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Best Cheap Drones for Windy Conditions

Living by the seaside or in the mountains where the wind is more prominent can be a challenge for drones to fly adequately or at all.

But investing in expensive drones that can withstand those winds may not always be a solution.

What are the best cheap drones for windy conditions?

The DJI Mini 2SE is the best cheap drone to fly in level-5 high winds and still capture smooth videos. Autel EVO Nano Plus and DJI Mini 3 are other cheap options that are fantastic for flying in windy conditions.

In this guide, I want to expand on each recommended drone for windy conditions, why we chose them, and everything you should know about how drones fly in the wind.

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1. DJI Mini 2 SE – Cheapest drone with excellent wind resistance and flight performance

Great Starter Drone
DJI Mini 2 SE
$299.00

Lightweight and Foldable Mini Drone with 2.7K Video, 10km Video Transmission, 31-min Flight Time, Under 249 g, Return to Home, Automatic Pro Shoots, Drone with camera for Beginners.

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03/06/2024 06:16 pm GMT

The DJI Mini 2 SE is an entry-level, budget-friendly drone with fantastic flight performance and time. Despite its small size, it also can withstand some pretty intense wind conditions.

Weight246 g
Size138×81×58 mm folded without propellers
Max Flight Time31 mins
Max Flight Speed16 m/s or 35.6 mph
Wind ResistanceLevel 5, up to 10.7 m/s or 24 mph
Camera Sensor1/2.3-inch CMOS
Camera Stabilization3-axis mechanical gimbal
Photo Resolution12 megapixels
Video Resolution2.7k at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 60 fps

✅ Pros

  • Being one of the cheapest drones from DJI, it performs exceptionally well
  • Fantastic level-5 wind resistance
  • Good battery life and flight time
  • It has a three-axis mechanical gimbal, which will help the drone stabilize the video footage in higher winds
  • Decent flight speed
  • Fantastic low price for what the drone offers
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Excellent video transmission range
  • It’s a beginner-friendly drone
  • It comes with intelligent features
  • It’s a very new drone

❌ Cons

  • It does not film in 4k or 60 fps in 2.7k
  • Low photo resolution compared to other drones
  • It comes with an older O2 transmission system
  • It does not have any avoidance sensors

Why DJI Mini 2 SE is a suitable cheap drone for windy conditions

The DJI Mini 2 SE is the best cheap drone you can buy that can sustain heavy winds and gusts. It’s beginner-friendly and has a three-axis mechanical gimbal perfect for stabilizing the video in high winds.

Moreover, this newer drone has some good intelligent features and can fly longer than many drones in its class, probably the longest flight time found in a cheap drone.

Because it’s a DJI drone, it always performs exceptionally well.

2. Autel EVO Nano Plus – Best bundle drone with fantastic wind resistance

Autel EVO Nano Plus (Premium Bundle)
$2,099.00

249g Mini Professional Drone with 4K RYYB HDR Camera, 50 MP Photos, 1/1.28" CMOS, 3-Way Obstacle Avoidance and more.

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03/06/2024 09:57 pm GMT

The Autel EVO Nano Plus is another fantastic tiny drone that can fly in windy conditions. It has good flight performance and is lightweight and portable.

Weight249 g
Size140×90×50mm folded
Max Flight Time28 mins
Max Flight Speed13 m/s (29 mph) in sport mode
Wind ResistanceLevel 5 wind resistance up to 10.5 m/s (24 mph)
Camera Sensor1/1.28-inch CMOS
Camera Stabilization3-axis mechanical gimbal
Photo Resolution50 megapixels
Video Resolution4k at 30 fps

✅ Pros

  • The best bundle you can get for the price with a fantastic drone
  • Excellent wind resistance
  • Can film in 4k and photograph at a resolution of 50 megapixels
  • It has a three-axis mechanical gimbal to stabilize the video footage in windy conditions
  • Decent flight time
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Very good video transmission range
  • It comes with intelligent features
  • It has a forward, backward, and downward sensing system
  • Max flight speed is decent

❌ Cons

  • It’s slightly pricy compared to other cheap drones capable of flying in high winds
  • It does not film at 60 fps

Why Autel EVO Nano Plus is a suitable cheap drone for windy conditions

The Autel EVO Nano Plus is a fantastic solution if you want to film in 4k quality on windy days.

This little drone can fly for quite some time.

The best part is that it also has a three-axis mechanical gimbal and avoidance sensors to help the drone film well, stay in the air, and avoid collisions. 

3. DJI Mini 3 – Excellent cheap drone with exceptional wind resistance

DJI Mini 3 (Standard)
$559.00 $469.00

Lightweight and Foldable Mini Camera Drone with 4K HDR Video, 38-min Flight Time, True Vertical Shooting, and Intelligent Features.

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03/08/2024 01:06 am GMT

The DJI Mini 3 is another popular option if you’re looking for a semi-professional video-capable drone that can fly exceptionally well in high winds while on a budget.

Weight248 g
Size148×90×62 mm folded, without propellers
Max Flight Time38 mins with Intelligent Battery
51 mins with Intelligent Battery Plus
Max Flight Speed16 m/s (35.7 mph)
Wind ResistanceLevel 5 wind resistance at 10.7 m/s (24 mph)
Camera Sensor1/1.3-inch CMOS
Camera Stabilization3-axis mechanical gimbal stabilization
Photo Resolution48 megapixels
Video ResolutionMax 4k at 30 fps

✅ Pros

  • It’s a great drone for the price
  • Fantastic flight performance
  • It comes with intelligent functions
  • Can resist and fly well in high winds
  • It can film in 4k and has a 48-megapixel camera
  • Can fly for a long time
  • It has a three-axis mechanical gimbal camera
  • It’s very affordable
  • It has a good flight speed
  • It’s lightweight, foldable, and portable
  • You can obtain super smooth videos even in high winds
  • Can fly well long range
  • It’s a well-known and loved drone

❌ Cons

  • It does not have any avoidance sensors
  • Cannot film in 4k at 60 fps
  • It comes with the older O2 transmission system

Why DJI Mini 3 is a suitable cheap drone for windy conditions

The DJI Mini 3 is the cheapest option you can get if you want to capture semi-professional videos in 4k and photographs of a higher resolution with a drone capable of flying in high winds.

