. Keep in mind this is a fully fledged 3-axis gimbal stabilization system that ensures optimal smoothness and stability of your aerial footage. More importantly, as I’ve already stated, it is completely waterproof meaning it will not get damaged by water splashing all over it.
And lastly, when it comes to customizability, you will be happy to know that this model offers a channel expansion kit. This allows you to attach additional RC devices on your drone. Most of you who go for the full package will end up using the optional payload release system that can carry up to 2 kilograms of payload. So, with everything taken into consideration, I believe you agree with me when I say this thing is freaking amazing!
I don’t have to remind you that drones offer an amazing number of usage scenarios. One of the most important ones, however, searches and rescues. Whether they’re searching for people in oceans, whether they’re searching for them in rough, hard-to-reach areas, search and rescue drones deserve a fair share of respect from all of us… And that’s just what QuadH2O SaraH2O represents – a beastlike drone specially designed for search and rescue missions.
With its fully enclosed body and roughly 4.8 kg weight, there is no doubt that SaraH2O is on par with the best modern-day heavyweight drones. That’s even further proven by 2 parallel 6S 7000mAh LiPo batteries that help it achieve up to 25 minutes of flight time. The video transmitter is made by ImmersionRC and can cover approximately 1 kilometer in an open area. A flight monitor is included as well. We are talking about FlySky Black Pearl featuring TFT LCS screen with LED backlight. The resolution is nothing breath-taking, just 1024×600.
When it comes to cameras (notice the plural), SaraH2O exceeded my initial expectations. It features not 1 but 2 cameras. Inside the waterproof casing, you can fit a Zenmuse H4-3D gimbal along with GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition, both available from QuadH2O official website. The casing is huge so it allows your camera/gimbal combo full range of motion without any issues. On top of SaraH2O there’s an additional camera slot. More precisely, it features waterproof housing for Flir Vue and Flir Vue Pro thermal cameras that can prove to be of great help in search and rescue missions.
I almost forgot to mention this drone has a fully customizable kit process on QuadH2O official website. There’s a wide range of optional accessories that you can purchase. They include extra batteries, A2 flight controller, leg and payload release system and many more. The total sum of money you are going to pay for just the minimal package is across the boards. More than $4K is a serious amount of money for all of you, I’m sure of it. But then again, this drone is not meant for casual users but professionals; most likely search and rescue companies/organizations that can benefit the best from SaraH2O’s abilities.
With the best industrial waterproof drones, I am afraid you have come to the end of this article. After reading all this, I believe you have a much better understanding of what to look for before purchasing a drone. It can be a difficult task, no doubt about it… But that’s why we’re here!
Please tell us what did you think of our Top 5 Waterproof Drones 2017 list? Is any of them what you have been looking for in a quadcopter? Let us know in the comment section below, we are always happy to read your opinion on the drones we review. Happy flying and swimming!!