Moreover, due to the three-axis mechanical gimbal, you won’t even notice it was windy in your videos. 

The Mini 3 flies super smooth and boasts a long flight time, even more so with the Intelligent Battery Plus.

Flying drones in windy conditions

Nowadays, drones have become quite resistant to flying in winds up to a point due to technological advancements and the ability of drones to compensate for motor power and stabilize in the wind.

Nevertheless, drones have limited potential to fly in windy conditions, and in general, more expensive drones tend to do better in the wind.

Cheap drones may have limitations for flying in very high winds, but even so, there should be no issue if the wind is not too strong.

To put it in another perspective, no drone can fly in extreme winds, no matter the price and drone capabilities.

How does a drone fly in the wind?

When the wind pushes from one side, the other side’s motors increase power temporarily to compensate and help the drone to remain stabilized.

This applies both when hovering or flying the drone in the wind.

The internal sensing system, gyroscope, and other parts, altogether with the processing power, work together to fulfill these essential functions.

Flying a drone in non-windy conditions is rare unless you fly it indoors.

There always is a little bit of a breeze, at least outdoors. In breezes to level-5 winds, these drones should have no issues flying well and remaining stabilized.

Outside of high winds, we have wind gusts and air currents.

Flying a drone with strong wind gusts can destabilize the drone because gusts are unpredictable.

Of course, the drone will attempt to stabilize itself when flying, and in most cases, if the gusts are not too powerful, the drone will drift slightly at most.

When air currents are present, flying can be dangerous.

Some currents can be strong enough to destabilize the drone, but the worst part is if these currents forcefully push the drone toward cliffs, easily crashing the drone.

We don’t recommend flying any drones in these cases.

Are there any cheap drones that can withstand winds?

Many drones of all types may be suitable to fly in windy conditions, but in most scenarios, the camera stabilization may struggle to film well in the wind, and some drones may even have performance issues.

Please avoid purchasing obscure cheap drones because you will always have problems in the wind, even with the most basic functions.

Read more >> Can a drone fly in strong winds?

What contributes to drones flying well in windy conditions?

We should look at all the factors to understand what makes a drone fly well in windy conditions.

  • The drone’s weight: This is a primary factor contributing to how well a drone can resist high winds. Lightweight drones tend to be taken away easier by wind gusts.

    Heavier drones do well in windy conditions and are generally very expensive, so we have not listed any.
  • The drone size: Although drone size should be proportionate to weight, bigger and heavier drones do well in windy conditions.

    A large, lightweight drone can perform poorly in high winds due to air friction.
  • Internal sensing system: From gyroscopes and sensors to the drone firmware and processing power, the inner parts play an essential role in calculating and adjusting any drone oscillations produced by the winds and minimizing or eliminating drifts in real-time.
  • Drone motor power: On top of the internal parts, to counter any wind gusts, drone motors have to exercise extra thrust to keep the drone stable.

    If the motors are not very powerful, strong winds may be beyond the drone’s ability to remain stabilized, with greater chances for the drone to drift, tumble, or crash.
  • Drone aerodynamics: Yet another essential part that makes drones fly longer and faster, drone aerodynamics to counter winds plays an important role. That’s why we don’t see square drones.
  • Avoiding attaching any accessories: Any extra accessories, such as landing gear, a GoPro on top of a drone, and so on, may create higher air friction and reduce the motor’s strength, which is needed to compensate for the extra weight.

    This ultimately can reduce the ability of a drone to face higher winds.
  • Your flight style and the direction you fly the drone: How you fly your drone in high winds is essential. If you always throttle to the maximum in sport mode, the drone may perform worse in high winds.

    Side winds are also far more dangerous for a drone than frontal or back winds.
  • Type of drone – GPS standard drone or FPV drone: What we discussed on this topic applies only to GPS drones. Flying FPV drones in acro mode in high winds is another story. Nothing will stabilize the drone but you as a pilot.

    That’s why some FPV drones can face much higher winds in the hands of an experienced FPV drone pilot, but it is far more dangerous to fly this way.

What else do we need to know when flying cheap drones in the wind?

  • Cheap drones tend to have a reduced flight performance and will not be as strong as bigger drones when flying in high winds.

    That is why you shouldn’t buy the cheapest drone you can find.
  • More expensive drones such as the DJI Mavic 3 Pro may have superior wind resistance than more affordable drones, not only because of larger size, weight, and stronger motor powers, but due to advanced internal sensors and parts to help the drone fly as smoothly as possible and face many weather challenges.
  • When you fly FPV drones in higher winds, remember that once the battery voltage drops, the drone may exercise less thrust than with a full battery.

    This may make it challenging to fly in high winds. This doesn’t affect standard GPS drones as much.
  • Multirotor drones (with more than four motors) can withstand higher winds than common drones with four motors, but they are beyond a regular drone pilot’s price range.
  • These level-5 drones are rated by manufacturers to remain stable and fly well up to those specific wind speeds, but those are just safe numbers.

    In reality, many drones can fly in winds even higher than the manufacturers declare.
  • If you’re facing extremely high winds when you want to return with your drone, and it is challenging to push forward against the wind, don’t forget that sport mode will always give you the extra speed you need to do it.